June 20, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 258 of the conflict:

  • Amidst ongoing attacks on Israel by Lebanon’s Hezbollah militant group in support of Palestinians in Gaza, Israeli Foreign Minister Israel Katz warned this week that the violence could lead to an all-out war between Israel and Hezbollah. [more]
  • A U.S. military-built pier for humanitarian aid delivery in Gaza is expected to resume operations today after being detached from the shore last Friday due to poor sea conditions. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 847 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian military officials say Russian forces have “launched five assault operations at once” targeting the eastern Donetsk region’s city of Toretsk and surrounding towns and villages. [more]
  • A new sanctions package agreed to by European Union countries this week bans re-exports of Russian liquefied natural gas in E.U. waters, sanctions three Russian natural gas projects, and allows Sweden and Finland to cancel gas contracts with Russia. E.U. officials say the sanctions package will maximize the impact of previous sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine by closing loopholes. [more]

LOUISIANA | Gov. Jeff Landry signed a bill into law yesterday that requires a poster-sized display of the Ten Commandments be placed in all public school classrooms in Louisiana, from kindergarten to state-funded universities. Reports note that the U.S. Supreme Court found a similar Kentucky law unconstitutional in 1980. [more]

U.S. ABORTION | In a lawsuit brought by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the attorneys general of Louisiana and Mississippi, a federal judge issued a temporary injunction against the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission enforcing a rule that would require employers to provide workers with time off and other workplace accommodations for abortions. According to the ruling, the injunction will remain in place while the lawsuit plays out in court. [more]

TROPICAL STORM ALBERTO | Located east of Tampico, Mexico, and south-southeast of Brownsville, Texas, Tropical Storm Alberto, the first named storm of the season, has brought much-needed, but damaging rain to the region, with at least three deaths in Mexico having been linked to storm-related flooding. Reports say 5-10 inches of rain are expected along some areas of the Texas coast and that the storm is expected to weaken over land and dissipate today. [more]

AMERICAS HEATWAVE | A new report from the World Weather Attribution scientific collective says this month’s heat wave in the southwestern U.S., Mexico, and parts of Central America was 35-times more likely and 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit hotter due to climate warming from the burning of fossil fuels. The report notes that at least 125 deaths have been linked to the heatwave. [press release] [full report] [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | U.S. officials are in Beijing today for high-level talks with their Chinese counterparts on anti-narcotics and law enforcement cooperation. [more]

RUSSIA AND VIETNAM | Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Hanoi today, where he and Vietnamese leaders signed agreements to increase cooperation between Russia and Vietnam on education, science and technology, oil and gas exploration, and health, as well as to work on a roadmap for a nuclear science and technology center in Vietnam. [more]

SUDAN | Reuters cites a yet-unpublished U.N. projection as saying some 756,000 people in Sudan could face catastrophic food shortages by September of this year, according to Integrated Food Security Phase Classification measurements used by the U.N. and aid groups to determine whether to officially declare a famine. [more]

AFRICA | French President Emmanuel Macron and several African leaders are meeting in Paris today to launch the African Vaccine Manufacturing Accelerator – a $1 billion project to boost Africa-based vaccine manufacturing and improve preparations and responses to pandemics and disease outbreaks. [more]

NEW ZEALAND | Reports say much of New Zealand’s northernmost Northland region remains without electricity today following the collapse of a power transmission tower in the region. The cause of the collapse remains under investigation while power restoration efforts continue. [more]

INDIA | Health officials say at least 34 people have died, and more than 100 have been sickened, this week in southern India’s Tamil Nadu state after drinking illegally brewed liquor. [more]

SOUTH AFRICA | Cyril Ramaphosa was sworn in for a second term as president of South Africa yesterday after being reelected Friday by the country’s first-ever coalition government. [more]

U.K. | Ahead of today’s celebration of the summer solstice, U.K. authorities say two people have been arrested for spraying orange paint on Britain's Stonehenge prehistoric megalithic structure yesterday as part of an environmental and anti-oil protest movement. [more]

SOCCER | Defending champion Italy faces Spain today in one of the most highly anticipated matches of the Euro 2024 soccer tournament. [full schedule and results] [more]

COLLEGE BASEBALL | After defeating opponents this week, Texas A&M and Tennessee will face each other in the best-of-three men’s College World Series final, which starts Saturday in Omaha, Nebraska. [more]

BASKETBALL | The Detroit Pistons fired head coach Monty Williams yesterday following his inaugural season with the team that ended with an NBA-worst 14-68 record and saw the team have a league single-season record-setting 28-game losing streak. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1789, in a move considered a pivotal event in the French Revolution, members of the Third Estate met on a tennis court after being locked out of their meeting hall at Versailles and took the Tennis Court Oath – promising "not to separate and to reassemble wherever necessary until the Constitution of the kingdom is established.” [more history]

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