July 2, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Update from day 270 of the conflict:

  • The Israeli military ordered Palestinians to evacuate from much of the southern Gaza city of Khan Younis yesterday, signaling a probable renewal of its ground assault against Gaza’s second-largest city. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 859 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here is your update:

  • A day after Hungary took over the six-month rotating European Union presidency, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán is in Kyiv today for talks with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy – his first visit to Ukraine since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion in February 2022. [more]

U.S. PRESIDENTIAL IMMUNITY | In a 6-3 ruling yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court said former U.S. presidents have broad immunity for official acts taken during their time in office. Writing for the majority, Chief Justice John Roberts said former presidents do not enjoy immunity for unofficial actions, but have absolute immunity from prosecution for official acts that fall within their “exclusive sphere of constitutional authority” and are presumptively entitled to immunity for all official acts. [full ruling] [more]

  • The ruling returns to lower courts the decision on determining if an act committed by a former president was, or was not, official.
  • President Joe Biden criticized the ruling as a violation of the rule of law. [more]
  • Former President Donald Trump praised the ruling and immediately sought the dismissal of his New York state felony conviction on charges of business records falsification because, he claims, some of the evidence used in the trial is covered by the immunity. [more]
  • Reports note that the Supreme Court ruling makes it nearly impossible for the pending federal trials of Trump to be held prior to November's presidential election.
  • Dissenting Supreme Court justices said the ruling places a president above the law and fundamentally changes the relationship between citizens and their president. [more]

PUERTO RICO | Gov. Pedro Pierluisi announced yesterday that a non-binding referendum on Puerto Rico’s political status will be on this November’s general election ballot, with residents able to choose among U.S. statehood, independence, or independence with free association, but not the island’s current status as a U.S. territory. [more]

BIDEN RECORDINGS | The House Judiciary Committee filed a lawsuit against Attorney General Merrick Garland yesterday, seeking to compel the release of audio recordings of President Joe Biden’s interview with the special counsel investigating the handling of classified documents. Reports note that the Justice Department has provided the Committee with a transcript of the interview, but that the White House has asserted executive privilege over the audio recordings. [more]

U.S. NATURAL GAS EXPORTS | Louisiana-based U.S. District Judge James Cain, Jr., ruled yesterday that the Department of Energy cannot delay consideration of liquefied natural gas export projects while legal challenges by 16 states play out in federal court. [more]

U.S. SOCIAL MEDIA | In a unanimous ruling yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court kept on hold laws in Texas and Florida that sought to limit how social media companies regulate content posted by their users. The Court said social media platforms, like newspapers, should be protected from government intrusion in determining what to include or exclude from their spaces and that this protection principle “does not change because the curated compilation has gone from the physical to the virtual world.” [more]

CALIFORNIA | State legislators in California are scheduled to vote today on a measure that would require developers of large artificial intelligence systems to test and add safety measures to their A.I. models to prevent potential dangerous uses of the technology. The measure, which is strongly opposed by major tech companies, would also create a new state agency to oversee A.I. developers and provide best practices. [more]

U.S. AND VENEZUELA | Ahead of late July elections in which he is seeking a third term in office, Nicaraguan President Nicolás Maduro said yesterday that his government plans to resume negotiations with the U.S. in an effort to end various U.S. sanctions imposed on the Central American country over the past decade. [more]

HURRICANE BERYL | After causing widespread damage on the island of Carriacou in Grenada yesterday, Hurricane Beryl strengthened to a Category 5 storm last night as it continued on a path across the southern Caribbean. Current projections have Beryl endangering Jamaica, Haiti, and the Dominican Republic before reaching Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula by late Thursday as a Category 1 storm. [more]

HAITI | Catherine Russell, executive director of the United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, said yesterday that gang violence in Haiti has displaced more than 300,000 children since March and that some children on the island nation are being forced to join violent gangs to gain access to basic necessities. [more]

INDIA | Authorities in the Hathras district of India’s northern Uttar Pradesh state say at least 27 people died today in a stampede at a local religious event to celebrate the Hindu deity Shiva. [more]

PANAMA | Shortly after José Raúl Mulino was sworn in as Panama’s new president yesterday, the Panamanian government said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with the United States under which the U.S. will help pay the costs of repatriation of migrants who enter Panama illegally through the Darien Gap. [more]

CAMBODIA | In a move criticized by human rights and environmental groups, ten members of the Mother Nature Cambodia environmental activist group that campaigned against infrastructure projects were each sentenced today by a Phnom Penh court to six years in prison on charges of conspiring against the state. [more]

KENYA | Demonstrations are being held in cities across Kenya today to demand the resignation of President William Ruto following weeks of deadly anti-tax protests in which at least 39 people have been killed. [more]

FRANCE | French media reports that, in a move to block the far-right National Rally party from power, some 180 centrist and left-leaning candidates in France’s parliamentary elections have said they will not continue to Sunday’s second round of voting in order to not split the anti-National Rally vote. [more]

JAPAN | In a move aimed at reducing overcrowding, Japan’s national park service began imposing new trail fees and limiting the number of hikers per day on the country’s iconic Mount Fuji. [more]

E.U. SOCIAL MEDIA | European Union regulators yesterday accused tech giant Meta of violating the E.U.’s Digital Markets act by forcing users of Facebook and Instagram to choose between seeing ads or paying to have ads not displayed. Meta contends that its practices are in compliance with the DMA and said it will engage with regulators in an attempt to resolve the issue. [more]

SOCCER | With a 1-0 loss to Uruguay and a Panama victory over Bolivia yesterday, the U.S. was eliminated from the Copa America soccer tournament. [more]

MORE SOCCER | France and Portugal advanced to the quarterfinals of the Euro 2024 soccer tournament with wins yesterday over Belgium and Slovenia, respectively. Romania plays the Netherlands and Austria plays Turkey today to determine the final two quarterfinalists. [more]

BASKETBALL | Reports say Jayson Tatum has agreed to a $314 million deal – the largest contract in NBA history – to remain with the NBA champion Boston Celtics through the 2029-30 season. [more]

TOUR DE FRANCE | Eritrea’s Biniam Girmay won the 2024 Tour de France’s third stage yesterday, becoming the first Black rider to win a leg of the world-famous bicycle race. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1964, U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law the sweeping Civil Rights Act passed by Congress prohibiting discrimination and segregation based on race, color, sex, religion or national origin.  [more history]

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