End of March Sitrep Support

End of March Sitrep Support



Tyson Lays Off American Workers While Actively Hiring Illegal Migrants 

Tyson Foods announced the closure of an Iowa pork factory, leading to over 1,000 job losses, while reportedly hiring migrants in Manhattan for positions at a Tennessee plant. Engaging with asylum seekers at Chobani yogurt's New York office, Tyson hired at least 87 migrants from Central and South America. Despite employing about 42,000 immigrants, Tyson aims to hire more. Senator J.D. Vance criticized companies laying off Americans while hiring foreign nationals, calling for congressional scrutiny. Vance argued this practice suppresses wages for U.S. citizens and exacerbates the labor pool. He faulted the Biden administration for blurring the lines between economic migrants and asylum seekers. Tyson defended its actions, stating they hire a legally authorized diverse workforce. The closure of the Iowa factory underscores Tyson's focus on operational efficiency. Perry, Iowa's mayor expressed concern over the closure's impact on the community. The migrants hired in New York will work at the Tyson plant in Humboldt, Tenn. 

Conditions in Haiti Deteriorate, Evacuation Flights to the US Begin

Amidst escalating chaos and violence in Haiti, dozens of US citizens fled the turmoil, arriving in Miami on a government-chartered plane. This evacuation follows a previous airlift of non-essential staff from Port-au-Prince, where gang violence has intensified. The State Department is facilitating the departure of more Americans as Haiti faces gunfire and severe food shortages, affecting millions. The first flight, originating from Cap Haitien, landed in Miami with 47 passengers. Evacuees expressed relief and concern for those left behind, with some describing their ordeal of being stranded in Haiti due to closed airports. Passengers were required to sign promissory notes for the flight expenses. While the State Department is exploring additional evacuation options, it has cautioned against travel from Port-au-Prince due to safety concerns. Haitian communities in Florida urge more US assistance, highlighting the urgent need for stability and humanitarian aid in Haiti, which UNICEF describes as resembling the dystopian world of "Mad Max." 

DHS Raids Shawn “Diddy Combs Home in Los Angeles and Miami 

Homeland security officials conducted a raid on the Los Angeles home of rapper and music mogul Sean "Diddy" Combs as part of a sex trafficking investigation. The raid targeted Combs' mansion in the Holmby Hills neighborhood, with a simultaneous raid occurring at his Miami residence. Federal agents were observed investigating the property, which is registered to Bad Boys Films, a division of Combs' Bad Boy Entertainment, where individuals were seen detained. The investigation follows allegations of Combs drugging young women, with claims spanning multiple states. Several sexual assault lawsuits have been filed against Combs in recent months, including one settled by R&B singer Cassie. Combs vehemently denies the allegations, labeling them as "sickening" and driven by financial motives. Additionally, a male music producer has accused Combs of sexual assault, a claim that Combs has also refuted. 

Islamic Terrorist Attack Death Toll on Moscow Concert Hall Skyrockets to 130+ 

An Islamic terrorist attack at a concert hall in Russia, claimed by ISIS-K, resulted in over 130 deaths and wounded more than 140 people. The attack involved four heavily armed men storming the Crocus City Hall and opening fire. The terrorists used explosives and flammable liquids to set the building on fire, causing significant structural damage. Russian firefighters battled the flames for hours before extinguishing them. The Russian government detained 11 people in connection with the attack, including the four terrorists. The Federal Security Service (FSB) stated that the attack was carefully planned, with weapons placed in a cache in advance. The attack occurred two weeks after the U.S. warned of potential terrorist threats at large public gatherings in Moscow, a warning that was directly related to this attack. 

Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore Collapsed After Being Hit by Maersk Container Ship 

A container ship chartered by Maersk collided with the Francis Scott Key Bridge outbound from the Port of Baltimore, causing its collapse around 0130 ET. Governor Wes Moore declared a State of Emergency in Maryland, coordinating with federal, state, and local agencies for rescue efforts. The bridge's collapse paralyzed the largest inland port on the East Coast, ranked 9th for cargo value and 13th for tonnage among US ports. At least 20 people and vehicles fell into the river, with Maersk shares dropping over 3%. Shocking footage shows the bridge collapse, severing the port's only shipping lane. The impact disrupts port operations and could lead to supply chain delays in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast. The Port of Baltimore, handling over 52 million tons of cargo annually, supports thousands of jobs in Maryland. Mayor Brandon Scott and emergency personnel are on the scene, with efforts ongoing to assess and respond to the tragedy. 


