What We’re Following
Israel and Syria: Israel shot down a Russian-made Syrian fighter jet that the country’s military officials said had entered Israeli airspace. (Syria claims the plane was still in its own airspace when shot.) The clash illustrates how difficult it will be for Russia to fulfill its recent promise to negotiate protections for Israel against the spillover of the Syrian conflict. Israel is particularly worried about Iran’s presence in Syria. Here’s why.
Trump’s Trust: Senate Democrats are raising concerns about the connection between Brian Benczkowski, President Trump’s appointee to head the criminal division of the Justice Department, and Alfa—the biggest private bank in Russia, which Benczkowski previously represented. Natasha Bertrand reports on the questions outlined in their letter. On Monday, the White House threatened to revoke the security clearances of several former intelligence and law-enforcement officials in response to their public statements about the Russia investigation, but it’s unclear what that could mean in practical terms.
The World of the Web: As Facebook faces mounting criticism for its disruption of the information landscape, the media-studies professor Siva Vaidhyanathan explains how the social network came to be what it is—and reflects on whether a more thoughtful process could have built a better internet. At prestigious universities like Stanford, where engineering students are trained to join the world’s most powerful companies, some students have formed clubs centered on using computer-science skills for social good. Will those lessons and values follow them into the job market?