April 26, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 203 of the conflict:

  • At least one person was killed overnight when Lebanon’s militant Hezbollah group fired anti-tank missiles and artillery shells at an Israeli military convoy in the disputed Har Dov Israel-Lebanon border region. [more]
  • Pehr Lodhammar, a senior officer at the United Nations Mine Action Service, said today that clearing unexploded ordnance and an estimated 37 million tons of debris from damage caused by Israeli military operations in Gaza could take as long as 14 years. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 792 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • The U.S. is expected to announce $6 billion in Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative funding today for long-term contracts to provide weapons, including missile, drone, rocket, and artillery systems, to Ukraine. [more]
  • Reports say Ukraine has temporarily removed U.S.-provided Abrams M1A1 battle tanks from its front-line military operations against Russian forces due to the proliferation of Russian drone attacks that have already destroyed five of 31 tanks provided. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The Commerce Department’s Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that the U.S. gross domestic product – a measure of the nation’s total output of goods and services – slowed to a lower-than-expected 1.6% annual growth rate in the January-March quarter – down from a 3.4% annual rate in the final quarter of 2023. [full report] [more]

U.S. INTERNET | Commissioners of the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 yesterday to reinstate net neutrality rules and resume regulatory oversight of broadband internet, reversing policy changes made under the Trump administration. [more]

U.S. ABORTION | Republican attorneys general from 17 U.S. states filed a lawsuit yesterday challenging recently published federal rules that would require employers to give workers time off and other accommodations for abortions. The rules – part of government guidelines on the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act – are scheduled to go into effect June 18. [more]

TENNESSEE | The GOP-majority Tennessee legislature approved bills this week that would criminalize assisting minors to receive either an abortion or gender-affirming care without permission from the minor’s parents or legal guardian. Reports say Gov. Bill Lee is expected to sign both measures into law. [more]

CALIFORNIA | The University of Southern California announced yesterday that it has cancelled its main graduation ceremony this year due to safety concerns associated with ongoing protests over the Israel-Hamas war that have seen some 90 USC students arrested. [more]

NEW YORK | The New York Court of Appeals yesterday overturned the state rape conviction of movie executive Harvey Weinstein, finding that the judge in Weinstein's trial issued improper rulings and allowed testimony about allegations of actions outside those charged in the case. Weinstein is expected to be re-tried in New York and will remain in prison due to a separate rape conviction in California. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met today with Chinese President Xi Jinping and other senior Chinese officials in Beijing for talks that centered on the need for avoiding misunderstandings and ensuring ongoing communication and discussions amidst ongoing tensions between their two countries. [more]

U.S., CHAD, AND NIGER | Pentagon press secretary Maj. Gen. Pat Ryder said yesterday that most U.S. troops will be pulled from both Chad and Niger as the two African nations re-evaluate the role of American forces in regional counterterrorism operations. There are currently about 100 U.S. troops in Chad and 1,000 in Niger. [more]

INDIA | The second phase of voting in India’s six-week national parliamentary elections begins today, with about 160 million people eligible to vote in this phase. According to election officials, approximately 62% of 166 million eligible voters cast ballots in the first phase of voting. [more]

VIETNAM | Vietnamese state media outlet VN Express reports that Vuong Dinh Hue, the chairman of Vietnam’s national assembly, has resigned amidst the country’s ongoing anti-corruption campaign that has already seen the resignation of several senior government leaders, including former President Vo Van Thuong. [more]

SOUTH AFRICA | Celebrations are planned for tomorrow across South Africa in recognition of the 30th anniversary of the country’s democratic and constitutional reforms that allowed all races to vote, saw the election of Nelson Mandela as the country’s first Black president, and abolished the racially discriminative system of apartheid. [more]

CHINA | Three astronauts were launched aboard the Shenzhou-18 spacecraft from China’s Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center today on a mission to the Tiangong space station. The mission is part of China’s plan to land astronauts on the moon by 2030. [more]

MALAWI | The World Bank announced today that it is providing $57.6 million in rapid grant financing to Malawi to help the southeastern African nation respond to its ongoing food crisis. [more]

FOOTBALL | The first five players selected in last night’s NFL draft were: USC quarterback Caleb Williams by the Chicago Bears; LSU quarterback Jayden Williams by the Washington Commanders; North Carolina quarterback Drake Maye by the New England Patriots; Ohio State wide receiver Marvin Harrison, Jr., by the Arizona Cardinals; and Notre Dame offensive tackle Joe Alt by the Los Angeles Chargers. [full 1st round list] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1986, an environmental catastrophe occurred when an explosion and fire at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine released large amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere. Dozens of people were killed in the immediate aftermath of the disaster, while the long-term death toll from radiation poisoning is believed to be in the thousands. [more history]

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