July 20, 2022


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UKRAINE | Today is day 147 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Reports say Ukraine will ask its international creditors to agree to a two-year delay on its debt payments as the country faces financial struggles due to the Russian invasion. [more]
  • Ukrainian forces reportedly used U.S.-supplied HIMARS multiple rocket launchers today to strike the strategically important Antonivskyi Bridge, which crosses the Dnieper River and is used to maintain Russian supply lines in southern Ukraine. [more]
  • U.S. National Security Council officials say Russia is preparing to install proxy officials, establish the ruble as the default currency and force residents to apply for Russian citizenship in Ukrainian regions under its control and that the moves are similar to those taken when Russia announced its annexation of Crimea in 2014. [more]

U.S. DIPLOMACY | President Joe Biden signed a new executive order yesterday that allows the U.S. to impose sanctions and visa bans on countries involved with hostage taking and wrongful detentions of U.S. citizens. Also announced was a new State Department policy that will implement use of a new "D" indicator to designate countries where U.S. citizens are at risk of of being taken hostage or wrongfully detained, with Myanmar, China, Iran, North Korea, Russia, and Venezuela all receiving that designation, according to reports. [more]

EUROPEAN WEATHER | The highest-ever temperature in the U.K. was recorded yesterday when Coningsby in eastern England hit 40.3 degrees Celsius (104.5 degrees Fahrenheit). Record-setting heat is causing health alerts and wildfires across large areas of western Europe. [more]

JANUARY 6 | Responding to a subpoena from the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol, the Secret Service is reported to have confirmed that text messages from agents' phones around the time of the attack were deleted as part of a planned technology upgrade, despite requests from Congress and federal investigators that the messages be preserved. [more]

E.U. ENERGY | The European Commission today proposed a voluntary target for all E.U.  countries to cut gas use by 15% from August to March as part of an emergency plan for dealing with potential cuts in Russian oil exports. [more]

BIODIVERSITY | A new study in the journal Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment says that a biodiversity survey of more than 3,000 experts from 113 countries suggests that about 30% of species have been globally threatened or driven to extinction since the year 1500. [more]

SOUTH AFRICA | Investigators say the toxic chemical methanol was found in the bodies of all 21 teenagers found dead at a bar in the South African city of East London last month and that analyses are continuing to determine if the methanol levels were high enough to have been responsible for the deaths. [more]

COVID-19 | The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday authorized Novavax's COVID-19 vaccine for use in unvaccinated people aged 18 and older. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | A new report from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan says as many as 700 people have been killed and 1,400 wounded in violence since the Taliban took control of the country following the withdrawal of U.S. forces. Most of the casualties have been linked to attacks by the Islamic State group’s affiliate in Afghanistan, according to the report. [full report] [more]

MYANMAR | Human rights group Amnesty International said today it has evidence Myanmar's military has laid landmines that have killed and injured people near the country's border with Thailand and that the use of such weapons violates various international agreements. [more]

SRI LANKA | The Sri Lankan parliament chose six-time Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe to be the country's new president today, succeeding Gotabaya Rajapaksa, who fled the country earlier this month amidst the South Asian nation's ongoing economic crisis. [more]

CHINA | Reports say one person is dead and 12 others injured following a gas explosion and partial building collapse yesterday in the northern Chinese port city of Tianjin. [more]

U.K. ECONOMY | The U.K.'s Office for National Statistics reported today that consumer prices in the United Kingdom rose 9.4% in June, compared to the year-ago period -- the highest rate since 1982. [more]

E-COMMERCE | Amazon has filed a lawsuit against the administrators of some 10,000 Facebook groups that the company says are being used to coordinate the posting of fake product reviews in exchange for money or free products. [more]

TWITTER | A Delaware judge yesterday granted Twitter's request for an expedited trial in its lawsuit seeking to force Elon Musk to follow through with his $44 billion offer to purchase the social media company. The trial has been scheduled for October. [more]

BASEBALL | The American League beat the National League, 3-2, last night at Dodger Stadium to win its ninth consecutive Major League Baseball All-Star Game. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1969, the Eagle lunar landing module, carrying U.S. astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin (“Buzz”) Aldrin, landed on the Moon. Several hours later Armstrong became the first person to set foot on the Moon's surface. [more history]

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