December 5, 2023


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 60 of the conflict:

  • Reports say Israel has intensified its military operations in and around the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis – Gaza’s second-largest city – with large tank and armored personnel carrier deployments having been noted in the region. [more]
  • Israeli officials said this morning that Gaza’s Jabalia refugee camp has been used as a Hamas center of operations and that the Israeli military has completed its encirclement of the camp. [more]
  • Anthony Bellanger, general secretary of the International Federation of Journalists, said yesterday that about 60 journalists, mostly Palestinians, have been killed since the beginning of the Israel-Hamas conflict on October 7 – almost the same number of journalists killed during the entire Vietnam war. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 649 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Officials in the southern Ukrainian city of Kherson say at least two people were killed, and two medics were wounded at a medical facility, by Russian artillery strikes in the city this morning. [more]
  • According to the Russian Ministry of Defense, President Vladimir Putin has ordered the maximum number of troops in Russia’s military to be increased by nearly 170,000, citing threats associated with Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine and the ongoing expansion of NATO as reasons for the increase. [more]

CALIFORNIA | Faculty members at four campuses of the California State University system – the largest public university system in the U.S. –  began a series of one-day strikes yesterday over pay and working condition issues. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum suspended his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination yesterday, citing waning support and unfair Republican National Committee debate qualification requirements as reasons for the move. [more]

COP28 | According to data released today at the COP28 U.N climate summit by the Global Carbon Project, worldwide carbon dioxide emissions rose by 1.1% this year, compared to 2022, driven by major increases in China, India, and aviation-related emissions. The organization notes that carbon dioxide emissions in both the U.S. and Europe fell in 2023. [more]

COVID-19 AND LEARNING | A new report from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development shows that, among students in 81 countries studied, the average international math score fell by the equivalent of three-quarters of a year of learning, and reading scores fell by the equivalent of half a year, during the COVID-19 pandemic. [full report] [more]

EUROPEAN SECURITY | European Union Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson said today that Europe faces a “huge risk of terrorist attacks” over the Christmas holiday period due to increased tensions in the region associated with the Israel-Hamas conflict. [more]

CHINESE ECONOMY | Citing slow economic growth, property sector troubles, and broad downside risks to fiscal, economic, and institutional strength, credit rating agency Moody’s today downgraded its outlook for Chinese sovereign bonds to negative. The move was Moody’s first outlook downgrade for China since 2017. [more]

INDIA | Reports say at least six people have died along India’s southern and eastern coasts amidst flooding and landslides caused by the approach of Tropical Cyclone Michaung. The storm is expected to make landfall along the country’s southern coast later today with maximum sustained winds of 90-100 kph. [more]

NIGERIA | Nigerian President Bola Tinubu today ordered an investigation into a weekend military drone attack in the country’s northern Kaduna region in which as many as 85 people were killed. Tinubu has referred to the incident as a “bombing mishap” in a region where military air strikes have been used to target armed gangs. [more]

INDONESIA | Officials in Indonesia say the death toll from this week’s eruption of the Mount Marapi volcano has risen to 23. The volcano, located in the country’s West Sumatra province, continued erupting for a second day yesterday, causing a pause in search and rescue operations. [more]

FRANCE | The French National Assembly voted yesterday to approve a ban on single-use, disposable electronic cigarettes. The Senate is expected to approve the bill in the near future, with the ban going into effect late next year. Supporters of the bill say it is intended to protect young people and to mitigate the environmental impact of the cigarettes' batteries. [more]

YEMEN AND SYRIA | The World Food Programme has announced plans to suspend general food distribution programs in both Syria and northern Yemen due to funding limitations and security concerns. [more]

AIRLINE INDUSTRY | Alaska Airlines has announced plans to purchase Hawaiian Airlines for $1.9 billion in a move industry analysts suggest could face U.S. regulatory opposition. [more]

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE | Tech giants IBM and Meta have announced the formation of the AI Alliance – a collaboration of some 40 companies, universities, foundations, and government entities aimed at advancing open, safe, and responsible initiatives in artificial intelligence development. [more]

WIKIPEDIA | According to the Wikimedia Foundation, the English-language Wikipedia has had more than 84 billion article views so far this year, with the most popular articles being: ChatGPT, Deaths in 2023, 2023 Cricket World Cup, Indian Premier League, and Oppenheimer (film). [full list] [more]

COLLEGE FOOTBALL | Finalists for this season’s Heisman Trophy, which honors the most outstanding college football player, were announced yesterday and included: LSU quarterback Jayden Daniels, Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr., Ohio State receiver Marvin Harrison Jr., and Oregon quarterback Bo Nix. The Heisman winner will be announced on Saturday. [more]

ANOTHER WORD OF THE YEAR | Oxford University Press has selected “rizz” as its word of the year for 2023. Rizz, thought to derive from the middle of the word charisma and used to describe the ability to attract or seduce another person, beat out “Swiftie,” “situationship,” and “prompt” for the annual word-of-the-year selection. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1933, Utah became the 36th U.S. state to ratify the Twenty-first Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, repealing Prohibition. [more history]

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