December 12, 2023


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 67 of the conflict:

  • As Israeli military operations continue to expand in southern Gaza, the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said today that humanitarian aid distributions in most of Gaza have “largely stopped over the past few days, due to the intensity of hostilities and restrictions of movement along the main roads.” [more]
  • Reports say a missile fired by Yemen’s Houthi rebels struck a Norwegian-flagged tanker ship in the Red Sea early today in the latest expansion of Middle East violence linked to the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. [more]
  • Reuters cites diplomatic sources as saying officials from more than 20 countries will meet in Paris tomorrow to define a strategy on curbing international financing of Hamas. Reports say Israel will participate in the meeting, but that no Arab countries are expected to attend. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 656 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden and congressional leaders today in Washington, DC, where talks are expected to center on Ukraine’s ongoing need for military and humanitarian aid. The talks come as congressional support for more aid is waning amidst Republican demands that further support be tied to immigration and border policy changes domestically. [more]
  • Ukrainian officials say Russian forces have renewed their attacks on the eastern Ukrainian city of Avdiivka, with more than 600 artillery strikes having been reported in the area over the past 24 hours. [more]

TRUMP FEDERAL ELECTION TRIAL | Special counsel Jack Smith yesterday asked the U.S. Supreme Court to rule on whether former President Donald Trump can be prosecuted on charges related to alleged attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Reports say the move, which attempts to take the issue of Trump's claims of immunity from prosecution directly to the Supreme Court instead of to a federal appeals court, is aimed at trying to prevent postponements in the trial’s March 4 scheduled opening. The Court ordered attorneys for Trump to respond to the request by December 20. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | Economists surveyed by data company FactSet say Labor Department data due out today is expected to show a November decrease in overall U.S. inflation to 3.1%, compared to the year-ago period – down from 3.2% in October. [more]

TEXAS | The Texas state Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a genetic fetal abnormality associated with a high fetal death rate was not sufficient for a woman to be granted an exception to the state’s abortion ban. Reports say the mother, whose case is thought to be the first asking a court for permission to abort a pregnancy since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, left Texas yesterday to have the abortion performed in another state. [more]

PAKISTAN | At least 23 police officers were killed, and another 32 people were wounded, today when a suicide bomber detonated a vehicle bomb outside a police station in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. Reports note that at least three gunmen were killed in firefights that broke out following the bomb attack. [more]

COP28 | The COP28 U.N. climate summit in Dubai, scheduled to end today, is likely to be extended as delegates continue negotiations over the summit’s final commitment declaration. Reports say a draft agreement circulated yesterday called for reduced “consumption and production of fossil fuels, in a just, orderly and equitable manner,” but many countries are demanding a firm commitment for the accelerated phase-out of coal, oil, and gas overall. [more]

AUSTRALIA | Residents and tourists in some regions of Australia’s northeastern Queensland state have begun evacuating ahead of tomorrow’s arrival of Tropical Cyclone Jasper, which authorities warn will bring strong winds and flood-inducing rains. [more]

RUSSIA | Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday presided over a flag-raising ceremony for two new submarines added to the Russian fleet, one of which was the Emperor Alexander III, which last month test-launched a nuclear-capable Bulava intercontinental ballistic missile. [more]

CHINA AND VIETNAM | As part of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Hanoi today, China and Vietnam signed a series of cooperation and development agreements that both countries say are intended to strengthen ties and work toward a “shared future.” [more]

POLAND | The European Court of Human Rights ruled today that Poland has violated its citizens’ rights by failing to offer legal recognition for same-sex couples. Leaders of the country’s new government said during election campaigns that they would prioritize legislation for same-sex partnerships. [more]

CONGO | Reports say the Congolese government and rebel forces along the country’s eastern border with Rwanda have agreed to a three-day cease-fire aimed at reducing tensions ahead of elections scheduled for December 20. [more]

TURKEY | The Turkish Football Federation today announced an indefinite suspension of all Super Lig soccer games in the country following an incident yesterday in which a club president attacked a referee following a match. [more]

APP STORES | In a case brought by Epic Games, maker of the popular Fortnite video game, a federal jury found yesterday that Google has protected its Android app store through anticompetitive measures that damaged smartphone consumers and software developers. The judge in the case is expected to rule early next year on what Google must do to rectify the issue. [more]

TOY INDUSTRY | U.S. toy maker Hasbro announced yesterday that it plans to cut about 20% of its workforce, or 1,100 jobs, as part of cost-saving measures amidst low toy industry sales. [more]

ENTERTAINMENT | Nominations for the 81st Golden Globes were announced last night, with “Barbie” nominated for a pack-leading nine awards, followed by “Oppenheimer” with eight. Best motion picture drama nominees included “Oppenheimer,” “Killers of the Flower Moon,” “Maestro,” “Past Lives,” “Anatomy of a Fall,” and “The Zone of Interest.” Best motion picture musical or comedy nominees included “Barbie,” “Air,” “American Fiction,” “The Holdovers,” “May December” and “Poor Things.” [full list of nominations] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1964, Kenya became a republic on the first anniversary of its independence from Britain.  [more history]

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