November 15, 2023


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 40 of the conflict:

  • Israeli forces raided the Shifa Hospital, Gaza’s largest medical compound, this morning, in a continued operation against Hamas militants thought to be operating in and around the compound. The raid came a day after the U.S. said it had intelligence confirming Israeli claims of Hamas use of the Shifa and other hospitals. [more]
  • Reuters reports that Qatari mediators are working today to secure an agreement under which Hamas would release some 50 civilian hostages held since October 7 in exchange for a three-day ceasefire by Israeli forces in Gaza. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 629 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Reports say four Russian S-300 missiles struck the eastern Ukraine town of Selydove this morning, damaging six apartment buildings and 20 homes. Ukrainian officials say at least two people were killed in the attack and that search efforts are underway to recover other casualties. [more]
  • Russian officials today confirmed, for the first time, that Ukrainian forces have crossed the Dnipro River into occupied areas of the eastern Kherson region and said additional Russian troops are being sent to the area to prevent further Ukrainian advances. [more]

U.S. GOVERNMENT FUNDING | The House voted 336-95 yesterday to approve a two-part stopgap funding measure proposed by Speaker Mike Johnson that would fund government operations into early 2024. The continuing resolution, which temporarily funds some federal agencies through Jan. 19 and others through Feb. 2, is expected to be approved by the Senate ahead of a Friday deadline to fund federal operations or face a partial government shutdown. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | Consumer prices in the U.S. rose 3.2% in October, compared to the year-ago period, according to data released yesterday by the Labor Department – the smallest such rise since June and an indicator, according to economists, of continued progress in fighting record inflation levels. [more]

TRUMP GEORGIA ELECTION TRIAL | Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, the prosecutor in the case in which former President Donald Trump and others are accused of conspiring to overturn the results of the 2020 election in Georgia, said yesterday that she expects the trial to be underway by Election Day next year and that it could extend past the presidential inauguration in 2025. [more]

NEW YORK | The New York Court of Appeals is scheduled to hear arguments today in a lawsuit brought by state Democratic leaders who say the court-drawn congressional districting map used in last year’s elections should be redrawn following procedures in state law. [more]

OHIO | At least six people died, and 18 others were injured, yesterday in a multi-vehicle accident on Interstate 70 east of Columbus, Ohio, when a semi-truck hit a charter bus carrying high school students. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are expected to address several issues when they meet today in California on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum. Biden said yesterday that he hopes the talks would lead to a normalization of ongoing communications with China, and both U.S. and Chinese officials have indicated that the two leaders will announce progress in renewable energy cooperation and a restoration of talks on military air and maritime safety. [more]

CLIMATE | Three major reports on climate change and efforts to limit its effects were released yesterday, showing limited progress on many climate change measures and warning of the dangers of increased global warming. The reports include the medical journal Lancet’s annual Countdown on climate and health, the multi-organization State of Climate Action report, and the U.S. government’s 2,200-page National Climate Assessment. [more]

INDIA | Authorities in Indian-controlled Kashmir say at least 37 people were killed, and another 18 were injured, today when a passenger bus slid off a Himalayan highway and rolled down a steep slope. Reports cite local officials as saying the bus was overcrowded and speeding at the time of the accident. [more]

EUROPEAN ECONOMY | Citing a loss of economic momentum, the European Union’s executive commission today lowered its growth forecast for this year and next for the countries that use the euro currency. The commission predicted that 2023 economic growth would be 0.6%, down from 0.8%, while the 2024 outlook was lowered from 1.3% to 1.2%. [more]

GERMANY | Germany’s Federal Constitutional Court ruled today that 60 billion euros ($65 billion) in emergency funds allocated by the government for use in COVID-19 pandemic-related recovery efforts cannot be repurposed to fund climate change and modernization measures. [more]

U.K. | Britain’s Supreme Court ruled today that a controversial government plan to deport some asylum-seekers who reach the U.K. illegally to Rwanda is unlawful, saying the deportation would put asylum-seekers at “risk of ill-treatment” because they could be returned to the countries they had originally fled. [more]

FRANCE AND SYRIA | French judicial authorities issued international arrest warrants today for Syrian President Bashar Assad, his brother, and two army generals alleging their involvement in war crimes and crimes against humanity, including in a chemical attack in 2013 on rebel-held Damascus suburbs. [more]

RUSSIA | Russian media reports that President Vladimir Putin has approved new restrictions on media coverage of presidential elections ahead of next year’s election in which he is expected to seek a new six-year term in office. The restrictions require that journalists be contractually employed by registered media outlets in order to cover election commission meetings, bar coverage of election actions on military bases or areas under martial law, and ban campaign activities on “blocked resources,” such as Facebook and Instagram. [more]

JAPAN | The Japan National Tourism Organization reports that the number of business and leisure foreign visitors to Japan rose to 2.52 million in October, exceeding pre-pandemic levels for the first time since the relaxation of COVID-related border controls last year. [more]

LITERATURE | Author Salman Rushdie received the first-ever Lifetime Disturbing the Peace Award from the Vaclav Havel Library Foundation last night for "a passionate commitment to human rights” and having suffered “unjust persecution” for his beliefs. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1988, at a meeting at Algiers, the Palestine National Council, at the urging of PLO chairman Yasser Arafat, issued a declaration of independence for a state of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. [more history]

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