February 8, 2024


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MIDDLE EAST | U.S. military officials say Wissam Muhammad Sabir Al-Saadi, a high-ranking commander of the Iran-backed Kataib Hezbollah militia accused of carrying out attacks on American troops in the region, was killed yesterday in a U.S. drone strike in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad. Reports say repeated U.S. strikes on Iran-backed militias in Iraq are pushing the Iraqi government to consider ending the U.S.-led coalition mission in the country. [more]

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 125 of the conflict:

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu yesterday rejected a Hamas cease-fire and hostage exchange counterproposal, calling the militant group’s conditions “delusional,” and said Israel would continue its military operations until Hamas is completely destroyed. [more]
  • Both the U.N.’s top Mideast envoy, Tor Wennesland, and U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned yesterday of potentially catastrophic humanitarian consequences of Israel’s reported intentions to expand its military operations into the overcrowded southern Gaza region around the city of Rafah. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 714 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • The U.N. Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine says it documented 158 civilian deaths and 483 wounded in Ukraine in January – up about 37% from levels seen at the end of last year and reversing a trend of decreasing civilian casualties throughout 2023. [more]
  • Officials in the southwestern Russia region of Belgorod say at least two people were injured overnight when Russian air defense systems intercepted 12 Ukrainian rockets and drones targeting the area. [more]

TRUMP CANDIDACY | The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments today in a  case that centers on former President Donald Trump’s disqualification from appearing on the state’s presidential primary ballot over his alleged role in the January 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol. The disqualification, which was upheld by Colorado’s Supreme Court, is based on the U.S. Constitution’s so-called insurrection clause. [more]

U.S. SECURITY FUNDING | The U.S. Senate yesterday rejected a bill that would have funded domestic border security, as well as aid to Israel, Ukraine, and Taiwan. Reports say an updated measure addressing only the foreign aid initiatives will be considered by the chamber today. [more]

NEVADA | Following Republican and Democratic primaries in the state earlier this week, Nevada voters will take part in a Republican caucus today in which former President Donald Trump is expected to gain the support of the state’s GOP convention delegates. [more]

CALIFORNIA | U.S. military officials say the deaths of five U.S. Marines whose helicopter crashed late Tuesday night in the Pine Valley region of southern California have been confirmed. The Marines were on a training flight aboard a CH-53E helicopter flying from Creech Air Force base near Las Vegas to Marine Corps Air Station Miramar in San Diego when the crash occurred. [more]

U.S. REAL ESTATE | As part of moves aimed at money laundering in the U.S. financial system, the Treasury Department’s Financial Crimes Enforcement Network proposed a new regulation yesterday that would require real estate professionals to report information to federal authorities about non-financed sales of residential real estate to legal entities, trusts, and shell companies. [more]

PENNSYLVANIA | Authorities in the Philadelphia suburb of East Lansdowne say six people remain missing following a house fire and shooting incident at an area home yesterday. Two police officers responding to the incident were wounded by gunfire. [more]

U.S. IMPORTS | The Commerce Department reports that U.S. imports from Mexico rose 5% in 2023 to more than $475 billion, surpassing annual imports from China for the first time since 2002. [more]

GLOBAL CLIMATE | According to a new report from the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, January 2024 was the eight straight month of record global temperatures for the respective month of the year, and the global mean temperature for the past 12 months rose for the first time above the 1.5-degrees-Celsius above the pre-industrial average threshold set as part of the landmark Paris climate accords. [more]

PAKISTAN | Parliamentary elections are taking place in Pakistan today amidst increased security following this week’s bombings of two election offices that killed at least 26 people and multiple incidents today in which at least nine people were killed. Following reports that internet and mobile phone services had been cut off in parts of the country, the Pakistani Interior Ministry said the moves were taken to maintain law and order and to prevent disruptions and flash protests. [more]

BRAZIL | Reports say federal police in Brazil have launched an operation targeting multiple top aides of former President Jair Bolsonaro as part of an investigation into an attempted coup after Bolsonaro's 2022 election defeat. Prosecutors say the aides formed a group in 2022 that spread claims of electoral fraud even before the South American nation's election took place to legitimize a military intervention. [more]

FINLAND AND RUSSIA | The Finnish government announced today that it is extending its closure of crossing stations along the country’s border with Russia until April 14 amidst a growing number of migrant arrivals at the border from countries including Syria and Somalia. [more]

SUDAN AND TUNISIA | Authorities in Tunisia say at least 13 people died, and 27 others remain missing, after a boat carrying 42 Sudanese migrants sank yesterday off the Tunisian coast. [more]

INDIA | Lawmakers in the Indian state of Northern Uttarakhand passed a bill yesterday that mandates a uniform civil code for marriage, divorce, adoption, and inheritance across all religious communities. The legislation, supported by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu Nationalist party, has been criticized by the country’s Muslim majority as discriminatory and anti-Muslim. [more]

ICELAND | A volcano in southwestern Iceland erupted today for the third time since December. Authorities say the eruption has prompted some evacuations in the area around Mount Sundhnukur, including from the Blue Lagoon spa, one of the island nation’s most popular tourist attractions. [more]

PARIS OLYMPICS | Organizers of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games revealed their medal designs for the Games today. Each medal will be inlaid with a small hexagon of iron used in the city’s iconic Eiffel Tower and removed from the tower during renovations. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1587, Mary, Queen of Scots, was beheaded at Fotheringhay Castle in England after she was implicated in a plot to murder her cousin, Queen Elizabeth I. [more history]

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