February 13, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 130 of the conflict:

  • U.S., Egyptian, Israeli, and Qatari officials are meeting in Cairo, Egypt, today for renewed talks  on a potential cease-fire and hostage release deal between Israel and Hamas. [more]
  • Amidst ongoing concern over a possible Israeli military ground offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, officials at the U.N.'s Palestinian refugee agency say they have not yet been informed of any evacuation plan to move civilians out of the city ahead of such an offensive. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 719 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In its annual Military Balance report, the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies says that Russia has lost more than 3,000 tanks during its invasion of Ukraine – the equivalent of its entire pre-war active inventory. The report notes, however, that Russia is thought to have enough lower-quality armored vehicles in its inventory to last for years. [more]
  • Reports cite Ukrainian researchers as saying that a Russian airstrike on Kyiv last week included what is thought to be the war’s first use of a hypersonic Zircon missile, which, according to Russia, has a range of about 625 miles and travels at nine times the speed of sound. [more]

U.S. SECURITY FUNDING | With a 70-29 vote early this morning, the Senate passed a $95 billion security aid package for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan. The fate of the package, which also includes funding for humanitarian assistance to civilians in Gaza and the West Bank, is unclear amidst Republican opposition in the House. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The Commerce Department is scheduled to release its latest consumer price index data later this morning, with economists predicting January inflation to have fallen below a 3% annual rate for the first time since March 2021. [more]

MICHIGAN | New gun regulations, including background check for all purchases, safe storage requirements, and red flag laws, are scheduled to go into effect in Michigan today – the one-year anniversary of the shooting at Michigan State University in which three people were killed and five others were wounded. [more]

U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY | The House is scheduled to vote, for a second time, today on articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who is accused by GOP critics of failing to enforce immigration laws. A similar vote last week failed in the House, 214-216. [more]

PRESIDENTIAL DOCUMENTS | In the wake of investigations into the improper retention of classified documents by both then-Vice President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump, the Biden administration this week announced the formation of a task force to formulate best practices and address issues surrounding the handling of classified materials during presidential transitions. [more]

COVID-19 | According to a report in the Washington Post, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention plans to drop its recommendation that people infected with COVID-19 isolate for five days. The agency will instead recommend that those with mild and improving symptoms no longer need to isolate if they have been fever-free for at least 24 hours. [more]

INDIA | Police in India have sealed multiple entry points into the capital New Delhi and have clashed with farmers taking part in protests over farm produce pricing, income levels, and loan requirements in multiple regions of the country. Reports say tear gas has been used by authorities in some areas to disperse protesters. [more]

PAKISTAN | Pakistan's political stalemate continues following last week’s parliamentary elections, with reports saying the two largest political parties and independent members of parliament have been unable, in any combination as yet, to agree on the formation of a coalition government. [more]

ARMENIA AND AZERBAIJAN | Preliminary reports say four Armenian soldiers were killed, and at least one other was wounded, today when Azerbaijani troops destroyed an Armenian combat post along the two nations' shared border. The incident comes amidst ongoing peace talks between the countries and just days after the reelection of Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev. [more]

AUSTRALIA | Officials in Australia’s Victoria state say more than 500,000 homes and businesses in the state lost power yesterday afternoon after a storm damaged a portion of the region’s electricity transmission network. Power restoration efforts continue this morning, according to reports. [more]

U.K. | The British Retail Consortium says some imports of the country’s iconic black tea are facing temporary shortages due to shipping disruptions in the Red Sea caused by Yemen-based Houthi rebel attacks on cargo ships. [more]

AI | Addressing the World Government Summit in Dubai via a video call today, Sam Altman, CEO of ChatGPT-maker OpenAI, reiterated his call for the establishment of a global organization to oversee artificial intelligence research, development, and security. [more]

SUPER BOWL | According to Nielsen and Adobe Analytics, Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup between the Kansas City Chiefs and the San Francisco 49ers was the most-watched television program since the 1969 Apollo 11 moon landing, with a record 202.4 million people having watched at least part of the game and viewership averaging 123.4 million across television and streaming platforms. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1933, the Warsaw Convention, an international agreement governing airlines’ liability for international carriage of persons, luggage, and goods, went into effect. [more history]

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