October 11, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 594 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is participating in a meeting of NATO defense ministers today in Brussels aimed at increasing military aid to Ukraine. On arrival in Brussels, Zelensky noted that air defense systems, long-range missiles, and ammunition are among the highest-priority military aid needed by his country. [more]
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin announced a new $200 million military aid package for Ukraine today, consisting largely of air defense and rocket ammunition drawn from U.S. military stocks. [more]

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day five of the conflict:

  • Israeli officials say more than 1,200 people in Israel have been killed since the Hamas attack began on Saturday, while Palestinian authorities estimate that 1,000 people have been killed in Gaza. More than 250,000 people in Gaza have been displaced amidst ongoing Israeli airstrikes, according to U.N. reports. [more]
  • Hamas rocket attacks on settlements in southern Israel continue amidst the ongoing Israeli military response. [more]
  • Reports from Gaza say the Palestinian enclave's last operating power generation plant has run out of fuel and that Gaza is effectively completely without electricity now after Israel cut off delivery of power, as well as water and food, to the region. [more]
  • Israel has increased the number of military reservists called up to active duty to about 360,000, suggesting, according to analysts, ongoing preparation for a potential ground assault into Gaza. [more]
  • In a televised address yesterday, U.S. President Joe Biden denounced the Hamas attacks as “sheer evil,” and reiterated his administration’s resolute support for Israel and warned other groups and nations against "taking advantage of the situation." Biden confirmed that at least 14 Americans were among those killed in the Hamas attacks, that Americans are among the estimated 150 hostages taken by Hamas into Gaza, and that some 20 Americans in the region remain unaccounted for. [more]

U.S. CONSUMER FEES | The U.S. Federal Trade Commission today announced a new proposed rule to prohibit junk fees, which are hidden and bogus fees prevalent in areas such as utility bills, apartment rentals, and ticket sales, among others. The FTC estimates that such fees can cost consumers tens of billions of dollars per year in unexpected costs and more than 50 million hours per year of wasted time spent researching fees. [press release] [more]

U.S. POLITICS | The Republican conference in the U.S. House of Representatives is expected to continue internal deliberations today in hopes of selecting a consensus candidate for office of Speaker of the House, a position still vacant following last week’s ouster of Kevin McCarthy from the role. Candidates Jim Jordan and Steve Scalise spoke before their GOP colleagues yesterday in a closed-door meeting of the Republican conference. [more]

U.S. SUPREME COURT | The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments today in an appeal by South Carolina lawmakers who were ordered by a lower court to redraw the state’s congressional districting map after a change to the map that, according to opponents, aimed to improperly secure Republican control of a coastal district. [more]

U.S. EDUCATION | The non-profit organization that administers the ACT college admissions test reports that U.S. high school seniors’ scores on the ACT fell to an average of 19.5 out of 36 this year – down from an average of 19.8 last year and the sixth straight year of decline. According to the report, more than four in 10 high school seniors meet none of the ACT's college readiness benchmarks and 70% fall short of college readiness benchmarks for mathematics. [press release] [full data] [more]

GEORGE SANTOS | Federal prosecutors filed a new 23-count indictment against New York congressman George Santos yesterday, accusing the GOP representative of stealing the identities of contributors to his campaign and using their credit cards, without authorization, to funnel money to his campaign and personal bank accounts. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | Amidst ongoing recovery efforts associated with last week’s earthquake in Afghanistan that killed at least 2,400 people, another 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck the country's western province of Herat this morning. No officials estimate of casualties from today’s quake have yet been released, but authorities say there is significant new damage. [more]

MEXICO | Hurricane Lidia made landfall yesterday evening as a powerful Category 4 storm near Las Penitas in the western Mexico state of Jalisco. Reports say downed power lines and trees, as well as road closures due to landslides, have been widely reported in the sparsely populated state, and that at least one death has been linked to the storm. [more]

CHINA | According to a new Reuters analysis, China has saved nearly $10 billion in 2023 through the record purchase of low-cost oil from countries under Western sanctions. [more]

KENYA AND HAITI | Following the recent United Nations approval of deploying a Kenya-led multinational force to Haiti to assist in fighting widespread gang violence, Kenya’s highest court blocked the deployment this week while it considers legal challenges that claim foreign deployment of any Kenyan police or military forces violates the country’s constitution. [more]

MYANMAR | Two senior military officers – former army chief of staff Lt. Gen. Moe Myint Tun and Brigadier General Yan Naung Soe – were sentenced to life in prison today in Myanmar after having been convicted on charges of high treason, accepting bribes, illegal possession of foreign currency, and violation of military discipline. [more]

SPACE | NASA scientists are set to publicly unveil the contents today of materials retrieved by the OSIRIS-REx spacecraft from the near-Earth asteroid Bennu. The materials were returned to Earth a little over two weeks ago. [more]

MARY LOU RETTON | According to an announcement and fundraising post by her daughter, U.S. Olympic icon Mary Lou Retton, who won a gold medal in the 1984 Olympics all-around gymnastics event, is “fighting for her life,” having been hospitalized for more than a week with a rare form of pneumonia. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1899, the Boer War began between Great Britain and the two Boer, or Afrikaner, republics—the South African Republic, also known as Transvaal, and the Orange Free State.  [more history]

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