The Morning Dispatch: Biden Kicks the Can Down the Road on Student Loans
Happy Monday! We hope your Easter celebrations and Passover seders were everything you hoped they’d be.
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
After a brief reprieve during which Russian forces began their pivot to eastern Ukraine, the shelling of Kyiv and other western Ukrainian cities resumed over the weekend, leading Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko to urge Ukrainians who have fled the city to “stay [away] a little bit longer.” Kyiv Police Chief Andriy Nebytov claimed Friday more than 900 civilians have been found dead in the region since Russian troops withdrew, 95 percent of whom appear to have been killed by gunshot. Russian forces appear closer to capturing the southeastern city of Mariupol, but on Sunday, the few Ukrainian troops remaining in the city rejected Moscow’s offer to spare their lives in exchange for a surrender.
Dozens of people were injured in Jerusalem over the weekend as Israeli police clashed with Palestinians at a holy site—the al-Aqsa Mosque, the Temple Mount—important to both Muslims and Jews. Israel’s Foreign Ministry claimed its forces reopened the site for prayer after arresting hordes of “violent rioters” who were “descrating” it, while the Palestinian Foreign Ministry accused Israeli police of committing “barbaric” crimes against worshipers. Similar clashes erupted into an 11-day war in 2021, and tensions were heightened this year with Passover, Ramadan, and Easter being observed at the same time.
The Interior Department announced Friday afternoon that—in order to comply with a June 2021 injunction from Judge Terry Doughty of the Western District of Louisiana—the Biden administration will, on a limited basis, resume lease sales for oil and gas drilling on federal land. The Interior Department said it would make about 144,000 acres available for sale—an 80 percent reduction from the 733,000 acres nominated for leasing by energy companies—and increase the royalties energy companies pay on the value of the oil and gas extracted, from 12.5 percent to 18.75 percent.