September 23, 2022


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UKRAINE | Today is day 212 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Voting begins today in four Russia-occupied regions of Ukraine on referendums to become part of Russia. Residents of the Luhansk, Kherson, Zaporizhzhia, and Donetsk regions, which together represent about 15% of Ukrainian territory, are being given until next Tuesday to cast their ballots. The referendums, which have been widely condemned by the international community, are seen as escalatory moves that could give Russia the opportunity to claim that attacks on the regions are attacks on Russian territory. [more]
  • Amidst reports of significant numbers of Russian citizens attempting to leave Russia following President Vladimir Putin's order for a partial mobilization of military reservists, officials in the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania say their countries are not prepared to automatically offer asylum to Russians fleeing the mobilization. [more]

COVID-19 | The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said yesterday that about 4.4 million Americans so far have received doses of the updated COVID-19 booster shots that specifically target the dominant omicron coronavirus variants, and that the number is expected to increase significantly in the coming weeks as distribution improves. [more]

U.S. COURTS | Democratic lawmakers introduced legislation in the House yesterday that would add 51 new judges to the country's federal appeals courts. Supporters say the increase would help reduce case backlogs, while opponents say it would be a political move to have more judges appointed by a Democratic president. [more]

HURRICANE FIONA | The Canadian Hurricane Centre has issued a hurricane watch for large parts of the Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and Newfoundland coasts in anticipation of Hurricane Fiona reaching northeastern Canada late today. In the storm's wake, reports say about 60% of households in Puerto Rico remain without power and about one-third remain without water. [more]

PANDEMIC FRAUD | A report released yesterday by the U.S. Department of Labor says that up to $45.6 billion in potentially fraudulent COVID-19 pandemic-related unemployment insurance claims were paid out in the U.S. from March 2020 to April 2021. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | Citing pressure from continued interest rate hikes, Goldman Sachs yesterday lowered its 2022 year-end S&P 500 target to 3,600 -- down about 16% from its previous target of 4,300. [more]

U.S. POLICING | The House yesterday passed the Invest to Protect Act -- a package of bills that would provide funding for recruitment and training for police departments across the country. The package also includes measures for police accountability and for mental health resources. The Senate is expected to begin consideration of the package in the coming days. [more]

HUNGER | In an Associated Press interview yesterday, World Food Program Executive Director David Beasley said that 345 million people worldwide face significant risks of not having enough food, with that number having surged due to climate issues, the COVID-19 pandemic, and the war in Ukraine. Beasley warned that without immediate action and funding for food and agriculture programs, the world faces widespread famine, starvation, destabilization of nations, and mass migration in the coming years. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | Police in the Afghan capital of Kabul say an unspecified number of people were killed this morning in an explosion near the city's Wazir Akbar Khan Mosque and that an investigation into the cause of the blast is underway. [more]

SYRIA | Authorities in Syria say at least 73 people died and at least 20 people were rescued when a boat carrying migrants from Lebanon to Syria sank in Syrian waters yesterday. [more]

SPACE | Engineers at NASA say the Artemis 1 program's SLS rocket passed a key fueling test this week and that the mission is on track for a possible September 27 launch attempt. Two previously scheduled launches of the unmanned mission were cancelled due to malfunctions related to one of the engines and the rocket's fuel system. [more]

SOCIAL MEDIA | A report commissioned by Facebook and its parent company Meta says the social media platform harmed the rights of Palestinian and Arabic-speaking users during Israeli-Palestinian conflicts last year by over-enforcing moderation rules when it came to Arabic content and under-enforcing content in Hebrew. [more]

SUPER BOWL HALFTIME | The National Football League announced today that Apple Music will be the new sponsor of the Super Bowl halftime show beginning with this season's Super Bowl on Feb. 12 in Glendale, Arizona. [more]

BASKETBALL | The NBA's Boston Celtics have suspended head coach Ime Udoka for the full 2022-2023 season for what team executives termed "violations of team policies" that are reported elsewhere to have involved a consensual but improper intimate relationship with a member of the Celtics organization. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1932, by royal decree, the dual kingdom of the Hejaz and Nejd, along with its dependencies, was unified under the name of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. [more history]

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