Federal Judge Rules Illegal Immigrants Can Carry Guns 

U.S. District Judge Sharon Johnson Coleman dismissed a case against Heriberto Carbajal-Flores, an illegal immigrant charged with possessing a firearm in Chicago. Despite rejecting two previous motions to dismiss, the judge ruled in Carbajal-Flores's favor based on a 2022 Supreme Court decision, stating that the law prohibiting noncitizen possession of firearms violated the Second Amendment as applied to him. Carbajal-Flores's lawyers argued that the law lacked historical grounding, while the government contended it was necessary for public safety. However, the judge found no evidence of Carbajal-Flores posing a risk, noting his lack of criminal record and adherence to pretrial conditions. This decision sparked debate within the legal community, with some arguing that illegal immigrants lack Second Amendment rights, while others, including Carbajal-Flores's attorney, asserted that they are entitled to such protections under the Constitution. Both the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the California Rifle and Pistol Association expressed divergent views on the matter, reflecting broader disagreement on the interpretation of constitutional rights for immigrants. 

Self-Proclaimed Hezbollah Bomb Maker Stooped at Southern Border 

Border Patrol agents intercepted a Lebanese migrant near El Paso, Texas, who claimed to be a Hezbollah member intending to make a bomb and travel to New York. Identified as Basel Bassel Ebbadi, 22, he is now in U.S. custody under active investigation. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confirmed the incident, highlighting their protocol to address potential threats to national security. Hezbollah, classified as a Foreign Terrorist Organization, raises concerns about individuals with affiliations attempting to enter the U.S. NBC News reported an increase in encounters with individuals on the FBI's terrorist watchlist at the southern border. CBP data showed 160 apprehensions of individuals matching terrorist watchlist identities in fiscal year 2023, up from 100 in the previous year, amid 2.5 million total encounters. It remains uncertain whether Ebbadi was on the watchlist. 

Biden Admin Fails to File Paperwork on 200,000 Deportation Cases, Judge Dismisses Cases 

The Biden administration's failure to file court papers in hundreds of thousands of deportation cases has resulted in judges dismissing these cases. Data obtained by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) reveals that approximately 200,000 cases lacked the necessary paperwork, leading to dismissals. Immigration courts in Houston and Miami saw more than half of their deportation cases dismissed since fiscal year 2021 due to this issue. While the percentage of dismissals has decreased since a peak in 2021, the number of cases dismissed remains high, particularly with record numbers of illegal border-crossers. TRAC's analysis indicates that in many cases, the government does not file new cases against the aliens after dismissal, leaving immigrants in legal limbo. The lack of transparency from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regarding these failures raises concerns about accountability and the impact on immigration court proceedings. 

US Border Patrol Processed and Released Illegal Migrants that Stormed National Guard  

After breaking down razor wire and fencing, illegal immigrants stormed the southern border in El Paso, Texas, assaulting National Guard troops in the process. Despite the incident, many were processed and released into the United States under Title 8, allowing them to await asylum claim hearings. Video footage captured by reporter Jennie Taer showed the chaotic scene, drawing widespread attention online. Governor Greg Abbott pledged to restore order, instructing authorities to arrest those involved for criminal trespass and property destruction. Republicans seized upon the incident, urging President Joe Biden to address the border crisis and threatening to withhold government funding until action is taken. Senator Mike Lee emphasized the gravity of the situation, while Senator J.D. Vance underscored the importance of leveraging the power of the purse. Senator Ron Johnson labeled the influx of migrants as an invasion, criticizing Biden's response as inadequate. 

Bodies Left in the Streets After Armed Gangs Attack Haiti’s Wealthiest Enclaves 

Violence in Haiti's capital escalated as gun battles between police and gangs spread into affluent neighborhoods like Laboule and Thomasin in Port-au-Prince. Heavily armed men ransacked homes, leaving at least one person dead and numerous others injured. Despite blocked roads hindering emergency response, residents reported retrieving victims themselves to prevent further casualties. Witnesses recounted the discovery of at least 24 bodies, highlighting the severity of the violence. Armed groups targeted key government facilities, fueling panic among residents who now barricade themselves indoors. Amidst the chaos, negotiations for a transitional presidential council continue, complicated by infighting and concerns for personal safety. The Conference of Catholic Bishops of Haiti clarified that they hadn't nominated a representative for the council, refuting previous claims. As Haiti grapples with unrest and uncertainty, hopes persist for a peaceful resolution to the crisis, emphasizing the need for inclusive dialogue and lasting solutions. 

New Budget to Fund Border Security in Egypt, Jordan and Other Middle East Countries While US Faces Unprecedented Border Crisis 

President Joe Biden's new budget, authorizing $1.2 trillion in federal spending, will allocate significant funds—approximately $380 million—to bolster border security efforts in foreign nations such as Egypt, Lebanon, Oman, Tunisia, and Jordan, with the latter receiving around $150 million. This move has sparked criticism amidst the ongoing crisis at the U.S. southern border, with observers condemning the administration's apparent prioritization of foreign security over domestic concerns. RJ Hauman of the National Immigration Center for Enforcement (NICE) denounced the administration's approach, suggesting it aims to manage an invasion at home while aiding foreign countries in erecting barriers. Former Immigration and Customs Enforcement Field Officer John Fabricator echoed these sentiments, accusing the administration of deceiving American taxpayers. Meanwhile, the United States faces an unprecedented border crisis, with about 9 million nationwide encounters and 1.7 million estimated gotaways recorded since Biden took office. The administration's decision to continue taxpayer-funded flights transporting foreign nationals across the country has drawn further scrutiny, resulting in public dissatisfaction with Biden's handling of immigration and a decline in his approval ratings. 


