November 2, 2023


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 27 of the conflict:

  • Reports say heavy Israeli air, artillery, and ground military operations continue today in northern Gaza as forces close in on the Palestinian enclave’s main population center of Gaza City, where heavy resistance from Hamas militants has been encountered. [more]
  • In his second trip to the Middle East in recent weeks, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is scheduled to meet with leaders of both Israel and Jordan tomorrow. Blinken is expected to emphasize the Biden administration’s ongoing support for Israel in his meetings, but also to call for increased evacuation of foreigners from Gaza, stronger efforts to limit civilian casualties, and higher levels of humanitarian aid for Palestinians. [more]
  • An estimated 335 people, including Palestinian dual nationals, foreigners, wounded patients, and aid organization staff members, were among the first to be allowed to leave Gaza via the Rafah border crossing with Egypt yesterday. Reports say authorized exits from Gaza – the result of weeks of negotiations – are continuing today. [more]
  • Amidst growing public demonstrations and marches over the Israel-Hamas conflict and the humanitarian crisis affecting Palestinians, reports say Arab nations that have normalized or are considering normalizing relation with Israel are facing increased pressure to cut, or even outlaw, such ties. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 616 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • South Korea’s National Intelligence Service says North Korea has provided Russia with more than 1 million artillery shells since August and that it is likely to have provided ballistic missiles, anti-tank missiles and portable anti-air missiles for use in Moscow’s operations in Ukraine, as well. [more]
  • In an article published in The Economist yesterday, top Ukrainian military commander General Valery Zaluzhnyi said Ukraine’s war with Russia is entering a new stage of static and attritional fighting that could benefit Russia by allowing it to rebuild and reinforce its military power. Zaluzhnyi suggested that Ukraine needs key new military capabilities and technological innovation to successfully defend against the Russian invasion. [more]

U.S. FOREIGN AID | House of Representatives GOP leaders are moving forward with a standalone proposal for $14.5 billion in emergency aid for Israel, despite opposition from Senate leaders and President Biden, who say aid to Israel and Ukraine should be taken up as a joint proposal. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at about 5.4% yesterday. Speaking after the Fed’s policy meeting, Chair Jerome Powell left open the possibility of future interest rate hikes being necessary, but noted that recent efforts to fight inflation have been effective. [more]

U.S. OIL INDUSTRY | Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer joined 22 other Democratic senators yesterday in calling for an investigation into recent multibillion-dollar acquisitions by oil companies ExxonMobil and Chevron that the senators suggest could violate antitrust laws and lead to higher gas prices. [more]

U.S. IMMIGRATION | The mayors of five major U.S. cities – Chicago, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, and New York – have reportedly asked for a joint meeting with President Joe Biden to discuss getting federal help to deal with surges of migrants arriving in their cities. [more]

U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES | With a 179-213 vote yesterday, the House of Representatives rejected a resolution calling for New York Rep. George Santos to be expelled from the House. Santos, currently facing a criminal trial and a House Ethics Committee investigation, has been accused of fabricating his life story, misappropriating campaign funds, and lying to Congress. [more]

STORM CIARAN | At least one personal was killed, more than a million people were left without power, and air, ocean, road, and train travel were all disrupted today as Storm Ciaran swept across Northern Europe with winds of up to 128 mph (207 kph). [more]

IRAN | Citing new U.N. human rights office research, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said this week that executions in Iran have increased at an “alarming rate,” with 419 people having been put to death in the first seven months of 2023 – up 30% from the same time span in 2022. [more]

BRAZIL | Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva announced today that some 3,600 members of Brazil’s armed forces will be deployed to the country’s largest airports, ports, and international borders as part of efforts to fight organized crime and drug trafficking in the South American nation. [more]

JAPAN | Operators of Japan’s wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant began a third release of treated and diluted radioactive wastewater into the ocean today. Reports say an estimated 7,800 tons of treated water will be discharged in the current releases through November 20. [more]

CLIMATE FUNDING | A new report from the U.N. Climate Program says the shortfall in climate-related adaptation funding for developing countries promised by richer nations is more than 50% higher than previous estimates and that climate adaptation planning and implementation appear to be plateauing. [full report] [more]

BASEBALL | The Texas Rangers beat the Arizona Diamondbacks, 5-0, last night to win the MLB franchise’s first World Series title in its 63-year history. Rangers’ shortstop Corey Seager was named the World Series MVP and joined Sandy Koufax, Bob Gibson, and Reggie Jackson as the only players to have ever won the award twice. [more]

R.I.P. | Controversial college basketball Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight, who led Indiana to three NCAA titles and the U.S. Olympic team to a gold medal in 1984, died yesterday at the age of 83. [more]

MUSIC | “Now and Then,” the long-anticipated song billed as the final offering from The Beatles is scheduled to be released on streaming platforms today at 10 a.m. Eastern Time. Production of the song, which originated in a John Lennon demo recording in the late 1970s, used artificial intelligence to merge contributions from late band members Lennon and George Harrison with new recordings from surviving members Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1917, the British government, in a letter from Arthur James Balfour, the British foreign secretary, issued the Balfour Declaration, an official statement of support for “the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people." The declaration noted that Britain would use its "best endeavours to facilitate the achievement of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other country." [more history]

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