February 15, 2024


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U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | At least 22 people were shot yesterday when unidentified gunmen opened fire in a crowd of tens of thousands of people gathered in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to celebrate the Kansas City Chiefs' Super Bowl victory. [more]

  • Reports say at least eight children were among those shot and that one shooting victim died.
  • Three people have been detained and firearms were recovered at the scene, according to police.
  • The shooting was at least the 48th mass shooting in the United States this year, according to the Gun Violence Archive.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 132 of the conflict:

  • Talks on a possible Israel-Hamas cease-fire and hostage release deal appeared to stall yesterday in Cairo, Egypt, as Israeli President Benjamin Netanyahu recalled Israel’s negotiating team. Israel and Hamas have each accused the other of undermining the talks by sticking to unreasonable demands. [more]
  • Reports say Israeli forces fired into the Nassar Hospital in the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis overnight – hours after an evacuation corridor was opened for displaced Palestinians sheltering at the medical facility to flee. One patient was killed, and six others were wounded, in the attack, according to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry. [more]
  • Responding to a Hezbollah rocket attack that killed an Israeli soldier, Israel carried out a series of airstrikes on Hezbollah positions in southern Lebanon yesterday, killing three members of the militant group and as many as 10 civilians, according to reports. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 721 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • French officials say Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and French President Emmanuel Macron will sign a bilateral security agreement tomorrow in Paris. Details of the agreement have not yet been released, but the Macron administration says it will show France’s “determination to continue to provide unwavering support to Ukraine and the Ukrainian people, over the long term.” [more]
  • A newly released estimate from the World Bank, United Nations, European Commission, and the Ukrainian government says that rebuilding Ukraine’s economy after the Russian invasion is expected to cost as much as $486 billion over ten years. [more]

U.S. SECURITY AND INTELLIGENCE | U.S. Rep. Mike Turner, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, warned yesterday of an unspecified “serious national security threat” and urged the Biden administration to declassify related intelligence so that it can be shared with allies and, potentially, the public. Multiple reports cite unnamed congressional sources as saying the threat relates to a Russian space-deployed anti-satellite weapon. [more]

TRUMP NEW YORK TRIAL | Former President Donald Trump is expected to attend a hearing in New York City today at which Judge Juan Manuel Merchan is expected to rule on whether Trump’s trial on charges related to the alleged cover-up of hush-money payments made to two women will proceed on March 25, as scheduled. [more]

U.S. IMMIGRATION | Amidst ongoing violence in Gaza and the West Bank, the White House announced yesterday that many Palestinians living in the U.S. will be able to extend their stays in the country for 18 months without facing deportation. [White House memorandum] [more]

INDIA | Ahead of India’s general elections later this year, a five-judge panel of the country’s Supreme Court ruled yesterday that so-called “election bonds” – an election funding system that allows unlimited anonymous donations to political parties by individuals and companies – are unconstitutional. [more]

U.K. | According to new data from Britain’s Office for National Statistics, U.K. economic activity, as measured by gross domestic product, fell by 0.3% in the last quarter of 2023 – the country’s second straight quarter of economic decline, signaling the start of a technical recession. [more]

GREECE | In what reports say is the first such action in an Orthodox Christian country, the Greek parliament is expected to vote today to legalize same-sex marriage and confer full parental rights on married same-sex partners with children. [more]

HAITI AND KENYA | In three days of meetings in the U.S. this week, the governments of Haiti and Kenya worked toward an official agreement to secure the deployment of a Kenyan police force to Haiti to assist in anti-gang operations. Reports note that it is unclear how such an agreement would affect a recent Kenyan court ruling that blocked such a deployment. [more]

JAPAN | The Japanese economy shrank at a 0.4% annual rate in the last quarter of 2023 – its second straight quarter of economic contraction, signaling the country’s entrance into a technical recession. Reports also note that, based on gross domestic product, Japan lost its position as the world’s third-largest economy last year, falling behind Germany. [more]

CONGO AND SOUTH AFRICA | South African military officials say two members of the country’s military were killed, and three others were wounded, earlier this week in a suspected mortar explosion at a base in eastern Congo, where South African forces have been deployed to assist in fighting armed rebel groups. [more]

TECH INDUSTRY | Chipmaker Nvidia surpassed the stock market values of both Amazon and Google parent company Alphabet this week to become the third most valuable U.S. company by market capitalization after Microsoft and Apple. [more]

SPACE | A moon lander built by Houston-based aerospace company Intuitive Machines was launched from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida, early this morning. Mission plans call for the company’s Odysseus craft to land near the moon’s south pole on February 22. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1898, an explosion in Havana harbour sank the battleship USS Maine, killing 260 American seamen and precipitating the Spanish-American War, which originated in the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain. [more history]

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