May 16, 2024


Listen to this issue.

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 223 of the conflict:

  • The U.N.’s International Court of Justice begins two days of hearings today on a request from South Africa that the Court order Israel to withdraw from the southern Gaza city of Rafah, and to ensure humanitarian organizations access to Gaza. [more]
  • The U.S. military says it has completed construction of a pier off the coast of Gaza through which an estimated 150 truckloads of humanitarian aid per day will soon be delivered to the Palestinian enclave. Pentagon officials note that aid entering Gaza via the pier will be distributed by United Nations agencies. [more]
  • Reports say Egypt has rejected a new Israeli proposal for the two countries to coordinate to re-open and manage the future operations of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Gaza, saying the crossing should be managed only by Palestinian authorities. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 812 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has reportedly postponed all of his planned foreign trips due to ongoing intensification of Russian military operations in Ukraine’s northeastern region. [more]
  • Russia's RIA state news agency cites officials as saying that Russian forces are preparing to launch an offensive against the Ukrainian village of Lyptsi, which is located just 19 miles north of Ukraine’s second largest city, Kharkiv. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | According to the Labor Departments’ latest report, consumer prices rose 0.3% from March to April – down from a 0.4% increase in the previous month – and 3.4% from the year-ago period. [full report] [more]

U.S. POLITICS | The campaigns of President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump agreed yesterday to hold two debates for the upcoming presidential election: one in June on CNN and one in September on ABC. Of note, the debates will not be run by the nonpartisan Commission on Presidential Debates, which has organized debates in every election since 1988. [more]

LOUISIANA | The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday allowed Louisiana to use a recently redrawn congressional districting map that creates a second Black-majority district for this year’s elections. The ruling was in response to emergency appeals that said intervention was needed to avoid confusion ahead of elections, but did not address a lower-court ruling that found the new map relied too heavily on race. [more]

U.S. POPULATION | According to new population estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau today, large cities in the Northeast and Midwest grew in 2023, reversing earlier population declines, while cities in the South grew the fastest, with 13 of the 15 fastest-growing urban populations. [press release] [full data] [more]

U.S. ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE | A bipartisan group of four U.S. senators led by Majority Leader Chuck Schumer recommended this week that Congress allocate at least $32 billion over the next three years to boost artificial intelligence development and implement safeguards around the AI industry. [more]

SLOVAKIA | Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico remains hospitalized in serious but stable condition today after being shot multiple times yesterday following a government meeting in the town of Handlova. Authorities say a suspect is in custody and that investigators have found a "clear political motivation" behind the assassination attempt. [more]

CHINA AND CAMBODIA | Chinese and Cambodian forces began 15 days of joint ground and naval military exercises today. The annual “Golden Dragon” exercises come amidst ongoing concern over China’s efforts to increase its influence in the Southeast Asia region. [more]

NETHERLANDS | Reports say far-right politician Geert Wilders and the leaders of three other populist parties reached an agreement today on forming a coalition government for the Netherlands, though it remains unclear who will be named the country’s prime minister. [more]

GREECE | Greek authorities say 42 people have been rescued and three others remain missing after a suspected migrant boat issued a distress call today near the island of Crete. [more]

JAPAN | The Japanese economy – the world’s fourth largest – shrank at a worse-than-expected annual rate of 2% in the first quarter of 2024, according to government data released today. [more]

NEW CALEDONIA | France declared a state of emergency for at least 12 days in its Pacific territory of New Caledonia yesterday amidst ongoing violence and rioting sparked by changes to voting eligibility regulations that have increased tensions between native Kanak separatists and French residents. [more]

BASKETBALL | The Cleveland Cavaliers were eliminated from the NBA playoffs last night with a 113-98 loss to the Boston Celtics in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1943, Nazi troops quelled the monthlong Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, in which Polish Jews, led by Mordecai Anielewicz and the Jewish Fighting Organization, resisted deportation to the Treblinka extermination camp [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

Sign up for a free or supporting membership to further our mission.