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Israel Rescues Four Hamas-Held Hostages from Gaza
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Israel Rescues Four Hamas-Held Hostages from Gaza

War Cabinet member Benny Gantz still resigns his post, urging new elections.

Happy Tuesday! We can see that some of you tech whizzes have already figured this out on your own, but commenting avatars are officially available again! Click the red “My Account” button in the top-right corner of the website, navigate to the “Commenting Preferences” tab, and upload a picture.

Newsletters and articles with three or more authors now also include the Oxford comma in the byline, but we’re guessing that our editors care much more about that bug fix than you do.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Ukrainian military leaders announced Sunday the country’s forces had destroyed one of Russia’s most valuable and advanced fighter jets in a targeted drone strike in the region of Astrakhan, deep within Russian territory near the Caspian Sea. If confirmed, the attack would mark the first time Ukraine has destroyed a Sukhoi Su-57 fighter jet—made operational in 2020 and nicknamed “Felon” by NATO. Ukrainian officials backed up claims of the strike with satellite images of a soot-marked airfield, and a Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman later claimed two of the jets had been damaged, and Russian personnel wounded. 
  • The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) temporarily suspended food distribution services from the U.S.-built pier in Gaza on Sunday, citing safety concerns after rockets struck two WFP warehouses on Saturday. “I’m concerned about the safety of our people after the incidents yesterday,” Cindy McCain, the organization’s executive director, said Sunday. “We’ve stepped back just for the moment to make sure that we’re on safe terms and on safe ground before we’ll restart.” It is unclear how long the pause will last, but McCain added that other WFP programs in the country remain operational. The source of the rocket fire Saturday was unclear, but the Israel Defense Forces—active in central Gaza on Saturday during a raid that rescued four Hamas-held hostages—said it was looking into the rocket strikes.
  • The United Nations Security Council on Monday passed a resolution on the ceasefire plan President Joe Biden originally proposed late last month, which U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Linda Thomas-Greenfield said Israel had endorsed. Meanwhile, Secretary of State Antony Blinken traveled to the Middle East on Monday—his eighth trip to the region since October 7—to urge mediators to press Hamas to sign onto the Biden-advanced, three-phase ceasefire plan from Israel. “My message to governments throughout the region, to people throughout the region, is if you want a ceasefire, press Hamas to say yes,” Blinken said as he left Egypt on Monday. He also met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Israel, where the two discussed plans for a post-war Gaza.
  • A report from a Canadian national security parliamentary committee released last week found that some unnamed members of the country’s parliament were “semi-witting or witting” participants in foreign countries’ attempts to interfere in its 2019 and 2021 elections. The heavily redacted 92-page report alleged that members accepted money from unnamed foreign officials or proxies “knowingly or through willful blindness” and gave them “privileged information … knowing that such information will be used by those officials to inappropriately pressure Parliamentarians to change their positions.” The report points to China and India as posing the largest threats of foreign interference.
  • Malawian Vice President Saulos Chilima and nine other people are missing after their military airplane “went off the radar” on Monday and never landed at its intended destination of Mzuzu International Airport in the east African nation. Chilima and the others departed Malawi’s capital city, Lilongwe, early Monday morning for what was supposed to be a 45-minute flight before the plane became untraceable and unresponsive. Malawian President Lazarus Chakwera, who canceled a diplomatic trip to the Bahamas this morning after learning of Chilima’s disappearance, said Monday a search-and-rescue operation is underway. 
  • The jury in Hunter Biden’s trial on federal gun charges began deliberations on Monday afternoon, following closing arguments from the defense and prosecution earlier in the day. The president’s son faces three federal felony charges stemming from allegations he lied about his drug addiction on federal forms and to a federally licensed firearms dealer with the intent of purchasing a gun—charges that carry a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison.
  • The Biden administration announced on Monday the creation of a multi-agency task force—including agents from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the U.S. Marshals Service; the Federal Trade Commission; and the U.S. Postal Service—to combat the illegal sale of e-cigarettes and nicotine-vape products in an effort to reduce nicotine addiction in young Americans. “Unauthorized e-cigarettes and vaping products continue to jeopardize the health of Americans—particularly children and adolescents,” Benjamin Mizer, acting associate attorney general, said in a statement. “The establishment of this Task Force makes clear that vigorous enforcement of the tobacco laws is a government-wide priority.” 
  • Democratic Sen. John Fetterman and his wife Gisele were in a two-car accident in Maryland on Sunday, his office said yesterday. Fetterman is being treated for a bruised shoulder after his car struck a Chevy Impala, but posted a video of himself and his wife last night saying they are “doing well” and back home. State police did not issue a citation at the time of the accident but said an investigation is ongoing. 
  • Judge Aileen Cannon—the federal judge overseeing special counsel Jack Smith’s case against former President Donald Trump for allegedly retaining classified documents—rejected the Trump team’s motions to dismiss certain charges in the case on Monday, but did strike down a small part of Smith’s indictment. Cannon ordered prosecutors to strike an episode in the indictment that describes Trump showing a classified map to an adviser in September 2021. In her order, she held that the event was not relevant to the charges in the indictment, which are for retaining classified information, not illegally transmitting it.
  • Apple held its annual Worldwide Developers Conference on Monday, announcing a number of new, artificial intelligence-infused software updates that will be rolled out to iPhones, iPads, and Macbooks in the coming months. Among them: a new Apple Intelligence AI system, OpenAI’s ChatGPT being incorporated into Siri’s functionality, the Mail and iMessage apps offering AI summaries of long messages, and much more.

