February 21, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 138 of the conflict:

  • Amidst a resurgence of fighting in the area and citing “complete chaos and violence due to the collapse of civil order,” the U.N.’s World Food Program said yesterday that it has paused deliveries of aid to northern Gaza. [more]
  • The U.S. yesterday vetoed an Arab-backed U.N. resolution demanding an immediate humanitarian cease-fire in Gaza. U.S. Ambassador Linda Thomas-Greenfield said the U.S. understands the need for urgent action but believes that the resolution under consideration would have negatively impacted ongoing negotiations on a hostage-release and temporary cease-fire deal. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 727 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • The E.U. approved a 13th package of Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia today, adding 193 entities and individuals to its list of those banned from traveling to, or doing business in, the European Union. [more]
  • The BBC reports that as many as 60 Russian soldiers were killed yesterday in a Ukrainian airstrike on a training area near the village of Trudovske in the Russia-occupied eastern Ukraine region of Donetsk. [more]

ALABAMA | The Alabama Supreme Court, citing abortion-related language in the state constitution and an 1872 state law that allows parents to sue over the death of a minor child, has ruled that frozen embryos can be considered children under state law. The ruling, which cites the Christian Bible several times, stemmed from a wrongful death lawsuit brought by couples who had frozen embryos destroyed in an accident at a fertility clinic. It has been criticized by large numbers of reproductive care and infertility treatment professionals, but applauded by anti-abortion activist groups. [full ruling] [more]

U.S. WOMEN’S HEALTH | First lady Jill Biden is expected to announce $100 million in federal funding today for research and development in women’s health. The funding initiative is part of the White House Initiative on Women’s Health Research, which was announced late last year. [more]

U.S. CYBERSECURITY | President Joe Biden is expected to sign an executive order today that outlines a framework of cybersecurity regulations and rules aimed at protecting U.S. ports from ransomware and other forms of cyberattack. [more]

MISSOURI | Authorities in Kansas City, Missouri, have charged two men wounded in the mass shooting at the Kansas City Chiefs’ Super Bowl parade with second-degree murder and weapons-related charges. Police say the men were with different groups at the parade when an argument broke out and they began firing their weapons. [more]

U.S. AND RUSSIA | White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said yesterday that the U.S. is preparing new major sanctions against Russian defense and economic entities in connection with last week's death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny at an Arctic-region penal colony. Sullivan noted that while the details and means of Navalny's death have not been determined, the U.S. places the blame for his death on Russian President Vladimir Putin. [more]

ISRAEL AND IRAN | Iranian Oil Minister Javad Owji alleged today that an Israeli sabotage operation was responsible for multiple explosions last week on an Iranian natural gas pipeline. Israel has not acknowledged carrying out the attack. [more]

SYRIA AND ISRAEL | Syrian state media cites government officials as saying that at least two people were killed today in an Israeli airstrike that hit a residential building in the Syrian capital of Damascus. Reports note that the building is near a complex used by security agencies and has been reported previously to have housed visiting Iranian military experts. [more]

U.K. | Following a Sun newspaper report yesterday about the failure of a U.K. nuclear-capable missile test in the Atlantic Ocean last week, British defense officials have confirmed that an “anomaly” occurred during a test firing of a non-nuclear Trident missile, but say the U.K.’s nuclear and missile capabilities remain “safe, secure, and effective.” [more]

SPAIN | Hundreds of farmers are expected to take part in protests today in Madrid, Spain, as part of recent pan-European Union labor actions against E.U. and local farming policies and production cost increases. [more]

SOUTH KOREA | Citing public health concerns, the South Korean government today officially ordered striking trainee doctors to return to work. Amidst this week’s strike, the government opened military hospitals to the public and extended the operating hours of public medical facilities. [more]

DOW JONES | S&P Dow Jones Indices said yesterday that, beginning next week, Amazon.com Inc. will replace drugstore operator Walgreens Boots Alliance on the high-profile, 30-stock Dow Jones Industrial Average index. [more]

COLLEGE FOOTBALL | University presidents who oversee the College Football Playoff announced yesterday that the new 12-team CFP format, which begins next season, will comprise five conference champions and seven at-large selections. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1965, Muslim minister and human rights activist Malcolm X, who articulated concepts of racial pride and black nationalism in the United States, was assassinated in New York City. He became an ideological hero following the posthumous release of The Autobiography of Malcolm X. [more history]

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