February 19, 2024


Listen to this issue.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 136 of the conflict:

  • The U.N. Security Council is expected to vote tomorrow on an Arab-backed resolution that calls for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza and the release of all hostages taken by Hamas in their October 7 attacks on Israel. The resolution, which also calls for both Israel and Hamas to comply with international laws governing the protection of civilians, is expected to face a U.S. veto. [more]
  • As international humanitarian warnings and calls for restraint mount amidst Israel’s stated plans to conduct expanded military ground operations the southern Gaza city of Rafah, Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant says any such operations would focus on targeting Hamas fighters and that Israel is taking “extraordinary measures” to avoid civilian casualties in the city. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 725 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian military officials withdrew their troops from the eastern Ukraine city of Avdiivka on Friday, citing the risk of Russian encirclement due to dwindling ammunition stocks as the reason for the withdrawal. [more]
  • Speaking to reporters Saturday, U.S. President Joe Biden said he told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy earlier in the day that he is confident that Congress will renew military aid to fight against the Russian invasion. Biden’s statement came amidst ongoing House GOP resistance to a Senate-approved security aid package. [more]

MINNESOTA | Two police officers and a paramedic were killed, and a third police officer was injured, yesterday in an exchange of gunfire with a yet-unidentified man inside a home in the Minneapolis suburb of Burnsville. Additional details on the shooter, who also died, and on the police response are expected to be released today. [more]

TRUMP NEW YORK FRAUD TRIAL | A New York judge on Friday ordered former President Donald Trump to pay $355 million in penalties, plus interest, for engaging in a yearslong conspiracy with Trump Organization executives to deceive banks and insurers. Trump, who characterized the verdict and the civil case overall as politically motivated, was also barred from serving as an officer of any New York business for a period of three years. [more]

TEXAS | Gov. Greg Abbot said Friday that Texas is building an 80-acre military “base camp” near the U.S.-Mexico border that will house state-controlled National Guard troops expected to take part in the state’s efforts to deter and react to illegal immigration. [more]

ISRAEL AND PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES | Responding to a U.N. General Assembly request for a non-binding opinion, the International Court of Justice opened six days of hearings today on the legality of Israel’s occupation of lands sought for a Palestinian state. The Court is expected to take several months to issue its opinion. [more]

RUSSIA | Reports say more than 300 people taking part in memorials and protests following the death on Friday of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny at a penal colony were arrested in cities across Russia over the weekend. [more]

CONGO AND RWANDA | Authorities in Rwanda today rejected U.S. calls for the withdrawal of troops from eastern Congo, saying the military action is defensive in nature and citing the presence of armed rebel groups and a Congolese military buildup in the region as justification for the troop deployment. [more]

PAPUA NEW GUINEA | Officials say at least 26 combatants were killed, and a yet-unknown number of bystanders were wounded or killed, in a gunbattle yesterday between warring tribes in Papua New Guinea’s Enga province. [more]

RED SEA | The British military’s United Kingdom Maritime Trade Operations center says a Belize-flagged ship traveling through the Bab el-Mandeb Strait that connects the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden was severely damaged today in a missile attack by Houthi rebel forces in Yemen. Reports say the ship’s crew was forced to abandon the vessel following the attack. [more]

CZECH REPUBLIC | Traffic in Prague was disrupted this morning as farmers drove tractors into the Czech capital’s downtown area in solidarity with similar actions by farmers in numerous European cities as part of protests against low prices and high costs, cheap imports, and European Union climate change constraints. [more]

SOCIAL MEDIA | Reuters reports that the European Commission has opened a formal investigation into ByteDance's TikTok to assess the social media platform’s compliance with child protection provisions of the E.U.’s Digital Services Act. [more]

BASKETBALL | Milwaukee Bucks guard Damian Lillard scored 39 points last night to lead the East to a 211-186 win over the West in the NBA’s All-Star game. Lillard, who also won the All-Star weekend’s 3-point contest on Saturday, was named the game’s MVP. [more]

GOLF | Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama shot a final-round 9-under-par 62 yesterday to win the Genesis Invitational and set a new record, 9, for most PGA Tour wins by an Asian-born player. [more]

NASCAR | The season-opening Daytona 500 race was postponed yesterday due to rain at Florida’s Daytona International Speedway. The race is now scheduled to begin at 4pm today. [more]

FILM AWARDS | Winners at last night's British Academy Film Awards included: "Oppenheimer" for best film; "Zone of Interest" for outstanding British film; Emma Stone for leading actress in "Poor Things;" and Cillian Murphy for leading actor in "Oppenheimer.” [full list of winners] [more]

WEEKEND MOVIES | "Bob Marley: One Love" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $27.7 million in receipts, followed by "Madame Web" and "Argylle." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1945, Operation Detachment began during World War II, as some 30,000 U.S. Marines began landing on the island of Iwo Jima, where they commenced a successful month-long battle to seize control of the island from Japanese forces. [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

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