June 17, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 255 of the conflict:

  • The Israeli military announced yesterday that it would implement a daily “tactical pause” in fighting during daytime hours along a 12-kilometer corridor near Rafah to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid into southern Gaza. [more]
  • Citing government officials, Israeli media reports that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has dissolved his country’s six-member war cabinet in a move widely expected following last week’s resignation of the centrist former general Benny Gantz. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 844 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Representatives of 78 countries attending a weekend Ukraine peace conference in Switzerland called yesterday for the restoration and maintenance of Ukraine’s territorial integrity to be the basis of any future agreement to end Russia’s invasion. [more]
  • Ukrainian Finance Minister Serhiy Marchenko said today that his country has been unable, as yet, to reach an agreement in formal talks with bondholders for the restructuring of some $20 billion in international debt, increasing speculation that Ukraine could slip into default. Marchenko said related talks would continue in the hope of reaching an agreement by August 1. [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | At least four mass shootings took place across the U.S. over the weekend. Nine people were injured when a gunman opened fire at a city water park in the Detroit suburb of Rochester Hills; six people were shot in Lathrup Village, Michigan; seven people were wounded in a shooting at a party in Methuen, Massachusetts; and eight people were shot during a Juneteenth celebration in Round Rock, Texas. [more]

U.S. GUN LAWS | In a 6-3 decision on Friday, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a Trump-era ban on bump stocks, which allow semiautomatic rifles to fire at a rate comparable to machine guns. Responding to the ruling, President Joe Biden called for the ban, which was imposed through regulation during the Trump administration, to be reinstated by Congress through legislation. [more]

CALIFORNIA | Los Angeles County’s first major wildfire of the year burned nearly 23 square miles over the weekend. Authorities say the so-called “Post Fire” remained just 2% contained as of yesterday evening and that strong winds are contributing to the rapid spread of the fire. [more]

MARYLAND | Reports say Maryland Gov. Wes Moore is expected to sign an executive order today under which some 175,000 pardons will be issued for misdemeanor convictions for the possession of marijuana or related paraphernalia in the state. [more]

U.S. AND RUSSIA | Russian authorities have announced that Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, a U.S. citizen  who has been held in jail since March 2023, will be tried behind closed doors on espionage charges before the Sverdlovsky Regional Court in Yekaterinburg starting June 26. Related reports cite Russian officials as saying the U.S. and Russia are involved in talks concerning a possible prisoner exchange involving Gershkovich. [more]

NUCLEAR SPENDING | According to a new report from the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons, the world’s nine nuclear powers – China, France, India, Israel, North Korea, Pakistan, Russia, the U.K., and the U.S. – spent a combined $91.4 billion on their nuclear arms programs in 2023. The report notes that spending was up some $10.7 billion from 2022 and that the U.S.’ spending of $51.5 billion was more than all other nations combined. [press release] [full report] [more]

E.U. ENVIRONMENT | European Union nations today gave final approval to the bloc's "Nature Restoration Plan" – a broad collection of laws that aims to restore ecosystems, species, and habitats in the E.U., as well as establish the most ambitious climate and biodiversity targets in the world. [more]

INDIA | Authorities in India’s West Bengal state say at least 15 people were killed, and dozens of others were injured, this morning when a freight train crashed into the rear of a stationary passenger train in the state’s Darjeeling district. [more]

SOUTH CHINA SEA | A Philippine supply ship and a Chinese vessel collided in the disputed Second Thomas Shoal area of the South China Sea today, with both sides blaming the other for the incident. [more]

ZIMBABWE | Attorneys for Zimbabwe’s Citizens Coalition for Change political party say party and opposition leader Jameson Timba was arrested along with 80 youths yesterday for holding a political gathering that authorities said was unauthorized. [more]

SOCIAL MEDIA | In an op-ed in The New York Times today, U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy said evidence shows that social media is an important contributor to mental health problems among young people and suggested that social media apps should have warning labels similar to those found on tobacco and alcohol products. [more]

BASKETBALL | The Boston Celtics hold a 3-1 lead in their best-of-seven NBA Finals series against the Dallas Mavericks, with the potentially title-clinching Game 5 scheduled for tonight in Boston. [more]

GOLF | Bryson DeChambeau shot a final-round 1-over-par 71 yesterday to win the U.S. Open, finishing one shot ahead of Rory McIlroy. In LPGA play, Lilia Vu won the Meijer LPGA Classic in a playoff against Lexi Thompson and Grace Kim. [more]

PARIS OLYMPICS | According to a report released Friday, monitoring groups have found unsafe levels of bacteria such as E. coli and enterococci in the Seine River less than two months before Olympic swimming events are scheduled to take place in the waterway. [more]

SWIMMING | The University of Virginia’s Gretchen Walsh set a new world record in the women’s 100-meter butterfly Saturday night at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, posting a time of 55.18 seconds. [more]

TONY AWARDS | Among the winners at last night’s 77th Tony Awards ceremony were: “The Outsiders” for best musical, “Stereophonic” for best play, “Merrily We Roll Along” for best revival of a musical, and “Appropriate” for best revival of a play. [full list of winners] [more]

WEEKEND MOVIES | "Inside Out 2" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $155 million in receipts, followed by "Bad Boys Ride or Die" and "Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1631, Mumtaz Mahal, wife of Mughal emperor Shah Jahān, died during childbirth. In her memory, and as her tomb, he built the Taj Mahal, the most famous building in India. [more history]

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