Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu has vowed to reject any sanctions on the country’s military, after reports that the US plans to cut aid to one unit. “I will fight it with all my strength,” the prime minister said on Sunday. Earlier, the Axios news site said the US would target Israel's Netzah Yehuda battalion over alleged human rights violations in the occupied West Bank. The BBC understands any move would come under a US ban on aid to foreign units credibly implicated in violations. When asked last week about reports that US military aid to the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF) units could be cut over allegations of human rights abuses in the occupied West Bank, Secretary of State Antony Blinken said: “I've made determinations; you can expect to see them in the days ahead.”


Columbia University is facing a full-blown crisis heading into Passover as a rabbi linked to the Ivy League school urged Jewish students to stay home and tense confrontations on campus sparked condemnation from the White House and New York officials. The atmosphere is so charged that Columbia officials announced students can attend classes and even possibly take exams virtually starting Monday – the first day of Passover, a major Jewish holiday set to begin in the evening. Tensions at Columbia, and many universities, have been high ever since the Oct. 7 terror attack on Israel by Hamas. However, the situation at Columbia escalated in recent days after university officials testified before Congress last week about antisemitism on campus and pro-Palestinian protests on and near campus surged. – CNN

Passengers and staff were evacuated for the second time in two days from Chisinau airport in the capital of Moldova on Sunday due to a bomb threat received the day before, local media reported. Bombs were alleged to have been placed in a terminal and on a plane. The airport is heavily used by Ukrainians.

At least five rockets were launched from Iraq's town of Zummar toward a US military base in northeastern Syria Sunday, two Iraqi security sources and a US official told Reuters. The attack against US forces is the first since early February when Iranian-backed groups in Iraq stopped their attacks against US troops. It comes a day after Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani returned from a visit to the United States, where he met with President Joe Biden at the White House. A post on a Telegram group affiliated with Kataib Hezbollah said armed factions in Iraq had decided to resume attacks after a nearly month pause after seeing little progress on talks to end the US-led military coalition in the country – VOA


Ukrainian and Western leaders on Sunday welcomed a desperately needed aid package passed by the US House of Representatives. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who had warned that his country would lose the war without US funding, said that the aid should come to the front line as soon as possible. Posting on X, he said, “The time between political decisions and actual damage to the enemy on the front lines, between the package's approval and our warriors' strengthening, must be as short as possible.” – Euronews


Negotiators from 176 countries will gather in downtown Ottawa this week for the fourth round of talks to create a global treaty to eliminate plastic waste in less than 20 years. Ottawa is hosting the fourth of five rounds of negotiations, with the aim of finalizing a deal by the end of the year. The proliferation of plastics has been profound, as it is a preferred material largely for its affordability and longevity. But that also means it never goes away, and the impact on nature and growing concerns about human health are leading a push to get rid of plastic waste and eliminate the most problematic chemicals used to make it. – CP

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