rime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Wednesday that “significant progress” has been made toward an understanding between Israel and the US on settlement construction. “The talks have not been completed, but there is progress and we will hear about it when we reach Israel,” he told reporters in China, where he was on a state visit, shortly before his plane took off for Israel. Horowitz joined Ron Dermer, Israel’s ambassador to the US, to continue discussions with US President Donald Trump’s special envoy Jason Greenblatt in an attempt to reach an understanding with the administration on construction in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

North Korea has nothing to fear from any U.S. move to broaden sanctions aimed at cutting it off from the global financial system and will pursue “acceleration” of its nuclear and missile programs, a North Korean envoy told Reuters on Tuesday. This includes developing a “pre-emptive first strike capability” and an inter-continental ballistic missile (ICBM), said Choe Myong Nam, deputy ambassador at the North Korean mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

The Chinese ship has been identified as the Dongdiao-class Auxiliary General Intelligence (AGI) ship Tianlangxing. The Russian ship has been identified as the Vishnya-class AGI ship Kurily – the same type of ship that was reportedly patrolling the U.S.’s east coast earlier this year.

Payless Inc., the struggling discount shoe chain, is preparing to file for bankruptcy as soon as next week, according to people familiar with the matter. The company is initially planning to close 400 to 500 stores as it reorganizes operations, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations aren’t public. Payless had originally looked to shutter as many as 1,000 locations, and the number may still be in flux, according to one of the people. Payless’s bankruptcy would add to a tumultuous year in retail, with several bankruptcies and hundreds of store closings — even at companies that aren’t distressed. The industry is racing to try to adapt to more online purchasing and a shift away from mall shopping.

President Trump and GOP leaders are pulling out all the stops to win over House conservatives to their ­ObamaCare replacement bill ahead of a crucial up-or-down vote scheduled for Thursday. At press time, it appeared that Trump still lacked the votes in the House, but late-breaking developments suggested a deal that could win over House Freedom Caucus members was possible. Trump promised a group of 18 GOP lawmakers at the White House that he would support an amendment in the Senate that would repeal ­ObamaCare’s essential health benefits.

DRAMA

Almost two weeks after President Donald Trump’s tweets accusing his predecessor of wiretapping Trump Tower, the Republican head of the House Intelligence Committee tried to offer some support by saying that the president’s team was caught up in a U.S. surveillance net. Representative Devin Nunes said Wednesday that the intelligence community collected multiple conversations involving members of Trump’s transition team during legal surveillance of foreign targets after he won election last year. After Nunes went to the White House to brief Trump, the president told reporters “I somewhat do” feel vindicated by the latest development.

“IT’S a simulation, no?” asked a confused tourist, as the emergency services hurried into action and a helicopter flew low overhead. This time, it was not. At 2.40pm on March 22nd—the anniversary of the terrorist assault on Brussels airport last year, which may or may not be a coincidence—a man using a car as a lethal weapon mowed down people on Westminster Bridge, crashed into gates outside Parliament and used a large kitchen knife to murder a policeman before being shot dead himself. It was precisely the kind of attack that Britain’s security authorities have been expecting. It was also the kind that is most difficult to prevent.

JUST HOURS BEFORE THE ATTACK…

Three Pittsburg moms are taking on Islamophobia with “Barbie-compatible” headscarves in an effort to teach children to be more inclusive by exposing them to doll-sized hijabs. Gisele Fetterman, Safaa Bokhari and Kristen Michaels created Hello Hijab to encourage inclusivity among the next generation. “They will see it as a kind memory from their playtime, and then they will grow into a kinder generation, being used to playing with dolls that look different to them.” Fetterman explained.

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