NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

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Five Things to Know, Jan. 22, 2024
This undated photograph released by the U.S. military's Central Command shows what it is described as the vessel that carried Iranian-made missile components bound for Yemen's Houthi in the Arabian Sea. U.S. Navy SEALs seized Iranian-made missile parts and other weaponry from a ship bound for Yemen's Houthi rebels in a raid that saw two of its commandos go missing, the U.S. military said Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2024.

Five Things to Know

1. The 10-day search to rescue two Navy SEALs lost in the Arabian Sea during a mission to board a ship and confiscate Iranian-made weapons has been ended and the sailors are now considered deceased, the U.S. military said Sunday. In a statement, U.S. Central Command said the search has now been changed to a recovery effort. The names of the SEALs have not been released as family notifications continue.

2. Iranian-backed militants attacked an air base housing U.S. and Iraqi troops in western Iraq on Saturday, U.S. Central Command said — the latest incident targeting U.S. forces as tensions flare over Israel’s war in Gaza. The militants fired rockets and ballistic missiles at Ain al-Asad Air Base in Iraq’s Anbar province around 6:30 p.m. local time, CENTCOM said in a statement. “Most” of the missiles were intercepted by the base’s air defense systems, the statement said, adding that some landed and at least one Iraqi service member was wounded.

3. North Korea said Sunday that Russian President Vladimir Putin expressed his willingness to visit the North at an unspecified “early date” as the countries continue to align in the face of their separate, intensifying confrontations with the United States. The North Korean Foreign Ministry highlighted Putin’s intent for a visit following North Korean Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui’s meetings with Putin and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Moscow last week.

4. Saudi Arabia’s top diplomat has said the kingdom will not normalize relations with Israel or contribute to Gaza’s reconstruction without a credible pathway to a Palestinian state — a nonstarter for Israel’s government. Prince Faisal bin Farhan’s remarks in an interview with CNN broadcast late Sunday were some of the most direct yet from Saudi officials.

5. Taiwan said Monday that six Chinese balloons either flew over the island or through airspace just north of it, while Chinese warplanes and navy ships were also detected in the area. The dispatch of such balloons, which generally disappear into the Pacific to the east, appears to be on the rise, though their purpose has not been publicly announced.