Senate Approves Massive Sending Bill in the Middle of the Night 

The Senate has approved a $1.2 trillion spending package in a bipartisan vote, following the House's passage, with a 286-134 vote, sending it to President Joe Biden for his anticipated signature. This move aims to avert a government shutdown and fund various sectors for the remainder of fiscal 2024. The agreement, reached after long negotiations, covers appropriations for critical departments such as Defense, State, Homeland Security, and others. Despite bipartisan support, the bill faced opposition from some Republicans and two Democratic senators, including Bernie Sanders, citing concerns over funding for the UN Relief and Works Agency. The House and Senate leadership worked out final details focusing on Homeland Security appropriations. However, Republican hardliners criticized the bill's size and timing, as it was released overnight shortly before the shutdown deadline. Despite efforts to halt or improve the bill, it passed with bipartisan support, highlighting the challenges and compromises in governance. 

New Gun Control Office Launched by Biden Administration to Implement Red Flag Laws 

Vice President Kamala Harris unveiled a new gun control office under the Department of Justice, aimed at supporting the implementation of state red flag laws. The announcement was made during her visit to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where a deadly shooting occurred in 2018. Red flag laws empower law enforcement to intervene if individuals are deemed a threat to themselves or others, preventing them from accessing firearms. The newly established National Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) Resource Center will offer resources and assistance to various stakeholders involved in enforcing these laws. US Attorney General Merrick Garland emphasized the center's role in keeping firearms away from potentially dangerous individuals. Despite these efforts, some Republican lawmakers, including Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, criticized the initiative, expressing concerns about potential Second Amendment infringements. Greene alleged that the DOJ's actions could lead to widespread surveillance and erosion of constitutional rights.

US Debt on “Unprecedented” Trajectory Warns CBO Director  

The US debt continues its exponential rise, surpassing $1 trillion every three months, with little action taken despite warnings. The trajectory prompts comparisons to the UK's crisis under Prime Minister Liz Truss, causing concern about potential market reactions. The director of the Congressional Budget Office warns of a similar scenario for the US, emphasizing the risks of rising interest rates and debt servicing costs. Despite some optimism about modest policy changes, projections indicate worsening deficits, posing significant economic risks. Critics defend current fiscal policies, but the grim reality of the debt situation remains. The lack of decisive action fuels skepticism and exacerbates economic uncertainty. Meanwhile, alternative assets like Bitcoin and gold surge amid growing doubts about the future of the US dollar. As warnings go unheeded and truth-telling diminishes, the nation faces an uncertain financial future. 

As War in Ukraine Depletes Artillery Supplies, US Turns to Turkey for Explosives 

The United States is in discussions with Turkey to increase purchases of explosives, such as trinitrotoluene (TNT) and nitroguanidine, to bolster production of artillery shells amid a global surge in demand for ammunition due to Russia's war in Ukraine. The potential deal could triple NATO-standard 155mm caliber ammunition production, making Turkey the largest seller of such shells to the US. This partnership underscores the strain on defense supply chains caused by heightened demand for ammunition. Additionally, the negotiations highlight the delicate balance between NATO allies, particularly amid tensions between Turkey and other members over issues such as Russia's invasion of Ukraine and Turkey's stance on Sweden's NATO membership. The proposed ammunition partnership builds on recent military cooperation between the US and Turkey, including a multibillion-dollar arms sale. The collaboration aims to enhance global defense capabilities and counterbalance Russia's military strength. 

WAR (and rumors of war)


Despite Being Deep in the Red, Pentagon Found $300M for Ukraine 

The Pentagon, despite its massive budget, has managed to allocate $300 million for additional military aid to Ukraine, leveraging savings from contracts. This move marks the second time in nine months that the Defense Department has redirected funds to support Ukraine. While $300 million may seem significant, it represents a fraction of the Pentagon's budget. The savings were primarily sourced from an Army contract for Armored Multi-Purpose Vehicles, which came in substantially under the initial estimate. These reallocated funds help address the urgent need for ammunition faced by Ukrainian troops amidst stalled funding in Congress. Additionally, the Pentagon unexpectedly discovered $6.2 billion in spending authority, derived from an accounting error, allowing for additional weapons to be sent to Ukraine. However, concerns persist over further depleting stockpiles without assured replenishment funding from Congress, underscoring the urgency for lawmakers to approve the $95 billion supplemental funding package. 

