December 4, 2023


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 59 of the conflict:

  • Israel today urged residents of nearly two dozen neighborhoods in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis to evacuate further south as its military operations aimed at eliminating Hamas expand following the end of a seven-day cease-fire last week. [more]
  • The U.S. military’s Central Command says three commercial ships in the Red Sea were struck by ballistic missiles fired by Houthi rebels in Yemen yesterday and that a U.S. warship shot down three drones launched by Houthi militants. The Command also said the attacks, a significant escalation of regional tension related to the Israel-Hamas conflict, were “fully enabled by Iran.” [more]
  • Karim Khan, chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, visited Israel and the West Bank over the weekend and said following his visit that investigations into possible crimes by Hamas militants on October 7 and by Israeli forces in their military responses are “a top priority” for his office. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 648 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In a letter to Congressional leaders today, White House Office of Management and Budget Director Shalanda Young warned that the U.S. will run out of funding to provide Ukraine with weapons and other assistance by the end of the year and called for urgent Congressional action to approve additional funding. [more]
  • Officials in Russia's Voronezh region say Major General Vladimir Zavadsky, deputy commander of Russia's 14th Army Corps, was killed last week in Ukraine "at a combat post in the special operation zone." Reports say Zavadsky died in a landmine explosion. [more]

NEW YORK CITY | Police in New York City say Courtney Gordon, 38, has been identified as the suspect in the killing of four people, including two children, early Sunday in a knife attack at the victims’ home in the Far Rockaway area of Queens. Gordon, reported to be a relative of the victims, was shot dead after wounding two police officers responding to the scene. [more]

SANTOS | The U.S. House of Representatives voted 311-114 on Friday to expel New York Rep. George Santos from Congress following a House Ethics Committee report that found “substantial evidence” of Santos having illegally used campaign funds for personal enrichment. Santos is only the sixth person expelled from the House in U.S. history and the first in more than 20 years. [more]

CYBERSECURITY | According to a U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency advisory released late last week, multiple wastewater management systems in the U.S. were recently penetrated by a hacking group thought to be associated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | The Chinese military released a statement today saying the U.S. Navy’s USS Gabrielle Giffords combat ship “illegally intruded” in its South China Sea territorial waters near the disputed Second Thomas Shoal and accusing the United States of violating China’s sovereignty and undermining regional peace and stability. Reports note that a Chinese naval force was mobilized to track the U.S. ship. [more]

U.S. AND CUBA | Reports say Manuel Rocha, 73 – a former U.S. diplomat who served as the U.S. ambassador to Bolivia – was arrested late last week and charged with illegally acting as an agent of Cuba. Rocha is scheduled to appear in a Miami court later today. [more]

VENEZUELA AND GUYANA | In a national referendum yesterday, voters in Venezuela approved their country’s claim of sovereignty over the disputed Essequibo region, an oil- and mineral-rich area of some 61,600-square-miles that makes up about two-thirds of neighboring Guyana and has been internationally recognized as part of Guyana since 1899. [more]

COP28 | Amidst concentrated discussions on how to pay for losses and damage caused by climate change and global warming, Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley suggested today at the COP28 U.N. climate summit that global taxes on the financial services, oil and gas, and shipping industries could help poorer countries fund climate-related recovery and mitigation efforts. [more]

MORE COP28 | Speaking Saturday at the U.N.’s COP28 climate summit in Dubai, U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris announced $3 billion in new U.S. funding for the Green Climate Fund, which helps developing countries invest in resilience, clean energy, and nature-based climate solutions. [more]

INDONESIA | Officials and rescue workers in Indonesia’s West Sumatra province say at least 11 mountain climbers were killed, and another 12 remain missing, following the eruption yesterday of the Mount Marapi volcano. [more]

TANZANIA | The office of Tanzanian President Samia Suluhu Hassan says at least 50 people died, 85 others were injured, and 750 acres of farmland were destroyed in floods and landslides brought on by heavy rains in the African country’s northern Manyara region over the weekend. [more]

GERMANY | Reports cite German Interior Ministry officials as saying the country will extend its border controls with Poland, the Czech Republic, and Switzerland through December 15 in an effort to control a migration surge and combat a rise in people-smuggling. [more]

U.K. | A new U.K. National Audit Office report says that Britain’s armed forces face an equipment funding shortfall of about 17 billion pounds, or $21.6 billion, over the next 10 years. [more]

TECH LAYOFFS | Music streaming company Spotify announced today that, in a third round of workforce reductions in a year, it will lay off about 1,500 employees in January and 200 more in June. [more]

COLLEGE FOOTBALL | Selections for this season’s four-team College Football Playoff were announced yesterday. Michigan will play Alabama in the Rose Bowl and Washington will play Texas in the Sugar Bowl on January 1, with the winners meeting for the national championship on January 8. Florida State was left out of the Playoff – the first undefeated Power 5 conference team to be excluded since the Playoff format was implemented. [more]

ENTERTAINMENT | Comedian and actor Billy Crystal, actress and rapper Queen Latifah, opera singer Renée Fleming, music star Barry Gibb, and entertainer Dionne Warwick were celebrated last night as the latest Kennedy Center Honors inductees. [more]

WEEKEND MOVIES | "Renaissance: A Film by Beyoncé" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $21 million in receipts, followed by "The Hunger Games: The Ballad of Songbirds & Snakes" and "Godzilla Minus One." [more]

R.I.P. | Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the United States’ highest court died Friday at the age of 93. O’Conner served on the high court from 1981 to 2006. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1918, U.S. President Woodrow Wilson departed for France to attend the Paris Peace Conference, where, following the cessation of hostilities in World War I, the League of Nations was established and the Treaty of Versailles was drafted.  [more history]

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