Israel-Hamas war live updates: First U.S. weapons arrive in Israel, Biden calls Hamas attack 'sheer evil'
The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) has announced that the first plane carrying U.S. armaments has arrived in southern Israel. The IDF stated that the cooperation between the militaries of Israel and the United States is stronger than ever, and their common enemies are aware of this. In response, the al-Qassam armed wing of Hamas launched hundreds of missiles at the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Hamas claimed the attack was in retaliation for the displacement of civilians, and it occurred after the deadline they had given Ashkelon residents to evacuate had passed. Israel announced that it has regained control of the Gaza-Israel border after Hamas launched a surprise attack on southern Israel. As the violence continues, Israel has ordered a complete cutoff of water, electricity, and food to the already impoverished and blockaded population of Gaza. Hamas claims to have around 150 Israeli hostages, and efforts are underway to determine the number of foreign hostages held by Hamas. The death toll from the ongoing conflict has exceeded 1,800, with significant discrepancies in the numbers reported by Palestinian and Israeli health services.
Caroline Ellison took almost 30 seconds to recognize ex-boyfriend Sam Bankman-Fried as testimony begins
Caroline Ellison, the former head of Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto hedge fund, has testified in a criminal fraud case against the FTX founder, admitting that she and her ex-boss defrauded customers, investors, and lenders. Ellison, who pleaded guilty to multiple charges last December, including wire fraud and money laundering, has been cooperating with prosecutors as part of her plea deal. She detailed her crimes in court, stating that she committed fraud, conspired to commit fraud, and engaged in money laundering. Ellison's testimony began on Tuesday and is expected to continue for most of Wednesday. She provided a brief background of her relationship with Bankman-Fried, explaining that they initially met when she was an intern at Jane Street and that they later worked together at Alameda Research, where Bankman-Fried was her boss. Ellison was one of Bankman-Fried's early recruits to the hedge fund in 2017.
China's consumer spending isn't roaring back to pre-pandemic levels yet
Chinese residents have preferred to travel domestically due to economic uncertainty, according to Imke Wouters, a partner at consulting firm Oliver Wyman. The firm surveyed affluent Chinese consumers and found that the "casual luxury shopper" was more cautious about the economy. However, when affluent consumers did travel domestically, a significant number chose to visit Hainan. The province is known for its duty-free shopping malls and natural scenery. Tourist visits to Hainan during the latest holiday increased by 15% compared to 2021, showcasing its popularity. China has been focusing on developing Hainan as a duty-free shopping center. Before the pandemic, many Chinese residents traveled to Europe and other countries to buy luxury goods. Although Chinese luxury spending has recovered to 80% of 2019 levels, spending in continental Europe is only about half of pre-pandemic figures. In contrast, tourists from the U.S. and Middle East are spending about 250% more on luxury goods in Europe compared to before the pandemic.