October 20, 2023


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 14 of the conflict:

  • Israeli officials say more than 100 Hamas-linked targets were hit across Gaza overnight. Reports say Israeli strikes includes ones in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. [more]
  • Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said yesterday that his troops should prepare to see Gaza “from the inside,” indicating possible final preparations for a ground offensive in the Palestinian enclave. [more]
  • U.S. officials say the USS Carney, a Navy destroyer in the northern Red Sea, shot down three cruise missiles and several drones yesterday believed to have been fired toward Israel by Iran-backed Houthi rebel forces in Yemen. [more]
  • Reports say it does not appear that delivery of humanitarian aid to Gaza through the region's border with Egypt will begin today, despite ongoing talks aimed at doing so. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 603 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian military officials say Russian forces have regrouped and launched new attacks on the eastern Ukraine city of Avdiivka and that Russia appears to be actively moving assault units and armored equipment into the region. [more]
  • The U.S.-based Institute for the Study of War said today that Ukrainian forces appear to have broken through Russian lines on the eastern bank of the Dnipro River in Ukraine’s southern Kherson region. [more]

U.S. FOREIGN POLICY | In an Oval Office speech last night, President Joe Biden called for billions of dollars in aid to both Israel and Ukraine. Biden said the successful defense of both countries is “vital for America’s national security” and that such aid would “pay dividends for American security for generations.” Reports say the White House is expected to send a $105 billion funding request to Congress that includes $14 billion for Israel, $60 billion for Ukraine, $10 billion for unspecified humanitarian efforts, $14 billion for U.S.-Mexico border security and anti-drug trafficking efforts, and $7 billion for Taiwan and other Indo-Pacific areas. [more]

TRUMP GEORGIA ELECTION TRIAL | Lawyer Sidney Powell, one of 18 co-defendants who, along with former President Donald Trump, are facing charges of election interference in Georgia, agreed to a plea deal with prosecutors yesterday. Powell pleaded guilty to reduced misdemeanor charges of knowingly interfering with the performance of election duties in exchange for a sentence that includes six years of probation and requirements that she pay $6,000 in fines, write an apology letter to Georgia residents, and testify truthfully in the cases of her co-defendants. Jury selection in the trial of co-defendant Kenneth Chesebro is scheduled to begin today. [more]

U.S. CONGRESS | The House of Representatives is scheduled to convene later this morning for an expected third round of balloting on the Republican nomination of Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan to be Speaker of the House. Reports indicate that a significant number of Jordan’s colleagues in the GOP majority remain opposed to his being elected to the position. [more]

U.S. MILITARY | Reports say U.S. Army Private Travis King, who fled into North Korea in July and was returned to U.S. custody last month, has been charged with desertion. [more]

MARYLAND | Police in Maryland say state Circuit Court Judge Andrew Wilkinson was fatally shot in the driveway of his home in Hagerstown yesterday evening and that the investigation into the incident is ongoing. [more]

CALIFORNIA | San Diego-based U.S. District Judge Roger Benitez yesterday ruled, as he did in a similar case in 2021, that California’s decades-old ban on assault weapons is unconstitutional and gave the state 10 days to seek a stay on the ruling as part of its appeal to the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. [more]

U.S. REAL ESTATE | The National Association of Realtors reports that sales of existing homes in the U.S. fell 2% from August to September to an annual rate of 3.96 million – the slowest sales rate since October 2010. Sales were down 15% in September, compared to the year-ago period, and 21% lower through the first nine months of the year, compared to the same period in 2022. [more]

U.S. AND NORTH KOREA | The U.S. Department of Justice said yesterday that an FBI investigation has shown that thousands of information technology workers contracted for remote work by U.S. companies in recent years were part of a North Korean program to have operatives use false identities to obtain jobs in the U.S. and funnel their wages to North Korean weapons programs. [more]

CANADA AND INDIA | In a continuation of tensions sparked by the killing of a Sikh activist in Canada in June, Canada recalled 41 of its diplomats from India yesterday following suggestions by Indian officials that their diplomatic immunity would be revoked. [more]

EUROPEAN STORM BABET | Meteorologists have warned of potentially significant wind and rain impacts across northern Europe as Storm Babet moves through the region this weekend. Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Norway, the U.K., and Ireland are among the countries that have issued warnings related to excessive rainfall and flooding from the storm. [more]

HAITI | Joseph Badio, a former official in Haiti’s Ministry of Justice, was arrested yesterday in the Caribbean nation’s capital of Port-au-Prince in connection with the July 2021 murder of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Palestinian officials say at least 12 people were killed in an Israeli airstrike and raid on the West Bank’s Nur Shams refugee camp yesterday. Israeli officials say the strike targeted a group of Palestinians that “posed a threat to the soldiers in the area.” [more]

BALTIC SEA | NATO officials say the alliance will increase reconnaissance flights and maritime patrolling in the Baltic Sea following recent damage to regional undersea infrastructure, including to a telecommunications cable connecting Sweden and Estonia and to a Finnish-Estonian pipeline and cable. [more]

GLOBAL TRADE | At a joint summit of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council today, Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim proposed the creation of a free trade agreement between the two economic blocs. [more]

CHINA | In what analysts say was an unexpectedly early move, China announced yesterday that it is increasing restrictions on the export of some graphite products to help protect its national security. China is the world’s top producer and exporter of graphite, which is critical for production of many products, including batteries for electric vehicles. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1740, Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI died, setting off the eight-year-long War of the Austrian Succession. [more history]

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