October 13, 2023


Listen to this issue.

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

  • Israeli authorities today told residents of Gaza City and the northern Gaza Strip to evacuate southward, a move widely seen as an indication that Israel intends to intensify its military operations in the region. Responding to the Israeli prompt, Hamas leaders have urged residents not to evacuate, while humanitarian groups have warned that conditions in the region make it both dangerous and difficult to travel. [more]
  • At least 2,800 people on all sides are believed to have died in fighting and airstrikes that began with Hamas attacks on Israel Saturday. Hamas leaders say more than a dozen of the approximately 150 hostages taken to Gaza from Israel have been killed in Israeli airstrikes. [more]
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin arrived in Israel today in a further show of U.S. support. After visiting Israel yesterday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken is expected to meet with various leaders in the region to discuss the ongoing crisis and how to prevent it from spreading. [more]
  • Speaking at a Palestinian rally today in Lebanon, Hezbollah deputy chief Naim Qassem said that Hezbollah leaders and forces are “fully ready” to contribute to the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas and that “when the time comes for any action, we will carry it out.” [more]
  • U.N. humanitarian office officials say at least 423,000 residents of Gaza have been displaced from their homes in the Palestinian enclave due to Israeli retaliatory strikes following Saturday’s Hamas attacks and that 23 aid workers have been killed in the violence. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 596 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • The Ukrainian Interior Ministry says at least two people were killed, and 15 others were wounded, in overnight Russian airstrikes in southern and eastern Ukraine, with the majority of casualties occurring in the Donetsk region city of Pokrovsk. [more]
  • Russian forces continued their heavy assault on the eastern Ukrainian town of Avdiivka for a fourth straight day today. Ukrainian officials say the assaults on Avdiivka are part of the largest Russian offensive operation in months. [more]

U.S. CONGRESS | Citing a lack of support and the need for the House Republican majority to move forward, House Majority Leader Steve Scalise ended his bid to become House Speaker last night, less than 24 hours after the Republican conference chose him as their nominee. The House of Representatives has now been without a Speaker for 10 days and remains unable to conduct legislative business. [more]

SOCIAL SECURITY | The U.S. Social Security Administration announced yesterday that benefit payments to some 66 million Americans will increase by 3.2% in 2024. Next year’s cost-of-living adjustment is significantly lower than 2023’s inflation-driven 8.7% increase. [more]

MENENDEZ | Federal prosecutors yesterday charged U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey with violations of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, saying in the indictment that Menendez promised to take and took a series of acts on behalf of Egypt, including on behalf of Egyptian military and intelligence officials. The new indictment comes just weeks after Menendez and his wife were accused of conspiracy to commit bribery. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The U.S. Labor Department reports that consumer inflation rose 0.4% from August to September, down from 0.6% in the prior month, and that annualized inflation was unchanged for September at 3.7%. [more]

COLORADO | Aurora, Colorado, police officer Randy Roedema was found guilty of criminally negligent homicide and third-degree assault yesterday in connection with the 2019 death of Elijah McClain, a Black man who died after being put in a neck hold and given an overdose of the sedative ketamine. Another police officer was acquitted of similar charges in the case and paramedics who administered the ketamine are scheduled to be tried later this year. [more]

U.S. HOUSING | Mortgage company Freddie Mac reported yesterday that the average rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage in the U.S. rose to 7.57% in the week ended October 12, up from 6.92% a year ago and the highest level since December 2000. [more]

KOREA | North Korea today condemned yesterday's arrival of the U.S. Navy’s USS Ronald Reagan aircraft carrier battle group at the South Korean port of Busan, calling it a provocation. South Korean officials say the battle group’s five-day visit is part of an agreement to temporarily deploy powerful U.S. military assets to the area in response to the North’s ongoing nuclear program developments. [more]

AUSTRALIA | Reports say polling suggests that residents of Australia will vote tomorrow to reject a constitutional amendment that would establish an “Indigenous Voice to Parliament” role to advise the country’s government on issues that affect the nation’s indigenous ethnic minority. [more]

GERMANY | Officials in Germany’s southeastern state of Bavaria say seven people were killed, and another 16 were injured, today when a van suspected of carrying migrants crashed on the A-94 highway while trying to evade a police checkpoint. [more]

ENVIRONMENT AND CLIMATE | A new study published in the journal Science Advances yesterday says that, from 1997 to 2021, 68 of 162 Antarctic ice shelves showed significant mass loss, with 48 of those losing more than 30% of their initial mass, over the study period. Researchers say ice shelves are particularly vulnerable to changes in atmospheric and ocean conditions and that ice shelf surface melting is projected to intensify throughout this century. [full study] [more]

GAMING | U.K. regulators today approved Microsoft’s $69 billion purchase of gaming company Activision Blizzard, ending their six-month objection to the deal over competition concerns. Reports say the acquisition deal is expected to close by October 18. [more]

R.I.P. | Rudolph Isley, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and founding member of the Isley Brothers group, died yesterday at the age of 84. Among the group’s well-known hits were “Shout,” “Twist and Shout,” and “It’s Your Thing.” [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1946, after being approved by French voters in a referendum, the constitution of the Fourth Republic was adopted in France.  [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

Sign up for a free or supporting membership to further our mission.