August 12, 2022


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UKRAINE | Today is day 170 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • U.N. officials, including nuclear chief Rafael Grossi and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, yesterday called for an immediate end to military activity around the Russia-controlled Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in southeastern Ukraine. The U.N. has also called for international inspectors to be allowed access to the plant to assess its status. [more]
  • Ukrainian Brigadier General Oleksiy Hromov said yesterday that Russia doubled the number of air strikes on Ukrainian military positions this week, compared to last week. [more]
  • Defense ministers and other representatives from 26 democratic nations meeting in Copenhagen announced pledges of more than $1.5 billion in new military aid for Ukraine yesterday. The funding commitment was announced by Danish Defense Minister Morten Bodskov. [more]
  • Ukraine's overseas creditors voted this week to approve Kyiv's request for a two-year freeze on debt payments on nearly $20 billion in international bonds. [more]

COVID-19 | The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention relaxed its COVID-19 guidelines yesterday, saying, among other things, that people no longer need to self-quarantine after coming into close contact with an infected person, that the six-foot social distancing recommendation has been dropped, and that it no longer recommends that schools perform daily routine COVID testing. The CDC move comes as health officials say an estimated 95% of Americans aged 16 and over have acquired some level of immunity against the coronavirus, through either vaccination or infection. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The House is scheduled to vote today on the $740 billion “Inflation Reduction Act” that would provide major funding for fighting climate change, lowering healthcare costs, and reducing the deficit. The Senate passed the bill in a party-line vote last weekend. [more]

U.S. INFRASTRUCTURE | Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg yesterday announced $2.2 billion in funding for local infrastructure projects. Funded by the $1 trillion infrastructure law passed last year, the new funding is double that provided for similar projects last year. [more]

JANUARY 6 | Former Virginia police officer Thomas Robertson of Ferrum, Virginia, was sentenced to 87 months in prison yesterday for crimes committed while taking part in the January 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol. Among the charges of which Robertson was convicted were: obstruction of an official proceeding, civil disorder, and entering and remaining in a restricted building while carrying a dangerous weapon. [more]

OHIO | An armed man, identified as Ricky Shiffer, 42, attempted to gain entry to the FBI's Cincinnati, Ohio, office yesterday. After fleeing the FBI office location, Shiffer was shot and killed by police during an exchange of fire after an hourslong standoff in a rural part of the state. [more]

TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS | U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland asked a court yesterday to allow the public release of the search warrant that allowed the FBI to search the Florida home of former President Donald Trump earlier this week. In a social media post, Trump said he would welcome the release of the warrant and an inventory of items taken from his home during the search. [more]

ARCTIC CLIMATE | A study published yesterday in the journal Communications Earth & Environment concludes that the Arctic region has warmed at about four-times the global average rate over the past 43 years. [more]

BRAZIL | Large pro-democracy protests took place yesterday in major cities across Brazil, including Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasilia, and Recife. The protests come amidst attacks on the country's voting system by President Jair Bolsonaro, who is trailing in polls for the upcoming presidential election in October. [more]

U.K. CLIMATE | Meteorological officials in the U.K. say that this July was the driest for England since 1935, with average rainfall at just 35% of the historical average for the month. [more]

U.K. ECONOMY | Britain's Office for National Statistics reported yesterday that the country's gross domestic product fell by 0.1% in the April to June quarter, down from 0.8% growth in the previous quarter. [more]

GERMANY | Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has reportedly filed a lawsuit against the country's lower house of parliament, seeking to have his right to a publicly funded office restored. The office funding was stripped in May amidst concerns over Schroeder's refusal to distance himself from Russian President Vladimir Putin following Russia's invasion of Ukraine. [more]

SOUTH KOREA | Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, who was convicted of bribing former South Korean President Park Geun-hye in 2017, was pardoned by President Yoon Suk-yeol today. The pardon means that Lee will be able to resume business activities with fewer restrictions, which officials say will aid the country in battling its economic downturn. [more]

JAPAN | A new survey by Japan's Kyodo News agency says that 42% of 114 major Japanese companies surveyed expect the country's economy to slow down over the next 12 months, up from just 5% in a similar survey one year ago. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1961, East Germany began construction of the Berlin Wall, which served as a symbol of the Cold War, separating East Berlin from West Berlin until 1989. [more history]

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