New York City and its surrounding area experienced a significant earthquake followed by multiple aftershocks. The initial quake measured 4.8 on the Richter scale, striking near Gladstone, New Jersey, and was followed by a 3.8 magnitude aftershock.

Despite widespread reports of shaking and rattling, there were no immediate reports of significant damage. Governor Kathy Hochul stated that aftershocks could continue for up to a week. Mayor Eric Adams assured residents that first responders were working to ensure safety, and schools and businesses continued operations as normal. Transportation infrastructure, including airports and subway tunnels, underwent inspections for damage. Despite the unusual occurrence, history notes previous seismic events in the region, including a 5.0 quake in 1884 and the presence of fault lines, such as the Ramapo Fault in New Jersey. This earthquake follows a USGS warning that 75% of the United States could face damaging quakes in the next century.


Senator Chuck Schumer was noticeably absent from the Council Of Jewish Organizations (COJO Flatbush) annual breakfast, prompting criticism from attendees. Congressman Mike Lawler and Dov Hikind condemned Schumer for allegedly abandoning Israel, accusing him of interfering in Israeli politics and “stabbing Israel in the back.” Councilwoman Inna Vernikov also expressed disappointment at Schumer’s absence. Lawler, an honoree at the event, emphasized the importance of supporting Israel and rejected interference in its domestic politics. The event, attended by community leaders and elected officials, highlighted the importance of standing with Israel, especially in light of recent events such as Hamas’ terrorist attack and hostage situations.


Donald Trump’s eleventh-hour bid to delay his criminal trial over “hush money” payments was rejected by a New York appeals court judge following an emergency hearing on Monday. The trial, scheduled to begin on April 15, involves allegations of Trump illegally covering up payments to a woman. Trump’s attorneys also sought to lift a gag order barring him from publicly criticizing witnesses and the judge’s family, but the court did not immediately rule on this appeal. The former president’s legal team attempted similar tactics in his civil fraud trial, which were ultimately unsuccessful. Prosecutors from the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office accused Trump of attempting to indefinitely delay the trial by renewing a request for the presiding judge’s recusal, alleging a conflict of interest due to the judge’s daughter’s work for Democrats at a political consulting firm. Prosecutors argued that Trump’s real objective was to postpone the proceedings indefinitely.


New York City has agreed to pay $17.5 million to settle a lawsuit filed by two Muslim women who were forced to remove their hijabs for arrest photographs. The lawsuit, filed in 2018, alleged violations of their rights and led to changes in the New York Police Department’s policy to allow religious head coverings in arrest photos. The settlement, pending approval by a judge, marks a positive reform according to the city’s Law Department. The damages will be distributed among thousands of eligible claimants, with Clark and Aziz’s experiences highlighting the emotional impact of such actions. Lawyers and civil rights advocates praised the settlement as a milestone for privacy and religious rights, emphasizing the importance of respecting individuals’ beliefs and dignity. The Police Department’s revised policy now allows arrested individuals to keep their headwear on in most cases, with exceptions for safety concerns or specific identification needs. The settlement covers individuals affected between March 16, 2014, and August 23, 2021, potentially benefiting thousands of people.



 Dozens of Democrats, following President Biden’s lead, have voiced opposition to continued support for Israel following Biden’s call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Calls to halt weapons shipments to Israel have increased after a recent Israel Defense Forces strike killed World Central Kitchen staffers. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer urged new elections in Israel, stating Netanyahu had “lost his way.” Biden warned Netanyahu about the humanitarian situation in Gaza and the need for an immediate cease-fire. Some Democrats are advocating for conditions on arms shipments to Israel if civilian protection in Gaza isn’t improved. Concerns from American hostage families in Gaza have been raised regarding the humanitarian situation. However, Biden has denied abandoning Israel and halting military aid. Notable exceptions to the trend include Senator John Fetterman, who expressed staunch support for Israel.


Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin signed two bills into law aimed at combating anti-Semitism. The legislation, SB 7 and HB 18, unanimously passed both the state Senate and House of Delegates. These laws aim to safeguard individuals from unlawful discrimination based on their ethnic origin, adding victims intentionally selected due to their ethnic origin to categories of hate crime victims. Governor Youngkin emphasized the importance of protecting Virginians from hate crimes based on religion, race, or ethnicity. Legislators from both parties supported the bills, highlighting the significance of defending equality, justice, and human dignity. Democratic state delegate Dan Helmer, who has personal connections to the issue as a descendant of Holocaust survivors, expressed gratitude for the bipartisan effort to protect people of all ethnicities across Virginia.


Protesters at an Islamic event in Dearborn, Michigan, gathered for International Al-Quds Day, chanting “death to America!” and “death to Israel!” The event, marking the six-month anniversary of Hamas’ terrorist attack on Israel, aimed to oppose Israel and the United States. Activists at the event criticized U.S. support for Israel, with one stating that the U.S. government funds atrocities in Gaza. They called for chants against America and Israel, advocating for the downfall of the entire system supporting such actions. The event’s speakers compared Israel to ISIS, Nazis, and fascists, emphasizing criticism of Israel’s actions. The rhetoric included chants of “From the river to the sea, Palestine will be free.”


A federal judge has rejected former President Donald Trump’s attempt to dismiss his case involving classified documents based on the Presidential Records Act. Trump’s attorneys argued that he should have retained custody of the documents even after leaving office, but the judge denied this motion along with others seeking dismissal on different grounds. The judge also criticized the special counsel’s filing, which urged her to reverse course on proposed jury instructions regarding Trump’s ownership of the documents. The judge clarified that her order soliciting preliminary draft instructions did not constitute a final decision and dismissed the suggestion of seeking intervention from the appeals court. Trump faces 37 criminal counts related to his handling of classified materials, to which he has pleaded not guilty, denouncing the investigation as a political witch hunt.


Former President Donald Trump’s campaign reported raising a staggering $50.5 million during a single event held at the Palm Beach, Florida, home of billionaire investor John Paulson. This fundraising haul, labeled as the “Inaugural Leadership Dinner,” sets a new record and underscores a resurgence in Trump and the Republican Party’s fundraising efforts. The event attracted major donors and featured contributions toward the Trump 47 Committee, a joint fundraising agreement with the Republican National Committee (RNC) and other entities. The funds raised will support Trump’s political activities, including his legal bills. Additionally, Trump’s campaign touted its fundraising prowess as a sign of momentum toward victory in the upcoming elections. Meanwhile, Democratic National Committee Chair Jaime Harrison criticized Trump’s fundraising activities, contrasting them with President Joe Biden’s efforts to connect with voters and outline his economic vision. Trump’s fundraising success comes amid ongoing legal challenges, including criminal indictments and a civil lawsuit, which have prompted concerns among some members of the RNC about the allocation of funds. Despite these concerns, Trump’s fundraising event drew high-profile guests and generated significant contributions, positioning him as a formidable force in Republican politics.


The US economy added 303,000 jobs in March, with the unemployment rate slightly dipping to 3.8 percent, according to new data from the Labor Department. This figure surpasses economists’ expectations of 200,000 new jobs and a steady unemployment rate of 3.8 percent. The March report continues a trend of strong job numbers, reflecting the resilience of the labor market despite the Federal Reserve’s efforts to raise interest rates and combat inflation. While inflation has eased from its peak in June 2022, Fed officials remain cautious and emphasize the need for further positive inflation data before considering rate cuts. Despite these positive economic indicators, President Biden faces challenges on economic issues, with polls showing former President Trump being favored by voters in handling the economy. Additionally, a majority of voters perceive a decline in the economy over the past two years and express concerns about rising inflation.


