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Two American Missionaries Killed in Haiti
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Two American Missionaries Killed in Haiti

Violence in the Caribbean nation escalates as the Kenyan peacekeeping force delays its deployment.

Happy Tuesday! The TMD crew can only hope that, if we make it to 104 years old, we’re as cool as Ernie Columbus, a World War II veteran who served in the Army and the Air Force and only recently discovered a love of skydiving.

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • The Associated Press reported Monday that—according to an internal report by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog—Iran has expanded its supply of near bomb-grade uranium by some 45 pounds in the last three months. Iran reportedly has more than 300 pounds of uranium enriched to 60 percent—an easy technical step to the 90 percent enrichment considered to be weapons-grade. Public statements from the Iranian regime in the last several months only “increase concerns about the correctness and completeness of Iran’s safeguards declarations,” said IAEA chief Rafael Grossi in the report. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that the Biden administration doesn’t plan to support measures backed by the United Kingdom and France to censure Iran at the IAEA meeting of member nations in early June. Instead, the U.S. reportedly plans to abstain in the censure vote—and urge other countries to do the same—in the name of avoiding escalation with Tehran.
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that an Israeli airstrike that hit a Palestinian displacement camp outside Rafah, the southernmost city in the Gaza Strip, on Sunday was a “tragic mistake.” The Israel Defense Forces said Sunday that the strike killed two senior Hamas officials and targeted a compound used by the terror group adjacent to the camp, but acknowledged “several civilians in the area were harmed” in the attack. “Despite our utmost efforts not to harm innocent civilians, last night, there was a tragic mistake,” Netanyahu said. “We are investigating the incident and will obtain a conclusion, because this is our policy.” The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry claimed at least 45 people were killed in the strike, including 12 women and eight children.
  • Meanwhile, the Israeli and Egyptian militaries confirmed a soldier with Egypt’s security forces on duty near the country’s border crossing with Rafah was killed on Monday. The events surrounding the soldier’s death are unclear, but one Egyptian security official claimed the soldier died after gunfire broke out between Israeli and Palestinian fighters near the Rafah crossing. It’s unknown which side fired first, and both Egypt and Israel announced an investigation into the incident.
  • A delegation of four Republican and two Democratic members of Congress arrived in Taiwan on Monday, meeting with the island’s new president, Lai Ching-te, as part of a five-day visit. The trip comes less than a week after China performed aggressive military drills around the island for two days in response to Lai’s presidential inauguration, where he promised to defend Taiwan’s sovereignty. “The United States must maintain the capacity to resist any resort to force or coercion that would jeopardize the security of the people of Taiwan,” Republican Rep. Michael McCaul of Texas said Monday, standing alongside Lai. “That is what we stand for, and that is what we continue to say.”
  • North Korea’s attempt to launch a second military spy satellite failed on Monday after the rocket transporting it exploded shortly after takeoff, according to the North Korean state-run news agency. Two previous attempts also failed prior to the successful launch of the country’s first military spy satellite in November, likely aided by technology supplied by Russia in exchange for ammunition for the war in Ukraine. Monday’s setback for North Korean leader Kim-Jong Un was the first attempted military spy satellite launch since the one in November.
  • Heavy storms and tornadoes across parts of the United States killed at least 23 people over Memorial Day weekend, as the severe weather made its way from the southern Midwest to the East Coast. Seven people died in North Texas over the weekend after tornadoes ripped through the area and five people died in Kentucky due to the severe weather. The storms first affected parts of Texas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas before heading east through Kentucky and the mid-Atlantic on Monday, causing delays at airports from Atlanta to Boston. 
  • A landslide near a village in Papua New Guinea on Friday buried more than 2,000 people alive and has so far claimed the lives of an estimated 670 people, government officials told the U.N. on Monday. The International Organization for Migration, a U.N. agency, has taken charge of the humanitarian aid response, with the first excavator arriving in the village Sunday night. 

Haiti’s Descent into Failed Statehood

A gang member stands guard in the Delmas 3 area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on February 22, 2024. (Photo by Giles Clarke/Getty Images)
A gang member stands guard in the Delmas 3 area of Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on February 22, 2024. (Photo by Giles Clarke/Getty Images)

As armed gang members stormed the compound of a Christian nonprofit, Missions in Haiti, in Port-au-Prince Thursday night, Davy Lloyd, 23, called his dad. David Lloyd, the founder of the nonprofit, had just returned to the U.S. from Haiti. His son had been beaten and tied up by the first round of attackers but had managed to free himself. “He’s like, ‘I’ve got to go now,’” the elder Lloyd recalled his son saying as a second set of gang members arrived. “‘There’s a bunch of them here again.’” Davy, his 21-year-old wife, Natalie, and Jude Montis, the Haitian director of the group, were all killed.

Most U.S. citizens evacuated the country earlier this year, but thousands of Haitians have been killed in the country every year since the July 2021 assassination of President Jovenel Moïse plunged Haiti further into chaos. The Caribbean country has suffered skyrocketing violence as criminal gangs have taken control of large swaths of territory, including some 80 percent of the capital city of Port-au-Prince. There had been no police presence for months in the neighborhood where the Lloyds were killed. A U.N.-backed, Kenya-led force was due to deploy to Haiti last week, but its delay sheds light on the steep challenge of trying to restore order. 

