1/ The latest U.S. intelligence assessment concludes that Israel was “not responsible” for the blast at the al-Ahli Hospital in Gaza, based on “overhead imagery, intercepts and open source information.” Biden said the strike appeared to have resulted from an “errant rocket fired by a terrorist group in Gaza,” adding “it appears as though it was done by the other team.” Following his trip to Israel, Biden announced a deal with Israel to allow humanitarian aid to move into Gaza from Egypt. The U.S. will send $100 million in humanitarian assistance for Palestinians, and Biden said he would ask Congress for an “unprecedented” aid package for Israel. More than a million people have been displaced in the Gaza Strip, which the World Health Organization described conditions as “spiraling out of control” for those trapped in the enclave ahead of an expected Israeli invasion. The Treasury Department, meanwhile, imposed sanctions on “10 key Hamas terrorist group members, operatives, and financial facilitators” following the “brutal and unconscionable massacre of Israeli civilians.” (Associated Press / New York Times / Wall Street Journal / Washington Post / CNN / NPR / NBC News / Axios / Politico / Bloomberg)
2/ Jim Jordan failed to win the House speakership for a second time as the number of Republicans refusing to back him grew. Jordan can only afford to lose four Republicans, but he lost 20 in the first round of balloting yesterday, and he lost 22 on the second ballot today. He said he plans to “keep going.” The House went into recess after failing to elect a speaker. Some Republicans, meanwhile, have discussed a resolution to expand interim Speaker Patrick McHenry’s powers, which would allow Congress to function until a permanent speaker is chosen. Democrats said they would be open to working with McHenry as interim speaker. The House has been leaderless for two weeks after Kevin McCarthy was ousted by his Republican colleagues. [Editor’s note: It’s entirely possibly that by the time you read this the House will have elected a speaker. It’s also entirely possible that the House will still be leaderless.] (New York Times / Washington Post / CNN / Associated Press / Wall Street Journal / NPR / NBC News / CNBC / Bloomberg)
3/ Trump appealed the gag order imposed on him in his federal election case, which accuses him of conspiring to overturn his 2020 election loss to Biden. Judge Tanya Chutkan’s order prohibits Trump from publicly disparaging witnesses, prosecutors, and court staff members, saying his public statements pose “grave threats to the integrity of these proceedings.” Trump nevertheless claimed that Chutkan “took away my right to speak,” saying “I’ll be the only politician in our history where I won’t be allowed to criticize people.” Trump also claimed that the order will hamper his ability to speak on the 2024 presidential campaign trail. (CNN / NBC News / CNBC)
poll/ 85% of voters say they are concerned that the war between Israel and Hamas will escalate into a wider war in the Middle East, while 13% are not concerned. (Quinnipiac)
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