Israel NEWS


The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have clarified that the conflict with Hamas is ongoing despite reports of a partial withdrawal of ground troops from southern Gaza. Lt. Col. Peter Lerner stated that while there has been a rotation of forces, the focus remains on areas like Rafah, emphasizing that the mission is not over until hostages are released and Hamas’s capabilities are dismantled. The IDF withdrawal reportedly leaves one brigade guarding a corridor dividing Gaza, facilitating movement within the territory. While the U.S. sees the withdrawal as a rest and refit measure, it opposes a potential IDF invasion of Rafah and is pushing for a ceasefire. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu insists there will be no ceasefire until the hostages are returned, reaffirming determination to achieve victory in the conflict.


In Kochav Yair, central Israel, a ramming attack on Tuesday night left four police officers wounded, allegedly carried out by a 26-year-old Arab-Israeli named Wahab Shavita, who was subsequently shot dead by security forces. Shavita’s family denied any nationalist motive, attributing the attack to his recent diagnosis of mental illness. They claimed to have alerted authorities about Shavita’s condition before the incident. The injured officers were evacuated for medical treatment, with one initially in serious condition, later improving to moderate condition. The family called for a transparent investigation and criticized the police’s swift use of force against Arab citizens. The police refuted claims of prior communication with the family, and the attack followed a stabbing incident in Gan Yavne two days earlier.


Israeli commandos conducted an operation to retrieve the body of Elad Katzir, a hostage held by the Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza. Katzir, abducted during an attack in October, was believed to have been murdered by his captors. The operation was carried out following intelligence provided by Israeli security agencies. Katzir’s body was found buried in southern Gaza, and the operation to recover it was successful without any injuries. His family expressed anger towards the government for failing to secure his release, blaming them for his death. The incident underscores the ongoing tensions and challenges surrounding hostage situations in the region, with many hostages still held by militant groups in Gaza.


McDonald’s announced plans to repurchase all 225 franchised restaurants in Israel following a decline in business attributed to boycotts and protests related to the Israel-Hamas conflict. The move comes after franchisees in Israel donated meals to Israeli soldiers, sparking backlash in neighboring countries and calls for boycotts across the Middle East. McDonald’s did not disclose the terms of the deal but assured that the chain’s 5,000 workers in Israel would retain their jobs. The decision underscores the challenges faced by multinational corporations amid political polarization and misinformation campaigns during conflicts. Other companies operating in the region, such as Starbucks, have also experienced financial setbacks due to similar boycotts and allegations of supporting one side of the conflict. McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski denounced the impact of misinformation on business operations, stating that the conflict has significantly affected markets in the Middle East and beyond.




A powerful earthquake, the strongest in a quarter-century, struck Taiwan early last Wednesday, killing nine people and injuring over 1,000. Centered off the coast of Hualien County, the quake caused severe damage to buildings, trapping residents and workers. Rescue efforts were hampered by damaged roads, with some workers stranded at quarries. Landslides and falling debris further complicated transportation, and a small tsunami hit southern Japanese islands. Despite Taiwan’s preparedness for earthquakes, the severity of this event caused panic and widespread disruption, affecting transportation systems and economic activities.


Dozens of Indian construction workers have departed for Israel to fill labor shortages, arising from the Israeli government’s restriction on Palestinian workers due to security concerns amid the ongoing conflict with Hamas. These Indian workers are part of an agreement signed between India and Israel before the conflict began. The agreement, initially signed during a visit by the Israeli Foreign Minister to India, aims to allow around 40,000 Indians to work in construction and nursing sectors in Israel. India has condemned Hamas attacks on Israel but has also supported humanitarian assistance and the two-state solution in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.


Nicaragua has initiated legal proceedings against Germany at the International Court of Justice, accusing Germany of facilitating genocide in Gaza by supplying arms to Israel. In hearings at The Hague, Nicaragua argued that Germany’s military aid to Israel violates the Genocide Convention. Nicaragua called for emergency orders to suspend military aid to Israel and prevent its unlawful use. Germany rejected the accusations and is expected to respond. The case raises questions about the liability of countries supplying weapons to Israel amid the Gaza conflict. This is the third case at the court related to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict this year, reflecting diplomatic efforts to address the situation.