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By Paul Kirby,BBC News

Denmark's historic old stock exchange building in the centre of Copenhagen has been engulfed by fire.

The 17th Century Børsen is one of the city's oldest buildings and onlookers gasped as its iconic dragon spire tumbled into the street below.

Culture minister Jakob Engel-Schmidt said 400 years of Danish cultural heritage had gone up in flames.

Members of the public rushed to rescue historic paintings and it took hours before the fire was under control.

The building, dating back to 1625, is a stone's throw from Denmark's parliament, the Folketing, housed in the old royal palace of Christiansborg castle. Danish media said the nearby square was being evacuated and the main entrance to Christiansborg was closed because of smoke.

Barak Ravid

President Biden told Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu during a call on Saturday that the U.S. won't support any Israeli counterattack against Iran, a senior White House official told Axios.

Why it matters: Biden and his senior advisers are highly concerned an Israeli response to Iran's attack on Israel would lead to a regional war with catastrophic consequences, U.S. officials said.

   Iran launched attack drones and missiles against Israel on Saturday night local time in retaliation for an airstrike in Syria that killed a top Iranian general.
   "More than 200 drones, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles were fired from Iran," IDF spokesperson Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari said. Most of the threats were intercepted outside of Israeli airspace, he said.
   A U.S. defense official earlier said U.S. forces in the region shot down Iranian-launched drones targeting Israel.

Behind the scenes: Biden told Netanyahu the joint defensive efforts by Israel, the U.S. and other countries in the region led to the failure of the Iranian attack, according to the White House official.

   "You got a win. Take the win," Biden told Netanyahu, according to the official.

Analysis by Tamara Qiblawi, CNN

Beirut, Lebanon CNN — A decades-long shadow war burst out into the open overnight as Iranian drones and missiles lit up the night sky in Israel and the occupied West Bank. Tehran’s operation was highly choreographed, apparently designed to minimize casualties while maximizing spectacle.

This was a complex mission. Over 300 drones and missiles navigated above Iran’s neighbors, including Jordan and Iraq — both with US military bases — before penetrating the airspace of Iran’s mortal enemy, Israel. Israel’s allies helped shoot down the bulk of these weapons, but couldn’t prevent what was long believed to be the Middle East’s doomsday scenario, the Islamic Republic’s first-ever attack on Israel.

Israel’s fabled Iron Dome air defense system did not disappoint Israelis, many of whom took to bunkers. Only a small handful of locations were attacked, including a military base and an area in the Negev desert, injuring a Bedouin child, while the dome fended off one of the largest drone attacks in history.

Story by Alexander Khrebet

Russian forces may be preparing for a large-scale offensive in late spring or summer, aiming to capture more land in Ukraine's partially-occupied Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Financial Times reported on April 13, citing unnamed Ukrainian and Western officials.

Ukrainian officials also said that Russia might plan to attack Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second-largest city that is located close to the Russian border, FT reported.

As crucial military aid for Ukraine remains stalled in the U.S. Congress, outnumbered and outgunned Ukrainian forces are struggling to repel intensifying Russian offensives in several directions.

In a helicopter raid, navy special forces from the Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps boarded and seized the MSC Aries, the IRNA news agency reported.
By Henry Austin

Iranian special forces seized a container ship near the Strait of Hormuz, a key shipping lane to the Persian Gulf, state-run IRNA news agency reported Saturday, ratcheting up tensions in a region reeling from the war in Gaza and a recent strike, suspected to have been carried out by Israel, that killed senior Iranian military officers.

Navy special forces from the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps used a helicopter to board and seize a container ship IRNA news reported, adding that the MSC Aries was being transferred to Iranian territorial waters.

Video on the state-owned news network, Press TV, showed what it said were people using a rope to drop onto the ship. NBC News could not independently verify the footage.  

Tensions in the region have been at a boiling point since Hamas’ Oct. 7 deadly terror attack and mass hostage taking and Israel’s subsequent fullscale assault on the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the deaths of more than 33,000 and pushed the population to the brink of starvation.

