October 31, 2023


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 25 of the conflict:

  • Philippe Lazzarini, the head of the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, spoke before the U.N. Security Council yesterday, saying that “an immediate humanitarian cease-fire has become a matter of life and death for millions” in Gaza. [more]
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday rejected calls for a cease-fire or humanitarian pause in fighting in Gaza, saying that such suggestions are "calls for Israel to surrender.” [more]
  • Israeli ground operations have increased east and north of Gaza City and some 800,000 Palestinians have fled northern Gaza, according to Israeli military officials. [more]
  • Citing recent Israeli and U.S. airstrikes targeting alleged Iran-backed militants in Syria, Geir Pedersen, the United Nations Special Envoy for Syria, said today that the Israel-Hamas war has already spilled over into Syria, signaling a “terrifying prospect of potential wider escalation.” [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 614 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian military officials said today that Russia appears to have changed the posture of its reinforced troops near the city of Bakhmut from defense to offense, but that Ukrainian forces are prepared to repel renewed Russian attacks in the area. [more]
  • According to the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, investigators have found “reasonable grounds” to conclude that an October 5 missile strike that killed 59 people at a cafe in the Ukrainian village of Hroza was launched by Russia's armed forces and that “there was no indication of military personnel or any other legitimate military targets at, or adjacent to, the cafe at the time of the attack.” [more]

U.S. SUPREME COURT | The Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments today on two cases that center on whether public officials who have used their private social media profiles to communicate policies and other public business should be allowed to block people from their profiles. [more]

MAINE | As investigations into last week’s shootings in Lewiston, Maine, continue, reports say Robert Card, the man who killed 18 people and wounded 13 others, showed multiple signs of pending violence and that authorities were contacted about risks posed by Card in the months leading up to the shootings by his ex-wife, son, brother, and Army Reserve unit. [more]

U.S. LABOR | The United Auto Workers union reached a tentative contract agreement with General Motors yesterday, effectively ending the union’s nearly-seven-week strike against the Big 3 U.S. automakers. The General Motors agreement, along with those reached earlier with Ford and Stellantis, must still be approved by UAW members. [more]

KANSAS | A Kansas district judge yesterday ordered a new state law on medical abortions put on hold while it is appealed in court, and blocked an older law that imposed a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking to end their pregnancies. District Judge K. Christopher Jayaram’s rulings follow last year’s statewide vote in which Kansas residents confirmed protections for abortion access under the state's constitution. [more]

MIGRATION | Reports say the government of Haiti has banned charter flights from the Caribbean country to Nicaragua, which have been increasingly used by migrants seeking to reach the United States through Central American routes. [more]

CLIMATE | A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change suggests that, at current fossil fuel usage rates, global temperatures will likely reach a key warming threshold of being unable to stay below the internationally agreed-upon global warming temperature increase limit of 1.5 degree Celsius as early as 2029 – three years earlier than previously projected. [full study] [more]

AUSTRALIA | Authorities in eastern Australia say an ongoing wildfire in Queensland state has killed at least one person, destroyed more than 50 homes, and burned some 49,000 acres (20,000 hectares) of land. [more]

PAKISTAN | Ahead of tomorrow’s deadline for migrants illegally in Pakistan to leave or face deportation, reports say thousands of Afghans are crowding the borders to leave of their own volition. U.N. officials note that there are an estimated 2 million undocumented Afghans in Pakistan. [more]

INDONESIA | Reports say Indonesian counter-terrorism units have arrested 59 suspected Islamic militants this month on suspicion of plotting attacks to disrupt Indonesia’s February 2024 presidential and legislative elections. [more]

JAPAN | Authorities in Japan’s Saitama Prefecture say a man currently involved in a standoff with police today in Warabi may be linked to an earlier shooting at a hospital in the nearby city of Toda in which two people were wounded. [more]

INDIA | After receiving notification of a possible state-sponsored spyware attack on his mobile phone, Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi today accused the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi of attempting to hack into senior opposition politicians’ phones. [more]

BASEBALL | The Texas Rangers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 3-1, in last night’s Game 3 of the 2023 World Series. Game 4 of the Series is scheduled for tonight. [more]

FOOTBALL | The Minnesota Vikings confirmed yesterday that quarterback Kirk Cousins suffered a season-ending torn right Achilles tendon in the team’s game against the Green Bay Packers on Sunday. [more]

SOCCER | Winners of this year’s prestigious Ballon d'Or soccer awards were announced yesterday, with Lionel Messi winning a record eighth award for best male player in the world, Aitana Bonmati winning for best female player, and Emiliano Martinez winning for best goalkeeper. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1941, after nearly 15 years of work, the Mount Rushmore National Memorial in the Black Hills of South Dakota was completed. The colossal sculpture features the heads of Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.  [more history]

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