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Schumer, Ukraine, Boeing & More

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We’re trying out a new content format! For this issue, instead of the usual deep dive, we’re rounding up a broader range of top-discussed stories and giving you just the key takeaways.

Think of it like a talking points briefing on this week’s news.

And if you’d rather listen to these points—along with a bit of additional color—check out the companion episode on The Noisecutter Podcast, out tomorrow on SpotifyApple, and YouTube.

Israel / Gaza — Schumer’s own goal vs. Netanyahu.
  • Last week, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer gave a speech on the Senate floor warning Israel that it may soon become a global “pariah” and calling for elections to be held. Key quote: “The Netanyahu coalition no longer fits the needs of Israel after October 7.” Earlier today, Netanyahu went on CNN to respond, calling Schumer’s comments “totally inappropriate,” and characterizing the remarks as unacceptable meddling in the affairs of a fellow democracy.

  • Schumer’s comments were unexpected, to say the least, and were indicative of a growing frustration among many in the world (including, e.g., Democrats in the US) with Netanyahu’s approach to Gaza. Israel will soon begin operations in Rafah, in southern Gaza, where roughly 1.4 million civilians reside / have fled to. Meanwhile, ceasefire / hostage release talks are puttering along, after a sticking point earlier this month when Hamas failed to provide Israel with a list of hostages still alive in Gaza.

  • Schumer could have handled the phrasing in the speech better. There’s been rising pressure on Democrats to be critical of the way in which Israel, under Netanyahu’s leadership, has prosecuted the war in Gaza (e.g., the “uncommitted vote” campaign). And with the unfortunately historic civilian death toll, it’s not without good reason, to say the least. However, it’s one thing to criticize an approach to conflict, and entirely another to frame it in a need for government change, particularly when that government is: a) democratically elected; and b) of an allied country. Netanyahu’s domestic support has been waning for some time, triggered, in part, by a (justified, in my view) “how did you let this happen?” reaction to the events of 7 October. However, that’s an issue for Israelis to solve, and Schumer’s remarks—easily characterized as outside meddling—weren’t helpful. One might argue that they “pave the way” for others in the Democratic party to be more critical of Israel’s conduct in Gaza, but, if anything, they went too far, boomeranged, and turned into something of an own goal. In the coming election, Democrats absolutely need support from the segment of their base that views the US’s support of Israel’s actions in Gaza as unacceptable, but what that segment wants to see isn’t more rhetoric, but a cessation—or at least a scaling back—of the US’s arms sales to Israel. For a variety of reasons, not the least of which is the immense lobbying power of the US defense industry, I don’t think that will happen, despite Biden’s rhetoric to the contrary.

Ukraine — A stalemate that threatens to rearrange the world.
  • Two years on, the war in Ukraine continues. There’s considerable debate among informed parties about whether, at this point, things have ground to a stalemate. Some say yes; others, no. Still others argue that while things had been stalemated, it’s Russia that has now gained the upper hand, for now.

  • Much of this success has to do with Russia’s relative success in boosting its arms production, to the worry of western Europe and the United States. Ukraine has not been without its success, as over the past several weeks, it’s managed to conduct successful strikes on 12 Russian oil refineries, dealing a blow to the latter’s vital energy sector. Likewise, Russian groups fighting on behalf of Ukraine have stepped up attacks in order to sow division and unrest on the eve of Russia’s presidential election. Likewise, despite the death of long-time Putin critic Alexei Navalny in a Russian prison last month, supporters of Navalny and his cause continue to struggle to undermine Putin from within Russia. Nevertheless, Putin looks set to win re-election in a functionally non-contested election, fueled, in part, by forced voting in Russia-captured Ukrainian territory.

  • I don’t see the war ending in 2024, but I do see a more fractured world developing along the conflict lines. Russia continues to purchase drones and other technology from Iran, with Iran now setting up production of drones inside Russian territory. Likewise, North Korea continues to ship arms to Russia, a key support for the otherwise-struggling North Korean economy. On the non-arms side, sanctions on Russia doesn’t mean that Russian goods don’t get sold, but rather, sold for less in and to countries not abiding by the sanctions. Sure, they cut value from Russia’s bottom line, but they also work to somewhat “force” these alternative trade relationships to succeed. Whenever the war in Ukraine does end, the thing to think about is how the world will have changed, and how enduring those changes will be. There’s more to this story than simply keeping Russia out of Ukraine / Europe, maybe. Time will tell.

