February 12, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 129 of the conflict:

  • According to an Associated Press report, the Egyptian government is considering suspending its 1979 peace treaty with Israel if Israeli forces move forward with a ground invasion of the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which borders Egypt. [more]
  • Palestinian health officials say at least 67 Palestinians were killed early this morning in an Israeli military raid in the southern Gaza city of Rafah that rescued two of the more than 100 hostages held by Hamas since October 7. [more]
  • Ruling in a case brought by humanitarian organizations today, the Netherlands’ Hague Court of Appeals ordered the Dutch government to halt exports of F-35 fighter jet parts to Israel, citing the risk of international law violations that could make the Netherlands complicit in possible war crimes committed by Israel. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 718 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian air force officials say Russia launched 45 Iranian-made Shahed drones at targets in nine different regions of Ukraine yesterday, and that 40 of the drones were shot down. Reports say two Ukrainian civilians were wounded in the drone strikes. [more]
  • Reports cite Ukrainian security officials as saying that Russian forces are obtaining SpaceX Starlink satellite internet terminals from third countries and using them on the front lines in Ukraine. Responding to the reports, Starlink said it has never sold or marketed its services in Russia. [more]

U.S. SECURITY FUNDING | In a preliminary procedural vote yesterday, the U.S. Senate voted 67-27 to advance a $95 billion funding package that would provide aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. Majority Leader Chuck Schumer’s office says a final vote on the package could take place as early as Wednesday. [more]

U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE | Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin was hospitalized yesterday for treatment of a bladder issue as he recovers from prostate cancer. Austin transferred authority for the functions and duties of his office to Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks while undergoing treatment. [more]

TEXAS | Police in Houston, Texas, say the woman who opened fire with a rifle yesterday at Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church – one of the largest megachurches in the U.S. – was killed by off-duty officers providing security at the church. Two other people, including a five-year-old boy who entered the venue with the shooter, were wounded in the incident, which remains under investigation. [more]

NATO | In a statement yesterday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that “Any suggestion that allies will not defend each other undermines all of our security, including that of the U.S., and puts American and European soldiers at increased risk.” The statement followed weekend suggestions by former U.S. President Donald Trump that Russia should “do whatever the hell they want” to NATO members who do not meet their alliance defense spending targets and that the U.S., under a potential second Trump administration, would not protect such NATO allies. [more]

RED SEA | Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen continued their attacks on Western shipping today, firing two missiles at a Marshall Islands-flagged, Greece-owned cargo ship in the Bab-el-Mandeb strait, which connects the Red Sea to the Gulf of Aden. Reports say the ship was damaged by the missiles, but continued on its journey following the attack. [more]

PAKISTAN | Reports say supporters of various political parties are taking part in strikes and road blockages across Pakistan today in protest of Thursday’s parliamentary elections. Final election commission results show that no party won a majority of seats in parliament, though candidates backed by jailed former Prime Minister Imran Khan won the most seats. [more]

GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY | According to a new U.N. report, about 44% of migratory species worldwide, including many songbirds, turtles, whales, and sharks, are declining in population and about 20% are at risk of extinction. The Conservation of Migratory Species report says loss of habitats and over-hunting and -fishing are among the main factors contributing to migratory species’ declines. [full report] [more]

GREECE | Authorities in Athens, Greece, say a disgruntled former employee shot and killed three people at the offices of European Navigation in a southern suburb of the city today. Reports say the owner of the firm was among the victims. [more]

FINLAND | In a runoff election yesterday, former Prime Minister Alexander Stubb won Finland’s presidential election, defeating ex-Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto. [more]

SUPER BOWL | The Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers, 25-22, in overtime last night to win Super Bowl 58 and become the NFL's first back-to-back champions in 19 years. Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named the game’s most valuable player – his third Super Bowl MVP award. [more]

SOCCER | The Ivory Coast defeated Nigeria, 2-1, yesterday to win the Africa Cup of Nations soccer tournament – their third Africa Cup title since 1992. [more]

WEEKEND MOVIES | "Argylle" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $6.5 million in receipts, followed by "Lisa Frankenstein" and "The Beekeeper." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1912, Puyi, the final emperor of the Qing dynasty and of China, abdicated at the end of the Xinhai Revolution. [more history]

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