Thousands of US Heavy Infantry Combat Vehicles Deployed in Southeast Europe 

A U.S. "heavy infantry" brigade recently arrived in Eastern Europe, deploying Abrams tanks, Bradley armored vehicles, and other combat assets for a nine-month stay. The Greek port of Alexandroupolis facilitated the largest disembarkation of heavy combat equipment to date, with around 3,000 vehicles unloaded. Spearheaded by the 3rd Armored Brigade of the 4th Infantry Division, the deployment aims to bolster security along NATO's southeastern flank. The equipment will be strategically dispersed across multiple locations to enhance combat readiness and reassure NATO allies. This deployment marks the brigade's second stint in Europe, following its participation in multinational exercises in 2022. Comprising nearly 90 Abrams tanks, 150 Bradley armored vehicles, and other assets, the brigade reinforces the U.S. Army's presence in the region, demonstrating its commitment to deterring aggression and promoting stability.

Taiwan Confirms US Troops Stationed on Island 4 Miles off Chinese Coast 

Taiwan has officially confirmed the permanent presence of US troops stationed on its islands in the Taiwan Strait, a move that could escalate tensions with China. The deployment, facilitated by the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) passed in 2023, involves training programs for Taiwanese frontline forces conducted by US Army Green Berets. This development comes amidst China's continued assertion of its claim over Taiwan, prompting increased military activities in the region. Taiwanese Defense Chief Chiu Kuo-cheng emphasized the importance of communication and learning from allies to strengthen defense capabilities. The presence of US troops, particularly the Green Berets, is seen as a strategic move to enhance Taiwan's defense readiness. Reports indicate that US forces are stationed in outlying island counties like Penghu and Kinmen, as well as in the city of Taoyuan on Taiwan's main island, providing specialized training on drone equipment for Taiwan's Airborne Special Service Company.

Baltimore Bridge Collapse Traps Two of the Fastest US Sealift Ships 

Following the collapse of the Francis Scott Key Bridge in Baltimore, two high-speed military cargo ships, members of the Algol class, are among the vessels stuck in port. The incident occurred when the container ship MV Dali struck the bridge, suspending ship movements indefinitely and prompting investigations into the cause. Tragically, six construction team members are presumed dead, while others were rescued. President Biden pledged federal support for bridge reconstruction, highlighting the port's significance to the economy. Transportation Secretary Buttigieg emphasized the urgency of reopening the channel, noting the economic impact of the closure. The stranded vessels include the Algol class SS Antares and SS Denebola, part of the Ready Reserve Force fleet managed by MARAD and activated by the Military Sealift Command. While typically on reduced operating status, these ships can be readied for operations within days. The incident's implications for RRF ships and port operations are under scrutiny. 


Senior Israeli Official Claims US ‘Slow-Walking’ Military Aid to Israel

A senior Israeli official alleges that the US is “slow-walking” military aid to Israel amid international pressure. Initially, US aid was prompt, but it has reportedly slowed down after Washington asked Israel to scale down the Gaza offensive. Over 31,000 Palestinians have been killed in Israel’s attacks. The Israeli military is running low on artillery shells for ground operations in Gaza and cannot rely solely on US support, as the US is also supplying munitions to Ukraine. Israel also needs tank shells and guidance equipment. The official fears Israel might lose the war due to a shortage of weapons. In response, US officials deny deliberately delaying aid shipments and maintain that their policy on military aid has not changed. The US provides Israel with $3.8 billion in military aid annually as part of a 10-year agreement. US national security spokesman John Kirby reaffirmed continued support for Israel’s self-defense needs. 

‘New US-Built Port Could Help Deport Palestinians’ Says Netanyahu 

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reportedly suggested that a new US-built makeshift port off Gaza, intended to facilitate aid delivery, could be used to deport Palestinians. This followed Washington’s announcement of plans to construct a temporary dock to increase humanitarian assistance to Gaza. Netanyahu stated there was “no obstacle” to Palestinians leaving Gaza, except for other countries’ unwillingness to accept them. This suggestion was met with anger by Palestinians. With Gaza under siege for nearly six months, the Palestinian health ministry reported acute malnutrition in one in three children and a looming famine. Over half the population is on the brink of famine, especially in northern governorates with limited humanitarian access. The UN Food and Agriculture Organization anticipates famine in northern Gaza soon. Israel denies restricting aid to Gaza, blaming the UN for blocking aid deliveries. 


In Ominous Warning to West, Russia Pledges Two New Ground Armies 

Russia's Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced plans to create two new armies by the end of the year, raising concerns about Moscow's intentions regarding a potential conflict with NATO. Shoigu detailed Russia's efforts to enhance its conventional military capabilities, including the formation of army corps, motorized divisions, combined arms armies (CAA), and divisions. The Institute for the Study of War (ISW) highlighted Russia's recent military restructuring, indicating the formation of new divisions and brigades. However, the ISW cautioned that Russia may lack the necessary resources for such rapid expansion. The plans are viewed as efforts to bolster Russia's military strength vis-a-vis NATO, with speculation about Putin's intentions following the invasion of Ukraine. Concerns have been raised by Western leaders, including President Joe Biden and Polish President Andrzej Duda, regarding Russia's aggressive posture and potential timelines for future conflicts. Amidst these developments, Ukraine's military intelligence warned of ongoing Russian mobilization efforts, suggesting a heightened state of readiness despite recent elections in Russia. 

