The Guardian / EU sounds alarm at Russian troops’ border moves
- The European Union has pledged its “unwavering” support for Ukraine’s government, with the EU foreign policy chief, Josep Borrell, expressing major worries over Russian troop movements.
- Ukraine this week accused Russia of massing thousands of military personnel on its northern and eastern borders as well as on the Crimean peninsula annexed by Moscow in 2014.
- The Kremlin did not deny the recent troop movements but insisted that Moscow was “not threatening anyone”. Reports of a buildup have swirled amid an escalation of armed clashes along the front line between Ukraine’s forces and Russian-backed separatists.
- The long-simmering conflict has claimed more than 13,000 lives since 2014, according to the UN. Western leaders including Joe Biden have said they are standing by Ukraine.
- Foreign Affairs – Timothy Frye / Russia’s weak strongman
The New York Times – Isabel Kershner / My life in Israel’s brave new post-pandemic future
- A Green Pass allows us, the vaccinated, to go to concerts, restaurants and sporting events. But Israel’s real-time experiment in post-lockdown living leaves many questions unanswered.
- Membership in the class is certified by the Green Pass, a document you can download and carry in your phone. It includes a sort of GIF, a little moving animation of green people walking along, looking like a happy, fully vaccinated family.
- In recent weeks, new cases of Covid-19 have dropped dramatically, from a peak of 10,000 a day in January to a few hundred by late March. The economy has almost fully reopened. Just as Israel became a real-world laboratory for the efficacy of the vaccine, it is now becoming a test case for a post-lockdown, post-vaccinated society. The Green Pass is your entry ticket.
- The new world has also underscored the inequities and divides between societies with more or less access to the vaccine. The Palestinian vaccination campaign is just getting started with doses largely donated by other countries amid a bitter debate over Israel’s legal and moral obligations for the health of people in territory it occupies.
- Haaretz – Amos Harel / Israel’s ‘Green Passport’ raises a red flag about civil liberties
The Washington Post – Zeke Miller / Capitol attack raises questions of security vs public access
- Lawmakers are trying to balance openness with safety after Friday’s attack within steps of the Capitol, a challenge for Congress, nearly three months after a mob stormed the seat of American democracy, to “make it as secure as it needs to be but as free as we could possibly make it,” as one senator said Sunday.
- Friday’s attack, now believed to be an isolated incident by a disturbed man, came just weeks after the outermost layer of fencing was removed and the military’s footprint was reduced at the Capitol. The man rammed a car into two officers at a barricade outside the Capitol, killing one of them before he was shot to death by police.
- His task force recommended steps to Congress to bolster the complex’s physical security, including hiring hundreds more police officers, hardening entrances, enhancing its surveillance system and developing plans for quickly deployable fencing. But he indicated on Sunday that large-scale permanent fencing was unlikely.
- Police identified the slain officer as William “Billy” Evans, an 18-year veteran who was a member of the department’s first responders unit. That was the same unit to which officer Brian Sicknick, who died from injuries suffered during the Jan. 6 insurrection, belonged. Dozens of officers were injured in the riot, many seriously, and another officer died by suicide later.
- The New York Times – Nicholas Fandos, Zolan Kanno-Youngs, Giulia McDonnell Nieto del Río, and Aishvarya Kavi / Capitol suspect struggled before attack, but motives remain unclear
Financial Times – Andrew England / Jordan accuses former crown prince of plot to destabilise kingdom
- Jordan has accused a former crown prince of plotting with foreign and local parties to destabilise the western ally as divisions within the ruling family in the normally stable country burst into the open.
- Safadi said people around Prince Hamzah had communicated with parties calling themselves “external opposition” and contact had been made with “foreign entities,” according to Petra, Jordan’s state news agency. A man linked to a foreign security service had contacted Prince Hamzah’s wife to offer a plane to fly them out of the kingdom.
- The events raise concerns about the stability of Jordan, which borders Israel, Iraq and Syria. King Abdullah, who is feted in Washington and London, is also considered to be an important voice of moderation in the Middle East.
- Some analysts believe the saga reflects divisions within the ruling family. Others suspect it could be King Abdullah reacting to complaints of corruption and poor governance as social and economic pressure mount in the resource-poor country. In the video released on Saturday, the former crown prince launched an attack against the ruling system, accusing it of corruption, nepotism and misrule.
- South China Morning Post / Jordan’s prince Hamzeh ‘under house arrest’, top officials arrested during apparent thwarted coup
Long reads for this week:
- The Economist / Covid-19 vaccines have alerted the world to the power of RNA therapies
- The Washington Post – Mark Berman / When police kill people, they are rarely prosecuted and hard to convict
- The New Yorker – Kate Klonick / Inside the making of Facebook’s Supreme Court