April 8, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 185 of the conflict:

  • The Israeli military said yesterday that its forces have withdrawn from the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis. Reports suggest the withdrawal is a preparatory step for Israel's expected ground offensive in the nearby city of Rafah, which houses an estimated 1.4 million people that have fled the fighting elsewhere in Gaza. [more]
  • The U.N.’s International Court of Justice opened hearings today in a case brought by Nicaragua that accuses Germany of facilitating the commission of genocide by providing political, financial, and military support to Israel. Germany has denied the charges. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 774 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Amidst the ongoing stall of U.S. congressional action on military aid for Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said yesterday that his country will lose its war against the Russian invasion without the renewal of such aid. [more]
  • U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi confirmed yesterday that the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine was targeted in a weekend drone strike, and said that such attacks “significantly increase the risk of a major nuclear accident.” Russia, which controls the plant, has blamed Ukraine for the attack, while Ukrainian intelligence officials have denied Kyiv's responsibility for the incident. [more]

SOLAR ECLIPSE | Cloudy conditions are expected along much of the U.S. path of today’s total solar eclipse, to which millions of people have travelled to experience the celestial event. Online resources are also available for viewing the eclipse, including from NASA, the Exploratorium, and the Associated Press. [more]

U.S. STUDENT LOANS | President Joe Biden is expected to announce details of a new plan for easing student debt for millions of borrowers in a speech today in Madison, Wisconsin. Biden’s new student loan plan is reported to rely on authority under the Higher Education Act rather than national emergency powers, on which his previous student loan forgiveness plan was based, and which was rejected by the U.S. Supreme Court. [more]

U.S. AND JAPAN | Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida is traveling to the United States today for the first state visit to Washington by a Japanese leader in nine years. Kishida is scheduled to hold a summit with President Joe Biden on Wednesday and to address a joint session of Congress on Thursday. [more]

U.S AND CHINA | Wrapping up a five-day series of meetings with officials in China today, U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said the U.S. would not accept new industries being undercut by low-priced Chinese imports. Yellen, however, did not specify any tariffs or other trade actions that could be taken to counter Chinese state support for products of concern, which include electric vehicles, batteries, solar panels, and other green energy goods. [more]

SOUTH CHINA SEA | The U.S., Japan, Australia, and the Philippines held their first-ever joint naval exercises yesterday with maneuvers in the South China Sea characterized by U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin as underscoring the countries’ “shared commitment to ensuring that all countries are free to fly, sail, and operate wherever international law allows.” China, which claims sovereignty over much of the South China Sea region, announced its own "combat patrols" in the region amidst the joint exercises, but did not release a comment on the exercises directly. [more]

MOZAMBIQUE | Officials in Mozambique’s Nampula province say at least 90 people drowned yesterday when a makeshift ferry carrying some 130 passengers sank off the country’s northern coast. Reports say many of the ferry passengers were fleeing a cholera outbreak in the province. [more]

MEXICO AND ECUADOR | Mexico severed diplomatic ties with Ecuador on Friday after Ecuadorian police raided the Mexican embassy in Quito to arrest Jorge Glas, a former vice president who sought asylum in the embassy last year after being indicted on corruption charges. Mexico said the raid was a violation of long-established international accords and has vowed to challenge the Ecuadorian action at the U.N. and the World Court in The Hague. [more]

KOREA | South Korea successfully launched its second military spy satellite into orbit yesterday from the Kennedy Space Center in Florida. The launch came just days after North Korea said it plans to launch multiple such satellites this year. [more]

JAPAN, RUSSIA, AND U.S. | Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today that the U.S. military presence in Japan is a barrier to Russia and Japan being able to negotiate a peace treaty formally ending their hostilities during World War II. [more]

SLOVAKIA | Parliamentary speaker Peter Pellegrini won Saturday’s presidential runoff election in Slovakia, defeating former Foreign Minister Ivan Korčok. Reports note that the Slovakian presidency is a largely ceremonial post, but that the president does have the power to appoint the country’s prime minister following parliamentary elections and to appoint Constitutional Court judges. [more]

NEW ZEALAND | Citing “unsustainable net migration” issues, New Zealand’s Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment announced regulations yesterday that impose new requirements for work-related immigration. [more]

COLLEGE BASKETBALL | South Carolina defeated Iowa, 87-75, yesterday to win the 2024 women’s NCAA basketball championship and finish the season with a perfect 38-0 record. The men’s championship game between Purdue and UConn will take place tonight. [more]

MUSIC AWARDS | Jelly Roll was among the big winners at last night’s 2024 CMT Music Awards, receiving the video of the year, performance of the year, and male video of the year awards, all for the song “Need A Favor.” Lainey Wilson received the award for female video of the year for “Watermelon Moonshine.” [complete list of winners] [more]

WEEKEND MOVIES | "Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $31.7 million in receipts, followed by "Monkey Man" and "Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | ON this date in 1920, the Venus de Milo, an ancient statue commonly thought to represent Aphrodite, was found in pieces on the Aegean island of Milos. The statue was later reconstructed and put on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris. [more history]

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