French Army Prepared for “Toughest’ Engagements 

French ground forces, led by General Pierre Schill, assert readiness to confront any threat, including potential deployment to aid Ukraine against Russia, as indicated by President Emmanuel Macron. Schill emphasized their preparedness in an op-ed, vowing a robust response to safeguard France's interests and deter aggression. With a nod to historical wisdom, Schill cited readiness for conflict to ensure peace. France boasts a significant military capacity, capable of deploying a division of 20,000 troops within 30 days and commanding a larger force with allied nations. While not explicitly addressing the Ukraine conflict, Schill warned of escalating crises and the risk of conflict expansion. His remarks echo similar sentiments from European military leaders, underlining growing concerns about potential land warfare. Macron's firm stance against Russian aggression aligns with France's attribution of cyberattacks and disinformation to Russia. Despite concerns about equipment shortages, France remains committed to defending European security interests amidst escalating tensions.

NATO Airbase in Romania Undergoing Massive Expansion 

The Romanian government is undertaking a massive expansion of Mihail Kogălniceanu Air Base near the Black Sea, doubling its size to accommodate 10,000 personnel from Romanian and NATO forces. Costing around €2.5 billion over two decades, the expansion aims to bolster Romania's strategic position amid escalating tensions with Russia following its invasion of Ukraine. The project, overseen by Commander Nicolae Crețu, will transform the base into a city-sized complex with enhanced operational facilities for defense and offensive interventions. Ground force units will also be stationed there to support various military operations. Initial construction includes access roads, power grids, and a new runway. Additional infrastructure like maintenance hangars, fuel stores, and accommodation will be built. Once complete, the base will rival the size of the U.S. Air Force's Ramstein Air Base in Germany, providing amenities for NATO personnel and their families akin to those found in a modern city. 

Russian President Putin Issues Warning Against F-16 Being Used in Ukraine 

Russian President Vladimir Putin issued a stark warning that Russian forces would target and destroy any F-16 fighter jets provided to Ukraine by NATO allies, regardless of their location. This statement came amidst NATO's pledge to supply Kyiv with U.S.-made planes, enhancing Ukraine's Air Force capabilities. Despite this, Putin asserted Russia's lack of intention to attack NATO countries. His comments, made during a visit to a military training center, underscored Russia's stance on perceived threats posed by Western support to Ukraine. Putin highlighted the F-16s' potential role in carrying nuclear weapons, emphasizing Russia's readiness to counter such capabilities. However, he maintained that the aircraft delivery would not alter the conflict's dynamics. Putin's remarks come amid conflicting signals regarding Russia's intentions, with Western leaders expressing concerns about potential Russian aggression towards NATO. Despite dismissing the likelihood of attacking NATO members, Putin reiterated Russia's framing of the conflict as a proxy war with NATO involvement. 


US Says China on Track to Be Ready to Invade Taiwan by 2027 

Admiral John Aquilino, leader of the Indo-Pacific Command, testified before the US House Armed Services Committee, warning of China's rapid military expansion and nuclear buildup, reminiscent of World War II levels. Despite economic challenges, China's defense budget surged by 16% to over $223 billion, fueling the addition of over 400 fighter aircraft, 20 major warships, and a doubled inventory of ballistic and cruise missiles since 2020. Aquilino stressed signs pointing to China's readiness to invade Taiwan by 2027, as directed by President Xi Jinping. Chinese military drills simulate actions against Taiwan, including maritime and air blockades. Chinese officials label Taiwan as an internal matter, criticizing US interference. While China's defense budget remains lower than the US, its modernized military poses a significant challenge, equipped with advanced weaponry and bolstered by a partnership with Russia. Aquilino's testimony underscores global concerns over China's aggressive posture and strategic alliances.

As Invasion Threat Surges, Chinese Warships and Airplanes Surround Taiwan 

Recent weeks have seen increased Chinese military activity near Taiwan, with multiple naval vessels and aircraft detected in the region. Taiwan's Ministry of National Defense reported seven Chinese naval vessels and five military aircraft operating around the island on Sunday, with one aircraft breaching Taiwan's Southwest Air Defense Identification Zone. This follows earlier sightings of Chinese military assets near Taiwan's waters. Taiwan's response has involved monitoring and deploying its own forces to address the detected activities. The tensions stem from China's claim of sovereignty over Taiwan, which Taiwan rejects. Concerns about a potential invasion have grown, prompting support from the United States, including the presence of American troops near mainland China. Taiwan's defense minister emphasized the mutual observation between US and Taiwanese forces, while the Pentagon reaffirmed its commitment to Taiwan's defense and regional stability. 


