Truce Extends Another Day
An extended cease-fire between Israel and Hamas that began over the weekend reached its seventh day Thursday, with Hamas releasing eight additional hostages in exchange for the release of 30 Palestinian prisoners by Israel. As of yesterday, the number of hostages released totaled 104, with more than 230 Palestinians released by Israel. To date the majority of hostages released, captured during Hamas' initial Oct. 7 attack in southern Israel, have been women and children. Analysts have suggested the release of remaining hostages may require Israeli concessions beyond a general cease-fire—though that remains to be seen. Israel has said it will renew its offensive—now expected to turn toward southern Gaza (see map)—once the cease-fire ends.
Detroit's Electric Road
The city of Detroit opened the country's first road capable of wirelessly charging
electric vehicles as they drive this week, a key step toward wider adoption of the technology. The quarter-mile demonstration project is meant to show the feasibility of wireless charging as a supplement to an eventual nationwide charging network for electric vehicles.
The technology relies on magnetic resonance induction, similar to wireless charging for cellphones and other devices (and discovered by Nikola Tesla). Effectively, large copper coils placed under the road create a magnetic field, which induces an electric current in a receiver in the car as it drives through, thereby charging the battery (watch 101). The process is not harmful to humans.
In the demonstration, the charging rate reportedly reached as high as 19 kW, a small percentage of the stored energy needed to power an average electric vehicle during regular use.
Analysts say the enhanced roads may help address "range anxiety"—a concern of potential consumers worried electric vehicles can only travel limited distances.
Russia Bans LGBTQ+ Movement
Russia's Supreme Court yesterday declared the international LGBTQ+ rights movement an extremist organization in the latest and most severe legal move against LGBTQ+ activism in the country.
The country's Justice Ministry accused the unnamed organizations of inciting social and religious discord. Critics fear the ruling could be used to persecute any LGBTQ+ person or organization, potentially leading to lengthy prison terms under the guise of "extremist" involvement. It remains unclear how the ruling will be enforced as the law bans a vaguely defined movement that does not formally exist; Russia's anti-extremism laws are punishable by up to 12 years in prison.
This decision follows a series of restrictive laws against LGBTQ+ rights, including bans on propaganda and a ban earlier this year on transgender transitions. Russian President Vladimir Putin has made socially conservative values a core part of his campaign with elections in the spring and has portrayed such activism as something inherently Western.
In response, many independent Russian media organizations displayed the LGBTQ+ flag on their social media.