February 23, 2022


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UKRAINE | Western leaders have announced a series of sanctions against Russia over the past day following increased measures by Russian President Vladimir Putin to support separatist regions in eastern Ukraine and heightened fears that Russia may be planning a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.  Among the new sanctions are policies targeting Russian financial institutions by the United States and Germany stopping its certification of the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. [more]

WASHINGTON | U.S. Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin yesterday approved the use of 700 National Guard members to aid in traffic control during trucker protests against COVID-19 mitigation measures that are expected to disrupt areas of Washington, DC, as early as today. According to the National Guard Bureau, the activated National Guard members will not carry firearms or take part in law enforcement activities. [more]

IRAN | Reports indicate that a prisoner swap between the United States and Iran could take place in the coming days as part of negotiations aimed at restoring an international deal to curb Iran’s nuclear program and ease sanctions on the Middle East nation. [more]

COVID-19 | South Korean Prime Minister Kim Boo-kyum urged calm today amidst significant increases in COVID-19 infection rates in the Asian nation. South Korea had a record daily infection count of more than 170,000 on Wednesday, and officials predict the surge could reach as high as 270,000 daily cases by early March. [more]

AHMAUD ARBERY CASE | The three men convicted of killing Ahmaud Arbery in Georgia two years ago were found guilty on related federal hate crime charges yesterday. Greg McMichael, Travis McMichael, and William Bryan were all sentenced to life in prison in the earlier conviction. [more]

SUPREME COURT | Reports say U.S. President Joe Biden has interviewed his top three candidates to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer on the Supreme Court. Biden is expected to choose from among Ketanji Brown Jackson, Michelle Childs, and Leondra Kruger to fill the seat by the end of February. [more]

ENVIRONMENT | A new report from the U.N. Environment Program and Norwegian non-profit GRID-Arendal suggests that destructive wildfires could be as much as 30% more frequent by 2050, largely due to climate change. [full report] [more]

TRUMP RECORDS | The U.S. Supreme Court yesterday declined to hear an appeal by former President Donald Trump, who was seeking to prevent the disclosure of records from his final weeks in office to the House select committee investigating the January 6 assault on the U.S. Capitol. In rejecting the appeal, the Supreme Court let stand a lower court ruling that ruled against Trump’s efforts to keep the records from lawmakers. [more]

SUPREME COURT | The U.S. Supreme Court announced yesterday that it will hear a case centering on the question of whether certain businesses can refuse to offer their services to same-sex couples over religious objections. The case involves a Colorado web designer who posted a statement on her business website indicating she would not offer her services for same-sex weddings, which state officials say violates a Colorado law that bans discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1836, during the Texas war for independence, Mexican General Antonio López de Santa Anna began a siege of the Alamo, which was captured after 13 days and which became a symbol of heroic resistance for Texans.  [more]

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