March 5, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 151 of the conflict:

  • In a new report yesterday, U.N. envoy Pramila Patten said there are “reasonable grounds to believe that conflict-related sexual violence occurred” during the October 7 Hamas attacks on Israel, including rape and gang rape, and that there is evidence to suggest that such sexual violence against Israeli hostages still held by Hamas may be ongoing. [full report PDF] [more]
  • Israeli officials yesterday claimed that some 450 of the U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees’ 13,000 employees are “military operatives in terror groups in Gaza” – a charge the U.N. agency denied in a statement that also accused Israel of using torture and ill treatment of detained agency employees to force false confessions of links between the agency and Hamas. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 740 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian authorities say the country’s special forces sunk a Russian warship in the Black Sea overnight using high-tech sea drones. The ship, the Sergey Kotov, reportedly carries a crew of about 60 sailors. [more]
  • Officials in the southern Ukraine port city of Odessa say the death toll from a Russian drone strike Saturday that hit an apartment building has risen to 10 following the discovery of a deceased mother and infant in the building’s remains. [more]

TRUMP CANDIDACY | In a ruling released yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned a Colorado Supreme Court decision that removed former President Donald Trump from the state’s presidential primary ballot based on the U.S. Constitution’s so-called “insurrection clause.” In its ruling the U.S. Supreme Court said that “States may disqualify persons holding or attempting to hold state office. But States have no power under the Constitution to enforce [the insurrection clause] with respect to federal offices, especially the Presidency,” noting that such power resides with Congress. [full ruling PDF] [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Voters in 16 states and one U.S. territory are voting in today’s “Super Tuesday” presidential primaries and caucuses. More than one-third of the total number of delegates to the Republican and Democratic conventions will be awarded through today’s voting. [more]

U.S. IMMIGRATION | Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito yesterday put a new Texas law allowing the state to arrest persons suspected of entering the U.S. illegally on hold until the Court considers Texas’ appeal of a lower court ruling that would have allowed the law to take effect this coming weekend. [more]

U.S. CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS | Massachusetts Air National Guard member Jack Teixeira, who was arrested last April in connection with the leaking of highly classified military documents online, pleaded guilty yesterday to six counts of willful retention and transmission of national defense information. Under the plea deal, Teixeira is expected to be sentenced to between 11 and 17 years in prison. [more]

MICHIGAN | Authorities in Detroit, Michigan, say a fire at an industrial distribution center in the city’s northeast region caused multiple explosions that sent debris flying as far as one mile last night. Officials say the incident is under investigation and have urged the public to stay away from the affected area. [more]

OCEAN ECOLOGY | Reuters cites Derek Manzello, the coordinator of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Coral Reef Watch, as saying that the world is on the verge of a mass coral bleaching event that could see the death of large areas of tropical reefs worldwide. [more]

SOUTH CHINA SEA | At least four Filipino sailors were injured today when Chinese and Philippine coast guard vessels collided near the disputed Second Thomas Shoal in the South China Sea. Philippine officials say the collisions occurred when Chinese vessels executed dangerous maneuvers while attempting to block Philippine coast guard and supply vessels from the shoal. [more]

CHINA | In an address to the National People’s Congress today in Beijing, Chinese Premier Li Qiang set a 5% goal for China’s economic growth in 2024. Also announced at the Congress today was a 7.2% increase in Chinese defense spending for the year. [more]

HAITI | Heavily armed gangs are reported to have exchanged gunfire with police and soldiers yesterday during an apparent attempt to seize control of Haiti’s main international airport. The incident followed the announcement of a curfew and 72-hour state of emergency by the government earlier this week following an increase in gang-related violence. [more]

E.U. DEFENSE SPENDING | The European Commission proposed a new 1.5-billion-euro defense spending program yesterday that calls for the bloc’s 27 member nations to increase collective procurement of defense equipment and rely more heavily on intra-E.U. defense trade. [more]

PANAMA | Former President Ricardo Martinelli’s candidacy in Panama’s upcoming presidential election was disqualified by the country’s Electoral Tribunal after his 10-year prison sentence for money laundering was upheld yesterday. Panama’s constitution bars anyone sentenced to five years or more for a crime from holding elected office. [more]

NEPAL | The two largest communist political parties in Nepal joined this week to form a new coalition government – the country’s 13th government since abolishing its centuries-old monarchy in 2008. [more]

FOOTBALL | Reports say the NFL’s Denver Broncos informed quarterback Russell Wilson yesterday that they will release him next week, just 18 months after signing him to a five-year, $242 million contract extension. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1946, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill popularized the term “Iron Curtain”—describing the separation of the Soviet Union and its eastern and central European allies from Western nations—in a speech at Fulton, Missouri. [listen to the full speech] [more history]

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