April 4, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 181 of the conflict:

  • Media outlet Axios cites unnamed U.S. officials as saying that a call between U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu scheduled for this morning is expected to be very tense due to ongoing U.S. concerns over Israel’s targeting of aid workers in Gaza earlier this week. [more]
  • In a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, some 600 members of the British legal profession, including three former Supreme Court justices, have called for the U.K. to halt arms sales to Israel, saying such sales could make Britain complicit in genocide and other breaches of international humanitarian law. [full letter] [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 770 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Four people were killed, and at least 12 others were wounded, overnight in  Russian drone attacks on the city of Kharkiv that struck two apartment buildings. Ukrainian authorities say 11 of 20 drones launched by Russia in the attack were shot down. [more]
  • Reports say Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu warned French Defense Minister Sébastien Lecornu on a phone call yesterday against deploying troops to Ukraine. The conversation followed February comments by French President Emmanuel Macron in which he said the possibility of Western troops being sent to Ukraine could not be ruled out. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said yesterday that he still expects the Fed to reduce their benchmark interest rate this year, despite a slight increase in U.S. inflation in January and February, and that the timing of such a cut would not be affected by this year’s presidential election campaign. [more]

TRUMP HUSH-MONEY TRIAL | Manhattan Judge Juan M. Merchan yesterday rejected a request from attorneys for former President Donald Trump to delay Trump’s hush-money-related criminal trial until the U.S. Supreme Court rules on his claims of presidential immunity. The trial is scheduled to begin April 15. [more]

NEW YORK | State lawmakers gave final approval yesterday to a measure that would repeal a rarely enforced 1907 state law that makes adultery a crime. Currently, adultery is classified as a misdemeanor in New York’s penal code and is punishable by up to three months in jail. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen is traveling to China today for a five-day series of meetings with Chinese finance leaders and state officials. Ahead of the visit, Yellen said the topics she intends to raise in the meetings include Chinese government support for the manufacturing of electric vehicles and solar panels, trade and production policies, ownership of TikTok, semiconductor production, and finance-related national security issues. [more]

ISRAEL AND IRAN | Israel’s military said yesterday that it has temporarily cancelled leave for members of all combat units and called up additional reservists to prepare for a possible escalation of violence after Iran vowed to retaliate for an Israeli airstrike on the Iranian consulate in Syria on Monday. [more]

TAIWAN | Emergency response officials in Taiwan say some 690 people remain either missing or stranded today following yesterday’s 7.4-magnitude earthquake that struck off the island territory’s east coast. Ten people were killed, and more than 1,000 were injured, in the quake, according to reports. [more]

IRAN | Iranian state media reports that at least 16 suspected Jaish al-Adl militants and 11 Iranian security force members were killed in two separate clashes today in the country’s southeastern Sistan and Baluchestan province. [more]

CLIMATE AND ENVIRONMENT | In its latest annual forest loss report, the Global Forest Watch monitoring project says the world lost about 14,000 square miles of tropical primary forest area last year – a 9% decline compared to 2022 – but that overall global deforestation rose 3.2%. [full report] [more]

AUSTRIA | Austrian Justice Minister Alma Zadic has announced plans to strengthen Austria’s laws against espionage to explicitly include a ban on spying activity that targets other countries or international organizations with a presence in Austria. [more]

ARGENTINA | Officials in Argentina announced the cutting of 15,000 state jobs yesterday as part of President Javier Milei’s aggressive campaign to reduce spending and downsize the Argentine government, sparking worker protests in Buenos Aires and nearby cities. [more]

THAILAND | Officials in Thailand say all 108 people aboard a ferry that caught fire early today on a trip to the country’s popular Koh Tao island tourist destination were successfully rescued and that the cause of the fire is under investigation. [more]

SOUTH KOREA | President Yoon Suk Yeol met today with representatives of the association of South Korean junior doctors that went on a nationwide strike in February over government plans to increase enrollment at the country’s medical schools. The meeting was the first such high-level summit aimed at resolving the ongoing strike. [more]

ENTERTAINMENT | Members of the rock band Kiss announced today that they have sold the band's music catalog, brand name, and intellectual property to Swedish company Pophouse Entertainment Group in a deal estimated at some $300 million. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1968, American civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr., who was in Memphis, Tennessee, to support a strike by the city's sanitation workers, was assassinated by James Earl Ray. Also on this date, in 1949, The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, or NATO, military alliance was formed by founding member nations Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States. [more history]

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