November 16, 2023


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 41 of the conflict:

  • Reports say Israel issued evacuation notices today to Palestinians in some parts of southern Gaza – the region to which Gaza residents have previously been urged to flee – signaling a possible expansion of military efforts to combat Hamas militants. [more]
  • About 75% of hospitals in Gaza are unable to function due to either lack of fuel or damage from Israeli shelling and airstrikes, according to the World Health Organization. The WHO statement comes amidst ongoing Israeli claims that Hamas uses hospitals as “shields” for operational bases. [more]
  • Police and protesters clashed outside the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington, D.C., last night during a demonstration calling for a cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war. Police say demonstrators were “illegally and violently protesting” by blocking entrances and exits to the headquarters, while protesters say police initiated clashes by rushing them without warning. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 630 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Newly appointed British Foreign Secretary and former Prime Minister David Cameron met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy today in Kyiv. Cameron pledged continued military aid and the U.K.’s ongoing moral and diplomatic support to Ukraine in its ongoing fight against the Russian invasion. [more]
  • Approximately 24,500 Ukrainians have died in combat and non-combat incidents in Ukraine since the beginning of the Russian invasion, according to Ukrainian Historian Yaroslav Tychenko and activist Herman Shapovalenko, who published findings from Shapovalenko’s “Book of Memory” research project in the Ukrainian journal Tyzhden this week. The number does not include an estimated 15,000 Ukrainian soldiers officially listed as missing, many of whom are thought to have died, and is lower than multiple casualty estimates previously released by government and media sources. [original article | Google Englis translation] [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | President Joe Biden characterized yesterday’s meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in California as “some of the most constructive and productive discussions we’ve had.” Reports say the two leaders reached agreements on measures to curb the production of the synthetic opioid fentanyl and the resumption of military-to-military communications, and held discussions on multiple topics including Taiwan, trade issues, artificial intelligence, and the need for ongoing improvement in diplomatic ties. [more]

U.S. GOVERNMENT FUNDING | The Senate voted 87-11 yesterday to give final approval to a temporary government funding package that extends U.S. government operations through early next year. The bill has been sent to President Biden, who is expected to sign it into law. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | Retail and food services sales in the U.S. for October fell 0.1% in October, compared to the previous month, and rose 2.5% compared to October 2022, according to government data released yesterday. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | In a follow-up to announcing that he will not seek re-election, West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, who reports say may be considering a third-party presidential run, criticized leading presidential candidates from both major parties yesterday, saying that Democratic President Joe Biden has been pushed too far to the left during his term in office and that a second term for former Republican President Donald Trump would “destroy democracy in America.” [more]

MICHIGAN | Court of Claims Judge James Redford ruled yesterday that former President Donald Trump can remain on Michigan's presidential primary ballot, rejecting claims that the insurrection provision of the U.S. Constitution’s 14th Amendment disqualifies Trump from the primary election. Redford said Trump qualified for the ballot under state law and that any decision on applicability of the 14th Amendment to Trump’s overall candidacy should be left to Congress. [more]

U.S. LABOR | An estimated 5,000 workers at more than 200 U.S. Starbucks coffee stores are expected to take part in a one-day strike today over staffing, working condition, and other issues. The strike comes amidst a years-long effort by some workers to unionize the company’s stores. [more]

NEW YORK | Federal authorities announced the largest-ever seizure of counterfeit goods in the U.S. yesterday, saying fake luxury goods valued at more than $1 billion were seized from an operation trafficking the goods in New York City and other locations. [more]

HAITI | The Associated Press reports that armed gang members surrounded the Fontaine Hospital Center in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince yesterday, trapping patients and staff in the facility until members of the National Police force arrived and facilitated evacuations to safer locations. [more]

GERMANY | Only an estimated 20% of long-distance trains operated by state-owned Deutsche Bahn in Germany are expected to run today as railway workers take part in a 20-hour strike over pay and working hours issues. [more]

SPAIN | Spain’s lower house of parliament voted 179-171 today to give Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez another term in office, ending a four-month political standoff that followed inconclusive general elections in July. [more]

CHINA | Chinese media reports that at least 26 people were killed, and 38 others were injured, yesterday when a fire broke out at a coal company office in the Lishi district of China’s Shanxi province. [more]

FINLAND AND RUSSIA | Finnish authorities announced yesterday that four of the Nordic country’s nine border crossings with Russia will be closed starting Saturday to stem a rise in asylum applicants arriving on its eastern border. [more]

SPACE | The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration finalized its approval of a second orbital test launch of the SpaceX Starship rocket yesterday. Reports say the launch, which follows an April test in which the craft exploded minutes after liftoff, could take place as early as tomorrow morning. [more]

BASEBALL | The New York Yankees’ Gerrit Cole and the San Diego Padres’ Blake Snell were named winners of Major League Baseball’s 2023 Cy Young Awards yesterday as the best pitchers in the American League and the National League, respectively. [more]

LITERATURE | Winners of the 2023 National Book Awards were announced last night, with honorees including: the Justin Torres novel “Blackouts” in the fiction category, Ned Blackhawk’s “The Rediscovery of America: Native Peoples and the Unmaking of U.S. History” in non-fiction, Dan Santat’s “A First Time for Everything” in young people’s literature, and Craig Santos Perez’s “from incorporated territory [åmot]” in poetry. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1776, Sint Eustatius, a Caribbean special municipality of the Netherlands, became the first foreign government to recognize the sovereignty of the newly formed United States of America. [more history]

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