June 14, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 252 of the conflict:

  • Israeli media reports that Israel’s military has proposed scaling back its offensive in the southern Gaza city of Rafah and redirecting its efforts toward a new offensive in southern Lebanon. [more]
  • World Health Organization chief Tedros Ghebreyesus said this week that a “significant proportion” of Gaza’s population is facing “catastrophic hunger and famine-like conditions” amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 841 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • A two-day Ukrainian peace conference begins tomorrow in Switzerland, with some 90 state and international organization delegations expected to attend. Reports say the conference is underpinned by a 2022 10-point peace formula promoted by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. [more]
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that he would implement an immediate cease-fire and enter peace talks if Ukraine abandons its plans to join NATO and withdraws its forces from the Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson, and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine that are claimed by Russia. [more]

COVID-19 MISINFORMATION | A new report on investigations by the Reuters news agency says the U.S. Department of Defense conducted a social media misinformation campaign starting in the spring of 2020 that sought to counter Chinese influence in the Philippines by blaming China for the coronavirus pandemic and casting doubt on the safety and efficacy of China’s Sinovac coronavirus vaccine. [full report] [more]

U.S. ABORTION | In a unanimous ruling yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that parties challenging the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of the abortion drug mifepristone lacked legal standing to sue over the drug’s safety or access policies, effectively allowing the drug to remain available and its expanded availability policies to remain in place. [more]

ARIZONA | The U.S. Justice Department said yesterday that, following an extensive civil rights investigation, the police department in Phoenix, Arizona, has been found to discriminate against Black, Hispanic, and Native American people, to unlawfully detain or issue citations to homeless people, and to use excessive force. Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego said the findings would be thoroughly reviewed before issuing further comments on the Justice Department report. [press release] [full report] [more]

TITLE IX | A federal judge in Louisiana yesterday temporarily blocked the U.S. Department of Education’s expansion of Title IX protections to include LGBTQ+ students from taking effect in multiple states, calling the rule, which was scheduled to take effect in August, an “abuse of power” and an “invasion of state sovereignty.” [more]

U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT | According to Labor Department data released yesterday, initial filing for unemployment benefits in the U.S. rose by a higher-than-expected 13,000 to 242,000 in the week ended June 8 – the highest level since August 2023. [more]

U.S., RUSSIA, AND CUBA | A day after Russian warships arrived in Cuba for planned military exercises, a U.S. Navy nuclear-powered fast attack submarine – the USS Helena – arrived in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, on what the U.S. Southern Command says is a “routine port visit.” [more]

GLOBAL VIOLATION OF CHILDREN'S RIGHTS | In its latest annual report on violations of children’s rights around the world, the United Nations said yesterday that, ”in 2023, violence against children in armed conflict reached extreme levels, with a shocking 21 per cent increase in grave violations." According to the report, the highest numbers of grave violations took place in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territory, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Somalia, Nigeria, and Sudan. [press release] [full report] [more]

GLOBAL CLIMATE | The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said yesterday that May 2024 was the warmest May on record and that the month marked the 12th-consecutive month of record-high temperatures for the planet. The agency further notes that May saw ocean temperatures set a record high for the 14th month in a row. [press release] [full report] [more]

G7 AND CHINA | Reports say G7 leaders, who are concluding a two-day conference in Italy, have drafted a statement that says member countries will take action against unfair business practices by China. [more]

CANADA AND NATO | Canadian Defense Minister Bill Blair said today that Canada is on track to meet the NATO annual military spending target of 2% of GDP this year, notably by increasing spending related to defense measures in the Arctic region. [more]

IRAN | The U.N.’s International Atomic Energy Agency confirmed this week that Iran’s nuclear program has recently expanded the use of advanced centrifuges to enrich uranium at its Natanz nuclear facility and that it plans similar expansions at the Fordo nuclear site. [more]

FRANCE AND NEW CALEDONIA | French President Emmanuel Macron announced this week that controversial voting access reforms in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia that sparked weeks of protests would be suspended. [more]

SAUDI ARABIA | Saudi authorities say they expect more than two million Muslim pilgrims to take part in the annual Hajj pilgrimage, which starts today in Mecca. [more]

PHILIPPINES AND CHINA | Philippine military chief Romeo Brawner today urged Filipino fishermen to continue operations within the country’s exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea, despite new Chinese coast guard rules that permit the detention of “trespassers” in the disputed waters. [more]

SOCCER | UEFA’s 2024 European Football Championship kicks off today with host country Germany facing Scotland in Munich. The tournament final is scheduled for July 14 in Berlin. [full match schedule] [more]

HOCKEY | The Florida Panthers beat the Edmonton Oilers, 4-3, last night to take a 3-0 lead in the teams’ best-of-seven NHL Stanley Cup Final series. [more]

GOLF | Rory McIlroy and Patrick Cantlay each shot an opening-round five-under-par 65 yesterday to share the lead at the PGA’s U.S. Open tournament. [full leaderboard] [more]

ENTERTAINMENT | Rock bands R.E.M. and Steely Dan were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame last night along with writers Hillary Lindsey, Timothy “Timbaland” Mosley, and Dean Pitchford. [inductee profiles] [press release] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1940, the first transport of Polish prisoners arrived at Auschwitz, which became Nazi Germany's largest concentration, extermination, and slave-labor camp, where more than one million people died. [more history]

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