April 18, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 195 of the conflict:

  • The Chinese and Indonesian foreign ministers jointly called for an immediate cease-fire in Gaza and the permanent resolution of the conflict through the establishment of a Palestinian state today at a meeting in Jakarta. [more]
  • Defending against Israel’s calls for the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees to be disbanded, the organization’s head told the U.N. Security Council that dismantling the agency would worsen Gaza’s humanitarian crisis and prolong recovery efforts upon the cessation of hostilities. Israel has accused the group, also known as UNRWA, of having become part of the Hamas “terror war machine.” [full UNRWA statement] [more]
  • Israeli military officials say 14 soldiers were wounded yesterday in missile and drone attacks launched by Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group at northern Israel. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 784 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ahead of an anticipated U.S. congressional vote this week on aid for Ukraine, Ukrainian Prime Minister Denys Shmyhal warned today of a possible collapse of global security and a potential third World War if Ukraine falls to Russia due to lack of aid. [more]
  • Reports cite Ukraine’s military intelligence agency as saying that four Russian missile launchers, three radar stations, multiple aircraft, and other equipment were seriously damaged yesterday in a Ukrainian attack on a military airfield in Russian-occupied Crimea. [more]

U.S. FOREIGN AID | The House is expected to vote as early this week on three bills to provide $95 billion in foreign aid funding – $61 billion for Ukraine, $26 billion for Israel, and $8 billion for U.S. allies in the Indo-Pacific region. President Joe Biden yesterday expressed his support for the measures, which Speaker Mike Johnson is supporting despite opposition from some members of his slight Republican House majority. [more]

U.S. STEEL INDUSTRY | President Joe Biden said yesterday that he remains opposed to the proposed acquisition of Pittsburgh-based U.S. Steel by Japan’s Nippon Steel and called for a tripling of tariffs on Chinese steel entering the United States. [more]

U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY | The U.S. Senate voted along party lines yesterday to dismiss both impeachment charges brought by the House against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, which had accused him of failing to enforce U.S. border laws and breaching the public trust. [more]

HAWAII | Attorney General Anne Lopez released the first portion of a planned three-part comprehensive report on last August’s wildfire on the Hawaiian island of Maui that killed 101 people in the town of Lahaina. Among other things, the report notes the inability of fire crews to get confirmation that power lines had been de-energized by Hawaiian Electric, communication breakdowns between police, firefighters, and other emergency officials, and the limited ability of residents and tourists to receive emergency alerts. [more]

CALIFORNIA | State regulators in California voted yesterday to establish the nation’s first standard that specifically targets drinking water levels of hexavalent chromium, also known as chromium-6 – a toxic compound made infamous by the 2000 movie “Erin Brockovich.” [more]

U.S. AND IRAN | Following last weekend’s Iranian missile and drone attacks on Israel, U.S. lawmakers in both the House and Senate passed multiple measures this week to impose new sanctions on Iran, including ones that would require sanctions on ports and refineries that receive and process Iranian oil. [more]

U.S. AND VENEZUELA | The U.S. re-imposed sanctions on Venezuela’s oil industry yesterday, ending a six-month reprieve intended to support promised democratic and electoral reforms in the South American country. The renewed sanctions, which make it illegal for U.S. companies to do business with state-run oil producer Petróleos de Venezuela S.A., better known as PDVSA, come after the blocking of political opponent candidacies and the jailing of numerous government critics by Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro’s government. [more]

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES | Efforts are underway this morning to restore normal operations of airports, highways, and roads today after the United Arab Emirates received its heaviest rainfall ever recorded this week. Reports say Dubai received about 5.59 inches of rain from Monday to Tuesday in an area that normally sees about 3.73 inches of rain in an entire year. [more]

GERMANY | Federal prosecutors in Germany say two German-Russian men were arrested yesterday in the Bavarian city of Bayreuth on suspicion of espionage related to plans to carry out attacks on targets including U.S. military facilities in hope of undermining aid efforts for Ukraine. [more]

INDONESIA | An international airport on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi was closed and some 11,000 people were ordered to evacuate today due to multiple eruptions yesterday of the island’s Mount Ruang volcano. [more]

COVID-19 | The World Health Organization released a technical document today that, for the first time, seeks to standardize terminology used to describe the transmission of pathogens through the air that varies across scientific disciplines, organizations, and the general public. The organization says confusion over such terminology may have been a contributor to misleading information and confusion about transmission of COVID-19 and that standardization is needed to reduce such confusion for possible future pathogens. [full document] [more]

SOCCER | Real Madrid and Bayern Munich advanced to the Champions League semi-finals yesterday with wins over Manchester City and Arsenal, respectively. The other two League semi-finalists are Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund. [more]

HOCKEY | In last night’s 6-4 Tampa Bay Lightning win over the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Lightning’s Nikita Kucherov became the fifth player in NHL history to record 100 assists in a single season. The Kucherov feat comes just two days after Edmonton’s Connor McDavid reached the same milestone. [more]

BASKETBALL | Following an investigation, league Commissioner Adam Silver banned Toronto Raptors player Jontay Porter from the NBA for life yesterday for "disclosing confidential information to sports bettors, limiting his own participation in one or more games for betting purposes, and betting on NBA games." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1906, an estimated 7.9-magnitude earthquake struck Northern California, setting off fires and destruction in San Francisco that killed more than 3,000 people, destroyed much of the city, and left some 250,000 people homeless. [more history]

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