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Bottom of the Hour Newscast, Apr. 18 2024

LEO: For Columbia Radio News, I’m Giulia Leo.

U.S. and Israeli officials are set to meet virtually today to discuss a future Israeli operation in Rafah.

The meeting was originally scheduled to take place in person, but it was moved online after Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles on Israel this past weekend.

Leading today’s meeting on the US side will be National security adviser Jake Sullivan. His Israeli counterpart will be Tzachi Hanegbi. The White House has approved Israel’s Rafah plan in exchange for the state’s limited response to Iran’s attack.

In the meantime, the US and UK have imposed sanctions on Iran’s drone manufacturers and steel industry as a consequence of the attack on Saturday.

The European Union is set to take similar measures on Iran’s drone and missile programs.

Dubai is still trying to recover from yesterday’s rainfall, the heaviest ever recorded in the territory. The rain is still flooding the streets and airport runways. So far, more than 500 flights have been delayed and about 30 canceled. Videos from stuck passengers show the terminals packed with travelers who are waiting for updates on their flights.

Kanish Kumar Deb Barman: I’m flying from Paris and Dubai is our layover. There are hundreds and thousands of other passengers just like me in this airport who have been waiting for 10 hours, 16 hours. Some, even for 24 to 30 hours

The Chief Operating Officer at Dubai Airports, released a statement in the early afternoon saying that the airport will return to normal operations in less than 24 hours.

The 12th most-wanted New York fugitive was arrested last week in Rome, Italy. 54 year old Moises Tejada, was carrying three knives on Wednesday April 10 while in St Peter's Square. The square was particularly busy that day, with tourists and pilgrims waiting for Pope Francis’ general audience. Tejada was previously convicted for robbery and kidnapping. It is still not clear if he planned to attack the Pope. Italy is waiting to learn if US authorities want to extradite [EXTRA-DYTE] him.

A volcanic eruption is still occurring in Indonesia.

Mt. Ruang has erupted at least five times since Tuesday, the latest eruption happened earlier today. Today’s eruption also came with an earthquake and The Center for Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation just raised the alert status of Mount Ruang to the highest level possible. More than 800 locals are being evacuated.

This is Giulia Leo, Columbia Radio News.

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