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  • Erica Na

Week of November 26

International

Israel-Hamas

  • The seven-day truce ended on Friday after Israel accused Hamas of violating agreements by launching airstrikes in the final hours of the extended deal. Over the truce period, Hamas released dozens of hostages while the Israeli government freed over 100 Palestinian prisoners. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken blamed Hamas for ending the truce, claiming to have seen Israel make plans to aid Palestinians: “I saw the plans that Israel has in a multiplicity of ways to do everything possible to protect civilians, including making sure that they have the information they need.”

  • In the US, there has been a drastic increase in the number of hate-related incidents. On Monday, three students of Palestinian descent were shot in Burlington, Vermont. The suspect was arrested and charged with 3 counts of attempted murder, to which he pleaded not guilty. 

  • As a gesture of appreciation for Russia’s support for Palestine, Hamas released a Russian hostage. This raises concerns over increasing diplomatic challenges as nations openly align themselves with either Hamas or Israel.


Russia-Ukraine

  • Last weekend, Russia deployed 75 drones in what is considered its largest drone attack on Kyiv, the capital city of Ukraine. Majority of the drones were intercepted but hundreds of buildings faced temporary power outages. This raises concerns that Russia will target energy infrastructures, cutting electricity and heating as winter approaches. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says that the war with Russia has entered “a new phase” as colder seasons are expected to complicate fighting. 

 

US Politics

Election

  • In the lead-up to the 2024 Iowa Caucuses, GOP candidates Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis vie to establish themselves as an alternative to Trump. Republican voters are increasingly showing support towards Haley’s candidacy as she gains support from the Koch network and the chief executive of JPMorgan Chase, Jamie Dimon. If powerful Republicans continue to rally behind new candidates, they could potentially reshape the election.

George Santos

  • Having faced numerous federal charges, including allegations of fraud and improper use of campaign funds, George Santos has been expelled from Congress by a bipartisan vote. On Friday, the House voted to expel him over ethics violations in which he aimed to use his House candidacy for financial gain. Santos is the first to be expelled from the House in over two decades. New York State Governor Kathy Hochul will schedule a special election to replace him.


 

Climate

COP28

  • The 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) is set to convene from November 30 to December 12. Main concerns include the past year’s rise in sea levels, stronger storms, and heat waves. Here’s what’s happened so far: 

  • Global leaders formally adopted a damage fund designed to help countries most severely impacted by the climate crisis. Several countries pledged millions of dollars to the fund.  

  • The US finalized a rule to cut oil and gas industry methane emissions by nearly 80% by 2038.

  • Kamala Harris declared a further commitment of $3 billion towards global climate action.


 

Other

  • Henry Kissinger, former secretary of state and national security advisor, died on November 29. Kissinger served under the Nixon and Ford administrations, undeniably shaping US foreign policy post-WWII by opening US diplomacy up to communist China, engineering America’s withdrawal from the Vietnam War, and easing relations with the Soviet Union. However, he is widely denounced for his role in overthrowing Chilean president Salvador Allende and orchestrating Operation Menu, a Cambodian bombing campaign.  

  • Sandra Day O’Connor, the first woman to serve on the Supreme Court, died on December 1.  During her tenure, she became the Supreme Court’s swing vote on many issues, most notably in Planned Parenthood v. Casey.     

  • Former first lady Rosalynn Carter was buried in Georgia. Rosalynn Carter is remembered as an advocate for better mental health treatment and her role as her husband’s closest adviser, cementing the professionalized role of the first lady. She died on November 19 at the age of 96. 

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