April 3, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 180 of the conflict:

  • Israeli military officials say the airstrike that targeted the vehicles of aid workers in Gaza on Monday, killing seven World Central Kitchen staff members, was a “grave mistake” caused by a misidentification in complex conditions, and have pledged a thorough independent investigation of the incident. U.N. officials characterized the incident as “the inevitable result of the way this war is currently being conducted.” [more]
  • A new report from the U.N. and the World Bank says that the cost of damage to infrastructure in Gaza in the first four months of the ongoing Israeli military operations in the Palestinian enclave is estimated at about $18.5 billion. [press release] [full report] [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 769 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian officials announced the lowering of their country’s military conscription age from 27 to 25 today as part of efforts to strengthen Ukraine’s depleted forces after more than two years of fighting the Russian invasion. [more]
  • Reports say a proposal under discussion at a meeting of NATO foreign ministers today in Brussels would, if approved, establish a 100-billion-euro fund to provide long-term security and military aid to Ukraine that would guard against any future cuts in aid from individual NATO member nations. [more]
  • Finland's President Alexander Stubb and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy signed a new security agreement today in Kyiv under which the two countries pledged cooperation and long-term support. Also announced at the meeting of the two leaders was a new $203 million Finnish military aid package for Ukraine. [more]

U.S. LABOR | There were 8.8 million job openings in the U.S. as of the end of February, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ latest report, while the number of hires and total separations were little changed from January at 5.8 million and 5.6 million, respectively. [more]

TEXAS | Health officials in Texas have reported a human case of avian influenza H5N1 virus, also known as bird flu – only the second human case of the infection ever in the United States. The Texas Department of State Health Services says the case was identified in a person who had direct exposure to dairy cattle presumed to be infected with avian influenza and that the patient was experiencing only minor symptoms. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | U.S. President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke for more than an hour and a half yesterday in a resumption of direct leader-to-leader calls. Among the main topics of discussion were Taiwan, artificial intelligence, South China Sea security issues, and the need for cooperation in fighting the transportation of illegal narcotics and their precursor chemicals. [White House statement] [more]

TAIWAN | At least nine people were killed, more than 900 were injured, and damage to hundreds of buildings and roads has been reported following a 7.4-magnitude earthquake that struck off Taiwan’s eastern coast this morning. The quake – Taiwan’s strongest in 25 years – also prompted a tsunami warning, which was later lifted. [more]

ZIMBABWE | President Emmerson Mnangagwa declared Zimbabwe's ongoing drought a national disaster today and said his country will need more than $2 billion in aid to feed more than 2.7 million residents of the African nation facing hunger. [more]

PALESTINIAN STATEHOOD | Supporters of the Palestinian request for full membership in the United Nations asked the U.N. Security Council yesterday to revive their 2011 application for membership. Reports say the U.S. is expected to block the application, citing its view that full U.N. membership should follow a negotiated peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians. [more]

PHILIPPINES AND CHINA | Philippine security officials said today that their country is committed to continuing its supply missions in the South China Sea, including to the disputed Second Thomas Shoal, and is prepared to respond to China’s attempts to disrupt such missions. [more]

CHINA | According to Chinese media reports, at least seven people were killed, more than 2,500 houses were damaged, and hundreds of people were forced to evacuate the region when severe storms with typhoon-level winds struck China’s southeastern Jiangxi province this week. [more]

EUROPEAN ECONOMY | E.U. statistics agency Eurostat reports that consumer inflation in the 20 nations that use the euro currency fell to 2.4% in March – an unexpected decline from 2.6% in February. [more]

CYBERSECURITY | In a new report on the cyberattack last year that targeted Microsoft Exchange Online email services and resulted in the compromise of information at more than 22 organization, including U.S. government agencies and officials, the U.S. Cyber Safety Review Board says the intrusion was “preventable and should never have occurred,” and blamed Microsoft for poor cybersecurity practices that allowed the attack to succeed. [press release] [full report] [more]

COLLEGE BASKETBALL | Monday night’s women’s NCAA tournament matchup between Iowa and LSU averaged 12.3 million viewers, according to ratings agency Nielsen, making it the most-watched women’s college basketball game in history and the most-watched men’s or women’s college basketball game ever on ESPN. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1860, the Pony Express mail delivery system, which used continuous horse-and-rider relays along a 1,800-mile route between St. Joseph, Missouri, and Sacramento, California, was launched in the United States. [more history]

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