January 30, 2024


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MIDDLE EAST | The U.S. Department of Defense has identified the Army soldiers killed in a weekend drone attack by Iran-backed militants in Jordan as SPC Kennedy Sanders, SPC Breonna Moffett, and SGT William Jerome Rivers – all members of a Georgia-based Army Reserve unit. According to reports, the drone used in the attack killed three and wounded dozens of others may have been mistakenly identified as a U.S. drone returning to the Tower 22 base. [more]

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 116 of the conflict:

  • Reports say Israeli forces raided the Ibn Sina hospital in the northern West Bank city of Jenin early today, opening fire in the hospital wards and killing three Palestinians claimed by Hamas as members of the militant organization. Israeli officials say the men were using the hospital as a hideout, while the Palestinian health ministry says the international community should call on Israel to end operations in hospitals. [more]
  • According to multiple sources, a recent Israeli intelligence dossier alleges that some 190 employees of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees, which employs about 13,000 people in Gaza, have been, or are, members of the Hamas or Islamic Jihad militant groups and that multiple Agency employees took part in abductions and killings during the Oct. 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 705 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In remarks published today in the French magazine Le Point, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban confirmed that he is open to softening his stance against a proposed new $54 billion European Union aid package for Ukraine. Orban’s comments come ahead of an emergency E.U. summit later this week and amidst speculation of E.U. financial actions against Hungary over Budapest’s opposition to aid for Ukraine. [more]
  • The U.S. State Department said yesterday that sales of U.S. military equipment to foreign governments rose 16% to a record $238 billion in 2023 as countries moved to replenish equipment and munitions sent to Ukraine. [more]

CALIFORNIA | Police in San Bernardino County, California, say six men found dead in Southern California’s Mojave Desert last week were likely shot to death in a dispute over marijuana and note that the region in which the bodies were found is known for illegal marijuana growing operations. Authorities announced the arrest of five suspects yesterday in connection with the deaths. [more]

U.S. AND VENEZUELA | The U.S. government announced yesterday that it would reverse some of its sanctions relief granted to Venezuela last year after the South American country’s highest court blocked the presidential candidacy of longtime opposition leader María Corina Machado. [more]

BRAIN IMPLANTS | According to company founder Elon Musk, brain-chip startup Neuralink placed a brain-computer interface implant in a human for the first time on Sunday as part of an FDA-approved trial to evaluate the safety of the implant itself and its robotic surgical implantation. [more]

U.S. HACKING | Reuters cites unnamed sources as saying that the U.S. Justice Department and Federal Bureau of Investigation launched an operation in recent months to remotely disable some parts of the Volt Typhoon Chinese hacking group, which is suspected of targeting critical infrastructure in Western nations, including naval ports, internet service providers, and utilities. [more]

EUROPEAN CLIMATE | The U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization has confirmed a new record-high temperature of 48.8°C (119.8°F) for continental Europe set in Sicilia, Italy, on August 11, 2021. The findings were published today in the International Journal of Climatology. [press release] [more]

FRANCE | French media reports say Prime Minister Gabriel Attal is expected to announce new government concessions today aimed at alleviating the concerns of farmers whose protests over wages, bureaucracy, and low-cost imports have blocked traffic in Paris and other areas of the country in recent days. [more]

PAKISTAN | Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was found guilty of revealing official state secrets by a court in Rawalpindi today and sentenced to 10 years in prison. Reports say Khan is expected to appeal the conviction before the Islamabad High Court later this week. [more]

NORTH MACEDONIA | Talat Xhaferi will be North Macedonia’s first-ever ethnic Albanian prime minister after being appointed by the country’s parliament to head a new caretaker government charged with organizing a general election in May. [more]

U.K. | According to a new U.K. Office for National Statistics forecast, the U.K.’s population is expected to increase by 6.6 million people from mid-2021 to mid-2036, with 6.1 million of the increase due to immigration. [more]

NORTHERN IRELAND | Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party said today that it will back new proposals to end a boycott that has left the U.K. territory without a power-sharing administration since February 2022, when the Party staged a walkout over post-Brexit trade rules. [more]

E.U. ENERGY | According to a new report from the European Union statistics agency Eurostat, the E.U. relied on fossil fuels for 70.9% of its energy consumption in 2022 – down about 11% from 1990 levels, but slightly higher than 2021’s 69.9%. [more]

NIGERIA | Officials in Nigeria said today that yet-unidentified gunmen kidnapped six students and three teachers from a school in the African nation’s southwestern Ekiti state yesterday and that a search for the victims and those responsible for the kidnapping is underway. [more]

MARS | According to a new study published in the journal Science Advances, data gathered by NASA’s Perseverance rover appears to confirm the existence of ancient lake sediments from water that once filled the Jezero Crater on Mars. [more]

2022 OLYMPICS | Following a nearly two-year investigation, the International Olympic Committee has disqualified Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva for doping at the 2022 Winter Games in Beijing, which means that the U.S. will be awarded the gold medal for the team skating competition for the 2022 Games. [more]

MUSIC | Elton John and his longtime songwriting partner Bernie Taupin have been named this year’s recipients of the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by the U.S. Library of Congress. The award recognizes artists whose careers and works reflect “influence, impact, and achievement in promoting song as a vehicle of musical expression and cultural understanding.” [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1948, Indian leader Mahatma Gandhi—considered the father of his country and internationally esteemed for his doctrine of nonviolent protest to achieve political and social progress—was assassinated. [more history]

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