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  • Erica Na

Week of December 17

International

Israel-Hamas

  • Israel’s search for top Hamas commanders continues despite making thorough progress in the land invasion of Gaza. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is facing mounting pressure to protect civilians in Gaza. On Monday, US Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin met with Israeli officials to discuss the need to stabilize the West Bank and the future of Gazan civilians. The UN Security Council voted on a resolution, calling for a temporary ceasefire to allow for humanitarian aid in Gaza. The US abstained from the vote. Meanwhile, Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConnell issued a joint statement that Congress would not be reaching a deal on an aid package for Israel or Ukraine amidst disagreements on immigration and border control. Debates will continue into 2024. 

Hong Kong

  • Jimmy Lai, founder of Apple Daily, a popular pro-democracy and anti-Chinese government newspaper, has begun his trial. He is currently on trial for alleged collusion with foreign forces under Hong Kong's national security law—a legislation that has garnered widespread criticism for its threat to civil liberties. Since the law was passed, hundreds have been arrested. 

Kuwait

  • Kuwait’s emir, Sheikh Nawaf Al Ahmad Al Sabah, died on Saturday after ruling for 3 years. He served as the defense minister during the Gulf War (1990-1991), a conflict between Iraq and a 42-country coalition that ended in Kuwait’s liberation.  

 

US Politics

  • A jury in Washington, DC ordered Rudy Giuliani to pay $148 million in defamation damages to two former Georgia election workers. On Thursday, Giuliani filed for bankruptcy. 

  • In Nevada, former President Donald Trump rallied supporters around the issue of undocumented immigrants. He claimed that migrants were coming from “mental institutions” and prisons to invade the US and promised to conduct the “largest deportation operation in American history.” 

  • Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed a law that lets police arrest migrants who cross the border from Mexico, making it a state crime. The law is expected to take effect starting March 2024. The ACLU and other immigrant rights organizations are now suing Texas. 

  • Colorado’s Supreme Court ruled that former President Donald Trump cannot appear on the state’s Republican primary ballot for the 2024 race due to his actions in the lead-up to the January 6th Attack. Trump said that he would bring this case to the US Supreme Court.


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