June 12, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 250 of the conflict:

UKRAINE | Today is day 839 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • U.S. President Joe Biden has reportedly approved the donation of a second Patriot missile system to Ukraine following Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s plea for additional air defense systems to counter Russian targeting of power infrastructure and civilian areas. [more]
  • NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said today that Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban has agreed to not block NATO military aid to Ukraine, but that “No Hungarian personnel will take part in these [support] activities and no Hungarian funds will be used to support them.” [more]

HUNTER BIDEN | A federal jury yesterday found Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, guilty of all three felony charges against him related to his purchase and possession of a handgun while being a user of illegal drugs. In a statement following his son’s conviction, President Biden said he would accept the outcome and continue to respect the judicial process as his son considers an appeal. [more]

U.S. ELECTIONS | In an interview this week, U.S. Senator Mark Warner, chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, suggested that the U.S. may be more vulnerable to disinformation aimed at influencing voters in this year’s elections than it was in the 2016 and 2020 election cycles. Warner cited disinformation tactics by Russia and China, increased domestic disinformation efforts, use of AI to rapidly create false media, and scaled back efforts by tech companies to combat misinformation as reasons for the potentially increased vulnerability. [more]

FLORIDA | A federal judge in Florida yesterday struck down a 2023 Florida law that blocked gender-affirming care for transgender minors and restricted such treatment for adults. In his ruling, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle said the statute was unconstitutional and that ““Transgender opponents are of course free to hold their beliefs. But they are not free to discriminate against transgender individuals just for being transgender.” [more]

U.S. ISLAMIC STATE ARRESTS | Following an FBI and Department of Homeland Security statement confirming the immigration-related arrests of “several non-citizens,” the Associated Press cites unnamed sources as saying that eight people from Tajikistan with suspected ties to the Islamic State terrorist group have been arrested in the United States in recent days. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | Analysts predict the U.S. Federal Reserve will leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged today at the conclusion of its latest policy-setting meeting due to ongoing inflation above the Fed’s 2% target. [more]

VIRGINIA AND WEST VIRGINIA | The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted approval yesterday for the controversial Mountain Valley Pipeline in Virginia and West Virginia to begin operating. The $7.85 billion pipeline project, which has overcome multiple court challenges by environmental groups, was reported complete by developers earlier this week. [more]

U.S. AND RUSSIA | The U.S. is expected to announce expanded sanctions today against third-party sellers of semiconductors and other products to Russia. U.S. officials say sellers, largely located in China and Hong Kong, are providing Russia with technology that can be used on the battlefield in Ukraine. [more]

ISRAEL AND LEBANON | Following an Israeli airstrike that killed a senior Hezbollah commander and three other members of the militant group in Lebanon last night, as many as 160 rockets were fired by Hezbollah into northern Israel this morning, causing multiple fires. [more]

GLOBAL ECONOMY | In its latest projection for the global economy, the World Bank says the sustained strength of U.S. economic growth will support global economic expansion of 2.6% in 2024 — up from the Bank’s earlier 2.4% growth prediction. [more]

SAUDI ARABIA | Officials in Saudi Arabia say more than 1.5 million foreign Muslim pilgrims have arrived in the country as of Tuesday ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which begins Friday in Mecca. [more]

YEMEN | The U.N.’s International Organization for Migration says at least 49 people were killed, and another 140 remain missing, when a boat carrying some 260 Somali and Ethiopian migrants sank Monday off the southern coast of Yemen. [more]

MONGOLIA | International aid officials say a weather phenomenon known as the dzud – a combination of drought and severe, snowy winter weather that makes it impossible for animals to graze – has killed more than 7.1 animals, or more than a tenth of livestock holdings, in Mongolia this year. [more]

SOUTH KOREA | South Korean opposition leader Lee Jae-myung was indicted yesterday on charges related to an alleged scheme to transfer funds to North Korea and to facilitate a visit to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang when he was a provincial governor. [more]

BANGLADESH | Nobel laureate Muhammad Yunus, who was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2006 for pioneering microcredit to help impoverished people, was indicted yesterday, along with 13 others, on charges of embezzlement related to the operation of Yunus' non-profit, Grameen Telecom. [more]

COLOMBIA | Following a six-week trial, a Florida jury yesterday ruled that banana giant Chiquita Brands must pay more than $38 million to 16 family members of eight people killed by a violent right-wing paramilitary group in Colombia that was funded by the company during the South American country’s civil war. [more]

TALC LAWSUITS | Pharmaceutical and cosmetics giant Johnson & Johnson agreed yesterday to pay $700 million to settle an investigation by 42 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. into its marketing of baby powder and other talc-based products blamed for allegedly causing cancer. The company still faces thousands of lawsuits and a class-action suit linked to its talc -based products. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1967, in Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down a state law that banned interracial marriage, ruling that it was unconstitutional under the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. [more history]

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