July 8, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 276 of the conflict:

  • Gaza peace talks are set to resume this week following an apparent softening of Hamas’ stance on a proposed cease-fire plan that does not include an explicit promise to end the war. [more]
  • Protesters demanding the recovery of scores of hostages still held by Hamas blocked highways across Israel yesterday, marking nine months of war since the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 865 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here is your update:

  • Local officials say at least 10 people were killed, more than 40 others were wounded, and several fires broke out following Russian missile attacks on multiple districts in Ukrainian capital Kyiv this morning. Reports note that the Russian attack included the use of Kinzhal hypersonic missiles, one of Russia's most advanced weapons, and that the city's main children's hospital was severely damaged in the attack. [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | Officials in Chicago, Illinois, say 102 people were shot in acts of gun violence in the city over the July 4 holiday weekend, with at least 17 victims having died from their wounds. Chicago Mayor Brandon Johnson said the violence has left the city “in a state of grief.” [more]

HURRICANE BERYL | After causing 11 deaths throughout the Caribbean, Hurricane Beryl made landfall near Matagorda, Texas, this morning as a Category 1 storm. More than 400,000 electricity customers in the coastal Texas region are without power due to the storm, which is expected to bring heavy rains as it moves in a north-northeasterly direction. [more]

NORTH DAKOTA | A shelter-in-place notice was issued, but later lifted, for some residents of Stutsman and Foster counties in east-central North Dakota yesterday following Friday's derailment of a freight train carrying hazardous materials. Authorities say work continues to remove the materials, which included anhydrous ammonia, methanol, and plastic pellets, from the crash site, as well as to clear the derailed cars from the rail line. [more]

U.S. AIR TRAVEL | According to a new Transportation Department report, air travelers in the U.S. filed nearly 97,000 complaints with the government in 2023 – up from about 86,000 in 2022 and the highest annual rate since 2020. The Department says the increase in complaints is, at least partially, due to more consumers knowing about their rights and how to file an official complaint. [press release] [more]

NATO | Reuters cites unnamed military sources as saying that, under proposed new NATO defense plans, between 35 and 50 additional brigades of 3,000-7,000 troops would be needed for the alliance to defend against possible future attacks by Russia. The updated plans will reportedly be discussed at this week’s NATO summit in Washington, DC. [more]

FRANCE | A second, and final, round of parliamentary elections in France yesterday resulted in the New Popular Front leftist coalition winning the most seats in the National Assembly, followed by President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance, and Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally. None of the three major political groups have an outright majority in the legislature, meaning that lawmakers will need to establish a coalition to form a government and select a new prime minister. [more]

GLOBAL TEMPERATURES | The European Union’s Copernicus climate service said this morning that June 2024 was the warmest June on record, with global average temperatures at 0.67 degrees Celsius above the 1991-2020 average. The agency notes that June was the 13th straight month of the respective month of the year being the warmest on record. [more]

INDONESIA | Officials on Indonesia’s Sulawesi island say at least 11 people are dead, and 19 others remain missing, following the collapse yesterday of an unauthorized gold mine in the island’s Gorontalo province. [more]

SOUTH AFRICA | Disaster response officials in Cape Town, South Africa, say nearly 1,000 homes in informal settlements around the city have been destroyed in a series of strong storms that are expected to continue throughout the week. Reports say as many as 4,000 people have been displaced due to the damage. [more]

JAPAN AND PHILIPPINES | Philippine Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro and Japanese Foreign Minister Yoko Kamikawa signed a new defense pact today under which each country’s military forces will be allowed to enter the other country for military training and exercises. The agreement is Japan’s first defense pact formed with another Asian nation. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Israeli officials have approved what, according to settlement tracking group Peace Now, is the largest seizure of land in the occupied West Bank in more than 30 years. Reports say the 12.7 square kilometer Jordan Valley land appropriation connects a series of Israeli settlements along the border with Jordan. [more]

IRAN | Reformist candidate Masoud Pezeshkian won Iran’s runoff presidential election Saturday, beating hard-liner Saeed Jalili. Pezeshkian ran on promises to reach out to the West in an attempt to ease years of sanctions. [more]

U.K. | Labour Party leader Keir Starmer is the U.K.’s new prime minister following Friday’s national elections. Among Starmer’s first official actions will be attendance at this week’s NATO summit in Washington, DC. [more]

CONGO AND UGANDA | A new United Nations report concludes that the Ugandan army has provided support to the M234 rebel group operating in eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of Congo. [more]

AIRLINE INDUSTRY | The U.S. Justice Department announced yesterday that aviation giant Boeing has agreed to plead guilty and pay a new $243 million fine in connection with criminal fraud charges related to two crashes of the company’s 737 Max jetliners that killed 346 people in 2018 and 2019. The plea deal must still be approved by a federal judge to take effect. [more]

SOCCER | Semi-final matchups are set for the 2024 Euro soccer tournament following this weekend’s games. Spain will take on France tomorrow in the first semi-final, and the Netherlands will play England on Wednesday. [more]

BASEBALL | Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Paul Skenes, Chicago Cubs pitcher Shota Imanaga, and San Diego outfielder Jackson Merrill were the only rookie MLB players selected yesterday for July 16’s All-Star Game in Arlington, Texas. [full roster] [more]

WEEKEND MOVIES | "Despicable Me 4" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $75 million in receipts, followed by "Inside Out 2" and "A Quiet Place Day One." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1497, Vasco da Gama sailed from Lisbon with a fleet of four vessels. He ultimately opened a sea route from western Europe to Asia by way of the Cape of Good Hope, ushering in a new era in world history. [more history]

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