April 9, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 186 of the conflict:

  • Reports say a new cease-fire proposal presented to Israeli and Hamas negotiators by U.S. CIA Director William Burns over the weekend in Cairo calls for a six-week pause in fighting along with the release of 40 Hamas-held hostages and some 700 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel. [more]
  • Amidst calls by far-right government allies to intensify military actions against Hamas, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that plans to send troops into the southern Gaza city of Rafah have been in place for weeks and that a date for such operations have been set. [more]
  • The Turkish government announced new restrictions on the export of a broad range of products to Israel today, saying the measures would stay in place until a cease-fire is achieved in Gaza. In response, Israel said it would restrict exports of some products to Turkey. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 775 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Reports say Russia’s ambassador to the International Atomic Energy Agency has called for a meeting of the 35-nation U.N. nuclear watchdog’s board of governors to discuss a recent attack on the Russian-held Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in Ukraine. [more]
  • Ukrainian Energy Minister German Galushchenko says Russia has targeted as much as 80% of Ukraine’s conventional power plants and half its hydroelectric plants in recent weeks in continuing operations against Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. [more]

WASHINGTON | Cowlitz County Superior Court Judge Gary Bashor ruled yesterday that Washington state’s 2022 ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines violates both the state and the U.S. constitutions. Responding to an emergency appeal of the ruling, the Washington State Supreme Court placed the lower court ruling on hold while the state appeals the decision. [more]

U.S. STUDENT LOANS | In a speech yesterday in Madison, Wisconsin, President Joe Biden announced details of a new plan to ease student loan debt for some 30 million borrowers. The plan, which would be authorized under the Higher Education Act, would cancel loan interest for some borrowers and cancel loans completely for some who have been making payments for 20-25 years or who are facing financial hardship. [more]

U.S. BUSINESS SENTIMENT | The National Federation of Independent Business says its Small Business Optimism Index fell 0.9 points to 88.5 in March – the lowest level since December 2012 – with inflation being the most prevalent concern cited by the organization’s survey respondents. [more]

U.S. IMMIGRATION | The House of Representatives is expected to send their impeachment case against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the Senate tomorrow. The House impeached Mayorkas in February, accusing him of failing to enforce immigration laws on the U.S.-Mexico border. Reports say it is still unclear how the Senate will handle the impeachment trial, with some noting that senators could vote to dismiss the case immediately. [more]

GLOBAL CLIMATE | According to the European Union climate agency Copernicus, March 2024 was the 10th consecutive record-setting month for average air temperatures worldwide. March 2024 averaged 14.14 degree Celsius, or 57.9 degrees Fahrenheit, beating the previous March record, set in 2016, by a tenth of a degree. [press release] [more]

NORTH SEA INFRASTRUCTURE | Denmark, Belgium, Britain, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands signed a cooperation agreement yesterday aimed at protecting North Sea underwater infrastructure, including electricity cables, gas pipelines, energy production resources, and telecommunications connections. The agreement follows yet-unsolved 2022 explosions that damaged the Nord Stream 1 and 2 gas pipelines in the neighboring Baltic Sea. [more]

RUSSIA | Russian officials say major flooding caused by snowmelt in the country’s Ural Mountains and Siberia regions has caused major river flooding, damaging more than 10,000 homes and putting thousands of people at risk. [more]

BULGARIA | Following last month’s collapse of Bulgaria’s coalition government, Dimitar Glavchev, a former speaker of parliament and head of the National Audit Office, was sworn in as the country’s interim prime minister yesterday. Glavchev will serve in the role until early elections are held on June 9. [more]

SWITZERLAND | In a case brought by some 2,000 Swiss women, the European Court of Human Rights ruled today that Switzerland’s government violated the petitioners’ right to a private and family life by failing to implement sufficient domestic policies to tackle climate change. Analysts say the ruling could have broad implications for how courts deal with rising levels of climate-related litigation. [more]

CONGO | The Southern African Development Community regional bloc said yesterday that three Tanzanian soldiers were killed, and three others were wounded, in a mortar attack over the weekend while taking part in a security and anti-violence mission in eastern Congo. [more]

SPAIN | The government of Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez says it plans to do away with Spain’s “golden visa” policy that allows non-E.U. citizens to obtain residency permits upon investing more than half a million euros in Spanish real estate – a policy that opponents say is at least partially responsible for Spain’s property price hikes and increased speculation in the housing market. [more]

CHINA AND NORTH KOREA | Zhao Leji, chairman of China’s National People’s Congress, will visit North Korea this week for what both countries have characterized as a goodwill visit. [more]

COLLEGE BASKETBALL | UConn beat Purdue, 75-60, last night to win the men's NCAA basketball championship and become the first team in 17 years to win back-to-back titles. Connecticut guard Tristen Newton, who finished the game with 20 points, was named the game's most outstanding player. [more]

MORE COLLEGE BASKETBALL | Sunday’s women’s NCAA championship basketball game between South Carolina and Iowa averaged 18.7 million viewers, according to ratings company Nielsen, making it the most-watched basketball game since 2019’s Virginia victory over Texas Tech in the men’s NCAA title game. [more]

TENNIS | Novak Djokovic, who turns 37 next month, has become the oldest man to be ranked No. 1 in the ATP Tour’s rankings, passing Roger Federer’s record set in June 2018. [more]

COLLEGE SPORTS | The National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, which oversees athletics at 241 mostly small U.S. colleges, the majority of which are Christian-affiliated, announced a new policy yesterday that bars transgender athletes from competing in women’s sports. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1865, General Robert E. Lee, commander of the Army of Northern Virginia of the Confederate States of America, signed a treaty of surrender at Appomattox Court House, effectively ending the American Civil War. [more history]

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