“This pattern of attacks is either intentional or indicative of reckless incompetence,” top Doctors Without Borders official Christopher Lockyear said.
By Gabe Joselow and Aurora Almendral

The killing of seven aid workers from World Central Kitchen may mark a turning point in support for Israel and for long frustrated efforts to bring relief to Palestinians on the brink of starvation.

But while the Israel Defense Forces investigation suggests this was an isolated “grave mistake,” the mounting toll faced by aid agencies throughout the war points instead to what they say are systemic failings in the IDF’s approach to protecting humanitarian workers in the Gaza Strip. According to the United Nations, a total of 224 humanitarian aid workers have been killed since the start of the war.

Monday’s strike has inflamed global outrage that has coalesced into international pressure, forcing Israel to open new points of entry for humanitarian aid.

Story by Swapna Venugopal Ramaswamy, USA TODAY

The White House said on Thursday it may change its policy on Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza unless Israel can outline "concrete" steps to reduce harm to civilians and protect aid workers.

President Joe Biden spoke by phone with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday, three days after Israel launched an attack in Gaza in which seven World Central Kitchen aid workers were killed, the White House said.

"President Biden emphasized that the strikes on humanitarian workers and the overall humanitarian situation are unacceptable," according to a statement from the White House. "He made clear the need for Israel to announce and implement a series of specific, concrete, and measurable steps to address civilian harm, humanitarian suffering, and the safety of aid workers."

Biden made clear that U.S. policy with respect to Gaza will be determined by U.S assessment of Israel’s immediate action on these steps, according to the statement released by the White House.

By Jeff Mason

WASHINGTON, April 3 (Reuters) - Celebrity chef Jose Andres told Reuters in an emotional interview on Wednesday that an Israeli attack that killed seven of his food aid workers in Gaza had targeted them "systematically, car by car."
Speaking via video, Andres said the World Central Kitchen (WCK) charity group he founded had clear communication with the Israeli military, which he said knew his aid workers' movements.

"This was not just a bad luck situation where ‘oops’ we dropped the bomb in the wrong place," Andres said.

"This was over a 1.5, 1.8 kilometers, with a very defined humanitarian convoy that had signs in the top, in the roof, a very colorful logo that we are obviously very proud of," he said. It's “very clear who we are and what we do.”

Andres said the IDF was aware of the convoy's whereabouts. He called for investigations of the incident by the U.S. government and by the home country of every aid worker that was killed.

Story by Al Jazeera Staff

An investigation by Al Jazeera’s Sanad agency has found that the Israeli army intentionally targeted an aid convoy belonging to the World Central Kitchen (WCK) in three consecutive air raids on Rashid Street, south of Deir el-Balah, in the central Gaza Strip.

On Monday at 10:43pm (19:43 GMT), journalists reported an Israeli shelling targeting a vehicle on Rashid Street, which resulted in casualties. This matches the account of a displaced individual interviewed by Al Jazeera, who confirmed multiple bombings between 11:00 and 11:30pm (20:00 – 20:30 GMT).

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu admitted that the attack had been executed by Israeli forces, saying they had “unintentionally [hit] innocent people in the Gaza Strip … it happens in war.”
The Sanad investigation has found that the attacks were, in fact, intentional. Basing the research on open-source information, witness testimonies, and images from the site, a chronological and geographical timeline of the events was constructed.

The strongest quake to hit the island in 25 years left dozens of others trapped.
Dylan Stableford·Senior Writer

A strong earthquake rocked Taiwan early Wednesday, toppling buildings and leaving at least nine dead, dozens of others trapped and nearly 1,000 people injured, officials say.

The magnitude 7.4 earthquake was the most powerful to hit the island in 25 years, damaging buildings, causing landslides and knocking out power for thousands of people.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey, the quake was centered about 15 miles south of Hualien City and struck just before 8 a.m. local time. It triggered a tsunami warning and was followed by at least 76 aftershocks in less than five hours, according to Taiwanese officials.