Houthi Rebels Assure China, Russia that Their Ships Will Not Be Targeted 

The Yemen-based Houthis have assured China and Russia that their ships can traverse the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden without fear of attack. This understanding was reached after diplomatic talks in Oman. In return, China and Russia may offer political support to the Houthis at the United Nations Security Council, potentially blocking resolutions against the group. The Houthis, who claim to target ships linked to Israel, the US, and the UK, have increased global concern with their missile and drone attacks in the southern Red Sea. Despite assurances, the Houthis recently hit a bulk-commodities carrier, causing the first deaths since their maritime attacks began. The waterways, crucial for global trade, have been largely avoided by Western shipping firms since the attacks, adding significant freight costs. China and Russia, who have previously shown diplomatic support for the Houthis, continue to send their ships through the area. The Houthis’ goal is to embroil the West in the Red Sea conflict. 

Houthis Rebels Hit Chinese-Owned Tanker with Missile in Red Sea 

A Chinese-owned oil tanker was targeted by ballistic missiles fired by Houthi rebels off Yemen's coast, as confirmed by the US military. The Panamanian-flagged vessel, Huang Pu, operated by China, reported the attack but did not seek assistance. There were no casualties, and the tanker resumed its course after the incident. Houthi rebels, backed by Iran and controlling much of Yemen's Red Sea coastline, intensified strikes on shipping over the past few months, citing solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza. The attack caused a fire on board, swiftly extinguished, according to CENTCOM and UKMTO. The tanker continued its journey toward New Mangalore, India, after leaving the Red Sea. While no group immediately claimed responsibility, the attack occurred despite Houthi assurances not to target Chinese vessels. The incident reflects ongoing tensions in the region, prompting US forces to engage Houthi-launched drones afterward.

Russian Warships Enter Red Sea After Assurances from Houthis  

According to Russia's Pacific Fleet, a detachment including the missile cruiser 'Varyag' and the frigate 'Marshal Shaposhnikov' has traversed the Bab el-Mandeb Strait, entering the Red Sea. TASS, a state-controlled news agency, reported that before reaching the Red Sea, the ships conducted shipboard exercises in the Gulf of Aden, simulating scenarios involving a mock enemy. The vessels are now continuing their long-distance sea voyage, fulfilling assigned tasks. This development occurs amid ongoing hostilities involving Iran-backed Houthis in Yemen, countered by the U.S.-led coalition. Recently, the U.S. Central Command destroyed four long-range unmanned aerial systems launched by Houthis. Despite this, earlier in March, the Houthis pledged not to target Russian and Chinese ships in the region. Russia's naval movements in the Red Sea region suggest a strategic interest in the area, potentially influencing dynamics amidst regional conflicts and international coalitions. 


Amid Safety Scandal CEO and Other Top Executives of Boeing Step Down 

Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun and other top executives are stepping down following a mid-flight door panel blowout on an Alaska Airlines flight earlier this year, prompting a management shake-up. Calhoun, who will leave at the end of 2024, emphasized the need for humility and transparency in addressing safety concerns. His departure follows two fatal crashes in 2018 and 2019, leading to a leadership change. Boeing's Commercial Airplanes CEO Stan Deal also retired, replaced by Stephanie Pope. Larry Kellner will resign as chairman of the board, with Steve Mollenkopf taking over. The reshuffling aims to enhance Boeing's focus on safety and quality. Concerns arose when records for repairs on the plane involved in the incident were reportedly missing. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating, with Boeing asserting cooperation. The shake-up underscores Boeing's commitment to address safety issues and rebuild trust amidst ongoing scrutiny. 


Biden Admin Further Restricts Domestic Oil Supply While Approving $500 Million to Middle East for Oil Drilling 

The Biden Administration has allocated a substantial $500 million for oil development in the Middle East to address anticipated oil shortages in the United States by the end of 2025. The U.S. Export-Import Bank endorsed a multi-million dollar loan guarantee for oil and gas ventures in Bahrain, marking the fifth major project supported since President Biden's Clean Energy Transition Partnership commitment. Despite concerns raised by Democratic lawmakers regarding climate change, the bank defended the loan guarantee, emphasizing its role in bolstering oil and gas production to meet future energy demands in Bahrain. This move follows Congress being notified about potential support for expanding an oil and gas field in the Middle East. Despite the U.S.'s pledge to end public financing of fossil fuel projects overseas, it has approved eight such projects since joining more than 30 countries in the commitment at the 2021 UN Climate Conference. This decision contrasts with the Biden Administration's initiatives to restrict offshore oil and gas drilling and cancel oil and gas leases in Alaska. 

