April 15, 2024


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ISRAEL AND IRAN | Israeli officials say their forces and allies blocked 99% of the more than 300 drones and missiles fired by Iran at Israel Saturday night in retaliation for an April 1 Israeli airstrike that killed several Iranian military officers in Syria. Amidst ongoing concern over the possible outbreak of a wider and sustained regional conflict, Israel has not indicated what its response will be to the Iranian attack and reports note that U.S. President Joe Biden has urged Israel to consider the interception of almost all the Iranian munitions a victory and to show restraint in any retaliatory action against Iran. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 781 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Reports cite U.S. intelligence estimates as saying that China has surged its sales of machine tools, microelectronics, and other technology to Russia for use in producing weapons for use in the invasion of Ukraine. [more]
  • Ukrainian army chief Colonel-General Oleksandr Syrskii said yesterday that Russia appears to be aiming to capture the eastern Ukraine city of Chasiv Yar by May 9. Analysts say the capture of the Donetsk-region city would be an important strategic victory – possibly laying the groundwork for further regional advances. [more]

TRUMP HUSH MONEY TRIAL | Jury selection begins today in the New York hush money and falsification of business records trial of former president and presumed 2024 Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump – the first-ever criminal trial of a former U.S. president. Manhattan Judge Juan Manuel Merchan previously ordered that the names of members of the yet-to-be-selected jury remain undisclosed, except to Trump, his defense lawyers, prosecutors, jury consultants, and legal staff members. [more]

U.S. FOREIGN AID | House Speaker Mike Johnson said yesterday that, after two months of delay in the lower chamber, he intends to advance proposals for billions of dollars in aid for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan this week. Analysts note that the Iranian attack on Israel over the weekend has pushed consideration of the aid package to the legislative forefront. [more]

U.S. CONSUMER SENTIMENT | According to data released Friday, the University of Michigan’s consumer sentiment index fell slightly to 77.9 this month – down from 79.4 in March and about halfway between its June 2022 high and its pre-pandemic average – reflecting, according to researchers, a slight increase in concern over inflation. [more]

U.S. SEMICONDUCTORS | The White House announced today that a preliminary agreement has been reached between the Commerce Department and Samsung for the company to develop a computer chip manufacturing and research center in Texas. Reports say the U.S. will provide up to $6.4 billion in direct funding, and Samsung will invest some $40 billion, for the center, which is expected to create more than 20,000 jobs. [more]

NEW YORK | Authorities in upstate New York say two law enforcement officers – one a Syracuse police officer and the other an Onondaga County sheriff’s deputy – were killed last night in a shootout with a suspect, who was also killed, in the Syracuse suburb of Liverpool. [more]

MARYLAND | Reports say the March 26 ship collision that caused the collapse of Baltimore’s Francis Scott Key Bridge is now the subject of a federal criminal investigation related to the possibility that the ship’s crew may have failed to report an earlier incident with the vessel that delayed its departure from the Port of Baltimore. [more]

INDONESIA | At least 18 people died, and several others remain missing, following weekend landslides on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. Authorities say downed communication lines, bad weather, and unstable soil are hampering search and rescue efforts on the island. [more]

SUDAN | Diplomats and aid groups are meeting today in Paris in an effort to raise funds for aid to Sudan, where, according to U.N. humanitarian officials, some $2.7 billion will be needed this year to provide food, health care, and other aid to 24 million people affected by the ongoing civil war between the African nation’s military and paramilitary forces. [more]

SOUTH ASIA | Lightning and flooding from unusually heavy seasonal rains killed at least 36 and 33 people in Pakistan and Afghanistan, respectively, over the past three days, prompting the declaration of states of emergency in many regions of both countries. [more]

AUSTRALIA | Investigations continue today into possible motivations behind a stabbing attack at a shopping mall in Sydney, Australia, on Saturday, in which six people were killed and more than a dozen others were injured. Police say 40-year-old Joel Cauchi carried out the attack and was shot and killed by police. [more]

AUTO INDUSTRY | According to reports, automaker Tesla plans to lay off more than 10% of its global workforce amidst falling sales and increased price competition for electric vehicles. [more]

TECH INDUSTRY | Research firm IDC says data shows that Samsung regained its No. 1 position for smartphone sales in the first quarter of 2024, with 20.8% market share, compared to 17.3% for second-place Apple. [more]

GOLF | Scottie Scheffler shot a final-round 4-under-par 68 yesterday to win his second Masters in three years, finishing four strokes ahead of runner-up Ludvig Aberg, who was playing in his first major championship. [full results] [more]

HOCKEY | Canada beat the U.S., 6-5, in overtime yesterday to win the women’s hockey world championship in Utica, New York. [more]

WEEKEND MOVIES | "Civil War" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $25.7 million in receipts, followed by "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" and "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1865, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln died nine hours after being shot the night before by John Wilkes Booth at Ford’s Theatre in Washington. Andrew Johnson became the nation’s 17th president following Lincoln's death. [more history]

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