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DeSantis to meet UK foreign secretary with eye on US presidential...

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Florida governor lines up four-nation tour in attempt to boost credentials as credible leader on world stage

Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor, is to meet the UK foreign secretary, James Cleverly, in London at the end of the month as he attempts to burnish his credentials as a credible Republican leader capable of operating on a global stage ahead of a widely expected run for US president.

He is to lead a Florida trade delegation on a four-nation tour taking in Japan, South Korea, Israel and the UK.

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Israel: self-proclaimed ‘racist’ politician nominated as New York consul general

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May Golan has insulted Africans in Israel and disparaged the Reform movement, the largest Jewish denomination in the US

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, has nominated a far-right politician who once boasted that she is “proud to be a racist” as his country’s top diplomat in New York.

The appointment of May Golan was swiftly denounced by Israeli and American former diplomats, and the head of the largest Jewish denomination in the US, as an affront to the US and damaging for Israel.

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China ready to broker Israel-Palestine peace talks, says foreign minister

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China is positioning itself as a regional mediator after brokering the restoration of ties between Iran and Saudi Arabia

China’s foreign minister told his Israeli and Palestinian counterparts his country is ready to help facilitate peace talks, state media reported.

The separate phone calls between Chinese foreign minister, Qin Gang, and the Israeli and Palestinian top diplomats comes amid recent moves by Beijing to position itself as a regional mediator.

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Protests show depth of mistrust in Israeli government, says Rothman

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Architect of Israel’s judicial changes doubles down for next round of legislative battle when Knesset reconvenes in May

The vicious fight in Israel over the government’s proposed judicial changes “transcends issues of left and right, and comes down to public distrust in government”, one of the architects of the plans has said, acknowledging that there is room for compromise going forward.

Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, returned to office in December at the helm of a coalition of conservative and religious parties that make up the most rightwing government in the country’s history. The new administration’s most pressing issue is what it calls “judicial reform”, which will limit the powerful supreme court’s ability to overturn laws and give politicians more control over the appointment of justices.

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Hungary and Poland provide model for Israel’s assault on judiciary

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s actions remind many of first steps taken by ‘illiberal’ governments in Budapest and Warsaw

At the height of the protests in Israel over Benjamin Netanyahu’s planned judicial changes early last month, a Polish minister gave a revealing radio interview in Warsaw.

“Of course, we are talking with Israel, and to some extent we shared our experiences in this regard,” said the deputy foreign minister, Paweł Jabłoński, when asked for his views on the proposed Israeli laws.

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Access to Orthodox Easter ceremony in Jerusalem limited over security concerns

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Holy Fire rite has traditionally attracted about 10,000 Christian worshippers but numbers have been limited in recent years

Thousands of Christians in Jerusalem have celebrated the traditional Holy Fire rite ahead of the Orthodox Easter, despite a security clampdown limiting access to their most holy site.

The ancient Church of the Holy Sepulchre, where the thousand-year-old rite takes place, was built over the site where Christian tradition says Jesus Christ was crucified, buried and resurrected.

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US arrests suspect behind leak of Pentagon documents

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Jack Teixeira, 21-year-old US air national guardsman, is believed to have led online group where classified files appeared

The FBI has arrested a 21-year-old air national guardsman in Massachusetts suspected of being responsible for the leak of US classified defence documents that laid bare military secrets and upset Washington’s relations with key allies.

Jack Teixeira was arrested at his home in the town of North Dighton by FBI agents. Helicopter news footage showed a young man with shorn dark hair, an olive green T-shirt and red shorts being made to walk backwards towards a team of agents standing by an armoured vehicle dressed in camouflage and body armour, pointing their rifles at him.

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Christians are in danger under Israeli government, says Holy Land patriarch

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Benjamin Netanyahu’s rightwing policies are emboldening attacks on 2,000-year-old community, says Catholic regional leader

The head of the Roman Catholic church in the Holy Land has warned in an interview that Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government has made life worse for Christians in the birthplace of Christianity.

The Vatican-appointed Latin Patriarch, Pierbattista Pizzaballa, said that the region’s 2,000-year-old Christian community has come under increasing attack, with the most rightwing government in Israel’s history emboldening extremists who have harassed clergy and vandalised religious property at a quickening pace.

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Shadow lands: inside the 14 April Guardian Weekly

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Israel, Hezbollah and the spectre of war. Plus: the cost of the British crown.
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Over recent months, on various battlegrounds across the Middle East, Israel has faced off against the Iran-backed Shia Muslim organisation Hezbollah. But for several hours last week, fears were high of a broader conflict after a round of violence sparked by an Israeli police raid on Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa mosque, the third holiest site in Islam.

As Martin Chulov reports this week from southern Lebanon, retaliatory attacks may have failed to provoke all-out war – but it now seems only a matter of time before that outcome materialises. And Bethan McKernan considers how multiple crises are threatening Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s grip on power.

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Jerusalem holy site visits restricted after Israeli soldiers shoot two Palestinians

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Al-Aqsa mosque closed to non-Muslims and tourists after gunmen who shot at an army post killed by security forces

Israel has halted visits by non-Muslims and tourists to a flashpoint Jerusalem holy site, as its military said soldiers had shot dead two Palestinian gunmen in the occupied West Bank, as a wave of unrest showed no sign of subsiding.

Last week, an Israeli police raid at the al-Aqsa mosque compound, a tinder box in the decades-old Israeli-Palestinian conflict, triggered rocket attacks from Gaza, south Lebanon and Syria that drew Israeli air and artillery strikes.

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