October 16, 2023


Listen to this issue.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 10 of the conflict:

  • Amidst a continued buildup of Israeli military forces along the border with Gaza, reports say hundreds of thousands of Palestinians have fled northern Gaza following Israel’s warning that they should do so. United Nations officials say more than 1 million people in Gaza have been displaced from their homes since the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. [more]
  • Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency cites Iranian government officials as having warned Israel of regional escalation if Israel fails to end its military actions against Palestinians. [more]
  • European Union leaders are scheduled to hold an emergency meeting tomorrow to discuss concerns about the Israel-Hamas war and its potential both for sparking tensions between E.U. member nations and for expanding into a wider Middle East conflict. [more]
  • As smaller-scale clashes between Lebanon-based militants and Israeli forces along the Israel-Lebanon border continue, Israel has reportedly ordered the evacuation of towns and settlements in the area. [more]
  • United Nations humanitarian office chief Martin Griffiths is scheduled to begin a visit to multiple Middle Eastern countries tomorrow for talks aimed at securing the delivery of humanitarian aid to residents of Gaza. [more]
  • Israeli authorities say at least 1,400 people have been killed in Israel since the October 7 Hamas attacks, while Palestinian health officials estimate 2,800 people have been killed, and another 10,000 wounded, in Gaza. Israeli estimates of the number of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza increased to 199 over the weekend. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 599 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Reports say intense fighting continues today around the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka amidst an ongoing major Russian offensive in the area. Ukrainian say their military forces have repelled at least 15 Russian attacks near Avdiivka, Tonenke, and Pervomaiske in the Donetsk region. [more]
  • In a televised interview this weekend, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russian forces have strengthened their positions along the entire front line in Ukraine and that the months-old Ukrainian counteroffensive had “failed completely.” [more]
  • White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan says U.S. President Joe Biden will hold talks with members of the U.S. Congress this week to push through a new military aid package to provide “the necessary military equipment to defend freedom, sovereignty, and territorial integrity in Ukraine.” [more]

U.S. OIL PRODUCTION | Data released by the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration last week indicates that U.S.-based oil production rose to a record 13.2 million barrels per day in the first week of October, surpassing the previous 2020 record by some 100,000 barrels per day. [historical data] [more]

TRUMP FEDERAL ELECTION TRIAL | The judge overseeing former President Donald Trump’s trial on federal charges related to attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 election is scheduled to hear arguments today on a narrow gag order requested by prosecutors in response to Trump comments that they say have been incendiary and have the potential to undermine confidence in the justice system and taint potential jury pools. [more]

U.S. CONGRESS | House Republicans have indicated that a floor vote on the nomination of Rep. Jim Jordan to be House Speaker could take place as early as tomorrow. Reports say Jordan does not appear to have the votes needed to win the Speakership as the House remains unable to conduct legislative business following the GOP ouster of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy earlier this month. [more]

ILLINOIS | Police in Plainfield, Illinois, say Joseph Czuba, 71, has been charged with murder and attempted murder in connection with a Saturday knife attack on a Palestinian-American boy and his mother. Authorities say the stabbing death of six-year-old Wadea Al-Fayoume and the wounding of his mother are being investigated as hate crimes and that the attack appears to have been motivated by the outbreak of violence between Israel and Hamas. [more]

RUSSIA AND NORTH KOREA | Following U.S. allegations late last week that North Korea had delivered more than 1,000 containers of military equipment and munitions to Russia, Moscow announced today that Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will take part in meetings in North Korea later this week. According to White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, the U.S. believes that Pyongyang is seeking Russian military technology in exchange for munitions for use in Ukraine. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | A fourth 6.3-magnitude earthquake over a period of about 10 days struck Afghanistan’s western Herat region yesterday, adding four deaths and more than 150 injuries to the more than 2,000 killed in the previous quakes. [more]

E.U. EXPANSION | European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, European Council President Charles Michel, and various E.U. member nation leaders are among those taking part in a summit today in Albania on the potential expansion of the E.U. to include the six Western Balkan countries: Albania, Bosnia, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Serbia. [more]

SUDAN | United Nations official say about 9,000 people have been killed in Sudan since the ongoing conflict between the country’s military and paramilitary forces began in April, and that some 25 million people in Sudan are in need of humanitarian aid. [more]

ECUADOR | Daniel Noboa, 35, was elected president of Ecuador yesterday in a run-off election against Luisa González. Noboa’s term in office will run through May 2025 – the remainder of the tenure of President Guillermo Lasso, who dissolved the country’s National Assembly in May amidst corruption allegations against him. [more]

POLAND | Preliminary results from this weekend’s elections in Poland indicate that the ruling nationalist conservative Law and Justice party will win more seats in the country’s parliament than its rivals, but without the outright majority needed to form a government. Reports say a group of opposition parties is expected to eventually form a coalition government. [more]

SOCIAL MEDIA | Australia’s eSafety Commission online safety watchdog fined social media platform X, formerly Twitter, $385,000 for what it says was X’s failure to provide complete required information on how the company fights child sexual exploitation content. The Commission also issued a related warning to tech giant Google for providing “generic responses to specific questions.” [more]

OLYMPICS | The International Olympic Committee announced today that five sports have been added to those scheduled for competition at the 2028 Los Angeles games: cricket, flag football, baseball-softball, lacrosse, and squash. [more]

COLLEGE FOOTBALL | After this weekend’s games, the AP college football poll has Georgia still ranked at No. 1, followed by Michigan, Ohio State, Florida State, and Washington. [full AP poll] [more]

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE | "Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $95 million in receipts, followed by "The Exorcist: Believer" and "Paw Patrol: The Mighty Movie." [more]

R.I.P. | Martti Ahtisaari, the former president of Finland and 2008 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, died today at the age of 86. Ahtisaari was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for “his important efforts, on several continents and over more than three decades, to resolve international conflicts.” [more]

MORE R.I.P. | Actress Suzanne Somers, best known for her television roles in “Three’s Company” and “Step by Step,” as well as for promoting health and fitness products, died yesterday at the age of 76 following a long battle against an aggressive form of breast cancer. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1813, Napoleon led his troops against an allied force of Austrian, Prussian, Russian, and Swedish troops during the Battle of Leipzig. The three-day battle involved an estimated 560,000 troops, and ended in a significant defeat for Napoleon’s army, forcing it to return to France.  [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

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