February 14, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 131 of the conflict:

  • Talks aimed at implementing a new cease-fire and hostage release agreement between Israel and Hamas are continuing today in Cairo, Egypt, where mediators have characterized the talks thus far as “relatively significant.” [more]
  • A group of former captives and relatives of hostages held by Hamas since the October 7 attacks on Israel are expected to file a complaint with the International Criminal Court today urging prosecutors to charge and seek the arrest of Hamas leaders. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 720 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian military officials say their forces sank Russia’s Caesar Kunikov amphibious landing ship early this morning in a naval drone attack near the southern Crimea city of Alupka. Russia’s military has not confirmed loss of the ship. [more]
  • United Nations’ world heritage organization UNESCO says two years of war in Ukraine have caused about $3.5 billion in damage to cultural buildings, including museums, monuments, libraries, and religious sites and that Ukraine will need as much as $9 billion over 10 years to revive its post-war culture and tourism sectors. [more]

JUDICIAL SECURITY | Reuters cites U.S. Marshals Service data as showing that serious threats against federal judges and prosecutors in the U.S. more than doubled over the past three years. Agency officials say the increase in threats appears to be part of increasing levels of politically driven violence and division. [more]

U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY | In the first such action against a Cabinet secretary in 150 years, the U.S. House Of Representatives voted 214-213 yesterday to impeach Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas over GOP-supported allegations that he has failed to enforce federal immigration laws. Mayorkas will now face a trial in the Senate, where a two-thirds majority vote will be required to remove him from office. [more]

U.S. IMMIGRATION | According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency’s latest data, the U.S. Border Patrol recorded 124,220 encounters with illegal immigrants along the U.S. southwest border in January – down 50% from December’s record-high level. Troy Miller, the acting CBP commissioner, says seasonal declines and greater enforcement by both the U.S. and Mexico led to the sharp decline. [CBP media release] [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | According to Labor Department data released yesterday, consumer prices in the U.S. rose a higher-than-expected 3.1% in January, compared to a year ago – down from the 3.4% increase seen in December, but still well above the Federal Reserve’s 2% target level. [more]

NEW YORK | Democrat Tom Suozzi won yesterday’s special election for the U.S. House seat in New York’s 3rd congressional district, defeating GOP candidate Mazi Pilip in a race to fill the seat left vacant following the expulsion of Republican George Santos in December. [more]

U.S. WEATHER | A snowstorm cancelled hundreds of flights, mostly in the New York City and Boston areas, closed schools, and disrupted travel across the U.S. Northeast yesterday. Tens of thousands of electricity customers lost power throughout the region, though reports say the storm dropped lower levels of snow than had been anticipated. [more]

NATO | According to NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg, a record 18 of 31 NATO member nations are on schedule to meet the alliance’s target of spending 2% of gross domestic product on defense in 2024. Stoltenberg noted that member nation defense spending has significantly increased since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022. [more]

PAKISTAN | Former Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s Pakistan Muslim League party has reportedly agreed with allies to form a coalition government following last week’s parliamentary elections in Pakistan in which no party won an outright majority of seats. Shehbaz Sharif, the younger brother of the party’s founder, is widely expected to be nominated as the new government’s prime minister. [more]

INDONESIA | Early results from today’s presidential election in Indonesia show Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto with a significant lead over his rival candidates. Official results from the election are expected to take several weeks to finalize. [more]

IRAN | Iranian officials say several explosions that struck the country’s 790-mile natural gas pipeline that runs from the Persian Gulf to the Caspian Sea today were acts of sabotage and terrorist action. No suspects have been named in connection with the blasts. [more]

SYRIA | Reports say the Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for a Monday attack on a Syrian military barracks near the central Syria town of Al-Sukhna in which nine soldiers were killed. [more]

RIDE-SHARE | Following last week’s announcement of its first-ever annual net profit, ride-share and delivery company Uber said yesterday that it plans to buy back up to $7 billion worth of company shares. [more]

COLLEGE FOOTBALL | The Associated Press cites unnamed sources as saying that ESPN and the College Football Playoff have agreed to a six-year broadcast deal worth $1.3 billion annually that will give the network exclusive rights to the 12-team playoff through the 2031 season. [more]

BASKETBALL | The NBA’s Orlando Magic retired former star player Shaquille O’Neal’s No. 32 jersey yesterday, making O’Neal only the third player, along with Wilt Chamberlain and Pete Maravich, to have his jersey retired by three different NBA franchises. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1946, the first programmable, electronic, general-purpose digital computer, the Electronic Numerical Integrator and Computer, or ENIAC, was demonstrated to the public by its creators, J. Presper Eckert, Jr., and John W. Mauchly. [more history]

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