May 18, 2022


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UKRAINE | Today is day 84 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Russian military officials said today that 959 Ukrainian troops from the Azovstal steelworks in Mariupol have surrendered since Monday. [more]
  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said yesterday that a potential G7 plan to seize and spend frozen Russian assets on behalf of Ukraine would be "outright theft." G7 nations have frozen about $300 billion in Russian assets since the beginning of the invasion of Ukraine. [more]
  • The U.S. State Department yesterday announced the launch of a new program under which it will collect and analyze evidence of alleged war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. [more]
  • Reports say U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres is expected to reveal today that talks are being held with Russia, Ukraine, Turkey, the U.S., and the EU aimed at at restoring Ukrainian grain shipments and reviving fertilizer exports from Russia and Belarus. [more]

NATO | Ambassadors from Finland and Sweden formally submitted their countries' applications to join NATO today. NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said the alliance will act quickly on the applications. [more]

CHINA | The Wall Street Journal reports that a preliminary U.S. assessment of flight data from the China Eastern jet that crashed in southern China in March, killing 132 people, was caused by the plane being intentionally put into a nose-dive. [WSJ report] [more]

ENVIRONMENT | A new study published in The Lancet Planetary Health concludes that pollution was responsible for about 9 million premature deaths worldwide in 2019 and that urgent attention is needed to address the issues of air pollution, lead poisoning, and hazardous chemical pollution. [more]

CALIFORNIA | A Los Angeles court ruled yesterday that a 2018 California law requiring companies to have up to three women on their corporate boards violates the right to equal treatment under state and federal law and is unconstitutional. [more]

ABORTION | The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has warned state and local law enforcement that domestic violent extremists are entering the national abortion debate to incite violence amongst their supporters in the lead-up to, and following, the Supreme Court ruling in June that is expected to overturn the Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling. [more]

JANUARY 6 | The New York Times reports that the U.S. Justice Department has requested access to transcripts of interviews conducted by the congressional committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol. [more]

COVID-19 | The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday authorized booster doses of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 5-11. [more]

JAPAN | Nuclear regulators in Japan approved a plan from the operator of the Fukushima nuclear plant today to release treated wastewater from the plant into the sea next year. Regulators said the level of materials released under the plan would be below legal limits. [more]

INDONESIA | Reports say police in Indonesia have arrested 24 suspected militants this week suspected of extremist activity, including beheadings, and who have pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group. [more]

BUFFALO | Visiting the site of this past weekend's shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, President Joe Biden yesterday condemned white supremacy and the spread of conspiracy theories on internet and traditional media. [more]

U.S. GUN PRODUCTION | A report released yesterday by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives says firearm production in the U.S. has nearly tripled since 2000, driven largely by increased demand for handguns. [ATF report PDF] [more]

COVID-19 | North Korean leader Kim Jong Un today characterized as "immature" his country's response to its first acknowledged COVID-19 outbreak. North Korean state media reports an estimated 1.72 million suspected cases of coronavirus infection since the outbreak was announced last week. [more]

BRITISH ECONOMY | Britain's Office for National Statistics said today that annual consumer price inflation increased to 9% in April -- the highest rate since 1982. [more]

SPAIN | The Spanish government approved a draft bill yesterday that would expand abortion access for teenagers and require employers to provide paid time off for women experiencing severe menstrual pain. [more]

MUSIC | Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member Jerry Lee Lewis, late country singer Keith Whitley, and music executive Joe Galante have been announced as this year's inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame. [more]

FILM | The 75th Cannes Film Festival opened yesterday with an appeal from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky for filmmakers to not stay silent about the war in Ukraine and to show that cinema is "always on the side of freedom." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1980, following a 5.1-magnitude earthquake in the area, Mount St. Helens in Washington state erupted in one of the greatest volcanic explosions ever recorded in North America. [more history]

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