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More Chinese Cities Join Hong Kong Tourism Initiative (www.improvethenews.org)

China has added the mainland cities of Xian and Qingdao to its list of residents allowed to visit Hong Kong in a personal capacity rather than as part of a tour group. The "Individual Travel Scheme" agreement originally began in 2003 under the Closer Economic Partnership Arrangement between the PRC and Hong Kong. South China...

Netanyahu Releases Plans for Post-War Gaza (www.improvethenews.org)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday presented a plan regarding how Israel would manage Gaza after the war to his security Cabinet for approval. The plan posits that Israel would indefinitely control Gaza's security and civilian affairs. Associated Press (a) (LR: 3 CP: 5)...

Honduras: Ex-President Faces Drug Trafficking Trial in US (www.improvethenews.org)

Former Honduran Pres. Juan Orlando Hernández appeared in a New York courtroom earlier this week to face allegations that he ordered his country's army to protect cocaine traffickers in exchange for millions of dollars in bribes. If convicted, he could face life in prison. BBC News (LR: 3 CP: 5)...

Reports: Biden Weighing Executive Actions on Border (www.improvethenews.org)

According to several published reports, US Pres. Joe Biden is mulling new executive actions and federal regulations — some previously used by predecessor, former Pres. Donald Trump — to stymie illegal migration across the southern border without congressional approval. Associated Press (LR: 3 CP: 5)...

Texas Judge Rules School Code Doesn't Violate Hair Legislation (www.improvethenews.org)

A Texas judge Thursday ruled a high school didn't violate the state’s CROWN Act by disciplining a Black student who refused to cut his dreadlocks. An acronym for “Creating a Respectful and Open World for Natural Hair,” the CROWN Act prohibits race-based hair discrimination. ABC News...

Report: Leaked Files Expose PRC International Hacking Efforts (www.improvethenews.org)

A cache containing leaked files alleged from a PRC state-linked group, which was posted on GitHub and experts consider to be authentic, indicates how Beijing works with hundreds of private hacking companies to obtain sensitive information from foreign governments and firms. New York Times (LR: 2 CP: 5)...

CIA Chief Expected in Paris, Israel to Send Delegation (www.improvethenews.org)

CIA director Bill Burns was expected in Paris on Friday to discuss a new hostage deal and a pause in the fighting in Gaza. A senior Biden administration advisor reportedly told Israeli officials that progress had been made in Cairo between Hamas and Egyptian and Qatari mediators. Axios...

Multiple Cell Service Outages Disrupt US (www.improvethenews.org)

According to the website downdetector.com, cell service provider AT&T dealt with more than 60K reports of service outages as of 7:30 a.m. EST Thursday. Service providers Verizon, T-Mobile, USCellular, and Consumer Cellular also experienced outages, but at a much smaller scale. CBS (LR: 2 CP: 5)...

Pakistan: Anti-Khan Coalition Set to Form Government (www.improvethenews.org)

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and the Pakistan People's Party (PPP) announced late Tuesday that a power-sharing deal had been reached to form a coalition government. PML-N's Shehbaz Sharif and PPP's Asif Ali Zardari have been declared Pakistan's prime minister and president, respectively. FOX News (LR: 4 CP: 4)...

Hunter Biden Claims Smirnov Collapsed DOJ Plea Deal (www.improvethenews.org)

Hunter Biden's team submitted a court filing Tuesday criticizing Special Counsel David Weiss for confusing images of sawdust for cocaine, while also alleging that the "ridiculous claims" of former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov collapsed a plea deal between Hunter and the DOJ. Documentcloud (a)...

ICJ: US Says Israel Shouldn't Be Ordered to Leave Palestinian Territory (www.improvethenews.org)

The US argued at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on Wednesday that Israel should not be ordered to withdraw from Palestinian territories it captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli war without security guarantees that take into account "Israel’s very real security needs." Washington Post (LR: 2 CP: 5)...

UK Leads Operation to Disrupt LockBit Cybergang (www.improvethenews.org)

It was revealed Monday that the UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has led an operation to disrupt Lockbit, which is widely considered the world's largest criminal ransomware group. The FBI, Europol, and other countries also contributed to the long-running operation. BBC News (LR: 3 CP: 5)...

Senegal: Presidential Candidates Unite in Call for New Election Date (www.improvethenews.org)

Fifteen of the 20 opposition candidates cleared to run in Senegal's postponed February presidential elections have demanded in a letter published Monday that President Macky Sall hold new elections and leave office no later than April 2, the day his term expires. RFI...

Brazil-Israel Row Over Gaza-Holocaust Comparison Escalates (www.improvethenews.org)

Brazil's foreign ministry confirmed on Monday that its ambassador to Israel has been recalled for talks and that the Israeli ambassador to Brazil would be summoned amid a diplomatic row over Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva's comparison between the war in Gaza and the Holocaust. Middle East Monitor...

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