January 26, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 112 of the conflict:

  • In a preliminary ruling today, the U.N. International Court of Justice said that Palestinians are a protected group under Article 2 of the Genocide Convention, that the Court has jurisdiction over the issue of South Africa’s claims that Israel’s actions in Gaza amount to genocide, and that at least some of the Israeli  acts and omissions in Gaza alleged by South Africa “appear to be capable of falling within the provisions” of the genocide convention. The Court also rejected Israel's request that the case be dismissed and said Israel's measures to mitigate harm against Palestinian civilians have not been sufficient. Additionally, the Court ordered Israel to ensure its military does not commit acts related to genocide and to take immediate measures to restore basic public services and humanitarian measures in Gaza, but stopped short of ordering a cease-fire. [more]
  • The Hamas-controlled Palestinian Health Ministry said today that more than 26,000 people have been killed, and more than 64,400 have been wounded, in Gaza since the beginning of Israeli military operations following the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 701 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian officials say at least six people were injured in Odesa and multiple residential buildings and a warehouse were destroyed in overnight Russian drone and missile strikes on southern Ukraine’s Black Sea region. [more]
  • In a statement on the possible seizing of Russian assets frozen as part of sanctions related to the invasion of Ukraine, Bank of Italy Governor Fabio Panetta, an influential European Central Bank policymaker, warned against the weaponization of the euro currency, saying that doing so makes the currency less attractive and encourages the emergence of alternatives. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The Commerce Department reports that the U.S. economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, grew at a 3.3% annual rate in the fourth quarter of 2023 – down from 4.9% in the previous quarter, but higher than had been predicted. [more]

JANUARY 6 | Former Trump White House trade advisor Peter Navarro was sentenced to four months in jail yesterday after being convicted of contempt of Congress in September for refusing to cooperate with a congressional investigation into the January 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol. [more]

ALABAMA | Convicted murderer Kenneth Smith was executed in Alabama yesterday using nitrogen asphyxiation – the first use of a new method of capital punishment in the U.S. since the use of lethal injections was instituted 40 years ago. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | Amidst ongoing political, military, and economic tensions between their two countries, U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi are scheduled to meet today in Bangkok, Thailand, where both are meeting, as well, with Thai officials. [more]

GLOBAL TRADE | Jan Hoffmann, an official at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, said yesterday that disruptions in global trade by attacks on shipping in the Red Sea, the war in Ukraine, and low water levels in the Panama Canal, are driving up energy and food costs and raising the risk of widespread inflation. [more]

KENYA AND HAITI | A Kenyan court ruled today that a plan to send Kenyan police officers to Haiti to lead a U.N.-approved anti-gang mission was unconstitutional, casting doubt on the viability of the U.N. initiative requested by Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry's administration. [more]

FINLAND | Voters in Finland will elect a new president on Sunday, choosing from among nine candidates – six men and three women. Of note, Finland’s president, unlike in most European countries, shares power with the prime minister and holds executive power in formulating foreign and security policy. [more]

BRAZIL | A federal judge in Brazil today ordered Australian mining group BHP and Brazil's Vale mining company, as well as their Samarco joint venture, to pay $9.67 billion in damages over the 2015 Fundão dam collapse that killed 19 people. [more]

FRANCE | Roadblocks and traffic disruptions by protesting farmers are severely affecting transportation in and around Paris today ahead of an expected address on the farmers’ concerns by Prime Minister Gabriel Attal later today. [more]

AI | The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, at a virtual tech summit focused on artificial intelligence, announced yesterday that it is opening an inquiry into recent investments and partnerships involving generative AI companies and major cloud service providers. As part of the inquiry, the FTC has issued compulsory information orders to five companies: cloud providers Alphabet, Amazon, and Microsoft, and AI companies OpenAI and Anthropic. [FTC press release] [more]

TESLA | Shares in automaker Tesla fell more than 12% yesterday after CEO Elon Musk warned of lower sales and slower growth for the company this year. [more]

TENNIS | 22-year-old Italian tennis player Jannik Sinner beat Novak Djokovic in four sets today to advance to Sunday’s men’s final at the Australian Open, in which he will play Daniil Medvedev. In the women’s bracket, Aryna Sabalenka and Zheng Qinwen will play in tomorrow’s championship match after semi-final victories over Coco Gauff and Dayana Yastremska, respectively. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1788, Arthur Phillip, who had sailed into what is now Sydney Cove with a shipload of convicts, hoisted the British flag and established the first permanent European settlement on the continent of Australia. The landing is celebrated today as Australia Day.  [more history]

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