FAMINE (food scarcity)

Several States Warn People to Stock Up on Food Ahead of Solar Eclipse 

States within the solar eclipse's path of totality, including Texas, Oklahoma, Ohio, Indiana, Missouri, New York, and Kentucky, have issued warnings ahead of the astronomical event on April 8. The eclipse will traverse the United States from Mexico to Maine, drawing crowds and raising concerns about strained public safety resources, congested roadways, and overwhelmed hospitals. Officials urge residents to stock up on groceries, gas, and essential supplies, prepare for traffic delays, and stay informed about safety measures. Disaster declarations have been issued, and some schools have decided to close for student safety. In Texas, Kerr County Judge Rob Kelly warned of potential food and fuel shortages due to increased visitors. Similar warnings come from other states like Oklahoma, Ohio, and Indiana, where influxes of visitors could strain infrastructure and road systems. While only a handful of states will experience totality, every state in the contiguous U.S. will witness some part of the eclipse, marking a rare celestial event not seen again until 2044. 

States Warned of Possible Cyber Attacks on Water Systems from Foreign Hackers 

The Biden administration has warned state leaders about potential cyberattacks targeting water systems across the U.S., with hackers linked to Iran and China posing significant threats. In a letter to state governors, EPA administrator Michael S. Regan and national security affairs assistant Jake Sullivan highlighted recent attacks on water facilities. Iranian hackers targeted systems by exploiting default manufacturer passwords, while a Chinese state-sponsored group, Volt Typhoon, compromised critical infrastructure, including drinking water facilities. The letter stressed the need for improved cybersecurity measures, urging state and local governments to update software, reset default passwords, and adopt best practices. The EPA plans to establish a Water Sector Cybersecurity Task Force and convene discussions with state leaders to address vulnerabilities. Regan emphasized the importance of safeguarding water systems from cyber threats, considering them essential lifelines for communities. 


Surge in Whooping Cough in Czech Republic, Officials Struggle to Contain the Illness 

Whooping cough is resurging across Europe, including the Czech Republic, with cases reaching levels not seen since 1963. Amid rising infections, confusion surrounds official guidance, exemplified by Prague's mayor, Bohuslav Svoboda, who attended a parliamentary meeting while recovering from the illness. Despite mandatory vaccination, immunization rates reveal gaps, particularly in the completion of the vaccine series among teenagers. Health authorities stress the importance of vaccination and urge parents to ensure their children receive all required doses. The resurgence of whooping cough poses risks, especially to vulnerable groups like infants and the elderly, as the disease can be fatal. Although initially presenting like a common cold, whooping cough progresses to severe coughing fits, particularly at night. While vaccination has historically reduced mortality rates, the recent resurgence underscores the importance of maintaining high immunization coverage to protect against infectious diseases like whooping cough. 

Measles Cases for 2024 Already Match All of 2023, CDC Issues Alert 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an alert to public health officials, revealing that the number of measles cases in the U.S. for the first three months of 2024 has already equaled the total cases reported in 2023. With 58 confirmed cases across 17 jurisdictions and seven outbreaks, the CDC highlights that 93% of these cases are linked to international travel, with countries like Austria, the Philippines, Romania, and the UK experiencing outbreaks. Most cases in the U.S. occurred among unvaccinated children aged 12 months and older. Measles, described as highly contagious, can lead to severe complications and even death. To mitigate transmission, the CDC emphasizes the importance of MMR vaccination for travelers and routine immunization for children. Despite current population immunity, pockets of low vaccination coverage pose a risk of localized outbreaks, prompting the CDC's vigilance and intervention, including assistance in combating outbreaks in migrant detention centers and schools. 



 Obama Pays PM Sunak an ‘Informal Courtesy Drop-in' Visit 

Former President Barack Obama was seen at 10 Downing Street in London for a private meeting with British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, described as an "informal courtesy drop-in." A video showed Obama waving at reporters outside the residence before the meeting, which reportedly lasted about an hour. The Downing Street spokesperson stated that the meeting was part of Obama's visit to London and involved discussions on the work of the Obama Foundation, aiming to inspire and empower people for positive change. Topics of discussion reportedly included artificial intelligence. Obama left the residence around 4 p.m. and was seen entering a Range Rover with U.S. Ambassador to the U.K., Jane Hartley. This meeting sparked speculation on social media about Obama's influence, with some users suggesting he is guiding President Biden's decisions. Obama's previous visit to 10 Downing Street was in 2016, when he met with former Prime Minister David Cameron before the "Brexit" vote. 

