March 18, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 164 of the conflict:

  • According to a new report from the U.N.-backed Integrated Food Security Phase Classification, famine is imminent in Gaza as some 1.1 million people in the Palestinian enclave face catastrophic food insecurity caused by the ongoing conflict and sustained lack of access to essential supplies and services. [report overview] [full report] [more]
  • Claiming that Hamas militants had regrouped at the location, Israeli forces launched another raid on the Shifa Hospital – Gaza’s largest medical facility – early today. Reports say Israeli troops raided several buildings in the hospital compound and detained dozens of people. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 753 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • On the final day of voting in Russia’s presidential election, Ukraine launched a series of drone attacks on Russian facilities yesterday, with targets including multiple oil refineries, an airport, and other sites in the Moscow region. Reports say most of the drones were shot down by Russian air defenses, but that at least two people were killed in the attacks. [more]
  • Speaking at a news conference following his presidential election victory, Russian President Vladimir Putin suggested that Russia may plan to establish a buffer zone along its border with Ukraine to help protect against long-range Ukrainian strikes and cross-border raids. [more]
  • Leaders of the Group of Seven nations said Friday that their countries would impose significant new sanctions on Iran if it moves forward with rumored plans to provide ballistic missiles to Russia for use in its invasion of Ukraine. [more]

U.S. SOCIAL MEDIA | The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments today in a case brought by Missouri and Louisiana that accuses the federal government of unconstitutionally pressuring social media platforms to limit the reach of posts on controversial topics such as COVID-19 and election security. [docket summary] [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | Following a Reuters report that SpaceX is building a network of hundreds of spy satellites under a classified contract with the U.S. National Reconnaissance Office intelligence agency, Chinese officials accused the U.S. of threatening global security and stability through its expansion of worldwide satellite-based monitoring of countries or regions it is concerned about. [more]

U.S. AND NIGER | Niger’s military government, which took power in a July 2023 coup, announced its withdrawal Saturday from a 2012 agreement with the United States that allowed U.S. troops to operate in the African nation. Reports note that, as of late last year, some 650 U.S. troops were thought to have still been deployed in Niger. [more]

RUSSIA | President Vladimir Putin has been declared the winner of this weekend’s presidential election in Russia, where he has led as either president of prime minister since December 1999. The election, which has been criticized by the West as being neither free nor fair, returns Putin to office for another six-year term. [more]

E.U. AND EGYPT | The European Union announced a new $8 billion aid package for Egypt yesterday as the foundation of a strategic and comprehensive Egypt-E.U. partnership. In a joint statement, the two parties said, “The European Union recognizes Egypt as a reliable partner and its unique and vital geostrategic role as a pillar of security, moderation, and peace in the Mediterranean, Near East and African region.” [more]

NORTH KOREA | U.S., Japanese, and South Korean officials say North Korea fired multiple short-range missiles into the waters off its east coast this morning. The missile tests, North Korea’s first since mid-February, come just days after the conclusion of large-scale U.S.-South Korean joint military training exercises. [more]

PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN | Pakistani forces carried out airstrikes on suspected Pakistani Taliban hideouts inside neighboring Afghanistan today. Reports say at least eight people were killed in the airstrikes, which were condemned by Afghanistan’s Taliban government. [more]

ICELAND | A volcano on Iceland’s Reykjanes Peninsula erupted Saturday for the fourth time in three months, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office. Reports say the eruption necessitated limited evacuations, but no flight disruptions at the nearby Keflavik airport. [more]

COLOMBIA | President Gustavo Petro suspended Colombia’s cease-fire with the Estado Mayor Central armed dissident group yesterday, saying the group violated a truce Saturday by attacking an Indigenous community in the country’s western Cauca region. [more]

POLAND AND GERMANY | As part of ongoing protests against European Union climate-related restrictions and low-priced imports from Ukraine, Polish farmers began a planned four-day blockade of Poland’s Swiecko and Gubinek border crossings with Germany yesterday. [more]

COLLEGE BASKETBALL | Brackets for the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments were announced yesterday. UConn, Houston, Purdue, and North Carolina are No. 1 seeds in the men’s tournament, and South Carolina, Iowa, USC, and Texas are atop the women’s bracket with No. 1 seeds. [more]

TENNIS | Carlos Alcaraz beat Daniil Medvedev and Iga Swiatek defeated Maria Sakkari yesterday to win the men’s and women’s titles, respectively, at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California. [more]

GOLF | Scottie Scheffler shot an 8-under-par 64 final round yesterday to win The Players Championship for the second year in a row. [more]

NAACP IMAGE AWARDS | Among the winners announced at Saturday night’s 55th NAACP Image Awards were: Usher as entertainer of the year and “The Color Purple” as outstanding motion picture. Also at the awards ceremony, Poet Amanda Gorman received the Chairman’s Award and New Edition received the Hall of Fame Award. [more]

WEEKEND MOVIES | "Kung Fu Panda 4" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $30 million in receipts, followed by "Dune: Part Two" and "Arthur the King." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1766, the British Parliament repealed the Stamp Act of 1765 after violent protests by American colonists, including a group known as the Sons of Liberty. [more history]

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