A Sabbath Hostage Rescue 

The words "released" are written on a poster of Noa Argamani in Hostage Square in Ramat Gan, Israel, minutes after it was announced that she was rescued from Gaza on June 8, 2024. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)
The words "released" are written on a poster of Noa Argamani in Hostage Square in Ramat Gan, Israel, minutes after it was announced that she was rescued from Gaza on June 8, 2024. (Photo by Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

The news spread almost instantaneously through much of Israel early Saturday afternoon: In a daring daytime raid, an elite team of Israel Defense Forces (IDF) troops, the Israeli police, and Shin Bet—the Israeli security service—had rescued four Hamas-held hostages from captivity in central Gaza. 

Images ping-ponged across social media of the four Israelis—Noa Argamani, 26; Almog Meir Jan, 22; Andrey Kozlov, 27; and Shlomi Ziv, 41—reuniting with their family and friends and, at least in Argamani’s case, drinking her first Coca-Cola after eight months of Hamas captivity. Across the country, Israelis celebrated, from beaches where a lifeguard announced the successful rescue to city streets where people spontaneously paraded through neighborhoods waving Israeli flags.

But for many other Israelis, the day was …

As a non-paying reader, you are receiving a truncated version of The Morning Dispatch. Our full 1,210-word story on the IDF’s latest hostage-rescue mission and rising pressure on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is available in the members-only version of TMD.

