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Friday Briefing: Pakistan Retaliates With Strikes in Iran

Pakistan announced yesterday that it had carried out strikes against what it said were terrorist hide-outs in Iran. A day earlier, Iran hit what it called militant camps in Pakistan. The military exchange is the latest example of an expanding set of hostilities connected to the Israel-Hamas war.

Pakistan indicated yesterday that it did not want its clash with Iran to escalate. The military called the two neighbors “brotherly countries,” and officials refrained from accusing Iran directly, saying that Pakistan targeted only separatists.

Iran condemned the attacks, but also appeared to try to defuse tensions. Its foreign ministry referred to Pakistan as a friendly neighbor, and added that it distinguished between the government of Pakistan, an ally, and terrorist groups operating within its borders.

Details: Iranian officials said that nine people were killed, including four children. Pakistani officials said the death toll of the Iranian strikes on Tuesday included at least two children.

Context: An emboldened Iran has been using its proxy forces against Israel and that country’s allies since the war in Gaza began. Those actions, and now its attacks on other countries in the region, have increased the risk that the conflicts in the Middle East could grow.

Houthis: The U.S. struck military sites in Yemen belonging to the group, an Iran-backed militia, for a fifth time in a week.


The U.S.-run repository, designed to help scientists share run-of-the-mill data, never added the submission to its database. Instead, it asked the Chinese scientists to resubmit the genetic code with more details, a request that went unanswered. The virus’s code was made public two weeks later by a separate pair of virologists, setting off a frantic global effort to save lives by building tests and vaccines.


Singapore’s transport minister, S. Iswaran, was charged with corruption and taking bribes. He is accused of having accepted “Hamilton” and soccer tickets, a trip on a private jet and more. He resigned before he pleaded not guilty yesterday.

This unprecedented set of events was a blow to the country’s squeaky-clean reputation. The governing People’s Action Party has faced several accusations of impropriety in recent months, and this new scandal could hurt the party as it heads toward a major transition in 10 months.


In Japan, a popular comedy show on Amazon Prime has a surprising mandate: Don’t laugh. Contestants try to get each other to crack up; the last one with a straight face wins.

The antics on the show are funny. But it’s the contestants’ moans, screams and cramped expressions as they try to suppress their laughter that are really compelling. So much so that the show initiated a sprawling international franchise, with local versions in more than a dozen places around the world.

A record 4.7 billion passengers are expected to fly globally in 2024, according to the International Air Transport Association. And they’re heading to new destinations.

London, Rome, Tokyo, Cancún and Las Vegas — some of 2023’s most popular destinations — are still trending, but so are the Cayman Islands and French Polynesia. And, after last year’s record high temperatures, some travelers are aiming for cooler locales like Scandinavia.

The expanding use of artificial intelligence could also influence how we book online, what happens when flights are canceled or delayed and even how much we pay for tickets.

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