February 29, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 146 of the conflict:

  • Reports cite Palestinian health officials as saying that more than 100 people were killed, and another 250 were wounded, today when an apparent Israeli airstrike hit a crowd of Palestinians waiting for humanitarian aid distribution in Gaza City. [more]
  • Speaking before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva today, U.N. human rights chief Volker Turk said that all parties in the Israel-Hamas conflict have committed war crimes and called for such actions to be investigated and for those responsible to be held accountable. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 735 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian military officials said today that their forces shot down three Russian Su-34 fighter-bombers overnight in the Avdiivka and Mariupol regions. Russia has not commented on the claim. [more]
  • In his annual address to the Federal Assembly in Moscow today, Russian President Vladimir Putin warned of the risk of nuclear war if Western nations send troops to fight in Ukraine. [more]

U.S. GOVERNMENT FUNDING | Ahead of a Friday funding deadline, House and Senate negotiators have reportedly reached an agreement to take up a short-term stopgap measure that would extend funding for some federal agencies for one week and set a March 22 deadline for funding other agencies. The House is expected to vote on the stopgap measure today. [more]

TRUMP FEDERAL ELECTION CASE | The U.S. Supreme Court agreed yesterday to hear former President Donald Trump’s appeal of a lower court ruling that found him not immune from prosecution in the federal election subversion case against him. The Court ordered the lower court ruling against Trump to remain on hold until it hears arguments in late April and issues a ruling on Trump’s presidential immunity claim. [more]

TEXAS | Authorities in Texas say the Smokehouse Fire – the second-largest wildfire in Texas history – has destroyed dozens of homes and burned at least 1,300 square miles of land. Reports say the wildfire is only about 3% contained and that increasing winds and temperatures this weekend could hamper efforts to contain the blaze. [more]

U.S. SENATE | Kentucky’s Mitch McConnell, the longest-serving Senate leader in U.S. history, announced yesterday that he will step down from his Senate Republican leadership position in November. McConnell, who was first elected to the Senate in 1984, is expected to serve out the remainder of his current term in office, which ends in January 2027. [more]

U.S. DATA PRIVACY | President Joe Biden issued an executive order yesterday aimed at protecting Americans’ sensitive personal data from exploitation by certain foreign countries. The order, which limits the sale of personal data to certain countries by data brokers, has been called a “good first step” by some privacy advocates, but has been criticized by others as focusing too much on foreign use of U.S. data instead of on domestic data collection and privacy issues. [White House fact sheet] [more]

U.S. BORDERS | President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump are both heading to the U.S.-Mexico border region in Texas today to espouse their different views of immigration policies and issues. Biden’s visit will be to Rio Grande Valley city of Brownsville, while Trump is scheduled to appear in Eagle Pass. [more]

COVID-19 | Endorsing their latest expert advisory panel guidance, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended yesterday that Americans aged 65 and older should get an updated COVID-19 booster shot if at least four months have passed since their last vaccination. [more]

PAKISTAN | Newly elected members were sworn into Pakistan’s National Assembly today amidst protests and chants by supporters of jailed former Premier Imran Khan, whose allies continue to claim the country’s recent election was rigged. [more]

FRANCE | The French Senate voted yesterday to adopt a measure that would enshrine the right of women to have an abortion in France’s constitution. The constitutional amendment, which was approved by the National Assembly in January, is expected to gain final approval in a joint session of parliament scheduled for next week. [more]

HONG KONG | The Hong Kong Office of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement today expressing “strong dissatisfaction and firm opposition" to British Foreign Secretary David Cameron and other foreign politicians for criticizing the Chinese territory’s proposed Article 23 national security law, which targets crimes including treason, theft of state secrets, espionage, sabotage, sedition, and "external interference.” [more]

POLAND | The European Commission announced today that it will begin releasing billions of euros to Poland that were frozen due to what the Commission said were anti-democratic judicial actions by the country’s previous government. [more]

RUSSIA AND IRAN | In what analysts suggest is an indicator of increasingly close cooperation between Moscow and Tehran, Russia’s state-run Roscosmos space flight agency launched an Iranian satellite into orbit today. The satellite is intended to provide imagery for environmental, agricultural, and other purposes, according to Iranian media reports. [more]

SOCIAL MEDIA | According to the European Consumer Organization, eight consumer groups across Europe are expected to file complains with their respective national data protection authorities today accusing Facebook and Instagram owner Meta of “massive” and “illegal” consumer privacy operations that violate the E.U.’s General Data Protection Regulation privacy law. [more]

R.I.P. | Comedian Richard Lewis, best known for his stand-up routines and his role in the HBO series “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” died Tuesday night at the age of 76, according to a statement released yesterday by his publicist. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1940, Hattie McDaniel became the first Black actor to win an Academy Award when she was named best supporting actress for her role in “Gone With the Wind.” [more history]

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