PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT | People in the United States can now order four additional free, at-home rapid Covid-19 antigen tests from COVIDtests.gov as part of the government’s effort to increase availability of coronavirus testing. [more]
UKRAINE | Today is day 14 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates: [more]
U.S. President Joe Biden announced yesterday that the U.S. will immediately end the import of Russian oil, natural gas and coal, which represented roughly 8% of U.S. energy imports in 2021. In a related move, U.K. officials said they would phase out the import of Russian oil by the end of 2022.
Poland announced yesterday that it is prepared to deploy all of its MiG-29 fighter jets to the US Air Force’s Ramstein Air Base in Germany and place them at the disposal of the U.S. to provide them to Ukraine. U.S. military officials, however, say the Polish plan to transfer the jets is not tenable at this point and that the idea as laid out by Poland shows the complexities of transferring the fighters to Ukraine.
U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director Bill Burns said Tuesday that as many as 14,000 Russian citizens have been arrested for protesting against the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Burns made the statement in testimony before the U.S. House Intelligence Committee.
Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Starbucks, and Unilever have joined the list of western corporations suspending operations in Russia over the invasion of Ukraine.
The U.S. has announced plans to send two Patriot air defense missile systems to Poland in what military officials say is a defensive measure aimed at deterring potential Russian aggression.
The International Monetary Fund is expected to approve $1.4 billion in emergency economic aid to Ukraine as early as today, according to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.
FEDERAL BUDGET | Congressional leaders reached a bipartisan deal last night that will fund federal agencies for the rest of the year. The $1.5 trillion spending measure, which includes $13.6 billion in aid for Ukraine, is expected to be taken up for consideration in the House and Senate by the end of this week. [more]
COVID-19 | In a reversal of guidance issued last year, an expert group convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) says it strongly recommends urgent and broad access to booster doses of COVID-19 vaccines. Last year, WHO’s director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus had called for a moratorium on booster doses as a way to improve global availability of initial vaccine doses. [more]
COVID-19 | In a study published in the journal Nature this week, U.K. researchers say they found physical differences in brain neurons between people who had been infected with COVID-19 and those who had not. Specifically, the thickness of gray matter tissue in some regions of brains of the COVID-19 group was found to be reduced. Researchers also noted that people who had been infected with COVID-19 performed slower on tests of cognitive function, compared to the non-COVID group. [more]
VENEZUELA | Venezuela released two jailed U.S. citizens yesterday in a move seen as furthering current attempts at improving relations between the two countries. [more]
AUSTRALIA | Reports from Australia say the government has suspended plans to begin enforcing a nationwide vaccine mandate for adults, which was due to go into effect later this month. [more]
JANUARY 6 | A federal jury in Washington, D.C. yesterday found Texas militia member Guy Reffitt guilty on five charges related to his participation in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Reffit was found guilty of two counts of civil disorder, and one count each of obstruction of an official proceeding, entering and remaining in a restricted building or grounds with a firearm, and obstruction of justice. Reffit’s case was the first jury trial stemming from the January 6 attacks. [more]
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE | The U.S. Senate on Tuesday approved a $107 billion bill to overhaul the U.S. Postal Service's finances and allow it to modernize its services. The measure was approved by the House last month. [more]
MARITIME ADVENTURES | Members of the Endurance22 search mission announced yesterday that they have located the wreckage of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton's ship "Endurance, which sank in the Weddell Sea in 1915 during Shackleton's failed attempt to make the first land crossing of Antarctica. [more]
NFL | News on two major NFL quarterback deals was released yesterday: First, reigning NFL MVP Aaron Rodgers is planning to return to the Green Bay Packers for an 18th season this year. And second, in a deal involving multiple players and draft picks, the Seattle Seahawks will trade quarterback Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos. [more]
TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1862, during the American Civil War, the ironclad ships Monitor and Merrimack battled in the harbor at Hampton Roads, Virginia, marking the beginning of a new era of naval warfare. [more]