October 26, 2023


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 20 of the conflict:

  • Israeli troops and tanks conducted a "limited" hours-long ground raid into northern Gaza overnight, according to Israeli military officials, who characterized the action as a preparatory move ahead of the "next stage of the war.” [more]
  • As aid groups and numerous governments call for a humanitarian pause in Israel-Hamas fighting, the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees says worsening shortages of food, fuel, water, and medical supplies are accelerating the humanitarian crisis affecting almost all Gaza residents. [more]
  • In the U.S., both Muslim and Jewish civil rights groups, including the Council on American-Islamic Relations and the Anti-Defamation League, report that they have seen significant increases in reports of harassment, bias, and physical assaults of members of their communities since the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. [more]
  • The U.N. Security Council yesterday failed, again, to approve a resolution on the Israel-Hamas conflict when rival U.S. and Russian resolutions on the war, humanitarian needs in Gaza, the protection of civilians, and calls to prevent the flow of arms to Hamas were vetoed by opponents. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 609 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said last night that a Russian drone attack yesterday in western Ukraine’s Khmelnitskyi region may well have been targeting the region’s nuclear power plant. Reports say 20 people were injured in the drone attack, but that the nuclear plant’s operations were not affected. [more]
  • Speaking at a NATO forum in Stockholm, Sweden, yesterday, Oleksandr Kamyshin, the minister who oversees Ukraine’s defense industry, said Ukraine aims to produce tens of thousands of attack drones every month by the end of this year. [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | At least 16 people were killed, and dozens of others were injured, last night when a man opened fire with an AR-15-style assault rifle at a restaurant and a bowling alley in Lewiston, Maine. Police have identified Robert Card, a 40-year-old firearms instructor and Army Reserve member who has a history of mental health issues, as a person of interest in the shootings. Card remains at-large, and residents of Lewiston and the nearby towns of Lisbon and Bowdoin are under a shelter-in-place order as the manhunt continues. According to reports, this incident was 2023’s 36th mass killing in the U.S. in which four or more people were killed. [more]

U.S. CONGRESS | Louisiana Rep. Mike Johnson was elected to be Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives yesterday, with all 220 members of the GOP majority present for voting supporting him. Johnson, a social conservative who is a longtime supporter of former President Donald Trump and who was a member of Trump’s impeachment defense team, took over as Speaker more than three weeks after Kevin McCarthy was ousted from the position. [more]

U.S. DOMESTIC FUNDING | The White House sent a $56 billion emergency supplemental funding request to Congress yesterday, asking for, among other things, $23 billion for domestic disaster relief, $16 billion for childcare centers across the country, and $6 billion to extend free and discounted high-speed internet programs through December 2024. [more]

U.S. CONSUMER CREDIT | According to a new report from the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, Americans paid $130 billion in credit card interest and fees in 2022, with late payment fees accounting for the largest portion of such fees at $14.5 billion. The report also notes that credit card debt in the U.S. surpassed $1 trillion last year for the first time. [more]

U.S. LABOR | The United Auto Workers has reportedly reached a tentative contract agreement with Ford to end the union’s six-week-old strike against the automaker. The four-year contract must still be approved by union members and the agreement does not affect the UAW’s ongoing labor actions against automakers General Motors and Stellantis. [more]

U.S. FOOD INSECURITY | A new report from the Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service says that 12.8% of surveyed U.S. households reported occasional problems affording enough food in 2022 – up from 10.2% in 2021 and 10.5% in 2020. [full report] [more]

MEXICO | Authorities say much of the Acapulco, Mexico, region remains without power this morning and extensive damage is being evaluated after Hurricane Otis struck the Pacific coast city early yesterday as a Category 5 storm. Reports say relief efforts have been hampered by flooding and mudslides caused by the now-downgraded storm, and that some 10,000 military troops have been deployed to the region to assist in recovery. [more]

RUSSIA | Following a similar action by Russia’s lower house of parliament last week, the upper house voted yesterday to rescind their country’s 2000 ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. Russian officials have said that there are no plans to resume nuclear testing unless the U.S. does so first. [more]

EUROPEAN ECONOMY | Amidst declining, but still high, inflation, the European Central Bank is expected leave its key interest rate unchanged at its meeting today for the first time since July 2022 and after 10 straight rate increases. [more]

PAKISTAN | Ahead of a Tuesday deadline for migrants living in Pakistan illegally to leave the country, Pakistani officials said today that deportation centers illegal migrants, including an estimated 1.7 million Afghans, are being set up in numerous locations across the country. [more]

NIGERIA | Nigeria’s Supreme Court today upheld the disputed March election victory of President Bola Tinubu, which had been challenged by opponents as being marred by irregularities. [more]

ITALY | According to a new report from the Italian national statistics bureau, there were 3,500 fewer births in Italy in the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2022, suggesting that the Italian birth rate will reach a new record low in 2023. The country saw a 1.7% decline in births in 2022 - its 14th straight annual drop and the lowest number of births since 1861. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1825, after some eight years of construction, the Erie Canal, which connects the Great Lakes with New York City via the Hudson River at Albany, officially opened. Its success propelled New York City into a major commercial center and encouraged canal construction throughout the United States.  [more history]

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