March 13, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 159 of the conflict:

  • The Hamas-run Gaza Health Ministry reports that, as of today, 31,272 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel. [more]
  • According to a Reuters report, the U.S. is considering asking allies to fund and support an international foundation that would establish a privately run operation to send humanitarian aid to Gaza by sea ahead of a similar U.S. military maritime operation that could take months to begin operating. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 748 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • The U.S. announced a new $300 million military aid package for Ukraine yesterday that, according to officials, will include anti-aircraft missiles, rockets, artillery ammunition, anti-armor systems, small arms ammunition, and other equipment taken from Pentagon stocks.  Congressional action on funding further Ukraine aid remains stalled, and U.S. defense officials say funds for the new package became available as a results of cost savings made in weapons contracts. [more]
  • Russian defense officials say their forces killed more than 200 fighters that took part in cross-border incursions yesterday into regions of Russia that border Ukraine. Responsibility for the incursions has been claimed by groups of Ukraine-based Russian opponents of the Kremlin, referred to as “Ukraine’s terrorist formations” by Russian officials following yesterday’s fighting. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Following yesterday’s presidential primaries in four states, Joe Biden and Donald Trump have each received enough delegates to their parties’ conventions to clinch the Democratic and Republican presidential nominations, respectively. This November’s election will be the first time since 1956 that two main presidential candidates will face each other in a re-match. [more]

JANUARY 6 | In a move criticized by Democrats as intending to divert blame for the January 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol away from former President Donald Trump, the Republican-led House Administration subcommittee on Oversight opened hearings yesterday on a re-examination of the findings of the House’s Select Committee on Jan. 6. Speaker Mike Johnson says the hearings will result in a final report that will “correct the incomplete narrative” advanced by the previous work of the Select Committee. [more]

U.S. SOCIAL MEDIA | Amidst concerns over potential tracking and other privacy issues by China, the  U.S. House of Representatives is scheduled to pass a measure today that would require the Chinese company ByteDance to divest its TikTok social media platform and other applications within six months of the bill’s enactment or have the platforms banned in the United States. Reports say the bill is expected to face stronger opposition in the Senate. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | According to the Labor Department’s latest inflation report, the consumer price index – a measure of the average change over time in the prices paid by urban consumers for a selection of consumer goods and services – rose 0.4% from January to February. Compared to the year-ago period, the CPI rose 3.2% in February – up from 3.1% in January. [more]

CHILD MORTALITY | According to a new report from the United Nations Inter-agency Group for Child Mortality Estimation, the number of children worldwide who died before their fifth birthday fell to a record-low 4.9 million in 2022 – down 51% from the level seen in 2000 – with most such deaths occurring in sub-Saharan Africa and Southern Asia. [press release] [full report] [more]

RUSSIA | Ahead of Friday’s start of presidential election voting in Russia and amidst the ongoing war in Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin said in an interview today that Russia is ready to use nuclear weapons if it faces threats to the country’s statehood, sovereignty, or independence. [more]

JAPAN | Speaking yesterday in Japan, International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Grossi said the ongoing discharge of treated radioactive wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean is being carried out “with no impact to the environment, water, fish, and sediment,” and that any restrictions on seafood products from the discharge region are “not scientific.” [more]

MORE JAPAN | Space One’s Kairos rocket exploded shortly after takeoff this morning in central Japan, ending the company’s attempt to become the first Japanese private sector firm to place a satellite into orbit. [more]

AI | The European Parliament is expected to give final approval today to its wide-ranging Artificial Intelligence Act, which will put in place rules, regulations, and procedures for assessing and mitigating potential risks associated with AI advancements and proliferation. [more]

SLOVAKIA | An estimated 5,000 people in the Slovakian capital of Bratislava took part in demonstrations yesterday in support of Ukraine and against what organizers claim is the Slovakian government's pro-Russia leanings. [more]

HONDURAS | Days after her husband, former Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernández, was convicted on drug trafficking charges in the U.S., former Honduras first lady Ana García de Hernández announced yesterday that she plans to run for the Central American country’s presidency. [more]

CHINA | Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reports that two people were killed, and 26 others were injured, today when a suspected gas leak caused an explosion at a restaurant in the northern China province of Hebei. [more]

IDITAROD | Dallas Seavey won the Iditarod dog sled race in Alaska for a record-setting sixth time late Tuesday, completing the nearly-1,000-mile course in 9 days, 2 hours, 16 minutes, and 8 seconds. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1925, the Tennessee legislature passed a bill that banned the teaching of Charles Darwin's theory of evolution in the state's public schools. In a highly publicized trial, high-school teacher John T. Scopes was later convicted of breaking the law, which was eventually repealed by the state in 1967. [more history]

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