March 22, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 168 of the conflict:

  • The U.N. Security Council is scheduled to vote today on a U.S.-sponsored resolution that calls for an immediate and sustained cease-fire in the Israel-Hamas war in Gaza and for the facilitation of humanitarian aid deliveries to residents of the Palestinian enclave. Of note, the resolution does not tie the demand for a cease-fire to the release of hostages taken by Hamas, but does condemn acts of terrorism, including “the Hamas-led attacks of Oct. 7, 2023.” [more]
  • Israeli military officials say hundreds of Hamas and Islamic Jihad militants, including several senior military commanders, have been detained during Israel’s multi-day raid this week on Gaza City’s al-Shifa hospital. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 757 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian Energy Minister Herman Galushchenko said today that overnight Russian attacks on electrical power facilities across much of Ukraine caused widespread power outages and killed at least three people. Among the facilities targeted in the attacks, which involved approximately 90 missiles and 60 drones, was the Dnipro Hydroelectric Station – Ukraine's largest hydroelectric plant, which supplies electricity to the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant.  [more]
  • After more than two years of Russian officials referring to the invasion of Ukraine as a “special military operation,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said in an interview today that Russia is, indeed, “in a state of war” brought on by Western countries participating on the side of Ukraine. [more]

U.S. GOVERNMENT FUNDING | Both the House and Senate will consider a $1.2 trillion spending package today ahead of a midnight deadline for funding federal agencies. About 70% of funds in the bill would go toward defense, with the remainder funding the departments of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, Labor, and others. [more]

MISSISSIPPI | Sentencing was completed this week in the cases of six white former Mississippi law enforcement officers who pleaded guilty to torturing two Black men in January 2023. Prison sentences for the six former officers ranged from 10 to 40 years. [more]

U.S. ANTITRUST | The Justice Department, along with 16 state and district attorneys general, announced a wide-ranging antitrust lawsuit against Apple yesterday in which the tech giant is accused of maintaining a monopoly in the smartphone market and of practices that stifle innovation and artificially inflate prices. Apple said it intends to vigorously defend against the lawsuit, which it called “wrong on the facts and the law.” [more]

U.S. MEASLES ALERT | Following a significant spike in reported cases of measles in the U.S. this year, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued an alert this week urging clinicians and parents to ensure children are vaccinated against the disease. The CDC says 58 cases of measles were confirmed in the U.S. from January 1 to March 14 of this year, compared to 58 cases in all of 2023, and notes that more than 90% of this year’s cases have been linked to international travel. [CDC advisory] [more]

IDAHO | Police in Idaho say the prison inmate who escaped from a Boise hospital earlier this week and his accomplice were captured near the city of Twin Falls yesterday following a brief car chase. Authorities say investigations are currently underway into the two men’s possible involvement in two homicides while on the run. [more]

TENNESSEE | Governor Bill Lee signed the Ensuring Likeness Voice and Image Security, or ELVIS, Act into law yesterday, making Tennessee the first U.S. state to enact legislation prohibiting the use of artificial intelligence to mimic an artist’s voice without permission. [more]

VENEZUELA | Federal prosecutors in Venezuela announced arrest warrants this week for nine staff members of opposition leader María Corina Machado’s presidential campaign, accusing them of involvement in a violent anti-government conspiracy. The announcement came amidst international concern over accusations that the government of President Nicolás Maduro is actively working to stifle political opposition ahead of Venezuela's July presidential election. [more]

AUSTRALIA AND U.K. | Following the signing of a new defense and security cooperation agreement between Australia and the U.K. yesterday, Australia announced plans to invest $3 billion in British industry to support the construction of nuclear-powered submarines as part of a joint U.S.-U.K.-Australia agreement to provide Australia with at least three of the submarines. [more]

HAITI | Reports say political groups in Haiti appear to be close to finalizing the makeup of a transition council that would assume the country’s presidential powers and appoint a replacement for Prime Minister Ariel Henry, who announced his resignation on March 11. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | The Islamic State militant group has claimed responsibility for a suicide bombing attack yesterday at a bank in the southern Afghanistan city of Kandahar in which three people were killed and 12 others were wounded. [more]

INDONESIA | U.N. refugee agency officials and the International Organization for Migration say more than 70 Rohingya refugees are “presumed dead or missing” and 75 others have been rescued after a boat they were on capsized earlier this week off the coast of Indonesia's Aceh province. [more]

INDIA | New Delhi chief minister and opposition leader Arvind Kejriwal was arrested yesterday by India’s federal Enforcement Directorate and accused of accepting $12 million in bribes from liquor contractors nearly two years ago. Kejriwal’s Common People’s Party has denied the accusations, which opposition activists have suggested are part of attempts by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government to crack down on opponents ahead of India’s general election next month. [more]

R.I.P. | Futurist and author Vernor Vinge, best known for his science-fiction novels such as “A Fire Upon the Deep” and “Rainbow’s End,” died Wednesday at the age of 79, according to a statement release by his friend and writing colleague David Brin. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1945, the Arab League, a regional organization of Arab states in the Middle East, was organized in Cairo by Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, Transjordan (now Jordan), and Saudi Arabia. The League currently has 22 members. [more history]

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