February 16, 2024


Listen to this issue.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 133 of the conflict:

  • Following reports this week that the U.S. and some Arab countries have been developing a plan for the establishment of a permanent Palestinian state, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today that such a move would be a “huge reward” for Palestinians in the wake of the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel and that “Israel categorically rejects international dictates regarding a permanent settlement with the Palestinians.” [more]
  • Reuters cites unnamed sources as saying that Egypt is preparing contingency plans for the possible accommodation of Palestinian refugees within Egypt ahead of an expected Israeli offensive into the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which borders Egypt. Egyptian government officials have denied the report. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 722 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • U.S. and Ukrainian officials say the eastern Ukraine city of Avdiivka – a key Donetsk-region city that has been the focus of heavy fighting in recent months – is at risk of falling into Russian control, largely due to recent Ukrainian military ammunition shortages. [more]
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to sign a bilateral security agreement with Germany today when he meets with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin before traveling to France to sign a similar agreement with French President Emmanuel Macron in Paris. Zelenskyy is scheduled to attend the Munich Security Conference tomorrow for meetings with security and foreign policy officials from around the world. [more]

U.S. SECURITY | White House National Security Communications Advisor John Kirby confirmed yesterday that a new Russian security threat publicized by congressional sources this week is related to an anti-satellite capability that Russia is developing. Kirby noted that the capability is not active and has not been deployed. [White House press briefing transcript] [more]

KANSAS CITY | Police say two juveniles remain in custody in connection with Wednesday’s mass shooting in Kansas City, Missouri, at the conclusion of a rally to celebrate the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl victory. Authorities have suggested that the shooting was sparked by a dispute between several people and note that the incident is still under investigation. [more]

U.S. LABOR | Led by prominent strikes by the United Auto Workers, Hollywood actors and writers, Kaiser Permanente workers, and teachers in Los Angeles, the number of U.S. workers taking part in work stoppages more than doubled in 2023, compared to the previous year, according to a new report from the Labor Action Tracker. The report says some 539,000 U.S. workers took part in strikes during the year. [full report] [more]

TRUMP CIVIL FRAUD TRIAL | Judge Arthur Engoron is expected to issue a verdict and penalty ruling today in former President Donald Trump’s civil fraud trial in New York on charges of conspiracy, falsifying business records, and insurance fraud. Prosecutors are seeking $370 million in penalties and a ban on Trump and other defendants from doing business in New York. [more]

BIDEN INVESTIGATION | Justice Department special counsel David Weiss yesterday charged former FBI informant Alexander Smirnov with making false statements and creating a false and fictitious record in connection with Smirnov’s allegation that then-Vice President Joe Biden, his son Hunter, and the Ukrainian energy company Burisma were involved in a multi-million-dollar bribery scheme – allegations that, according to reports, have been central to Republican impeachment-related inquiries into President Biden’s past actions. [more]

GLOBAL SECURITY | The three-day 2024 Munich Security Conference opens today in southern Germany, with the wars in Gaza and Ukraine expected to be among the main topics of discussion. [more]

RUSSIA | According to a statement from Russia’s federal prison service, Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny died today following a walk at the Arctic Circle-region penal colony where he was serving a prison term. [full prison service statement] [more]

INDIA | Authorities in India’s northeastern Manipur state say at least two people were killed, and dozens of others were injured, last night when security forces opened fire on a crowd of protesters that stormed a Churachandpur district police office. [more]

GREECE | The Greek parliament voted yesterday to legalize same-sex marriage under civil law –  the first majority-Orthodox Christian nation to do so. [more]

SENEGAL | This month’s postponement of Senegal’s presidential election to December by the government of President Macky Sall was declared unconstitutional yesterday by the African nation’s Constitutional Council. In its ruling, the Council said the election, originally scheduled for February 25, should be held as soon as possible. [more]

U.K. POLITICS | Labour Party candidates won special elections for House of Commons seats in two districts in England traditionally held by Conservatives yesterday. The results, say political analysts, suggest waning support for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s Conservative Party. [more]

BASKETBALL | The NBA’s 2024 All-Star weekend opens tonight in Indianapolis, Indiana, and culminates on Sunday with the annual East vs. West All-Star Game. [schedule of events] [more]

COLLEGE BASKETBALL | Iowa’s Caitlin Clark set a new NCAA women’s basketball record for career scoring last night, passing Kelly Plum, who had held the record since 2017. Clark scored 49 points in last night’s 106-89 win over Michigan, ending the night with 3,569 career points. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1959, after defeating the forces of dictator General Fulgencio Batista, Fidel Castro became premier of Cuba and transformed the island country into the Western Hemisphere's first communist state. [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

Sign up for a free or supporting membership to further our mission.