The head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards said yesterday that the country was “not looking for war,” appearing to signal that it would not escalate tensions with the U.S. But he also said that Iran was prepared to respond if attacked.

Here’s the latest.

“We hear threatening words from American officials,” Gen. Hossein Salami, the chief commander of the military organization, was quoted as saying by Iranian state news media. “You have tested us and we know each other — we will not leave any threat unanswered.”

Salami’s comments came after President Biden said that he had decided on a response to the weekend drone attack that killed three American soldiers and injured more than 40 others in Jordan. The U.S. said the strike came from an Iranian-backed militia in the region. Biden has not said what America’s response will be.

Iran has denied ordering attacks on U.S. forces, including the drone strike in Jordan. And in an apparent sign that Iran is trying to tamp down tensions, Kata’ib Hezbollah, the militia that the U.S. says was most likely behind the Jordan attack, said on Tuesday that it would suspend its military operations in Iraq. The surprise statement indicated that the militia had come under pressure from both Iran and Iraq.

West Bank: Anger and resentment are mounting in the territory, where Israelis and Palestinians live worlds apart but are often separated only by a single road — or roadblocks.


E.U. leaders will meet today in Brussels to try to reach an agreement on a $54 billion, multiyear aid package to Ukraine. Without more aid, Ukraine says that it will face an economic crisis that analysts say could severely undermine its ability to successfully fight Russia.

“It’s the economy that wins wars,” said the head of the Ukrainian program at Chatham House, a London-based research group.

This aid would cover about a quarter of Ukraine’s national budget this year, paying for things like teacher salaries, pensions and medical care for the population.

But Prime Minister Viktor Orban — a close ally of President Vladimir Putin of Russia — blocked the E.U. aid package in December. This time, if he continues to stand in the way of the aid, E.U. leaders have made clear they are ready to do whatever is necessary to support Ukraine and are prepared to work around him — or even to punish him.

In the U.S.: The Biden administration is also fighting to pass $60 billion worth of military, humanitarian and financial aid this year.

In Ukraine: Tensions between President Volodymyr Zelensky and his top general are coming to a head, but dismissing Gen. Valery Zaluzhny could create a host of problems both in the war and at home.

A Thai court dealt a blow to the Move Forward Party, ruling that its push to reform the law against criticizing the monarchy violated the Constitution. The decision leaves the progressive party vulnerable to more legal challenges, which could pave the way for its eventual disbandment.

The court ordered Move Forward to stop all activities related to amending the royal defamation law, which is sacrosanct for Thailand’s conservative establishment, and called the proposal an attempt to overthrow the monarchy.

Background: Move Forward won the general election last year with Pita Limjaroenrat at its helm. He was then blocked from becoming prime minister and the party was forced into the opposition.

Kagoshima Prefecture, which wraps around the southern end of the Japanese island of Kyushu, is said to resemble the head of a dragon. While Tokyo and Kyoto draw stampedes of Western tourists, Kagoshima draws more visitors from Japan and around Asia.

We asked some locals to make a guide to the region, which was an inspiration for the scenery in Hayao Miyazaki’s 1997 animated film “Princess Mononoke.” The forests are breathtaking, and temperatures rarely dip below freezing during the day. Shoppers can head to pottery villages, while history buffs can find feudal riches.



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