Haiti — An attempt at the impossible.
  • For those who haven’t yet listened to it, we ran a full-length episode of The Noisecutter Podcast on the ongoing crisis in Haiti. For more, there’s an article in Vox that neatly summarizes relevant events to-date.

  • There’s an actual answer as to why Haiti—and its economy—are the way they are today: reparations to France. The story is long and complicated, but is worth understanding. The best telling of it is this article in The New York Times, which you can either read or listen to.

  • There’s going to be a transitional council seeking to set up a new government in Haiti after the resignation of former prime minister Ariel Henry. Its success, however, depends on its ability to convince several cabals of organized and armed gangs to cooperate—an almost impossible task.

Boeing — These guys can’t seem to do anything right.
  • In connection with its investigation into the Alaska Airlines door plug blowout, the NTSB has reported that Boeing has been uncooperative and has failed to provide it with documentation regarding repairs to the door plug which blew out. Boeing said it couldn’t find the records, and then admitted that it’s entirely possible that the records were never created in the first place. Here’s the quote from Boeing’s spokesperson:

“We likewise have shared with the NTSB what became our working hypothesis: that the documents required by our processes were not created when the door plug was opened. If that hypothesis is correct, there would be no documentation to produce.”

  • In 2021, in the wake of the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines crashes, which were attributed to Boeing’s faulty MCAS system, Boeing entered into a Deferred Prosecution Agreement (a “DPA”) which included, in its terms, a condition that Boeing enhance its compliance measures, and report in on the effectiveness of those measures. What’s happening now, well…it doesn’t seem to be that.

  • Along with the NTSB probe, there’s a parallel investigation being conducted by the DOJ, and they’re unlikely to have forgotten the terms of the DPA, to say the least. But then again, given Boeing’s importance to the US’s defense acquisitions, one might reasonably wonder about the teeth of any of this. What was that thing Eisenhower said about the military-industrial complex?

Microsoft — Using 2FA is important, even if you’re a tech giant.
  • Microsoft disclosed that it was hacked by a Russian group because of an account on its systems that was configured without 2FA and with a password that was vulnerable to a spray attack. The attack allowed the hackers to spy in on senior leadership e-mails and steal software source code.

  • Nation-state hackers continue to pose a threat to domestic organizations, particularly those with information that is marketable or exploitable in some way. The thing is, that’s a lot more organizations than one would think, and perhaps that even those organizations would think. Cybersecurity isn’t always the most fun thing to talk about, but if Microsoft is getting hacked, I’d say just about anyone could be.






Today’s news cycle is doomed.

Never before in the history of the world have we had this much access to this many headlines. News outlets around the world give us the facts, but without any context, they’re just not very useful. That’s where we come in.

Here at Noisecutter, we provide insight and analysis on news items that matter. We create content for an audience that’s keenly interested in forming a better, more nuanced understanding of the world today and the forces that shape it. We do our best to avoid any ideological bent, and instead try to strike at the truth of the issues we cover, no matter how unsettling that truth might be.

Critical thinking on critical issues.

Nothing more, nothing less.


Noisecutter would be nothing without its audience, and we love hearing from you. If there’s an issue you’d like us to cover, a guest you think we should have on, or even if it’s just to say hello, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

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Rex Chatterjee

Rex is a lawyer and risk analyst living and working in Brooklyn, New York.

For the past 20 years, Rex has been a keen observer of and commentator on a wide range of news items and current events. Rex’s interests span the breadth of business and finance, technology and innovation, and conflict and global affairs, among others.

In addition to writing and producing the Noisecutter newsletter and podcast, Rex interviews creators, founders and business leaders for his other podcast, Roadmap Zero.

Rex maintains a private law practice, Chatterjee Legal, which focuses on the needs of startups and other innovation-driven businesses. He also serves as the managing principal of Titan Grey, a risk management consulting firm.

Rex is a graduate of Cornell University and Columbia Law School.

Rex Chatterjee




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