November 3, 2023


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 28 of the conflict:

  • Israeli military officials say their forces have surrounded Gaza City in northern Gaza following heavy air and artillery strikes on the region yesterday and that at least 23 of their soldiers have been killed in ground operations inside Gaza. [more]
  • Ahead of an expected speech by Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah later today in Lebanon, reports say border clashes between Israeli and Hezbollah forces have significantly increased. [more]
  • Reports say approximately 800 foreign passport holders and injured people have been allowed to leave Gaza via the Rafah border crossing over the past three days under an agreement brokered by Qatar. [more]
  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken arrived in the Middle East today for meetings with Israeli and Jordanian leaders in which he is expected to emphasize the Biden administration’s ongoing support for Israel, 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. Reports say Blinken will also push for a humanitarian pause in military operations. [more]
  • The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said today that $1.2 billion in aid is needed to meet the humanitarian needs of the approximately 3 million people in the Gaza Strip and West Bank through the end of 2023. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 617 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian military officials say Russia launched its largest series of drone attacks in recent weeks overnight, with multiple waves of drones damaging infrastructure sites in western and southern Ukraine and destroying private houses and commercial buildings in Kharkiv. Ukraine shot down 24 of 40 Russian Shahed drones launched by Russia in the attacks, according to reports. [more]
  • The United States yesterday announced a broad package of new sanctions against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine. Among the entities and markets targeted by the sanctions are Russian liquified natural gas exports, multiple Russian companies thought to be involved in the production of military attack drones, seven Russia-based banks, and companies in the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and China that the U.S. says continue to provide Moscow with high-priority goods that can be used for weapons production. [more]

U.S. FOREIGN AID | The House voted 226-196 yesterday to approve a $14.3 billion standalone military aid package for Israel, which is opposed by Senate leaders and President Biden, who say aid to Israel and Ukraine should be taken up as a joint proposal. [more]

TENNESSEE | Former Memphis police officer Desmond Mills, Jr., pleaded guilty yesterday to federal charges of excessive force and obstruction of justice in connection with the January beating death of Tyre Nichols. Mills’ plea, under which he also agreed to plead guilty to state charges, was in exchange for prosecutors recommending a 15-year prison sentence. Four other officers are also facing charges related to Nichols’ death. [more]

U.S. MORTGAGES | Mortgage company Freddie Mac reported yesterday that the average rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage in the U.S. fell to 7.76% in the week ended November 2 – down from 7.79% last week and the first decrease in seven weeks. [more]

MAINE | President Joe Biden will visit Lewiston, Maine, today, where he will meet with victims, first responders, and family and community members affected by last week’s mass shooting in the city in which 18 people were killed and 13 others were wounded. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | According to Labor Department data released yesterday, the number of initial applications for unemployment benefits in the U.S. rose to 217,000 in the week ended October 28 – up 5,000 from the previous week. [more]

AMERICAS SUMMIT | U.S. President Joe Biden is hosting leaders from countries across the Americas in Washington, D.C., today for the inaugural Americas Partnership for Economic Prosperity Leaders’ Summit. Migration, trade, and global supply chain issues are expected to be among the main topics of discussion at the summit. [more]

JAPAN AND PHILIPPINES | Amidst ongoing concerns over Chinese military assertiveness in the South China Sea, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is in the Philippines today where he is meeting with Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., and is expected to announce a new security aid package and plans for upcoming defense pact negotiations. [more]

IRAN | Iranian state media reports that at least 27 people died today when a fire broke out at a drug rehabilitation center in the northern city of Langroud. [more]

STORM CIARAN | Reports say at least 10 people have died in accidents and floods in the past two days as Storm Ciarán moved through western Europe with heavy rains and wind. [more]

INDIA | Primary schools are closed, and high-pollution vehicles and construction work have been banned, today in the Indian capital of New Delhi due to heavy smog that city officials say pose respiratory health risks. [more]

PAKISTAN | Police in Pakistan’s northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province say at least five people were killed, and 21 others were wounded, yesterday when a bomb planted in a parked motorcycle exploded near a police vehicle in the city of Dera Ismail Khan. [more]

E-COMMERCE | The text of a Federal Trade Commission antitrust lawsuit against e-commerce giant Amazon released yesterday suggests that the company used an algorithm codenamed “Project Nessie” to artificially raise prices on its own platforms and prompt other companies to follow suit, generating more than $1 billion in excess profits. [more]

CRYPTOCURRENCY | A New York federal jury yesterday found FTX cryptocurrency exchange founder Sam Bankman-Fried guilty on two counts of fraud and five counts of conspiracy in connection with his operation of the company, through which, according to prosecutors, Bankman-Fried illegally looted $8 billion from the exchange’s users. [more]

MUSIC | Missy Elliott, Kate Bush, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Chaka Khan, “Soul Train” creator Don Cornelius, and the late George Michael are among the artists scheduled to be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame tonight in New York City. Other 2023 inductees include The Spinners, Rage Against the Machine, DJ Kool Herc, Link Wray, Al Kooper, and Elton John’s longtime co-songwriter Bernie Taupin. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1957, the Soviet Union launched Sputnik 2, which carried the dog Laika, the first living creature to be sent into space and orbit Earth.  [more history]

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