By Helen Regan, Hamdi Alkhshali and Tamara Qiblawi, CNN

CNN — Iran has vowed to retaliate after it accused Israel of bombing its embassy complex in Syria on Monday, in a deadly escalation of regional tensions over the war in Gaza that once again appeared to raise the risk of a wider Middle Eastern conflict.

The airstrike destroyed the consulate building in the capital Damascus, killing at least seven officials including Mohammed Reza Zahedi, a top commander in Iran’s elite Revolutionary Guards (IRGC), and senior commander Mohammad Hadi Haji Rahimi, according to Iran’s Foreign Ministry.

At least 6 Syrian citizens were also killed, Iranian state television reported on Tuesday.

Zahedi, a former commander of the IRGC’s ground forces, air force, and the deputy commander of its operations, is the most high-profile Iranian target killed since then-US President Donald Trump ordered the assassination of IRGC Gen. Qassem Soleimani in Baghdad in 2020.

by Brad Dress

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu took responsibility on Tuesday for a deadly strike that killed seven aid workers for the charity group World Central Kitchen.

Netanyahu, who was just discharged from the hospital for a hernia surgical operation, acknowledged there was a “tragic event in which our forces unintentionally harmed non-combatants in the Gaza Strip.”

“This happens in war,” he said in a statement. “We are conducting a thorough inquiry and are in contact with the governments. We will do everything to prevent a recurrence.”

The deaths of the foreign aid workers is likely to increase anger and frustration with Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza, where more than 32,000 Palestinians have died and hundreds of thousands face a famine.

By Kathryn Armstrong, Emily Atkinson & Rushdi Abualouf,BBC News

International food charity World Central Kitchen (WCK) is suspending its operations in Gaza following the death of seven of its workers in an Israeli air strike.

The charity said those killed were part of an aid convoy that was leaving a warehouse in central Gaza on Monday.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has acknowledged that Israel's forces hit "innocent people".

Gaza's Hamas-run media office also blamed Israel.

WCK is one of the main suppliers of desperately needed aid to Gaza.

It said that it would "be making decisions about the future of [its] work soon".

According to the charity, the aid convoy was hit while leaving the Deir al-Balah warehouse, "where the team had unloaded more than 100 tons of humanitarian food aid brought to Gaza on the maritime route."

Story by Laura Kelly

Israel’s legislature passed a law Monday paving the way to shut down the Qatar-based Al Jazeera news network, under legislation allowing for the temporary ban of foreign news networks that the government deems a threat to national security.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said he would “act immediately” to implement the law against Al Jazeera, accusing the Qatari-funded news outlet of supporting Hamas’s Oct. 7 attack against Israel and serving as a mouthpiece for the U.S.-designated terrorist organization.

“The terrorist channel Al Jazeera will no longer broadcast from Israel. I intend to act immediately in accordance with the new law to stop the channel’s activity,” Netanyahu posted in Hebrew on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter.

The law passed Israel’s Knesset 71-10 in its second and third reading in the Knesset plenum, the Times of Israel reported. Orders to shut down foreign news outlets deemed a national security threat can only be carried out for 45 days but can be renewed for further 45-day periods. The law is set to expire July 31.

MSN

Back in 2016 U.S. officials and diplomats in Havana Cuba began to report strange symptoms including seemingly simultaneously. It was considered an “anomalous health incident” with symptoms including pain, ringing in the ears and cognitive dysfunction. Russia has now been blamed after a recent investigation and they have now responded. Veuer’s Tony Spitz has the details.

An investigation by Insider, 60 Minutes and Spiegel finds links to GRU unit dedicated to assassination and political destabilization.

The worldwide phenomenon of unexplained health incidents known as Havana Syndrome may be linked to Russia’s military intelligence agency GRU, according to a wide-ranging investigation published by the Insider, 60 Minutes and der Spiegel.

“Members of the Kremlin’s infamous military intelligence sabotage squad have been placed at the scene of suspected attacks on overseas U.S. government personnel and their family members,” the Insider, which is based in Riga, Latvia, writes.