Germany and Poland Lead New Armored Coalition for Ukraine 

Germany and Poland have announced the formation of a coalition aimed at providing armored vehicles to the Ukrainian Defense Forces (UDF), set to launch on March 26. Polish Defense Minister Wladyslaw Kosiniak-Kamysz and German Defense Minister Boris Pistorius unveiled the coalition, which will lead partner nations within the Ukraine Defense Contact Group (UDCG) to coordinate support for Ukraine’s military capabilities. Italy, Sweden, and the UK are confirmed members of the group. This initiative follows the establishment of the UDCG’s drone coalition, led by Latvia, aimed at strengthening Ukraine’s unmanned assets. The UDCG comprises eight coalitions, each focusing on specific aspects of Ukraine’s defenses, including air force, artillery, maritime security, and demining. During a recent meeting at Ramstein Air Base in Germany, Berlin pledged significant military aid, including artillery shells, armored infantry vehicles, and transport equipment. The US also committed $300 million in air defense missiles, artillery rounds, and armor systems. Over 50 countries, including Australia, Canada, the Netherlands, and Spain, are part of this alliance. 

France Terror Alert Raised to Highest Level After ISIS Attack in Moscow 

Following the suspected ISIS attack on a Moscow concert hall, which resulted in at least 137 deaths, the French government has raised its Vigipirate terror alert system to its highest level, level three. This decision was announced by French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal, who cited the Islamic State’s claim of responsibility for the attack and the threats to France as reasons for the increase in alert level. The Prime Minister has also called for a meeting of all security services impacted by the increase in the Vigipirate level. The terror threat level was previously raised to its highest level after a teacher was killed in Aras in October. The attack in Moscow, for which ISIS claimed responsibility, has drawn comparisons to the 2015 ISIS attack on the Bataclan Theatre in Paris. As Paris prepares to host the Summer Olympic Games, France has been increasing its security measures. 

Kremlin Says US trying to Hide Something Related to the Moscow Concert Hall Attack 

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov has criticized the US’s focus on Daesh/ISIS being responsible for the recent attack on the Crocus City Hall concert venue in the Moscow region, suggesting it is an attempt to divert attention from other matters. In an interview with Russian daily Izvestia, Peskov found it peculiar that Washington is asserting a single narrative of the incident. He urged patience for the official investigation results, as no official versions have been presented yet. The attack on March 22 at Crocus City Hall in Krasnogorsk resulted in at least 140 deaths and over 360 injuries. The Investigative Committee has detained 11 individuals, including four perpetrators, in the border region of Bryansk, who were reportedly en route to Ukraine. Peskov emphasized that special services are working to substantiate existing versions of the event and focus on a reasoned one. 


Lawyers Cite Insurmountable Hurdles as Trump Fails to Secure Bond in Civil Fraud Case 

Former President Donald Trump's legal team faces challenges in securing a $464 million bond to cover the judgment in the civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. Despite approaching 30 insurance underwriters, they've struggled to find companies willing to consider such a substantial bond. Trump's legal team asserts that obtaining the bond is "a practical impossibility," with underwriters demanding cash instead of properties as collateral. They argue for a delay in posting the bond until the appeals process concludes, citing the significant value of Trump's properties. The judgment, including interest, exceeds $464 million, with Trump ordered to pay $454 million and additional sums for his sons, Don Jr. and Eric. Judge Arthur Engoron's ruling found Trump liable for fraud and conspiracy, stemming from allegations of inflating asset values. While appealing, Trump must post a bond to halt enforcement, a task complicated by underwriters' reluctance to accept real estate as collateral. 

NY Appeals Court Delivers Big Win to Trump in Civil Fraud Case

A New York Appeals Court has reduced former President Donald Trump's bond payment from $454 million to $175 million in a civil fraud case brought by New York Attorney General Letitia James. The decision, issued on the day Trump's original payment was due, allows him ten days to meet the new bond requirement. Paying this reduced amount would prevent the seizure of Trump's assets by James during the appeal process. Trump, addressing the ruling on Truth Social, expressed willingness to comply with the court's decision, criticizing Judge Arthur Engoron for not adhering to previous appellate rulings. Trump accused Engoron and James of undermining the rule of law, citing discrepancies in the valuation of his Mar-a-Lago property. Despite the reduction in bond payment, James' spokesperson affirmed that Trump remains accountable for fraud, with a substantial judgment still in place. Trump has indicated his intent to challenge the case further, potentially up to the US Supreme Court. 

Representative Greene Filed a Motion to Oust House Speaker Johnson 

Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene filed a motion to vacate Speaker Johnson, echoing a previous move that ousted former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. The House passed a spending package to avoid a government shutdown, with more Democratic than Republican votes, infuriating conservatives. Greene emphasized that her motion serves as a warning, signaling a potential future referendum on the Speaker's leadership. Despite her dissatisfaction with Johnson's bipartisan stance, Greene refrained from immediately triggering a vote on his removal. She highlighted the need for a new Speaker aligned with Republican interests. While Greene did not provide a timeline for the vote, she emphasized that the process had commenced. Johnson's spokesperson downplayed Greene's threat, affirming the Speaker's focus on governance. Greene's initiative faces uncertainty regarding sufficient support, especially from Democrats who might intervene to preserve Johnson's position. Despite divisions within the House, Johnson plans to prioritize conservative legislation upon Congress's return from recess. 

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