May 14, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 221 of the conflict:

  • The U.N. agency for Palestinian refugees said today that some 450,000 people have fled the southern Gaza city of Rafah since Israel expanded its military operations in and around the city last week. [more]
  • In a report released today, humanitarian group Human Rights Watch says at least 15 people have been killed in at least eight Israeli strikes on aid workers and their convoys since the start of the conflict in Gaza. [full report] [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 810 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • U.N High Commissioner for Human Rights Liz Throssell said today that at least eight civilians have been killed, and another 35 have been wounded, in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region since Russia strengthened its military offensive in the region on Friday. Throssel also reiterated her call for Russia to “immediately cease its armed attack against Ukraine – in line with the relevant resolutions of the UN General Assembly, the binding provisional measures ordered by the International Court of Justice, and with wider international law – and to withdraw to internationally recognized borders.” [more]
  • On a previously unannounced diplomatic visit, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv today to discuss renewed U.S. military aid and express the United States’ ongoing support for Ukraine’s fight against the Russian invasion. [more]

U.S. TRADE | Following a review of Chinese trade practices by the United States Trade Representative, the Biden administration today announced significant tariff increases on multiple “key sector” products imported from China, including steel and aluminum, semiconductors, electric vehicles, electric vehicle batteries, solar cells, and ship-to-shore cranes. [White House fact sheet] [more]

U.S. ENERGY | The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission yesterday approved a long-anticipated rule aimed at facilitating the transmission of renewable energy, including that from wind and solar power generation, to the electric grid. Supporters say the rule is critical to the future of the power grid amidst growing demand and the retirement of coal-based power plants, while opponents criticize it as a subsidy to the renewable energy industry. [press release] [fact sheet] [more]

CALIFORNIA | The Los Angeles County Probation Department announced yesterday that it has put 66 of its probation officers on administrative leave since January pending investigations into charges that include use of excessive force, child endangerment or abuse, possession of contraband, negligent supervision, sexual misconduct, and arrests unrelated to employment. Department officials say its announcement was part of efforts to “regain public trust.” [press release] [more]

MARYLAND | As part of ongoing recovery efforts, the largest remaining span of Baltimore’s collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge was demolished yesterday. Officials say the ship that caused the collapse, which has remained stuck since colliding with a bridge support on March 26, could be refloated in the next few days. [more]

U.S., IRAN, AND YEMEN | Speaking before the U.N. Security Council yesterday, U.S. deputy ambassador Robert Wood said there is extensive evidence that Iran is providing advanced weapons to Houthi rebel forces in Yemen in violation of U.N. sanctions, and that the Council should “call Iran out for its destabilizing role” in the region. [more]

GLOBAL DISPLACEMENT | The Internal Displacement Monitoring Center  reports that a record 75.9 million people were displaced within their own countries in 2023 - a 50% increase over the past five years and nearly double the number seen a decade ago. The group say violence in Sudan, Congo, and the Middle East was responsible for about two-thirds of last year's global internal displacement. [more]

CANADA | Officials with the British Columbia Wildfire Service say a wildfire that has burned some 20 square miles in their province could reach several towns this week. Reports say many residents of the Canadian province's regions affected by the fire have already evacuated. [more]

RUSSIA AND CHINA | A two-day state visit to China by Russian President Vladimir Putin later this week has been confirmed by both countries. The Chinese Foreign Ministry says Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping will meet to discuss “cooperation in various fields of bilateral relations” and "international and regional issues of common concern.” [more]

FRANCE AND NEW CALEDONIA | Officials in France's southwest Pacific island territory of New Caledonia banned gatherings and announced a two-day curfew today following the overnight outbreak of clashes that saw more than 40 security forces personnel injured and at least 48 people arrested. Tensions on the island territory have simmered for years between French nationalists and native Kanacks seeking independence. [more]

POLAND | Two miners were killed, and 12 others were injured, early today when a section of the Myslowice-Wesola coal mine collapsed in southern Poland following an earth tremor. Authorities say one miner working in the area of the collapse remains missing. [more]

INDIA | Amidst the country’s ongoing six-week-long general election, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi today officially filed paperwork to run to retain his parliamentary seat in the city of Varanasi, where voting is scheduled to take place on June 1. [more]

MORE INDIA | Reports say at least 14 people were killed, and dozens of others were injured, yesterday when a giant billboard collapsed onto a gas station and multiple houses in the Indian city of Mumbai during a storm. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1948—just before the expiration of the British mandate in PalestineDavid Ben-Gurion and the Jewish People's Council proclaimed the establishment of the State of Israel, precipitating the first Arab-Israeli war. [more history]

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