Two US officials have confirmed that an Israeli missile has struck Iran. Early Friday morning, explosions were heard around the central city of Isfahan, Iranian media reported, saying three drones were destroyed after the country's air defence systems were activated. Isfahan is home to an Iranian air base and the province has several military sites. There are no reports so far that anything was hit and Iranian media says all nuclear facilities are safe. Meanwhile, several flights have been diverted around Iran's airspace, tracking sites show. Israel's military and the Pentagon have both declined to comment so far - BBC

In Gaza, at least 10 members of the same family, including five children, were killed in an overnight airstrike on a neighborhood in Rafah, according to the local hospital.

The United States vetoed a UN Security Council application granting statehood to Palestinians on Thursday. The vote was 12-1 — the one being the US veto — and two abstentions. The US, Israel's chief ally, said it believes statehood should be dependent on negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians. The US has “been very clear, consistently, that premature actions in New York, even with the best intentions, will not achieve statehood for the Palestinian people," State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said earlier Thursday.  Ziad Abu Amr, special representative of the Palestinians, told the Security Council: "How could granting and recognizing Palestine, the state of Palestine, how could granting the State of Palestine full membership at the United Nations, similar to other countries around the world, how could this damage the prospect of peace between Palestinians and Israelis?” Israel’s Foreign Minister Israel Katz commended the US for vetoing what he called a “shameful proposal." - CNN

Millions of Indians began voting Friday in a six-week election that’s a referendum on Narendra Modi, the populist prime minister who has championed an assertive brand of Hindu nationalist politics and is seeking a rare third term as the country’s leader. The voters began queuing up at polling stations hours before they were allowed in at 7 a.m. in the first 21 states to hold votes, from the Himalayan mountains to the tropical Andaman Islands. Nearly 970 million voters — more than 10% of the world’s population — will elect 543 members to the lower house of Parliament for five years during the staggered elections that run until June 1. The votes will be counted on June 4. This election is seen as one of the most consequential in India’s history and will test the limits of Modi’s political dominance. If Modi wins, he’ll be only the second Indian leader to retain power for a third term, after Jawaharlal Nehru, the country’s first prime minister - AP


Bavarian police have arrested and accused two men of being Russian secret agents planning to bomb industrial and military sites in Germany to disrupt the delivery of aid to Ukraine. The two German-Russian nationals were detained in raids on Wednesday morning by police special forces in the town of Bayreuth, south-east Germany, according to the federal prosecutor’s office. Dieter S, 39, and Alexander J, 37, had been in communication with Russia’s military intelligence agency (GRU) to plan acts of sabotage on German soil, said the federal prosecutor. The Russian spy agency has been accused by western governments of the attempted assassination in 2018 of Sergei Skripal and his daughter in Salisbury, England, and other murders across Europe in recent years, including a 2019 fatal attack in Berlin. Russia has stepped up its undercover activities in Europe in recent months, but the possible use of agents to carry out violent acts in the EU is a sign of the Kremlin’s growing boldness and risk appetite, according to European security officials. The arrested suspects are alleged to have scouted targets that included the US military base at Grafenwöhr, Bavaria, where Ukrainian soldiers are being trained to use M1 Abrams tanks - FT

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