April 22, 2024


Listen to this issue.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 199 of the conflict:

  • Maj. Gen. Aharon Haliva, the head of Israel’s military intelligence directorate, resigned today over his agency’s failures surrounding the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel in which 1,200 people were killed and about 250 taken hostage. Haliva’s resignation is the first such move linked to the attacks by a senior Israeli leader. [more]
  • Palestinian officials said yesterday that overnight Israeli airstrikes on the southern Gaza city of Rafah killed 22 people, including 18 children – most from the same family. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 788 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Following the advancement of some $61 billion in renewed aid for Ukraine in the U.S. Congress, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today that the United States and NATO are obsessed with inflicting a “strategic defeat” on Russia and warned that western military support for Ukraine is pushing the world toward a direct conflict between global nuclear powers. [more]
  • European Union foreign ministers are meeting today in Luxembourg for talks expected to center on strengthening Ukraine’s air defenses. [more]

GLOBAL MILITARY SPENDING | According to a new report from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, global military spending rose to a record-high $2.4 trillion in 2023 – up 6.8% from 2022 – with the U.S., China, Russia, and India spending the most globally and the conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza contributing significantly to global spending increases. [press release] [full report] [more]

U.S. FOREIGN AID | The U.S. House of Representatives passed a $95 billion package of foreign aid measures Saturday that renews funding for Ukraine, Israel, and the Indo-Pacific region. The aid measures are expected to pass the Senate and be signed by President Joe Biden in the coming days. [more]

NEW YORK CITY | Amidst ongoing campus tensions and fears of violence between Jewish and pro-Palestinian students and activists, officials at New York City’s Columbia University have announced that all classes will be held virtually today as the seven-day Jewish celebration of Passover begins. [more]

U.S. SOLAR POWER AND CLIMATE CORPS | President Joe Biden is expected to announce $7 billion in grants today for residential solar projects in low-income communities through the Environmental Protection Agency's Solar for All program. The announcement comes on today’s recognition of the 54th annual Earth Day celebration. Biden is also expected to announce new initiatives related to his Climate Corps jobs and training program, including the launch of a website for program applications. [White House fact sheet] [more]

U.S. HOMELESSNESS | The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments today in a case out of Grants Pass, Oregon, that looks to consider whether banning or fining homeless people for sleeping outside in public areas when shelter space is lacking violates constitutional protections against cruel and unusual punishment. [more]

U.S. AND PHILIPPINES | Three weeks of military exercises involving some 16,000 U.S. and Philippine troops begin today near the disputed South China Sea. Reports cite Philippine military officials as saying that the focus of this year’s exercises is territorial defense and note that about 250 French and Australian military personnel are expected to take part in portions of the exercises. [more]

TRUMP NEW YORK TRIAL | Opening statements are scheduled to begin today in the New York criminal trial of former President Donald Trump on charges of falsification of business records related to attempts to prevent damaging stories about his personal life from becoming public. The proceedings mark the beginning of the first-ever criminal prosecution of a former U.S. president. [more]

EUROPEAN CLIMATE | In the latest European State of the Climate report, the U.N.'s World Meteorological Organization and the E.U.’s Copernicus climate agency jointly report that Europe has been warming about twice as fast as the global average since the 1980s, with the continent now averaging about 2.3 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, compared to 1.3 degrees Celsius higher globally. The report notes that the increased warming in Europe is "due to several factors, including the proportion of European land in the Arctic, which is the fastest-warming region on Earth, and to changes in atmospheric circulation that favor more frequent summer heatwaves." [report summary] [more]

CHINA | Following days of heavy rain, officials in China’s southern Guangdong province say flooding has caused three deaths so far and that 11 people remain missing, while some 60,000 people have been forced to evacuate the region. [more]

POLAND | In an interview published today, Polish President Andrzej Duda said his country is ready to host NATO nuclear weapons if the alliance decides to expand its deployment of such weapons in the face of Russia deploying its armaments in Belarus and Kaliningrad. [more]

IRAN AND PAKISTAN | Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi begins a three-day visit to Pakistan today. The two countries are expected to sign a number of cooperation agreements during the visit as they seek to mend ties that were strained in January due to a series of strikes on militant forces in which both sides accused the other of attacking security forces. [more]

NORTH KOREA | Japanese and South Korean officials say North Korea fired suspected short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its eastern coast today – the latest in an ongoing series of missile tests and satellite launches that have been condemned and banned by the U.N. Security Council. [more]

ECUADOR | In a result seen as supporting the initiatives of President Daniel Noboa, voters in Ecuador overwhelmingly approved nine referenda related to security measures in the South American country yesterday, including allowing the use of the military to fight gang violence, reducing obstacles to extraditing accused criminals, and lengthening prison sentences for drug traffickers. [more]

INDIA | Officials in the Indian state of Manipur say national election voting at 11 of the state’s nearly 3,000 polling stations will be re-done after violence and voting machine damage disrupted voting on Friday, which was the first day of the country’s six-week, phased elections. [more]

GOLF | World No. 1 Nelly Korda shot a final-round 3-under-par 69 at the Chevron Championship yesterday to win her fifth-straight LPGA Tour event and her second major title. On the men’s PGA Tour, play will continue today for the rain-delayed RBC Heritage with world No. 1 Scottie Scheffler holding a five-stroke lead with only three holes remaining. [more]

ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME | This year’s inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame have been announced, with performer category inductees including: Mary J. Blige, Cher, the Dave Matthews Band, Foreigner, Peter Frampton, Kool & The Gang, Ozzy Osbourne, and A Tribe Called Quest. [full announcement] [more]

WEEKEND MOVIES | "Civil War" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $11.1 million in receipts, followed by "Abigail" and "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1970, conservationists and environmental activists in the United States celebrated the first Earth Day, which has since grown into an international event. Also on this date, in 2016, more than 170 countries signed the Paris Agreement on climate change mitigation, adaptation, and finance. [Earth Day website] [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

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