Five Things to Know, April 22, 2024
(KCNA photo)

Five Things to Know, April 22, 2024

1.   North Korea fired several short-range ballistic missiles toward the Sea of Japan on Monday afternoon, the South’s military told reporters soon after the launch. The weapons went up at 3:01 p.m. and flew roughly 190 miles before splashing down into what South Korea calls the East Sea, according to a text message from the South’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. They did not specify how many missiles were launched.

2.  The House has approved $95 billion in foreign aid for Ukraine, Israel and other U.S. allies in a rare weekend session as Democrats and Republicans banded together after months of hard-right resistance over renewed American support for repelling Russia’s invasion. With an overwhelming vote Saturday, the $61 billion in aid for Ukraine passed in a matter of minutes, a strong showing as American lawmakers race to deliver a fresh round of U.S. support to the war-torn ally.

3.   Saturday’s passage by the U.S. House of Representatives of a much-awaited $61 billion package for Ukraine puts the country a step closer to an infusion of new firepower that will be rushed to the front line to fight Moscow’s latest attacks. But the clock is ticking, with Russia using all its might to achieve its most significant gains since its invasion by a May 9 deadline. In the meantime, Kyiv has no choice but to wait for replenishment.

4.   Israeli leaders on Sunday harshly criticized an expected decision by the U.S. to impose sanctions on a unit of ultra-Orthodox soldiers in the Israeli military. The decision, expected as soon as Monday, would mark the first time the U.S. has imposed sanctions on a unit inside the Israeli military and would further strain relations between the two allies, which have grown increasingly tense during Israel’s war in Gaza.

5.   The United States will begin plans to withdraw troops from Niger, U.S. officials said Saturday, in what experts say is a blow to Washington and its allies in the region in terms of staging security operations in the Sahel. The planned departure comes as U.S. officials said they were trying to find a new military agreement. The prime minister of Niger, appointed by the ruling military junta, Ali Lamine Zeine, and U.S. deputy secretary of state Kurt Campbell, agreed on Friday that the two nations would begin to plan the withdrawal of American troops, the U.S. State Department told The Associated Press in an email Saturday.