February 6, 2024


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MIDDLE EAST | At a U.N. Security Council meeting yesterday, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia said U.S. strikes against Iran-backed militants in Syria and Iraq are intended to "sow chaos and destruction in the Middle East" and suggested that the strikes are a political move ahead of this year's U.S. presidential election. U.S. Deputy Ambassador Robert Wood countered, saying the U.S. has an absolute right to respond in self-defense to attacks on American troops in the region. [more]

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 123 of the conflict:

  • The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said yesterday that Israeli evacuation orders in Gaza now cover about two-thirds of the Palestinian enclave, affecting the homes of some 1.78 million Palestinians. [more]
  • U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken is in Cairo, Egypt, today for talks centered on negotiations for a cease-fire and hostage exchange in Gaza. Blinken’s visit to the region, which will include trips to Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Israel, comes amidst growing concern over potential Israeli military operations in the southern Gaza city of Rafah, which borders Egypt. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 712 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Officials in Ankara and Moscow say Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Russian President Vladimir Putin will discuss the war in Ukraine, a potential gas hub, and a possible resumption of a Black Sea grain shipment initiative when Putin travels to Turkey in the near future. If held, the visit would be Putin’s first to a NATO country since his country’s launched its invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. [more]
  • Visiting Kyiv today, International Atomic Energy Agency chief Rafael Grossi said that security at Ukraine’s Russian-occupied Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant remains an issue, citing Russian staff cuts at the facility as a particular area of concern. [more]

U.S. SECURITY FUNDING | Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell yesterday urged GOP senators to vote against the procedural advancement of a bipartisan proposal that would fund border security and provide aid to Ukraine and Israel – an initiative that he appeared to support on the Senate floor just hours previously. The proposal also faces strong Republican opposition in the House and from Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. [more]

U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY | The House is scheduled to vote today on articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, who critics, largely Republican lawmakers, say has breached the public trust by refusing to enforce immigration laws – a charge denied by Democrats. The vote is the first time in 148 years that a U.S. Cabinet secretary is facing impeachment charges. [more]

CALIFORNIA | Slow-moving storms that have dropped record amounts of rain on Southern California in recent days are expected to linger into tomorrow, with authorities warning residents to remain on alert for flooding and related emergencies. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Republican and Democratic presidential primaries are being held in Nevada today, with Nikki Haley and Joe Biden expected to win the contests, respectively. Nevada will also hold a Republican caucus on Thursday in which former President Donald Trump is the only candidate on the ballot. [more]

U.K. | Buckingham Palace announced yesterday that King Charles III is undergoing treatment for an undisclosed form of cancer. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said in a statement that the king’s illness was caught early, and that the government continues to communicate with the monarch as normal. [more]

TURKEY | Commemoration events are taking place across Turkey today on the one-year anniversary of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck the country’s southern region and neighboring Syria, killing an estimated 59,000 people. [more]

JAPAN AND CHINA | According to Japan’s Kyodo News Agency, China has expressed its "serious concerns" to Japan over a recent report that Tokyo and Washington named Beijing as a "hypothetical enemy" for the first time during recent joint military command exercises. [more]

SENEGAL | Several opposition lawmakers were forcibly removed from Senegal’s legislative building yesterday as the West African nation’s parliament voted to postpone this month’s presidential election to December 15 and to extend the tenure of President Macky Sall until the election. The legislative move sparked protests in the capital Dakar and other cities across the country. [more]

CHINA | Authorities in central China say thousands of vehicles are stuck on the region’s highways amidst the country’s heaviest travel period ahead of this weekend’s Lunar New Year holiday and heavy snows that are expected to continue through tomorrow. State broadcaster CCTV reports that the Chinese government intends to disperse some $20 million in emergency assistance for snow removal and related services in 11 provinces to ensure safe travel for the holiday. [more]

INDIA | Reports say at least six people were killed, and another 40 were injured, today in a fire at a fireworks factory in the central India city of Harda. The cause of the fire is under investigation. [more]

EUROPEAN FARMING | Following weeks of farming-related protests in cities across Europe, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has reportedly proposed that the E.U. shelve an anti-pesticide proposal as a concession to farmers in the bloc who say they are being harmed by low prices and low-cost imports. [more]

KENYA | Kenyan cult leader Paul Mackenzie and 29 associates were charged today with the murder of 191 children whose bodies were found among the remains of several hundred followers last year in Kenya’s Shakahola forest. [more]

VEHICLE RECALL | Honda Motor Company’s American unit has announced the recall of more than 750,000 vehicles in the U.S. due to potentially faulty air bag deployment sensors. The recall includes certain Honda Pilot, Accord, and Civic sedan made between 2020 and 2022, and some Honda CR-V and Passport vehicles manufactured between 2020 and 2021. [more]

FOOTBALL | NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced yesterday that the Philadelphia Eagles will play a yet-unnamed opponent on Friday, September 6, in Sao Paolo, Brazil – the league’s first-ever game to be played in the South American nation. [more]

MUSIC | With a No. 25 debut of their archival album “Dave’s Picks, Volume 49” on the Billboard 200 yesterday, the Grateful Dead surpassed Elvis Presley and Frank Sinatra for the musical act with the most Top 40 albums in music history, with 59 such releases. [more]

ENTERTAINMENT | Reports say an average of 16.9 million people watched the Grammy Awards on Sunday – up 34% from last year and the music award show’s highest viewership in four years. [more]

R.I.P. | Country singer Toby Keith, best known for songs including “Beer For My Horses” and “How Do You Like Me Now?!,”  died yesterday at the age of 62, according to a statement posted on his website. Keith was awarded the National Medal of the Arts in 2021. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1952, Elizabeth II, who became one of the longest-serving monarchs in history, ascended the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, following the death of her father, King George VI. [more history]

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