February 22, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 139 of the conflict:

  • Israeli military officials say their air defenses successfully intercepted a missile yesterday that is thought to have been launched by Houthi rebels in Yemen at the Israeli port city of Eilat. [more]
  • In statements before the International Court of Justice this week, multiple countries, including Japan, Ireland, China, Jordan, and Iran, have called for the creation of an independent Palestinian state as a viable path for regional peace. The ICJ is conducting ongoing hearings on the Israeli occupation of lands claimed by Palestinians as their own. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 728 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Two days ahead of the two-year anniversary of the start of Russia’s invasion, Ukrainian military officials say Russia has launched more than 8,000 missiles and 4,600 drones at targets in Ukraine since the war began. [more]
  • Reuters cites multiple unnamed sources as saying that Iran, in an expansion of its military cooperation with Russia, has provided Russian armed forces with as many as 400 surface-to-surface ballistic missiles since early January. [more]
  • Denise Brown, the U.N.’s top representative in Ukraine, said yesterday that the U.N.’s $3.1 billion appeal for humanitarian aid for Ukraine in 2024 has been only 10% funded and that humanitarian efforts in the country will suffer without expanded international and private sector funding. [more]

ALABAMA | Following this week’s Alabama Supreme Court ruling that said frozen embryos are the legal equivalents of children, the University of Alabama at Birmingham health system – the state’s largest hospital – has paused in vitro fertilization treatments, citing a need to evaluate whether its patients or doctors could face embryo- or IVF-related criminal charges if the treatments continue. [more]

U.S. IMMIGRATION | The Associated Press cites unnamed sources as saying that the Biden administration, in the absence of related Congressional action, is considering the use of provisions of federal immigration law to unilaterally enact crackdowns on illegal immigration across the U.S. southern border. The plans are only being studied at this point, with no definite plans for implementation, according to the AP sources. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | Reports say the China Wildlife Conservation Association has signed a cooperation agreement with the San Diego Zoo in California to send a new pair of giant pandas to the zoo in a resumption of such exchanges that were all-but-halted as relations between the U.S. and China have degraded. [more]

U.S. AND RUSSIA | Responding to U.S. President Joe Biden calling Russia’s Vladimir Putin “a crazy SOB” during a fundraising event in California yesterday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today that the use of such vocabulary “debases America itself, as well as those who use such terms. [more]

ZIMBABWE | Following detection of a rare genetic mutation of the weakened polio virus used in vaccines, Zimbabwe’s health ministry has announced an emergency campaign to inoculate more than 4 million children against polio. [more]

GLOBAL GOVERNANCE | At a meeting of G20 foreign ministers in Rio de Janeiro yesterday, Brazilian foreign minister Mauro Vieira called for reforms of the United Nations and other multilateral organizations, such as the World Trade Organization, to better deal with international conflicts and increase the representation of developing nations. [more]

PAKISTAN | Following several days of negotiations, Pakistani political parties forming a coalition government have announced the selection of former Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif as the coalition’s joint candidate for prime minister. Sharif is expected to take office when the National Assembly is convened later this month. [more]

GERMANY | The German government yesterday predicted that Germany’s economy, Europe’s largest, would grow just 0.2% in 2024 – down from its prior estimate of 1.3%. Reports say lack of skilled labor, bureaucratic requirements, high interest rates, and lower investment in new projects are among the factors contributing the country’s slower economic growth. [more]

VENEZUELA | Authorities in central Venezuela’s Bolivar state say at least 14 people were killed, and 11 others were injured, this week when part of an an illegally operated gold mine collapsed in the state’s Angostura municipality. [more]

JAPAN | Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 stock market index closed up 2.2% yesterday, surpassing the index’s previous record high set in 1989. [more]

RUSSIA | Opposition politician Boris Nadezhdin’s appeal of an election commission ruling barring him from running in next month’s presidential election against Vladimir Putin was rejected yesterday by Russia’s Supreme Court. [more]

SPACE | Houston-based company Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus lunar lander is scheduled to attempt a soft landing near the moon’s south pole this afternoon. If successful, the landing will be the first U.S. touchdown on the lunar surface in more than half a century. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1932, the Purple Heart, a U.S. military decoration originally instituted by George Washington in 1782 to honor bravery in battle, was revived as an award for those wounded or killed in action against an enemy. [more history]

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