May 8, 2024


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ISRAEL-HAMAS WAR | Updates from day 215 of the conflict:

  • Reports say the U.S. paused a shipment of thousands of heavy bombs to Israel last week amidst ongoing concern over their potential use in a long-anticipated major Israeli military operation targeting the southern Gaza city of Rafah. [more]
  • Israeli military officials in charge of Palestinian civilian affairs say the Kerem Shalom crossing into Gaza – a key site for the entry of humanitarian aid into the Palestinian enclave – was re-opened today. U.N. refugee agency workers, however, say no aid has entered through the crossing as of midday today. [more]

UKRAINE | Today is day 804 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In what Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy characterized as a “massive attack,” Russian forces launched more than 50 missiles and attack drones today on Ukrainian power supply sites in seven Ukrainian regions. [more]
  • Russian officials say at least five people were injured overnight in a Ukrainian airstrike on an oil storage depot in the Russian-occupied eastern Ukraine city of Luhansk. [more]

TRUMP CLASSIFIED DOCUMENTS CASE | The judge overseeing the federal trial of former President Donald Trump on charges of possessing and mishandling classified documents after leaving office indefinitely postponed the trial yesterday. In her ruling, Judge Aileen Cannon cited issues surrounding the presentation of classified evidence as the reason for the postponement. [more]

MARYLAND | Ahead of a planned demolition of a large section of Baltimore’s collapsed Francis Scott Key Bridge, authorities said yesterday that the body of the last remaining construction worker killed in the March 26 bridge collapse has been recovered from the site. [more]

U.S. SOCIAL MEDIA | TikTok and its Chinese parent company filed a lawsuit yesterday that challenges a new U.S. law that would ban the social media platform unless it is sold to an approved buyer. Attorneys for the platform say the ban, which was passed as part of the recently approved foreign aid bill, would be the first such action to subject “a single, named speech platform to a permanent, nationwide ban.” [more]

U.S. SCOUTING | Amidst flagging membership, the Boy Scouts of America announced yesterday that, effective February 8, 2025, it will change its name to “Scouting America” in a move that seeks to improve its inclusiveness and move past financial issues and sexual abuse scandals that have plagued the 114-year-old organization in recent years. [more]

WISCONSIN | In a visit to Wisconsin today, President Joe Biden is expected to announce plans by Microsoft to build a $3.3 billion data center in the state’s Racine County that is projected to create 2,300 union construction jobs and some 2,000 permanent jobs over time. [more]

FDIC INVESTIGATION | According to an independent report prompted by a Wall Street Journal investigation, the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation fails to “provide a workplace safe from sexual harassment, discrimination, and other interpersonal misconduct.” The report recommends the appointment of new FDIC officials charged with changing the agency’s culture and the establishment of more pervasive procedures for reporting misconduct and handling complaints. [press release] [full report] [more]

EUROPEAN HEALTH | The European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control said today that nearly 60,000 cases of whooping cough have been reported in European countries in 2023 and the first quarter of 2024 – an infection level nearly 10-times as high as those seen in the two previous similar annual measurements. [press release] [more]

HONG KONG | A government ban on the popular “Glory to Hong Kong” protest song was upheld by a Hong Kong appeals court today. In its ruling, the court pointed out the song’s power to arouse emotions in residents of the city and said that there was a “compelling need for an injunction." [the song (with English lyrics)] [more]

CHINA AND EUROPE | Chinese President Xi Jinping continues his European trip today with visits to both Serbia and Hungary, both of which are seen as friendlier to China than most western nations. [more]

AFGHANISTAN AND PAKISTAN | Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban today rejected Pakistan’s claim of Afghan involvement in a recent suicide attack in Pakistan's Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province that killed at least six people, including five Chinese engineers. [more]

CAMBODIA AND CHINA | Cambodian defense officials said today that the months-long presence of two Chinese warships at their country’s Ream Naval Base does not indicate a permanent deployment of the Chinese military in Cambodia. Reports note that a recent expansion of the naval base was funded largely by China. [more]

THAILAND | According to Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin, Thailand will re-list cannabis as a dangerous narcotic by the end of 2024 – just two years after becoming one of the first Asian nations to legalize its recreational use. [more]

AI | Reuters cites unnamed sources as saying the U.S. Commerce Department is considering new regulations that would restrict the export of proprietary or closed source artificial intelligence models to China. [more]

EUROVISION | The first semifinal round of the 68th Eurovision Song Contest was held in Malmo, Sweden, yesterday. A second semifinal round of the popular pan-European contest will be held tomorrow, with the final scheduled for Saturday. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1846, U.S. troops under Zachary Taylor defeated a Mexican force under General Mariano Arista in the Battle of Palo Alto, the first major clash of the Mexican-American War. [more history]

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