June 21, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 259 of the conflict:

  • Reports cite U.N. officials as saying a daily Israeli military pause in fighting along a corridor in southern Gaza to allow the delivery of humanitarian aid has made little-to-no difference in aid reaching Palestinians in the region due to ongoing lawlessness and to groups of armed men disrupting or looting aid shipments. Responding to the U.N. statements, Israeli officials said additional efforts would be made to protect the humanitarian aid corridor. [more]
  • Amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas conflict, Armenia today became the latest country to announce that it will formally recognize the existence of a Palestinian state in support of a two-state solution to bring peace to the region. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 848 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • U.S. national security spokesman John Kirby said yesterday that the U.S. has made the “difficult but necessary decision” to redirect planned shipments of air defense interceptor missiles to various unnamed allies to Ukraine due to Kyiv’s urgent need for the weapons amidst the ongoing Russian invasion. [more]
  • Following the signing of a mutual defense agreement between Russia and North Korea earlier this week, South Korea said yesterday that it will now consider making a major policy change to allow weapons shipments and other military aid to Ukraine. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Host network CNN says independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has failed to qualify for next week’s presidential debate in Atlanta due to insufficient state ballot qualifications and national polling measurements. [more]

U.S. IMMIGRATION | The Customs and Border Protection agency said yesterday that arrests of immigrants attempting to enter the U.S. illegally fell 9% in May, compared to April, and that border encounters with migrants have shown a 25% decrease in the roughly two weeks since President Biden announced new rules restricting asylum applications. [more]

NEW YORK | Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a measure into New York State law yesterday that limits social media feeds from companies such as TikTok and Instagram for users under the age of 18 to posts from accounts the users already follow, rather than including content suggested by automated algorithms. The law, implementation rules for which have not yet been finalized, would also block platforms from sending notifications to minors between midnight and 6 a.m. [more]

HAWAII | Gov. Josh Green announced yesterday that Hawaii has settled a lawsuit brought by youth plaintiffs that alleged violations of the state constitution by making transportation system decisions that harmed the climate and infringed on children’s rights to clean and healthy environments. Under the settlement, Hawaii will develop a roadmap to achieve zero emissions for its ground, sea, and inner island air transportation systems by 2045 and will create a volunteer youth council to advise the state's Department of Transportation. [more]

PANDEMIC FUNDING | The U.S. Internal Revenue Service said yesterday that its review of some 1 million claims for the pandemic-era Employee Retention Credit designed to help business retain employees has found that the “vast majority” of claims show either clear signs or an unacceptable risk of being improper. The agency said it will continue to review and take action on the claims, which represent some $86 billion. [more]

TRUMP CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS TRIAL | U.S. District Judge Aileen Cannon is scheduled to hear arguments today on a pre-trial challenge to special counsel Jack Smith’s appointment by the Justice Department to pursue the classified documents case against former President Donald Trump. [more]

VIRGINIA | The FBI announced yesterday that newly conducted DNA evidence has led to the identification of now-deceased serial rapist Walter Jackson Sr., originally from the Cleveland, Ohio, area, as the person the Bureau believes is responsible for the previously unsolved 1996 murders of Julianne Williams and Laura Winans in Virginia's Shenandoah National Park. [more]

U.S. CYBERSECURITY | The Commerce Department issued a final ruling yesterday banning the sale of cybersecurity and anti-virus software from Kaspersky Lab, Inc., in the U.S. starting next month due to the Moscow-based company’s products posing “undue and unacceptable risks to U.S. national security and to the security and safety of U.S. persons.” [full ruling] [more]

U.S. AND HAITI | Reuters cites an unnamed U.S. government source as saying the State Department has approved the awarding of nearly $110 million in security funding to Haiti to support an international security mission to the Caribbean nation and increase Haitian National Police counter-gang capabilities. [more]

GLOBAL CYBERSECURITY | Speaking before the United Nations Security Council yesterday, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres warned that while digital advances are revolutionizing economies and societies, the dangers from weaponization of such technologies by governments and criminals are growing every year and are being strengthened by advances in artificial intelligence and quantum computing. [full comments transcript] [more]

INDIA | According to India’s Health Ministry and National Centre for Disease Control, at least 110 people have died, and more than 40,000 cases of suspected heat stroke have been documented, due to a monthslong heat wave that has affected much of the country since the beginning of March. [more]

KENYA | An alliance of rights groups, including Amnesty International and the Kenya Medical Association, said in a joint statement yesterday that one person was killed, and more than 200 were injured, in nationwide protests this week in Kenya against government plans to raise taxes on a broad selection of goods and services. [more]

PAKISTAN | Reports say a crowd of Muslims broke into a police station yesterday in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, seized a man there who was being held after having been accused of desecrating the Quran, and then killed the man. Local authorities say they are attempting to identify members of the crowd that attacked the police station. [more]

JAPAN AND NEW ZEALAND | Amidst regional security concerns that include Chinese actions in the South China Sea and closer ties between Russia and North Korea, Japan and New Zealand announced an agreement in principle this week to implement an information security pact to facilitate the sharing of classified intelligence. [more]

SOCCER | Argentina beat Canada, 2-0, yesterday in the opening match of the 2024 Copa America tournament, with soccer legend Lionel Messi assisting on both goals. The tournament runs through July 14. [full tournament schedule] [more]

GOLF | Tom Kim leads the PGA’s Travelers Championship after shooting an 8-under-par 62 yesterday in the tournament’s opening round. In women’s play, Lexi Thompson shot a 4-under-par 68 to take the first-round lead in the KPMG Women’s PGA Championship. [more]

R.I.P. | Canadian actor Donald Sutherland, known for roles in films ranging from the original “MAS*H” movie, “The Dirty Dozen,” “Kelly’s Heroes,” and the “Hunger Games” movies, died yesterday at the age of 88, according to a statement released by his agents. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1893, the first Ferris wheel – invented by Pittsburgh-based engineer George Washington Gale Ferris – made its debut at the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.  [more history]

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