June 25, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 263 of the conflict:

  • In a speech yesterday, U.N. Palestinian refugee agency Commissioner-General Philippe Lazzarini said that 193 of his agency’s workers have been killed and more than 180 agency installations have been damaged or destroyed amidst the ongoing Israel-Hamas war. [more]
  • In a unanimous ruling today, Israel’s Supreme Court said that the country’s mandatory military service law must apply to ultra-Orthodox men, who have long been exempt from being drafted. Analysts say the ruling could lead to ultra-Orthodox political parties leaving the country’s coalition government, causing the government to collapse and leading to new elections. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 852 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • The International Criminal Court today issued arrest warrants for former Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Russian General Valery Gerasimov for alleged crimes committed during the invasion of Ukraine, including the targeting of electric infrastructure and directing attacks against civilians. [press release] [more]
  • Reports say the U.S. is expected to announce a new $150 million military aid package for Ukraine today, with the shipment including munitions for High Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, artillery rounds, anti-armor weapons, small arms, and grenades. [more]

ASSANGE PLEA DEAL | Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has reportedly reached a deal with U.S. prosecutors under which he will plead guilty to charges of conspiring to unlawfully obtain and disseminate classified national defense information in exchange for being sentenced to time already served while awaiting his extradition from Britain. Assange is set to appear before a judge in the U.S.’ Northern Mariana Islands territory tomorrow and is expected to return to his native Australia following the court proceedings. [more]

U.S. STUDENT LOANS | In separate rulings yesterday, two federal judges, one on Missouri and one in Kansas, blocked much of President Joe Biden’s plan to lower or cancel student loan payments for millions of borrowers. Reports note that the rulings do not appear to cancel payment assistance already granted to borrowers, but do block new measures scheduled to take effect July 1. [more]

LOUISIANA | Parent and civil liberties groups yesterday filed a lawsuit that seeks to block Louisiana’s new law that that requires a poster-sized version of the Ten Commandments to be displayed in all public school and university classrooms in the state. [more]

MINNESOTA | Officials in Minnesota’s Blue Earth County say the Rapidan Dam near the city of Mankato is in “imminent failure condition” following heavy rains and regional flooding. Authorities have not issued evacuation orders for area residents, but have emphasized the need for local populations to be prepared for possible emergencies. [more]

U.S. TRAVEL | The Transportation Security Administration said it screened 2.99 million airline passengers on Sunday, setting a new record for the most people screened in one day. TSA officials predict that the new single-day record will be exceeded during the upcoming Independence Day travel period. [more]

GLOBAL BIODIVERSITY | According to a new study in the journal Frontiers in Science, the majority of projected plant and animal extinctions around the world could be prevented by expanding existing nature preserves by an additional 1.2% of the Earth’s surface at a cost of about $263 billion. [press release] [full study] [more]

EUROPEAN UNION | Both Ukraine and Moldova begin formal E.U. accession talks today at an intergovernmental summit in Luxembourg. Reports note that E.U. membership approval is typically a years-long process and requires candidate countries to bring their laws and standards into line with those of the E.U. in 35 policy areas ranging from trade and taxation to judicial rights and security. [more]

INDONESIA | Communication and Informatics Minister Budi Arie Setiadi says Indonesia’s government does not intend to pay an $8 million ransomware demand from a hacking group that compromised the country’s national data center last Thursday, disrupting the services of more than 200 government agencies. Work to restore the government’s computer and data services is ongoing. [more]

CHINA | Reports say three people, including a Japanese mother and child, were wounded in a knife attack at a school bus stop in Suzhou, China, yesterday, prompting the Japanese embassy to issue a warning to its nationals across China. [more]

KOREA | South Korean officials say North Korea resumed its launching of trash-carrying balloons into the South yesterday, with some 100 balloons carrying mostly paper refuse landing in or around the South Korean capital of Seoul. [more]

KENYA | Thousands of people took part in protests in the Kenyan capital Nairobi and other cities today against proposed tax hikes. Reports say police fired tear gas and used water cannons to break up protests and that parliament buildings where the tax bill was being debated were sealed off from the public. [more]

GEORGIA | In a follow up to Georgia having passed a “foreign agent” law criticized as being overly authoritarian, European Union foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said today that the E.U. will downgrade its political contacts with Georgia and consider freezing aid to the South Caucasus country. [more]

CHINESE ECONOMY | Speaking at the opening of the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting of the New Champions in Dailan, China, today, Chinese Premier Li Qiang criticized international trade disputes over Chinese electric vehicle subsidies and said his country is on track to attain at least 5% economic growth this year. [more]

TECH INDUSTRY | The European Commission filed antitrust charges against Microsoft today, accusing the tech giant of illegally linking its chat and video app Teams with its Office product. [more]

HOCKEY | The Florida Panthers beat the Edmonton Oilers, 2-1, last night in Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Final series to claim the team’s first-ever NHL league championship. Edmonton’s Connor McDavid was named the Stanley Cup playoff’s most valuable player – only the second time a player on the losing team in the final has been named MVP. [more]

COLLEGE BASEBALL | Tennessee beat Texas A&M, 6-5, last night to win the men’s College World Series and claim the team’s first national championship in baseball. [more]

COLLEGE ATHLETICS | Iowa’s Caitlin Clark, now a member of the WNBA’s Indiana Fever, was named the Honda Cup’s Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year for the second year in a row yesterday. Clark is one of only four recipients to have won the Honda Cup multiple times. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1950, North Korea launched an attack on South Korea across the 38th parallel, sparking the three-year Korean War. Active fighting in the war was ended through an armistice agreement in July 1953, but a formal peace treaty between the belligerents was never implemented. [more history]

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