June 30, 2022


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UKRAINE | Today is day 127 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Russian military officials say their forces abandoned the Black Sea outpost of Snake Island today as a "gesture of goodwill" that shows  Moscow is not obstructing U.N. efforts to open a humanitarian corridor allowing grain to be shipped from Ukraine's ports. Ukrainian officials say the Russian withdrawal was due to a massive artillery assault. [more]
  • Assessing the status of the war in Ukraine yesterday, U.S. Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines said Russian forces are degraded and unlikely to achieve the Russian goal of controlling most of Ukraine in the short term, and that intelligence estimates suggest the war will continue for an extended period of time. [more]
  • Russia's defense ministry said today that is has more than 6,000 Ukrainian troops in custody who either surrendered or have been captured. [more]

NATO | NATO leaders meeting in Madrid yesterday approved the alliance's 2022 Strategic Concept document, which, among other things, states that the Russian Federation is the most significant and direct threat to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area, and that the People’s Republic of China’s ambitions and policies challenge NATO interests, security, and values. [full document] [more]

MORE NATO | At the NATO summit in Madrid, President Joe Biden announced that the U.S. will increase its military presence in Europe, with plans to establish a permanent base in Poland, add two F35 fighter jet squadrons to the U.K., and station two Navy destroyers in Spain. [more]

SUPREME COURT | Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson is scheduled to be sworn in as a Supreme Court justice today, replacing Justice Stephen Breyer, who announced yesterday that his resignation would be effective at noon today. Jackson will be the first African-American woman to serve on the Court. [more]

MEDAL OF HONOR | Hershel W. “Woody” Williams, the last remaining Medal of Honor recipient from World War II, died yesterday in West Virginia at the age of 98. Williams was awarded the Medal of Honor at age 22 for his actions against Japanese forces at the Battle of Iwo Jima in February 1945. [more]

SEX ABUSE INVESTIGATION | The Associated Press reports that the FBI has opened a rare federal investigation into sex abuse claims against the Roman Catholic Church in New Orleans, looking at decades-old allegations of priests taking children across state lines to molest them. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis said yesterday that the country's real gross domestic product declined at an annualized rate of 1.6% in the first quarter of 2022, down from the Bureau's previous estimate of a 1.4% reduction. [more]

HONG KONG | Chinese leader Xi Jinping arrived in Hong Kong today ahead of scheduled celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the U.K. turning over control of the territory to China. [more]

COVID-19 | Health officials in the U.S. announced yesterday that they will purchase an additional 105 million doses of Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccine in anticipation of a fall booster vaccination campaign. [more]

OIL SUPPLY | Reports say OPEC+ nations are unlikely to reach an agreement today on increasing oil production beyond August as the group concludes a two-day meeting. The group previously decided to increase output by 648,000 barrels per day through the end of August. [more]

U.S. INFRASTRUCTURE | The U.S. Department of Transportation yesterday announced its new $1 billion Reconnecting Communities program under which cities and states can apply for federal aid over five years to rectify harm caused by roadways that were built primarily through lower-income communities after the 1950s creation of the interstate highway system. [more]

ABORTION | Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich said yesterday that a 1901 pre-statehood Arizona law that bans nearly all abortions is enforceable following the U.S. Supreme Court's overturning of the Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling. [more]

ISRAEL | The Israeli parliament voted yesterday to dissolve itself, setting up the country's fifth round of national elections in four years in November. Foreign minister Yair Lapid will serve as caretaker prime minister until the elections, taking over from Naftali Bennett. [more]

NEW ZEALAND | American far-right groups the Proud Boys and The Base have been designated terrorist organizations by New Zealand's government, making it illegal in New Zealand to fund, recruit or participate in the groups. [more]

PHILIPPINES | Ferdinand Marcos Jr. -- son and namesake of the late dictator -- was sworn in as president of the Philippines today. [more]

CYBERSECURITY | U.S. Federal Communications Commissioner Brendan Carr yesterday reiterated his call for Apple and Google to remove TikTok from their app stores, saying the popular social media app's Chinese parent company collects large amounts of personal data on users that is shared with the Chinese government. [more]

NEW YORK | R&B superstar R. Kelly was sentenced to 30 years in prison yesterday by a New York City court. Kelly, 55, was found guilty last year of racketeering and sex trafficking. [more]

TENNIS | Two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray lost to John Isner yesterday in the second round of this year's Wimbledon tournament. [more]

BASKETBALL | WNBA superstar Sue Bird became the league's leader in career wins with 324 with last night's Seattle Storm victory over the Las Vegas Aces. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1908, an enormous aerial explosion, presumably caused by a comet fragment colliding with Earth, flattened approximately 2,000 square km (500,000 acres) of pine forest near the Podkamennaya Tunguska River in central Siberia. [more history]

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