January 31, 2024


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MIDDLE EAST | Amir Saeid Iravani, Iran’s ambassador to the United Nations, said yesterday that his country would have a “strong response” to any U.S. attack following U.S. President Joe Biden’s linking of Iran to the deaths of three American soldiers in a militant drone attack on the Tower 22 base in Jordan. [more]

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 117 of the conflict:

  • European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell says the E.U. plans to launch a naval mission to the Red Sea within three weeks to help defend cargo ships against attacks by Houthi rebels in Yemen, who say their actions are in support of Palestinians under attack by Israel. [more]
  • Reports say Hamas leaders have received and are studying a new cease-fire proposal from Israel, the U.S., and Egypt that would see the release of all remaining Hamas-held hostages in Gaza in exchange for an extended pause in fighting and increases in humanitarian aid to the Palestinian enclave. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 706 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • The U.N.’s International Court of Justice is expected to rule today on Ukrainian allegations that Russia financed separatist rebel movements in eastern Ukraine more than ten years ago and that Russia has discriminated against Crimea’s multiethnic community since its annexation of the peninsula in 2014. [more]
  • Ukrainian military officials say Russia launched a total of 35 attack drones and at least two guided missiles targeting energy and military infrastructure in Ukraine over the past 24 hours and that 15 or the drones were shot down by air defense systems. [more]

U.S. HOMELAND SECURITY | The House Homeland Security Committee voted along party lines last night to forward two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to the full House following Republican charges against him of “willful and systematic” refusal to enforce immigration laws. [more]

NEW YORK CITY | Overriding Mayor Eric Adams’ veto, the New York City Council voted yesterday to require NYPD officers to record and report the apparent race, gender, and ages, as well as the circumstances that led to a stop, of most people questioned by police in the city. [more]

U.S. EMPLOYMENT | In its latest labor summary, the Commerce Department reports that there were 9 million job openings in the U.S. on the last day of December – up from 8.9 million in November, but still down from March 2022’s record 12 million level. [more]

UTAH | Gov. Spencer Cox signed a bill into law yesterday that prohibits diversity, equity, and inclusion programs in Utah’s universities and state government and forbids requiring employees to submit statements of commitment to DEI. [more]

U.S. HEALTH | The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its latest sexually transmitted disease data report yesterday, showing that cases of syphilis in the U.S. rose significantly from 2021 to 2022, while cases of chlamydia stayed about the same and those of gonorrhea fell. [full report] [more]

ALASKA | Amidst an ongoing snowstorm, Anchorage, Alaska, surpassed 100 total inches of snow for the winter season this week at an earlier time than ever previously recorded. Reports say the city is on track to break its all-time record total snowfall of 134.5 inches this winter. [more]

OREGON | Governor Tina Kotek, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, and Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson jointly declared a 90-day state of emergency for downtown Portland, Oregon, yesterday over public health and safety crises related to the synthetic opioid fentanyl. [more]

FINLAND | As many as 300,000 workers across numerous sectors are expected to take part in a three-day strike beginning today in Finland over pay, labor market, and social security measures proposed by the government of Prime Minister Petteri Orpo. The strike is expected to severely disrupt schools, air travel, postal services, public transportation, stores, and restaurants across the Nordic nation. [more]

PAKISTAN | In a third conviction since 2022, former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was sentenced to 14 years in prison yesterday for corruption related to the retaining and sale of state gifts while he was in power. [more]

CANADA | Five former and current NHL players are among those reportedly charged with sexual assault in connection with an investigation into an alleged assault by several members of Canada’s 2018 gold-medal winning world junior hockey team. Police in London, Ontario, have scheduled a press conference related to the charges for next Monday. [more]

GERMANY | Labor union Verdi has called for a one-day strike tomorrow by airport security staff across Germany. Several major airports, including Frankfurt, Berlin’s Brandenburg, and Hamburg are expected to cancel most, if not all, departures for the day. [more]

MALAYSIA | Under the country’s system of rotating its monarchy among the heads of Malaysia's nine royal families, Sultan Ibrahim from the southern state of Johor was installed as Malaysia’s 17th king today. [more]

TECH PROFITS | Google parent company Alphabet has reported profits of $20.69 billion on revenue of $86.31 billion for the fourth quarter of 2023 – up 52% compared the the same period in 2022. [more]

JOB CUTS | Shipping company UPS announced yesterday that it will cut 12,000 jobs as part of efforts to save $1 billion in costs. The company says management and contractor positions will make up most of the layoffs. [more]

2024 OLYMPICS | French Interior minister Gerald Darmanin said today that about 300,000 people will be able to attend the opening ceremony for the 2024 Paris Olympics along the River Seine on July 26 – about half of the number originally planned. [more]

BASEBALL | Carlyle Group Inc. co-founder David Rubenstein has reportedly reached a deal to purchase the Baltimore Orioles Major League Baseball franchise for $1.725 billion. [more]

R.I.P. | Dancer, singer, and actress Chita Rivera, best known for her role as Anita in the original production of “West Side Story” and for roles in “The Rink” and “Kiss of the Spider Woman,” died yesterday at the age of 91. Rivera was nominated for 10 Tony awards over the course of her career, winning two, and received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2009. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 2020, the United States declared a public health emergency over the new coronavirus, and President Donald Trump signed an order to temporarily bar entry to foreign nationals, other than immediate family of U.S. citizens, who had traveled in China within the preceding 14 days. [more history]

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