In the past decade, more than 100 cases of unexplained health incidents have been recorded worldwide — affecting American spies, diplomats, military officers, contractors — and in some cases their spouses, children and pets. Dubbed Havana Syndrome after what was initially thought to be the first patient — a CIA agent in the Cuban capital — was affected in 2016, symptoms include ringing in the ears, chronic headaches and lasting psychophysiological impairment.

By Yolande Knell & Sean Seddon,BBC News, in Jerusalem and London

Israel's military has pulled out of al-Shifa hospital in Gaza City after a two-week raid that has left most of the major medical complex in ruins.

Gaza's Hamas-run health ministry said dozens of bodies have been found and locals said nearby areas were razed.

The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it had killed 200 "terrorists", detained hundreds more and found weapons and intelligence "throughout the hospital".

The IDF said it raided al-Shifa because Hamas had regrouped there.

The two-week operation saw intense fighting and Israeli air strikes in nearby buildings and the surrounding area.

Wards were attacked because Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad operatives were using them as a base, the IDF said, accusing them of fighting inside medical departments, setting off explosives and burning hospital buildings.

Natasha Turak

Turkey’s opposition won a stunning victory across several major cities in the country’s local elections Sunday, dealing a severe blow to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s ruling party and handing it its largest defeat in more than two decades.

“Those who do not understand the nation’s message will eventually lose,” Istanbul Mayor Ekrem Imamoglu told thousands of supporters after vote counts revealed that his center-left Republican People’s Party, or CHP, had won the megacity of Istanbul by more than 1 million votes, Reuters reported.

“Tonight, 16 million Istanbul citizens sent a message to both our rivals and the president,” he said.

Erdogan’s conservative Justice and Development Party, abbreviated locally as AKP, dominates the country at the national level.

By Sean Lyngaas and Darya Tarasova, CNN

CNN — Within hours of opposition leader Alexey Navalny’s death in February in a Russian prison, a group of anti-Kremlin hackers went looking for revenge.

Using their access to a computer network tied to Russia’s prison system, the hackers plastered a photo of Navalny on the hacked prison contractor’s website, according to interviews with the hackers, screenshots and data reviewed by CNN.

“Long live Alexey Navalny!” read a message on the hacked website, accompanied by a photo of Navalny and his wife Yulia at a political rally.

In a stunning breach of security, they also appear to have stolen a database containing information on hundreds of thousands of Russian prisoners and their relatives and contacts, including, the hackers claim, data held on prisoners in the Arctic penal colony where Navalny died on February 16.

The hackers, who say they are a mix of nationalities, including Russian expatriates and Ukrainians, are sharing that data, including phone numbers and email addresses of prisoners and their relatives “in the hope that somebody can contact them and help understand what happened to Navalny,” a hacker claiming to be involved in the breach told CNN.

By Tamar Michaelis, Benjamin Brown and Jessie Gretener, CNN

CNN — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is in “excellent” health following surgery to treat a hernia, according to a statement released Sunday by Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem in Jerusalem.

The procedure “ended successfully” and Netanyahu is “awake, he is talking to his family, and his situation is perfect,” Alon Pikarsky, the hospital’s director of general surgery, said in an early morning video statement.

Netanyahu, 74, was diagnosed with a hernia during a routine examination on Saturday, his office previously said in a statement. He was placed under anesthesia for the procedure, his office said.

The surgery meant Israel’s leader was temporarily out of action with the nation at war with Hamas in Gaza following the October 7 attacks. Israel’s deputy prime minister and justice minister, Yariv Levin, stepped in for Netanyahu while he was incapacitated.

By DAVID McHUGH

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Marijuana campaigners in Germany lit celebratory joints on Monday as the country liberalized rules on cannabis to allow possession of small amounts.

The German Cannabis Association, which campaigned for the new law, staged a “smoke-in” at Berlin’s landmark Brandenburg Gate when the law took effect at midnight. Other public consumption events were scheduled throughout the country, including one in front of the Cologne cathedral and others in Hamburg, Regensburg and Dortmund.

The new law legalizes possession by adults of up to 25 grams (nearly 1 ounce) of marijuana for recreational purposes and allows individuals to grow up to three plants on their own. That part of the legislation took effect Monday.


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