May 24, 2024


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PROGRAMMING NOTE: In recognition of Memorial Day remembrances here in the U.S., there will be no edition of the Daily Brief published on Monday, May 27. We look forward to resuming service on Tuesday. 

ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 231 of the conflict:

  • Israeli officials say the bodies of three hostages taken to Gaza by Hamas during the October 7 attacks were recovered last night and returned to their families. About 100 Israeli hostages are thought to still be held by Hamas in Gaza. [more]
  • Amidst ongoing investigations into humanitarian worker casualties in the Israel-Hamas war, the U.N. Security Council is scheduled to vote today on a resolution that condemns attacks on humanitarian workers and U.N. personnel, and demands that all combatants in all conflicts, regardless of location, protect them in accordance with international law. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 820 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Reuters cites unnamed sources close to Russian President Vladimir Putin as saying that Putin supports a negotiated cease-fire with Ukraine that recognizes current battlefield lines. [more]
  • Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said today that his country will seek to opt out of any potential NATO plans to support Ukraine in its fight against the Russian invasion through financial or military aid. [more]
  • Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree permitting Russia to seize assets of U.S. entities and individuals as a form of compensation for any Russian assets seized in the United States. Ukraine and its allies are advocating for the confiscation of some $260 billion in Russian assets that have been frozen abroad over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. [more]

NATIVE AMERICAN WATER RIGHTS | The Navajo Nation Council agreed yesterday to a proposed $5 billion settlement with the U.S. government that, if finalized, would guarantee access and usage rights to water from the Colorado River basin. The settlement is part of litigation related to Native American tribes having been left out of a 1922 agreement that divided Colorado River basin water among seven Western states. [more]

U.S. COLLEGE ATHLETICS | The NCAA and top-tier college athletics conferences – the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, and SEC – agreed yesterday to pay nearly $2.8 billion to current and former athletes who say now-defunct NCAA rules prevented them from earning money from their sports participation. The agreement, which must still be approved by plaintiffs and a federal judge, is considered a landmark action that is expected to move college athletics toward a more professional model. [more]

U.S. POLITICS AND AI | The Federal Communications Commission proposed a $6 million fine yesterday for a political consultant accused of distributing AI-generated robocalls that mimicked President Joe Biden’s voice to voters ahead of the New Hampshire presidential primary. The consultant, Steven Kramer, is also facing numerous felony and misdemeanor state charges related to the robocalls in New Hampshire. [more]

SOUTH CAROLINA | In a 6-3 decision yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court held that South Carolina’s congressional re-districting was not a case of unconstitutional racial gerrymandering, rejecting a lower court ruling that said changes to the state’s Charleston-area district discriminated against Black voters. [more]

LOUISIANA | The state legislature in Louisiana passed a measure yesterday that would reclassify the abortion medications mifepristone and misoprostol as more highly controlled substances, requiring physicians to have a specific license to prescribe them and imposing special storage requirements. Opponents of the measure, which is expected to be signed into law by Gov. Jeff Landry, say the legislation would present a barrier to physicians prescribing the drugs for other, non-abortion, reproductive health care needs. [more]

U.S. ANTITRUST | The Justice Department and 30 state and district attorneys general filed a lawsuit yesterday accusing Ticketmaster and its parent company Live Nation of operating an illegal monopoly over live music, sports, and other entertainment events in the United States. The lawsuit claims that Live Nation’s power in the live event and promotion industries illegally competes against smaller companies, increases prices and fees, and hurts artists – allegations that the company denies. [more]

IRAN | Citing military investigators, Iranian state media reports that there is no evidence that an attack was responsible for last weekend's helicopter crash in which President Ebrahim Raisi and other government officials were killed. [more]

CHINA AND TAIWAN | In a continuation of actions it says are meant to punish Taiwan's new president, Lai Ching-te, China staged mock missile strikes, flew fighter jets and bombers, and carried out naval exercises near Taiwan today. [more]

PAPUA NEW GUINEA | Reports say at least 100 people are thought to have died today in a landslide that hit Kaokalam Village in Papua New Guinea’s Enga Province. [more]

PHILIPPINES | Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro said today that the Philippines will continue to build security alliances and stage joint combat drills to defend its territorial interests in the face of aggressive and provocative actions by China in the South China Sea. [more]

PAKISTAN | The Pakistani finance ministry said yesterday that it will pay $2.58 million in compensation to the families of five Chinese engineers killed in a suicide bombing attack in the northeast Pakistan town of Bisham in March. [more]

RUSSIA | Russian FSB security service chief Alexander Bortnikov said today that more than 20 people have been arrested in connection with the March attack on the Moscow-area Crocus City Hall concert venue that killed more than 140 people and for which the Islamic State militant group claimed responsibility. [more]

SOCIAL MEDIA | An Australian judge ruled today that the social media platform X, formerly Twitter, must comply with Queensland state's anti-discrimination law, despite not having a physical presence in Australia. The decision allows the Queensland Human Rights Commission to investigate a complaint alleging that X violated the state’s anti-discrimination regulations by not taking down or concealing anti-Muslim hate speech. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1883, the Brooklyn Bridge, a brilliant feat of 19th-century engineering designed by civil engineer John Augustus Roebling, opened, allowing travel from Brooklyn to Manhattan in New York City. [more history]

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