A Day of Ire

Happy Tuesday! We’d like to offer our congratulations to Delilah, a critically endangered Sumatran rhino, who did her part for the species over the weekend when she welcomed a 55-pound male calf. He joins a very small family—there are fewer than 50 Sumatran rhinos left in the world, all of them in Indonesia.   

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • The Qatari foreign ministry announced Monday that Israel and Hamas would extend an internationally-brokered temporary ceasefire until Thursday morning, as 11 more Israeli hostages held by Hamas—all women and children, including 3-year-old twins—and 33 Palestinian prisoners charged or convicted of violent crimes in Israel were released Monday as part of the existing deal. The extended agreement could allow for the release of at least 20 more Israeli hostages, with Israel continuing to release three prisoners for every one hostage freed—as well as permit additional humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.
  • Tech billionaire Elon Musk visited Israel on Monday and toured the sites of the October 7 Hamas massacre of Israelis alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The X owner sparked outrage earlier this month when he seemed to endorse antisemitic speech, prompting a significant exodus of major advertisers like IBM and Apple from his social media platform. Musk, the richest man in the world, owns important technologies like internet service provider Starlink, which makes him a key ally for world leaders. “It was jarring to see the scene of the massacre,” Musk told Netanyahu during the visit.
  • A Defense Department spokesman said Monday that initial reports suggest the five individuals who attacked a commercial vessel in the Gulf of Aden over the weekend were Somali pirates. The USS Mason, a U.S. Navy destroyer, and other nearby allied ships responded to the cargo ship’s distress calls and forced the five attackers to flee before they were caught and taken aboard the destroyer. Two-and-a-half hours later, Houthi rebels fired ballistic missiles from Yemen in the Mason’s direction, though the missiles fell well short and it’s yet unclear if the ship was even the intended target of the attack.
  • Argentine President-elect Javier Milei will be in Washington, D.C. today to meet with representatives of the International Monetary Fund, of which his country is the top debtor. Milei is also set to meet with several Biden administration officials, including National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, but not with Joe Biden himself, as the president is traveling to Atlanta to attend memorial services for former first lady Rosalynn Carter. Milei, a libertarian economist and political outsider who won a presidential run-off earlier this month, was in New York City on Monday, where he had lunch with former President Bill Clinton and visited the grave of Chabad-Lubavitch movement leader Rabbi Menachem Mendel Schneerson in Queens. 
  • Biden will reportedly not attend COP28, a two-week United Nations summit on climate change set to begin in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on Thursday. Biden attended the previous two meetings, but officials said he was focusing his attention on the wars in the Middle East and Ukraine—though the White House has not officially confirmed his planned absence.

‘A Complete Lunatic Hooligan Faction’

Police officers patrol Dublin on November 24, 2023 to counter violence and unrest sparked by school stabbings. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
Police officers patrol Dublin on November 24, 2023 to counter violence and unrest sparked by school stabbings. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)

A middle-aged man wielding a knife attacked a line of young children outside a Dublin school on Thursday afternoon, injuring three children and leaving a five-year-old girl and a teaching assistant who tried to defend the kids in critical condition. Bystanders intervened to stop the attacker before he could injure more people. The suspected assailant—an Algerian-born naturalized citizen who’s lived in Ireland for 20 years and been arrested multiple times—is in custody and being treated for serious injuries.

The brazen attack in broad daylight sent shockwaves throughout the city and country, and sparked some of the worst rioting and looting Ireland has seen in decades. The mayhem, fanned by online extremists denounced as “far-right” by Irish leaders, came as a surprise to some as Ireland has largely avoided the rise of anti-immigrant political factions and unrest more common in continental Europe. Whether the riot represents a high-water mark for such turmoil or a harbinger of worse unrest remains to be seen, as Ireland concurrently navigates high levels of immigration, a housing crunch, and a vocal fringe of hard-right activists.

Just hours after last week’s attack, early reports that the perpetrator was a foreign-born national began to circulate online and—egged on by far-right provocateurs—anti-immigrant protesters gathered near the scene of the stabbing. Protesters pushed into the crime scene, and violence broke out as the crowds grew to approximately 500 people. The Garda Síochána, the Irish national police, said an initially smaller group of protesters was joined by others looking to take advantage of a lawless situation. “A smoke signal went up to every thug on TikTok in the city that Dublin was a free-for-all,” one officer said, and Irish Times reporters present during the riot noted that groups of teenage boys joined in the chaos. Rioters burned police vehicles, city buses, and even the tram along a main thoroughfare in the center of the city, clashing with police throughout the evening. They damaged and looted storefronts and attacked two refugee housing facilities before police restored order late Thursday night.

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