April 17, 2024


Listen to this issue.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 194 of the conflict:

  • Palestinian officials say at least four people were killed, and several others were wounded, today in Israeli airstrikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah, where an estimated half of Gaza’s 2.3 million people are sheltering and preparing for a planned Israeli military ground offensive. [more]
  • The U.N. humanitarian office for Gaza and the West Bank issued an appeal today for $2.8 billion in funding to provide food, sanitation, water, and healthcare aid to some 3 million Palestinians in 2024. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 783 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • A study of official reports, newspapers, and other sources by BBC Russian, the independent media group Mediazona, and volunteer groups has found that the Russian military death toll in Ukraine has surpassed 50,000 – approximately eight times higher than the only official estimate released by Moscow. [BBC report] [more]
  • Officials in the northern Ukrainian city of Chernihiv say three Russian missiles hit the city's downtown area today, killing at least 14 people, and wounding at least 60 others, in multiple residential buildings. [more]

U.S. FOREIGN AID | Amidst ongoing demands from some Republican lawmakers to attach border security provisions to U.S. foreign aid proposals, reports say House Speaker Mike Johnson intends to hold separate House votes on aid packages for Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. Political analysts note that passing the bills could require support from House Democrats, angering some members of Johnson’s slim Republican majority. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said yesterday that persistently high inflation could well delay the Fed’s plan to cut its benchmark interest rate multiple times this year. [more]

WEST VIRGINIA | THE 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 yesterday that West Virginia’s transgender sports ban violated the rights of a teen athlete under the Title IX federal civil rights law that prohibits sex-based discrimination in schools. In its ruling, the court noted that Title IX does not necessarily require that schools allow every transgender girl to play on girls' teams, but that a lower court erred in failing to allow such participation by the particular transgender athlete in this case. [more]

U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY | The House forwarded its articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate yesterday, where, according to reports, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is expected to call votes to dismiss the articles accusing Mayorkas of refusing to enforce immigration laws and of breaching the public trust. [more]

U.S. AND PHILIPPINES | Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., said yesterday that his country has no plans to expand U.S. military access to bases in the Southeast Asian nation beyond the nine locations that currently house U.S. troops, and noted that the current U.S. military presence in the Philippines is a response to China’s aggressiveness in the South China Sea region. [more]

ISRAEL AND IRAN | On a visit to Israel today, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron suggested that Israel has clearly decided to retaliate against Iran for weekend attacks that sent hundreds of missiles and drones toward Israel. Iranian officials have said their military is ready for any retaliation and that any such Israeli move would be met with a “severe response.” [more]

SLAVERY TRIBUNAL | David Comissiong, the Barbados ambassador to the Caribbean Community, called today for the creation of a new U.N.-backed international special tribunal to seek reparations for historical transatlantic slavery and its legacies in today's society. [more]

AUSTRALIA | The Australian government unveiled its country’s first-ever National Defense Strategy today – a nearly-80-page document that lays out details of massive increases in defense spending and calls out China for its “coercive tactics” in the Pacific region. [more]

BELGIUM | An international conference of far-right politicians and supporters resumed in Brussels, Belgium, today after organizers mounted a successful legal challenge to local authorities who sought to cancel the conference over fears that it could pose a threat to public order. [more]

GREECE | Ferries, public transportation, and hospitals are among the sectors being affected today by a 24-hour strike called by Greece’s largest labor union, which is seeking the return of collective bargaining rights that were curtailed during the country’s 2010-2018 economic crisis. [more]

PAKISTAN | Lightning, flooding, and building collapses from extreme weather have caused at least 63 deaths in southwestern Pakistan over the past four days, according to the country’s Disaster Management Authority. The Pakistan Meteorological Department says rainfall has been 99% higher than the average across Pakistan this month and 350% higher in some regions most severely affected. [more]

KAZAKHSTAN | According to the Central Asian nation’s Emergencies Ministry, almost 117,000 people in Kazakhstan have been evacuated from regions around the country in recent days due to widespread flooding. [more]

MYANMAR AND CHINA | Amidst ongoing fighting between Myanmar's ruling military junta and rebel forces, China announced today that it will conduct air defense and live-fire military exercises along its border with Myanmar starting today – the second such Chinese drills this month. [more]

PARIS OLYMPICS | The symbolic Olympic torch was lit yesterday at the site of the ancient games in southern Greece yesterday. A relay of torchbearers will carry the flame some 5,000 kilometers throughout Greece and then be turned over to Paris Games organizers in Athens on April 26. [more]

BASKETBALL | Reports say USA Basketball has received confirmation from 12 players – LeBron James, Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, Bam Adebayo, Devin Booker, Joel Embiid, Jayson Tatum, Anthony Davis, Jrue Holiday, Tyrese Haliburton, Anthony Edwards, and Kawhi Leonard – that they will accept invitations to play on the U.S. basketball team at the Paris Olympics this summer. [more]

MUSIC | Among the 25 recordings announced yesterday as being selected for this year’s induction into the U.S. Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry were: ABBA’s “Dancing Queen,” Blondie’s era-defining “Parallel Lines,” The Notorious B.I.G.’s landmark “Ready to Die,” Green Day’s “Dookie,” Gene Autry’s “Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer,” and Bobby McFerrin’s “Don’t Worry, Be Happy.” [full announcement and list] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1982, the Canada Act, also known as the Constitution Act, took effect, establishing certain individual rights, preserving parliamentary supremacy, and making Canada a wholly independent, fully sovereign state, with no remaining legal dependence on the Parliament of the United Kingdom. [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

Sign up for a free or supporting membership to further our mission.