February 23, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 140 of the conflict:

  • International mediators say a new round of cease-fire and hostage-release negotiations taking place in Paris shows signs of positive breakthroughs as both Israel and Hamas have signaled openness to concessions aimed at reaching an agreement. [more]
  • Reports say Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presented his first official post-war plan for Gaza to the Israeli security cabinet yesterday. The plan is reported to outline goals for demilitarization and deradicalization in Gaza, maintenance of Israel security control over all land west of Jordan, including Gaza and the West Bank, and replacement of Hamas rule in Gaza. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 729 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer is scheduled to travel to Kyiv today, where he is expected to try to reassure Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy that the U.S. Congress will approve another round of military aid to Ukraine. Schumer’s previously-unannounced visit comes amidst stalled consideration of a Senate-backed aid package in the House. [more]
  • In the wake of the death of Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny and ahead of this weekend’s two-year anniversary of the start of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the U.S. Departments of Treasury and State are expected to announce new sanctions today on more than 500 Russian individuals and other entities. [White House statement] [more]

U.S. GOVERNMENT FUNDING | Ahead of a looming March 1 funding deadline, federal government departments and agencies will formally initiate processes today to review and update their contingency plans for a potential partial government shutdown. [more]

U.S. DRUG PRICES | According to a Reuters analysis, the median annual list price for new drugs launched in the U.S. last year rose to $300,000 – up 35% from the median price reported in 2022. Reports say the increased prices are at least partially due to higher rates of drug development for so-called orphan diseases that affect relatively fewer Americans and, therefore, do not have high rates of sale. [more]

TRUMP CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS CASE | Attorneys for former President Donald Trump filed motions yesterday asking a federal judge to dismiss the case charging him with illegal retention of classified documents, claiming that Trump is immune from such prosecution based on his “alleged decision to designate records as personal under the Presidential Records Act.” [more]

SPAIN | Authorities in Valencia, Spain, say at least four people were killed, and 14 others remain missing, after a fire swept through a 14-story residential building in the city yesterday. According to reports, continuing intense heat from the fire is preventing emergency workers from entering the building’s remains to search for possible survivors. [more]

SUDAN | A new report from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights says widespread instances of rape, other forms of sexual assault, recruitment of children, and extrajudicial detentions and killings during Sudan’s nearly year-old civil war between the country’s military and paramilitary forces may constitute war crimes. [full report] [more]

LITHUANIA AND BELARUS | Lithuania announced this week that it will close two of its four operational border crossing checkpoints with neighboring Belarus as of March 1, citing “risks associated with the increased activities of the Belarusian intelligence and security services against Lithuania” as the reason for the move. Lithuania closed two other border crossing checkpoints with Belarus in August 2023 for similar reasons. [more]

PAKISTAN | According to reports, media regulators in Pakistan continued to block access in the country to the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, for a sixth straight day yesterday amidst ongoing protests and unrest following parliamentary elections earlier this month. [more]

SENEGAL | Following a ruling by Senegal’s Constitutional Court that struck down plans to postpone the West African country’s presidential election for 10 months, President Macky Sall said yesterday that he will end his term in office in April, as originally scheduled. A new date for the country’s election, which had been scheduled for Sunday, has not yet been announced. [more]

GERMANY | Lawmakers in Germany are scheduled to vote today on a government plan to decriminalize possession of limited amounts of marijuana and allow members of so-called “cannabis clubs” to buy it for recreational purposes. The plan is supported by Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s Cabinet, but opposed by the main conservative opposition bloc. [more]

SPACE | Houston-based Intuitive Machines’ Odysseus lunar lander successfully touched down near the moon’s south pole yesterday – the first such landing by a U.S.-made craft in more than 50 years. [more]

MEDIA | In a memo to employees yesterday, Vice Media CEO Bruce Dixon said the company plans to lay off several hundred employees and to no longer publish news and other material on its vice.com website, according to reports. [more]

STOCK RECORD | Shares of chipmaker Nvidia – a leader in the development of semiconductors used in artificial intelligence applications – rose 16% yesterday, adding a single-day record $273 billion to the company's market value. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1836, during the Texas war for independence, Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna began a siege of the Alamo, which was captured after 13 days and became a symbol of heroic resistance. [more history]

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