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Today’s Top Stories:
1. After Reuters reported that Egypt planned to send tanks and aircraft into the Sinai to fight jihadis, Jerusalem sent a protest to Washington. The buildup wasn’t coordinated with Israel. The Times of Israel explains the objections:
Israeli officials are concerned that Egypt may use the operation against the terrorist groups as a way of building its military strength in Sinai that is otherwise severely limited under the 1979 peace agreement.
Having gained access, Cairo may leave the tanks and armored carriers in place, while taking little more than symbolic action to curb the terrorist threat.
2. The leader of Austria’s right-wing party is catching flak for posting an anti-Semitic cartoon on Facebook. Evoking classic Nazi imagery, the cartoon depicts Jewish bankers being fed fancy food by “the government” while a hungry person labeled “the people” looks on. Note the banker’s hooked nose and Star of David cufflinks.
Heinz-Christian Strache later replaced it with a different version: the banker’s nose is smaller, the Jewish stars are gone, and the labels are in English . . .
3. US authorities seized $150 million from the Lebanese Canadian Bank, which is charged with money laundering for Hezbollah. Reuters explains how the scheme worked:
Federal prosecutors in Manhattan and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration accused bank officials of knowingly participating in a scheme in which money from various individuals and companies in Beirut was sent from Lebanon to purchase used cars in the United States. The cars were then sold in West Africa, and Hezbollah-linked groups would help smuggle the proceeds into Lebanon, authorities said.