May 17, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 224 of the conflict:

  • In a hearing before the U.N.’s International Court of Justice today, Israeli officials said South Africa’s allegations that Israel is carrying out a genocide against the Palestinian people in Gaza is “completely divorced from the facts and circumstances,” and that the South African case before the court “makes a mockery of the heinous charge of genocide.” [more]
  • Amidst the ongoing food crisis in Gaza, the first truckloads of humanitarian aid began entering the Palestinian enclave today via a newly completed U.S. floating pier. Reports say the pier will eventually be used to deliver up to 150 truckloads of aid per day. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 813 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In an interview with the TASS state news agency today, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Sergei Ryabkov said that the United States has entered a state of indirect war with Russia through its support of Ukraine and that U.S.-Russia tensions are “approaching a phase in which it will be very difficult to control what is happening and to prevent a dramatic crisis.” [more]
  • According to Russian authorities, large-scale Ukrainian drone attacks early today caused power outages in Crimea, set an oil refinery on fire in Russia's Krasnodar region, and destroyed a fuel tank in the Belgorod region. [more]

TEXAS | At least four people were killed in powerful storms yesterday in southeastern Texas, with the city of Houston being particularly hard-hit. An estimated 900,000 customers remain without power today due to the storms and the Houston Independent School District has cancelled classes today at all of its 274 locations. [more]

U.S. DRUG REGULATION | The Justice Department announced yesterday that it is proposing to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous Schedule III controlled substance rather than its current Schedule I classification alongside such drugs as heroin and LSD.  The proposal would not legalize marijuana outright for recreational use, but recognizes the drug’s currently accepted medical uses. [press release] [full proposal] [more]

U.S. CONSUMER PROTECTION | In a 7-2 ruling yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s direct funding by the Federal Reserve, instead of through congressional appropriations, does not violate the Constitution, reversing a lower court ruling. [more]

U.S., TAIWAN, AND CHINA | Taiwan exported $24.6 billion worth of goods to the U.S. in the first quarter of 2024, compared to $22.4 billion to mainland China – the first time since 2016 that the island’s exports to the U.S. were greater than those to China. [more]

CHILD MIGRATION | According to a new report from the United Nations Children’s Fund, an estimated 30,000 child migrants have passed through the dangerous Darien Gap between Colombia and Panama so far this year – a 40% increase from the same period last year. The agency said that some children have died while traversing the Darien Gap region and that more funding is needed to care for underage migrants. [full report] [more]

FRANCE AND NEW CALEDONIA | French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal says as many as 2,700 security force troops will be deployed to New Caledonia to quell violence in the French territory that was sparked recently by changes to voting eligibility laws. [more]

TURKEY | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan today pardoned seven former senior military officers who were serving life sentences for their roles in the ouster of Turkey’s Islamic-led government in 1997. [more]

CHAD | Opposition candidate Succès Masra’s challenge of the May 6 election results in Chad was rejected yesterday by the country’s constitutional council, which declared President Mahamat Deby Itno to have won the election with 61% of the vote. [more]

JAPAN | Under a revision to Japan’s civil code passed by the country’s parliament today, divorced parents in Japan will, for the first time, be allowed the option of joint child custody. The revision also requires the sharing of child rearing costs by divorced parents. [more]

PAKISTAN | Suspected Islamic militants bombed a girls’ school in Pakistan’s Khyber Pakhtunkhwa overnight. The school facility was destroyed in the attack, but no casualties occurred, according to reports. [more]

NORTH KOREA | A day after the U.S. and South Korea held simulated joint air combat drills, North Korea today launched multiple short-range ballistic missiles into the sea off its eastern coast today, according to South Korean and Japanese officials. [more]

SOCCER | World soccer governing body FIFA announced today that Brazil will host the 2027 Women’s World Cup – the first staging ever of the tournament in South America. [more]

HOCKEY | The New York Rangers advanced to the NHL’s Eastern Conference Final last night with a 5-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes in Game 6 of the teams’ semi-final series. [more]

COUNTRY MUSIC | Among the winners at last night’s 59th Academy of Country Music Awards were: Lainey Wilson for entertainer of the year; Jordan Davis for song of the year for “Next Thing You Know;” Chris Stapleton for album of the year for "Higher;" and Luke Combs for single of the year for his cover of Tracy Chapman’s “Fast Car.” [full list of winners] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1954, lawyer Thurgood Marshall scored a landmark victory as the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka that racial segregation in public schools was unconstitutional. [more history]

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