House Speaker Mike Johnson has announced a path forward on aid to Ukraine and Israel after months of delay because of GOP divisions. Iran's unprecedent attack on Israel over the weekend increased pressure on Congress to act. Johnson plans to bring forward three separate bills on funding for Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine. Lawmakers say there's renewed urgency in passing the aid to Israel after Saturday's attack. Top congressional Democrats, President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell had called on the House to swiftly vote on the Senate-passed $95 billion foreign aid package that combines aid for Israel, Taiwan and Ukraine. But that has long been a no-go in the House, where various GOP members remain deeply opposed to further funding for Ukraine - NPR.

Donald Trump's unprecedented criminal trial has begun with half of a group of potential jurors ruled out within minutes on impartiality grounds. Mr Trump denies falsifying business records to conceal a hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. Sixty of 96 potential jurors were quick to say in the New York court that they could not be impartial. Those left were then asked multiple questions, including about their news and book reading habits - BBC


Israel’s military chief said Monday that his country will respond to Iran’s weekend attack, but he did not elaborate on when and how as world leaders urged against retaliation, trying to avoid a spiral of violence in the Middle East. The Iranian attack on Saturday came in response to a suspected Israeli strike two weeks earlier on an Iranian consular building in the Syrian capital of Damascus that killed two Iranian generals. It marked the first time Iran has launched a direct military assault on Israel despite decades of enmity dating back to the country’s 1979 Islamic Revolution. Iran launched hundreds of drones, ballistic missiles and cruise missiles at Israel in the attack. The Israeli military said that 99% of the drones and missiles were intercepted, by Israel’s own air defenses and warplanes and in coordination with a U.S.-led coalition of partners. - AP


Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky urged allies on Monday to show the same "unity" toward Ukraine as Israel, which said it repelled an Iranian attack over the weekend with Western support. Ukraine has in recent months grown increasingly frustrated at delays in Western aid, including air defences it says are urgently needed to repel deadly Russian attacks. In a post on Telegram, Zelensky thanked allies who had responded to Ukraine's call for more air defences but said "the intensity of Russian attacks requires greater unity…By defending Israel, the free world has demonstrated that such unity is not only possible, but also one hundred per cent effective," he said. - France 24

The United States on April 15 imposed sanctions on 12 Belarus entities and 10 individuals over their alleged support for Russia's war on Ukraine, the Treasury Department said in a statement. Among the entities targeted are a machine tool building firm, a company that sells control systems for the Belarusian armed forces, and a company that produces radio communication equipment. The department said its action “builds on U.S. sanctions imposed in response to Belarus’s fraudulent August 2020 election, as well as President Alyaksandr Lukashenka’s support for Russia’s illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine.” - RFE/RL

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