August 3, 2022


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UKRAINE | Today is day 161 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In response to comments by a Ukrainian official on how Ukraine uses US-supplied long-range HIMARS rocket launch systems, Russia's defense ministry yesterday accused the United States of direct involvement in the war in Ukraine. Vadym Skibitsky, Ukraine’s deputy head of military intelligence, said in a recent interview that while there have been consultations between U.S. and Ukrainian intelligence officials before attacks, the U.S. did not provide direct targeting information for the rocket systems. [more]
  • In an Associated Press interview yesterday, Rafael Grossi, director general of the International Atomic Energy Agency, said the security and safety status of Ukraine's   Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant is "completely out of control," and called for Russia and Ukraine to facilitate access to the plant by experts to stabilize the situation. [more]
  • Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, who has often been described as a supporter of Russian President Vladimir Putin, suggested in an interview yesterday that the deal between Ukraine and Russia to unblock Ukrainian grain exports could provide the basis for an eventual ceasefire in Ukraine. [more]

TAIWAN | China has announced live-fire military exercises in the waters and airspace around Taiwan in response to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to the island. In a meeting with Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen, Pelosi said the U.S. remains committed to the preservation of democracy in Taiwan and around the world. [more]

ENVIRONMENT | A new study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology says that rainwater in almost all regions of the world has levels of synthetic "forever chemicals" that greatly exceed U.S. drinking water advisory levels. The chemicals studied are fluorine-based compounds found in many everyday products, such as food packaging, non-stick cookware, rain gear, adhesives, paper, and paints. [more]

ABORTION | Voters in Kansas yesterday rejected a proposed change to the state's constitution that would have stated specifically that the constitution does not grant the right to abortion. The ballot measure was the first state-wide referendum on abortion rights since the recent overturning of the Roe v. Wade decision by the U.S. Supreme Court. [more]

VETERAN HEALTHCARE | The U.S. Senate passed previously-stalled legislation yesterday granting healthcare and other benefits to military veterans suffering effects from exposure to toxic burn pits during their service. The House passed the measure in June, and President Biden is expected to sign it into law in the near future. [more]

PENNSYLVANIA | The Pennsylvania Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the state's law allowing for no-excuse mail-in voting is constitutional. Opponents of the law had argued that regulations on voting must be implemented by an amendment to the state's constitution and not by the legislature. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The number of job openings posted by U.S. employers fell to 10.7 million in June, down from 11.3 million in May, according to Labor Department data released yesterday. [more]

U.S. HEALTHCARE | The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced yesterday that the number of people in the United States who do not have health insurance fell to an all-time low of 8% this year. [more]

JANUARY 6 | Reports say the U.S. Justice Department has subpoenaed former Trump White House counsel Pat Cipollone to appear before a federal grand jury investigating efforts to overturn the 2020 election. Cipollone provided testimony last month to the House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attack on the US Capitol. [more]

PAKISTAN | Separatist insurgent group Baloch Raaji Aajoi Sangar claims it used an anti-aircraft weapon to shoot down a military helicopter earlier this week in Pakistan's Balochistan province. Pakistani military officials have denied the claim, saying the helicopter crashed during bad weather while conducting flood relief operations. [more]

BURKINA FASO | Officials from Burkina Faso's military say the West African country's army accidentally killed an unspecified number of civilians earlier this week while conducting counterterrorism operations in the country's southeast region. [more]

CYBERSECURITY | Authorities in Spain say a recent ransomware attack on the Spanish National Research Council, the country's leading scientific research body, appears to have originated in Russia. The failed cyberattack is similar to ones that targeted NASA in the United States and the Max Planck Institute in Germany, according to reports. [more]

SRI LANKA | Sri Lankan President Ranil Wickremesinghe, addressing his country's ongoing economic crisis, said today that his government is in talks with the International Monetary Fund on a four-year rescue plan and preparing a 25-year policy roadmap aimed at reducing debt and increasing exports. [more]

BASEBALL | Hall of Fame broadcaster Vin Scully, who called Dodgers' games in Brooklyn and Los Angeles for 67 years, died yesterday at the age of 94. [more]

FOOTBALL | The National Football League has suspended Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and stripped the team of two draft picks for what the league says were violations of its tampering policies involving "impermissible communications" with players and other teams by Ross over a period of several years. [more]

ENTERTAINMENT | Film producer Janet Yang, whose credits include "The Joy Luck Club" and "The People vs. Larry Flynt," has been elected president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, according to a statement from the group's board of governors. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | Hoping to find a westward route to India, Christopher Columbus set sail on his first transatlantic voyage on this date in 1492, departing from Palos, Spain, with three ships—the Niña, Pinta, and Santa María. [more history]

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