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said last week that Haiti is “on the precipice of becoming an all-out failed state,” as the Haitian National Police (HNP) is overwhelmed by hundreds of better-armed criminal gangs. Between January 1 and March 20, 1,434 people were killed in the violence, according to the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights—the most concentrated period of killing since the office started monitoring gang-related violence in the country more than two years ago. Last year, a total of 4,400 people were killed. “The recent escalation of violence has heightened human rights abuses, including killings, kidnappings, and rapes, especially against women and young girls,” the U.N. report said. In response to the chaos, some Haitians have formed “self-defense brigades,” meting out extra-judicial punishments, including hundreds of reported lynchings.

The violence has magnified the country’s already-dire humanitarian crisis. Gangs have increasingly attacked

As a non-paying reader, you are receiving a truncated version of The Morning Dispatch. Our full 1,701-word story on the increasingly violent situation in Haiti is available in the members-only version of TMD.

Worth Your Time

  • How do you define the “good old days?” Andrew Van Dam tried to get to the bottom of that question in a piece for the Washington Post. “The plucky poll slingers at YouGov, who are consistently willing to use their elite-tier survey skills in service of measuring the unmeasurable, asked 2,000 adults which decade had the best and worst music, movies, economy and so forth, across 20 measures,” he reported. “Any political, racial, or gender divides were dwarfed by what happened when we charted the data by generation. … The good old days when America was ‘great’ aren’t the 1950s. They’re whatever decade you were 11, your parents knew the correct answer to any question, and you’d never heard of war crimes tribunals, microplastics, or improvised explosive devices. Or when you were 15 and athletes and musicians still played hard and hadn’t sold out. … The closest-knit communities were those in our childhood, ages 4 to 7. The happiest families, most moral society, and most reliable news reporting came in our early formative years—ages 8 through 11. The best economy, as well as the best radio, television, and movies, happened in our early teens—ages 12 through 15.”
  • Is “therapy speak”—the rise of terms like “trauma,” “abuse,” and “toxic” in non-therapeutic settings—becoming, well, toxic? Mia Staub believes so, and explained why in Christianity Today. “Overusing therapy speak—or using it out of context—conflates different kinds of difficult experiences. That conflation can be confusing at best and harmful at worst,” she argued. “For example, when abuse describes an argument between roommates, it’s no longer a helpful word for those who’ve experienced real mistreatment, including in the church. For congregations that are reckoning with actual instances of sexual abuse, emotional abuse, or the abuse of authority, it’s especially important to be precise with language. Overusing a word can take away its severity, making light of the heaviness it holds for those walking through dark valleys. Overusing therapy speak can keep us from hearing each other. It can also give us an excuse to stop listening altogether. It’s hard to argue for reconciliation when a friend deems your relationship ‘toxic’ or ‘problematic.’ Nobody can push back on plans canceled for ‘self-care.’ And ‘emotional boundaries’ just can’t be crossed.”

Presented Without Comment

Former President Donald Trump, on Truth Social:

Happy Memorial Day to All, including the Human Scum that is working so hard to destroy our Once Great Country, & to the Radical Left, Trump Hating Federal Judge in New York that presided over, get this, TWO separate trials, that awarded a woman, who I never met before (a quick handshake at a celebrity event, 25 years ago, doesn’t count!), 91 MILLION DOLLARS for “DEFAMATION.” She didn’t know when the so-called event took place – sometime in the 1990’s – never filed a police report, didn’t have to produce the “dress” that she threatened me with (it showed negative!), & sung my praises in the first half of her CNN Interview with Alison Cooper, but changed her tune in the second half – Gee, I wonder why (UNDER APPEAL!)? The Rape charge was dropped by a jury! Or Arthur Engoron, the N.Y. State Wacko Judge who fined me almost 500 Million Dollars (UNDER APPEAL) for DOING NOTHING WRONG, used a Statute that has never been used before, gave me NO JURY, Mar-a-Lago at $18,000,000 – Now for Merchan!

In the Zeitgeist 

For at least one of your Morning Dispatchers, there’s nothing like The Avett Brothers to cast the mind back to high school. And their new album seems like vintage Avett Bros.—fitting since they named it after themselves.

Toeing the Company Line

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  • It’s Tuesday, which means Dispatch Live (🔒) returns tonight! Steve and the team will discuss the news of the week and, of course, take plenty of viewer questions! Keep an eye out for an email later today with information on how to tune in.
  • In the newsletters: Kevin argued (🔒) that Marjorie Taylor Greene’s colleagues should expel her from the House of Representatives.
  • On the podcasts: Jamie was joined on The Dispatch Podcast by Doug Holtz-Eakin, president of the American Action Forum, to discuss all things economics. 
  • On the site: Charlotte explores who might succeed Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei in the wake of President Ebrahim Raisi’s recent death and Chris examines how a guilty verdict in the New York criminal trial may actually help Trump. 

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.