Worth Your Time

  • Higher education institutions—including many Ivy League schools—have reinstated standardized testing requirements and moved away from diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) programs—but not before they did serious damage to their reputations as purveyors of truth. “It’s amazing to watch such an abrupt volte-face,” Megan McArdle wrote in the Washington Post. “What’s even more amazing is how far things went beforehand and how long the correction took to arrive. … See how the Harvard admissions officers who, forbidden to forthrightly cap the number of White and Asian students, instead insisted that Asian applicants deserve lower personal ratings than other candidates. Most of the obfuscations are not this offensive, but they are all corrosive, and the thicker they’re slathered on, the more they weaken the underlying institution. … All this comes at a heavy cost, both internally, as it becomes harder to do good work in any area where it’s dangerous to find the wrong answer, and externally, as the public loses trust in the entire enterprise. It is good for our elite institutions, and for us, that they are trying to pull themselves back from the brink. A strong society requires strong truth-seeking institutions—and strong truth-telling ones, too.”
  • What is artificial intelligence going to do to music? “Just as The Bomb reshaped all of warfare, we’ve reached the point where AI is going to reshape all of music,” James O’Malley argued in Persuasion about Suno, an AI tool that can create original—if still mediocre—music from a user-inputed prompt. “If this was the limit of AI capabilities there wouldn’t be many reasons for ‘real’ musicians to lose any sleep over it. But remember the complaints that the first AI image generators couldn’t get the number of fingers right? Or that the first deepfakes wouldn’t blink? We don’t hear those complaints any more because the technology very rapidly improved. And there is every reason to believe the same is going to happen to AI-generated music. … However, I do think there are reasons to be optimistic about the future of music. Because the AI tools are also exciting. … When the AI era properly begins, it might not all be bad. We might start to hear things we’ve never heard before. And won’t that be … good … for human creativity?” We highly recommend taking a listen to the AI-generated song at the end of the article.

Presented Without Comment

BBC: YouTube Prankster Voted in as Cyprus [Member of European Parliament]

Also Presented Without Comment

Reason: Texas Public Library Can’t Remove Books About ‘Butts and Farts,’ Federal Court Rules

Also Also Presented Without Comment

New York Times: FDA Warns Against ‘Microdosing’ Mushroom Chocolate Bars Linked to Severe Illnesses 

In the Zeitgeist 

Scholastic announced late last week that Suzanne Collins will return to her Hunger Games series, publishing a new novel next March—15 years after the final installment was published in the original trilogy about a dystopian U.S. society in which children fight to the death. 

The new novel will be the second book in Collins’ prequel series, and Lionsgate will produce the film adaptation scheduled for release in November 2026. Seems like a good time to rewatch all the films from the beginning and wonder again why we weren’t more alarmed that these terrifying—if entertaining—books and films were made for 12-year-olds: 

Toeing the Company Line

  • In the newsletters: Kevin explored (🔒) what conservatism has to do with risk aversion, the Dispatch Politics crew took a look at how the Federal Reserve’s interest rate policy could affect the election, and Nick used the example (🔒) of two protests at Lafayette Square outside the White House to examine what kind of choice we face in November.
  • On the podcasts: Jonah speaks with our old friend David French on The Skiff (🔒) about the controversy surrounding his canceled panel at the Presbyterian Church of America’s general assembly. On today’s episode of Advisory Opinions, Sarah and David discuss the laws of war in light of Israel’s hostage rescue before turning to what the First Amendment has to say about t-shirts.
  • On the site: Charlotte reports on the implications of Gantz’s departure from the Israeli government, Kevin critiques inflation denialism in the media, and Chris lays out what to expect during the upcoming Republican and Democratic conventions.

Mary Trimble is the editor of The Morning Dispatch and is based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the company in 2023, she interned at The Dispatch, in the political archives at the Paris Institute of Political Studies (Sciences Po), and at Voice of America, where she produced content for their French-language service to Africa. When not helping write The Morning Dispatch, she is probably watching classic movies, going on weekend road trips, or enjoying live music with friends.

Grayson Logue is the deputy editor of The Morning Dispatch and is based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Prior to joining the company in 2023, he worked in political risk consulting, helping advise Fortune 50 companies. He was also an assistant editor at Providence Magazine and is a graduate student at the University of Edinburgh, pursuing a Master’s degree in history. When Grayson is not helping write The Morning Dispatch, he is probably working hard to reduce the number of balls he loses on the golf course.

Peter Gattuso is a reporter for The Morning Dispatch, based in Washington, D.C. Prior to joining the company in 2024, he interned at The Dispatch, National Review, the Cato Institute, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute. When Peter is not helping write TMD, he is probably watching baseball, listening to music on vinyl records, or discussing the Jones Act.