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Holocaust survivor Malkah Gorka holds a picture from her school days in Poland during a protest in front of Polish embassy in Tel Aviv. Photo: Gil Cohen-Magen / AFP / Getty Images

A Polish law making it illegal to attribute crimes committed during the Holocaust to Poland officially comes into effect today, though it is still being reviewed by a constitutional tribunal.

The big picture: Israel considered withdrawing its ambassador over the matter, forcing a Polish delegation to visit in an effort to diffuse the situation. And the United States has strongly objected to the law, which the State Department has warned would “inhibit discussion and commentary on the Holocaust." As a result, Poland’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Marek Magierowski traveled to Washington to meet with Jewish groups and U.S. officials.

At a breakfast with reporters on Wednesday, Magierowski said the justice ministry would seek to temporarily suspend the law until the constitutional review is over — a process he said would likely take a few weeks. However, certain statements assigning blame to Poland for the mass slaughter of Jews are now technically illegal.

  • "There is a serious crisis in our relationship now with Israel and with the United States," Magierowski acknowledged. He added that Poland "might have made a few mistakes" in terms of communicating the true intentions behind the law, which he said was designed to provide a "legal tool to counter the painful narrative that Poland is co-responsible for the Holocaust."
  • "Some ministers in the government were quite surprised by the intensity of the backlash,” he said, adding that the issue was a "distraction" from talks regarding permanent bases for U.S. troops in Poland and other key issues.

Go deeper: Hungary and Poland, the EU's awkward squad.

Go deeper

Updated 1 hour ago - Science

Nor'easter slams East Coast with flooding rain and powerful winds

A residential area in Middlesex County as floodwater from the nor'easter covers streets in New Jersey on Tuesday. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

A monster storm was slamming the Northeast with record rainfall and powerful winds over Tuesday night — causing flash flooding that resulted in people having to be rescued in New Jersey and New York roads to close.

Threat level: All of southern New England westward to New York City and northern New Jersey was under the threat of flash flooding and coastal flooding from the nor'easter through Tuesday night into early Wednesday, per the National Weather Service.

1 hour ago - World

Blinken speaks with Sudan prime minister after his release

Sudan's Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok. Photo: Ebrahim Hamid/AFP via Getty Images

Secretary of State Tony Blinken spoke on the phone on Tuesday evening with Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok after the military released him from custody.

Why it matters: Hamdok’s release was a result of pressure on Sudan’s military leader General Abdul Fattah al-Burhan from the U.S. and other countries but also from the different political parties in Sudan and massive protests in the streets.

Updated 4 hours ago - World

Brazil senators vote to recommend criminal charges for Bolsonaro

Brazilian senators vote on probe into President Bolsonaro's handling of pandemic. Photo: Gustavo Minas/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A Brazilian Senate committee Tuesday voted to approve a report recommending President Jair Bolsonaro be charged with a raft of criminal indictments, including crimes against humanity over his response to the COVID-19 pandemic, per AP.

Why it matters: Bolsonaro has become the face of a right-wing approach to the pandemic that includes repudiating vaccines and masks and resisting lockdowns and other mitigation measures. The Senate report holds him personally responsible for half of the country's 600,000 deaths.