June 19, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 257 of the conflict:

  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu suggested yesterday that the withholding of some weapons by the U.S. is slowing Israel’s progress in its fight against Hamas in Gaza. U.S. officials, however, note that only certain heavy bombs have been withheld from Israel over concern about their potential use in densely populated areas. [more]
  • In a new report detailing six Israeli attacks on Gaza in which heavy bombs were used, the U.N. human rights office says 218 deaths were caused in the attacks on residential buildings, a school, refugee camps, and a market, and that Israel may have violated the laws of war and failed to distinguish between civilians and fighters in the Gaza conflict. [press release] [full report] [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 846 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • During Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Pyongyang today, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said his country will give its “full support and solidarity to the Russian government, army, and people in carrying out the special military operation in Ukraine to protect sovereignty, security interests and territorial integrity.” Details of what such support could entail were not released. [more]
  • Viktoriia Litvinova, Ukraine’s deputy prosecutor general, says Ukraine has created a national registry to document cases of sexual violence committed by invading Russian forces and that more than 300 such cases have been documented since the Russian invasion began in early 2022. [more]

U.S. GUN LEGISLATION | Senate Republicans yesterday blocked an initial vote on legislation that would ban bump stocks. The move follows the Supreme Court’s recent decision that struck down a Trump-era ban on the devices that was implemented through regulation instead of legislation. [more]

CALIFORNIA | Amidst continuing high winds and low humidity, firefighters in California continue to battle multiple wildfires, including: the four-day-old Post Fire in Los Angeles County, which officials say is 31% contained, the Aero Fire, which started Monday in central Calaveras County, at 23% containment, and the northern Central Valley’s Sites Fire, at 5% containment. [more]

U.S. PACIFIC NORTHWEST | The U.S. Department of the Interior released a report yesterday that, for the first time, comprehensively details the “harms that federal dams have and continue to inflict” on Native American tribes in the Pacific Northwest. The report is part of the federal government’s agreement to restore Columbia River Basin wild salmon populations, which play an important role in regional tribes’ cultural and spiritual identities, as well as being a critical food source. [press release] [full report] [more]

NEW YORK | Overturning an earlier judicial ruling, a New York State appeals court yesterday restored a proposed Equal Rights amendment to New York’s constitution to the November election ballot. The proposed amendment would ban discrimination based on ethnicity, national origin, age, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy, pregnancy outcomes, and reproductive health care and autonomy – adding those categories to the already existing bans on discrimination based on race, color, creed, or religion. [more]

U.S. AND TAIWAN | The U.S. State Department announced approval yesterday of a new $360 million weapons sale to Taiwan that consists of armed drones, missile equipment, and related support material. Analysts say the sale is likely to spark condemnation from China, which regards Taiwan as its own territory. [more]

U.S. AND RUSSIA | U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Gordon Black was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison in Russia’s far eastern city of Vladivostok today. Black was arrested last month after being accused of stealing from his girlfriend while visiting her in the Russian city. [more]

NATO | Reports say Hungary has agreed to not veto the candidacy of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to be the next secretary-general of NATO after Rutte assured Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán that he would comply with an agreement to not force Hungary to take part in the alliance’s plans to provide support to Ukraine. [more]

RUSSIA AND NORTH KOREA | At a summit in Pyongyang today, Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un signed a new comprehensive strategic partnership agreement that both leaders said would expand their countries’ economic, technology, and military cooperation. [more]

YEMEN | Reports say a Liberian-flagged, Greek-owned-and-operated cargo ship sunk in the Red Sea overnight after being attacked by Houthi Rebel forces in Yemen yesterday as part of their ongoing operations against regional shipping in support of Palestinians in Gaza. [more]

NEW CALEDONIA | Authorities in the French Pacific territory of New Caledonia arrested eight people today, including pro-independence leader Christian Tein, on charges related to recent violence and unrest on the island territory that was sparked by proposed changes to the territory’s voting eligibility laws. [more]

U.K. ECONOMY | The U.K. Office for National Statistics said today that year-over-year consumer inflation in the U.K. fell to 2% in May – down from 2.3% in April and the first time in nearly three years that the Bank of England's 2% target rate has been achieved. [more]

CHAD | Authorities in Chad say explosions and a fire last night at a military ammunition depot in the Central African nation’s capital of N’Djamena resulted in an unspecified number of deaths and injuries. The cause of the incident remains under investigation. [more]

SAUDI ARABIA | French media outlet Agence France Presse cites unnamed diplomats as saying that, amidst temperatures reaching as high as 51.8 degrees Celsius (125.2 Fahrenheit), at least 550 people have died during the Muslim annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca this year, with most of the death due to heat-related illnesses. [more]

TECH INDUSTRY | Chipmaker and AI standout Nvidia passed Microsoft yesterday to become the world’s most valuable company by market capitalization, with a value of $3.334 trillion. [more]

HOCKEY | The Edmonton Oilers beat the Florida Panthers, 5-3, last night in Game 5 of the teams’ best-of-seven Stanley Cup Final series, which Florida leads, 3-2. Game 6 is scheduled for Friday in Edmonton. [more]

SWIMMING | Regan Smith set a new world record in the women's 100-meter backstroke yesterday at the U.S. Olympic Trials, finishing with a time of 57.13 seconds. [more]

GOLF | The PGA policy board yesterday approved a special exemption for Tiger Woods for participation in PGA Tour Signature Events starting next year in recognition of Woods’ "exceptional lifetime achievement" of more than 80 career wins. [more]

R.I.P. | Hall of Fame baseball player Willie Mays, considered by many to be among the greatest players in the history of the game, died yesterday at the age of 93, according to a statement released jointly by Mays’ family and the San Francisco Giants. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1865, Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, with news that the Civil War was over, and that all remaining slaves in Texas were free. Commemoration of the event, which symbolically marks the end of slavery in the United States, was made a U.S. national holiday in 2021 and is celebrated to this day as “Juneteenth.” [more history]

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