May 21, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 228 of the conflict:

  • France and Belgium today released statements supporting yesterday’s request for arrest warrants for Israeli and Hamas leaders on war crimes charges by the International Criminal Court’s chief prosecutor – a move sharply criticized by the United States. [more]
  • According to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Health Ministry, at least 85 people were killed, and more than 200 others were injured, in Israeli military operations in Gaza over the past 24 hours. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 817 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • European Union countries today formally adopted a plan to use profits from frozen Russian central bank assets in the E.U. to provide aid to Ukraine. An estimated 90% of some 15-20 billion euros in profits through 2027 will be used for military aid for Ukraine, with the other 10% funding other needs. [more]
  • At least 25 trucks, buses, and other vehicles were damaged in an overnight Russian drone attack on transportation infrastructure in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv, according to local officials. A planned visit to the city today by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock was cancelled due to safety concerns related to ongoing Russian military operations in the region. [more]

U.S. DRINKING WATER SECURITY | According to an Environmental Protection Agency enforcement alert released yesterday, more than 70% of public water systems inspected by the EPA since September 2023 were found to be in violation of basic Safe Drinking Water Act cybersecurity requirements for the protection and security of drinking water systems. [press release] [EPA alert] [more]

U.S. VETERAN CARE | President Joe Biden is expected to announce today that more than 888,000 U.S. military veterans and survivors are now receiving new service-connected disability benefits related to the 2022 PACT Act, which expanded benefits and service for service members exposed to toxic substances and smoke from burn pits during their military service. [White House fact sheet] [more]

U.S. FDIC | Following the release earlier this month of a report that found the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s workplace culture to be hostile, abusive, and unprofessional, the agency’s chairman, Martin Gruenberg, is expected to announce his resignation today. [full report] [more]

U.S. COLLEGE PROTESTS | Graduate student workers at the University of California, Santa Cruz, went on strike yesterday as part of a planned UC-systemwide protest over the war in Gaza and how administrators of the 10-campus university system have responded to pro-Palestinian encampments. [more]

U.S. AND U.K. | A London court yesterday granted Wikileaks founder Julian Assange the right to appeal his extradition to the United States to face espionage charges related to the website’s publication of classified U.S. documents nearly 15 years ago. [more]

SPACE | The U.N. Security Council yesterday failed to pass a Russia-backed resolution aimed at preventing the weaponization of space. A related U.S.- and Japan-backed resolution was rejected by the Council last month. [more]

AI | Delegates from G7 nations, along with representatives from the United Nations, European Union, and tech companies Google, Meta, Amazon, and Samsung, are taking part in the two-day AI Seoul Summit out of which an agreement is expected on plans for the safe, innovative, and inclusive development and use of artificial intelligence systems. The meeting is a follow-up to last November’s inaugural AI Safety Summit held in the United Kingdom.  [more]

GREECE | The trial of nine Egyptian men accused of causing a shipwreck that killed hundreds of migrants last year off the coast of Greece opened today with defense lawyers arguing that the incident, in which more than 500 migrants are thought to have died, occurred outside Greek territorial waters and that the Greek court, therefore, should not have jurisdiction in the case. [more]

SOUTH PACIFIC | Amidst ongoing Australian efforts to counter China’s growing influence in the South Pacific, Australian Deputy Prime Minister said today that Australia has pledged some $33.3 million in healthcare and border control support to the Solomon Islands. [more]

PAKISTAN | Authorities in Pakistan issued health alerts, urged people to stay indoors, and closed schools in some regions as the country deals with a prolonged heat wave this week in which temperatures are expected to rise above 40 degrees Celsius (104 Fahrenheit). [more]

YEMEN | Iran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen today claimed to have shot down a second U.S. drone in a week over the Arab country. U.S. military officials have not commented on the Houthi claim. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | According to Palestinian Health Ministry officials, at least seven Palestinians were killed today in an Israeli military raid on the West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp. [more]

HAITI | After having been closed for nearly three months due to ongoing gang violence and gang control of much of the capital Port-au-Prince, Haiti’s main international airport reopened yesterday. Reports say U.S. airlines are not expected to start using the airport until late May or early June. [more]

NEW CALEDONIA | Amidst ongoing riots and violence sparked by recently passed voting eligibility reforms, Australia and New Zealand began evacuating their citizens from the French territory of New Caledonia today – the same day that French President Emmanuel Macron is traveling to the South Pacific territory. [more]

RUSSIA | Russian physicist Anatoly Maslov was sentenced to 14 years in a penal colony today after being convicted on treason charges. The charges against Maslov and two other scientists whose work contributed to Russia's development of hypersonic missiles were related to the presentation of information while participating in an international conference. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1927, American aviator Charles Lindbergh completed the first nonstop solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean, traveling from New York to Paris in the monoplane Spirit of Saint Louis in about 33.5 hours. [more history]

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