December 1, 2023


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 56 of the conflict:

  • Israel resumed combat operations in Gaza today following the failure of talks aimed at extending the seven-day ceasefire in the Israel-Hamas conflict that saw some 100 hostages released by Hamas and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners released by Israel. Israel has long indicated that it would resume its combat operations aimed at destroying Hamas upon expiration of the ceasefire. [more]
  • The Hamas-controlled Palestinian Health Authority in Gaza says more than 15,000 Gazans have been killed in Israeli military operations since the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 645 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In an interview yesterday with the Associated Press, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said he expects the upcoming winter season to complicate his country’s fight against the Russian invasion and suggested that the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict threatens to overshadow the fighting in Ukraine, especially in terms of Western military aid. [more]
  • Switzerland’s State Secretariat for Economic Affairs says it has frozen an estimated $8.81 billion in financial assets belonging to Russians under sanctions implemented since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. [more]

U.S. SUICIDES | The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported yesterday that about 49,500 people committed suicide in the U.S. in 2022 – up 2.6% from 2021 and the highest-ever annual level, according to government data. [CDC report] [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The Commerce Department reported yesterday that consumer prices – a key indicator of inflation – were unchanged from September to October and up 3% from October 2022 levels. The October year-over-year increase was the lowest seen in more than two years. [full report] [more]

TRUMP NEW YORK FRAUD TRIAL | A New York appeals court yesterday reinstated a limited gag order against former U.S. President Donald Trump that bars him from commenting about court personnel in the New York civil fraud trial against him and his company. The gag order was previously put on hold while it was being appealed. [more]

SANTOS | The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote today on a resolution to expel New York Rep. George Santos from Congress. The move follows a recent House Ethics Committee report that found Santos to have improperly used campaign funds for personal purposes and violated government ethics laws through the falsification of financial disclosure statements. [more]

LEAD PIPES | The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed new rules yesterday that would require most U.S. cities to replace lead water pipes with safer alternatives within 10 years, even if the localities’ lead levels in water are not considered dangerously high. The agency notes that lead ingestion has been linked to reduced intelligence scores, high blood pressure, and heart disease. [EPA fact sheet and rule summary] [more]

U.S. AUTO INDUSTRY | The United Auto Workers union said this week that workers at 13 non-union automakers in the U.S. are launching campaigns to join the UAW, including workers at U.S.-based Tesla, Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Rivian, Nissan, BMW, and Mercedes-Benz plants. [more]

COP28 | Delegates to the COP28 climate summit in Dubai yesterday finalized the creation of a fund for mitigation and recovery efforts in poorer countries dealing with loss and damage caused by climate change. Initial pledges to the fund are reported to be approximately $420 million, with more being sought, according to Dubai's Sultan al-Jaber, the COP28 president. [more]

GLOBAL TEMPERATURES | A new report from the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization says 2023 is set to be the warmest year on record, with global average temperatures about 1.4 degree Celsius above the pre-industrial 1850-1900 baseline. [full report] [more]

INDIA SIKH SEPARATIST MOVEMENT | The U.S. attorney in Manhattan this week charged Indian national Nikhil Gupta with being involved in a plot to assassinate multiple Sikh separatists in the U.S. and Canada who advocate for the secession from India of the northern Punjab state. Court documents say the planned assassinations were directed by an unnamed senior Indian security and intelligence officer. [more]

GLOBAL OIL | The OPEC+ alliance of oil producing countries announced yesterday that its members will implement voluntary production cuts of more than 2 million barrels per day through the first quarter of 2024 and that Brazil will be joining the group in January. [more]

VENEZUELA AND GUYANA | Voters in Venezuela are set to vote this weekend on a national referendum that would approve their country’s annexation of the mineral-rich and long-disputed Essequibo territory, which is also claimed by Guyana. The U.N.’s International Court of Justice is expected to issue a ruling on the referendum today, but Venezuelan authorities say they do not recognize the Court’s jurisdiction in the matter. [more]

MYANMAR | Reports say coordinated action by an alliance of armed militias in northern Myanmar appears to have forced the country’s military forces to retreat on several fronts. Analysts suggest that the ongoing militia action is the strongest attempt yet to oppose Myanmar’s military government, which seized power in February 2021. [more]

PHILIPPINES | Amidst ongoing heightened concerns over China’s aggressiveness in the South China Sea, the Philippines yesterday announced the opening of a new radar and ship-tracking station on the disputed southern Thitu Island to monitor Chinese naval activity in the region. [more]

PAKISTAN | The Pakistani Supreme Court is hearing arguments today on a petition by human rights activists to halt the government’s forced deportation of Afghan refugees. Reports note that there are an estimated 1 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan and that more than 350,000 have left the country since the deportation plan was announced October 1. [more]

FILM | Among the awards announced yesterday by the New York Film Critics Circle were: “Killers of the Flower Moon” as best film, Christopher Nolan as best director for “Oppenheimer,” Lily Gladstone as best actress for her role in “Killers of the Flower Moon,” and Franz Rogowski as best actor for his role in “Passages.” [full award list] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1959, the Antarctic Treaty was signed by 12 countries, making the Antarctic continent a demilitarized zone to be preserved for scientific research. [more history]

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