January 4, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 90 of the conflict:

  • The Hamas-controlled Palestinian health ministry says at least 14 people were killed in Israeli shelling and airstrikes on the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis today. [more]
  • Saying Houthi rebel attacks on commercial ships in the Red Sea from their bases in Yemen “pose grave implications,” the U.S. is reportedly seeking U.N. Security Council support for a resolution condemning the attacks and Iranian support for the Houthis, as well as confirming the right of countries to defend their shipping assets. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 679 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In the first such action in almost five months, and the largest since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, 230 Ukrainians and 248 Russians were returned to their countries yesterday in a prisoner of war exchange brokered by the United Arab Emirates. [more]
  • International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi says Russian authorities have denied IAEA inspectors access to parts of Ukraine's Russian-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station and that the agency has yet to receive 2024 maintenance plans for the facility. [more]

TRUMP CANDIDACY | Former U.S. President and 2024 presidential hopeful Donald Trump yesterday filed an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking to overturn a Colorado Supreme Court ruling that found him to be ineligible for the presidency based on Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which prohibits those who have “engaged in insurrection” from holding office. The Supreme Court has never before ruled on the Constitution’s insurrection clause. [full Trump filing] [more]

U.S. BORDERS | House Speaker Mike Johnson and a group of some 60 Republican members of Congress visited the U.S.-Mexico border yesterday to demand strengthened border and immigration policies. The visit came amidst ongoing negotiations over federal funding of border measures, as well as aid to both Israel and Ukraine. [more]

U.S. IMMIGRATION | Four legal U.S.-Mexico border crossings are scheduled to reopen today following a decline in illegal immigration that has led to increased availability of personnel. The crossings – one in Texas, two in Arizona, and one in California – were temporarily closed during an illegal migration surge last month. [more]

NEW JERSEY | Reports say law enforcement outreach to houses of worship across New Jersey have been increased following yesterday’s shooting death of Imam Hassan Sharif near the Masjid-Muhammad Mosque in Newark. Police note that they have, as yet, no specific evidence of anti-Muslim bias playing a role in Sharif’s death. [more]

U.S. EMPLOYMENT | According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data released yesterday, 8.8 million jobs were available nationwide at the end of November – down from 8.9 million at the end of October. The largest job opening declines were seen in the transportation, warehousing, utilities, and federal government sectors. [more]

U.S. STATE CAPITOLS | Capitol buildings in Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, and Montana were evacuated early yesterday due to a series of e-mailed bomb threats sent to state officials. No explosives or other threats were found in the affected buildings and the FBI said in a statement that it had “no information to indicate a specific and credible threat.” [more]

IRAN | At least 84 people were killed, and more than 250 others were injured, yesterday when two bombs exploded at an event in the city of Kerman commemorating Iranian General Qassim Soleimani, who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Iraq in January 2020. No claims of responsibility for the bombings have been made, according to officials. [more]

JAPAN | Japanese officials say the death toll from Monday’s earthquake that struck the country’s western Ishikawa prefecture has risen to at least 78 and that at least 50 people remain missing. An estimated 4,600 soldiers have been deployed to the region to assist in rescue and recovery efforts. [more]

MYANMAR | Myanmar's military government has announced plans to release more than 9,600 prisoners, including more than 100 foreigners, as part of an amnesty program marking the country’s Independence Day. [more]

GERMANY | According to a new study, carbon dioxide emissions in Germany fell to their lowest levels since the 1950s in 2023, largely due to lower coal-fired power production and reduced industry output. The study, from Berlin-based think tank Agora Energiewende, note that the lower carbon emissions level may be unsustainable without future climate policy changes. [more]

NORDIC WEATHER | Authorities say people trapped in more than 1,000 vehicles due to heavy snow on southern Sweden’s main E-22 road have been rescued as of this morning. The snowstorm came amidst a severe cold weather pattern that has affected large parts of Sweden, Norway, Finland, and Denmark. [more]

FOOTBALL | The San Francisco 49ers’ Brock Purdy and the Miami Dolphins’ Tua Tagovailoa have been selected as the NFC and AFC starting quarterbacks, respectively, for this season’s National Football League Pro Bowl. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1948, the Southeast Asian nation of Burma, now Myanmar, formally gained independence, completing the transfer of power negotiated by Burmese leader Aung San and British Prime Minister Clement Attlee in 1947. [more history]

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