October 21, 2022


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UKRAINE | Today is day 239 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • U.S. National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said yesterday that intelligence reports indicate that a small number of Iranian troops are currently based in the Russia-annexed region of Crimea to directly support Russian forces’ use of military drones purchased from Iran. [more]
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russian forces last night of planting explosive mines on a dam at the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant on the Dnieper River in preparation for blowing up the dam as they withdraw from the area. Zelensky warned that destroying the dam would devastate the water supply to much of southern Ukraine and leave Europe's largest nuclear plant at Zaporizhzhia without cooling water. [more]

CIVIL RIGHTS | The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced yesterday that it is opening a civil rights investigation into whether Mississippi state agencies discriminated against residents of the state’s majority-Black capital city of Jackson by refusing to fund repairs and improvement for its failing water system. The investigation comes after heavy rains caused water system issues that left most of the city without running water for several days earlier this year. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The number of Americans filing initial applications for unemployment benefits fell by 12,000 to 214,000 in the week ended October 15, compared to the previous week, according to Labor Department data released yesterday. [more]

COAL COMMUNITIES | Ahead of its annual conference, the Appalachian Regional Commission announced this week that it is awarding $47 million to 52 projects in eight states to help revitalize communities affected by coal-related job losses. Projects will be funded in 181 counties in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, and Virginia. [more]

ABORTION | A newly released memorandum from U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin says that the Department of Defense will provide travel funds and support for troops and their dependents seeking abortions but who are based in states where the procedure is now illegal. [more]

STUDENT LOANS | In two separate rulings yesterday, Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett and U.S. District Court Judge Henry E. Autrey each rejected challenges to the Biden administration plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt for borrowers. [more]

SEXUAL ASSAULT | A new study published in the journal JAMA Network Open says that the number of emergency room visits by adult victims of sexual assault in the U.S. rose 1,533% between 2006 and 2019. [more]

WEATHER | The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center released its winter outlook report yesterday. The report says the La Niña weather pattern returns this year for the third consecutive year, driving warmer-than-average temperatures for the Southwest and along the Gulf Coast and eastern seaboard, that the South will experience drier-than-average conditions, and the Ohio Valley, Great Lakes, northern Rockies, and Pacific Northwest will have wetter-than-average conditions. [full report] [more]

U.S. REAL ESTATE | Mortgage company Freddie Mac reports that the average interest rate for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 6.94% last week, up from 6.92% the previous week. Also yesterday, the National Association of Realtors said that sales of existing homes in the U.S. fell in September for the eighth month in a row, down 1.5% from August to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.71 million [more]

U.K. POLITICS | British Prime Minister Liz Truss resigned her position yesterday after only 45 days in office. Truss had faced calls for her resignation from both inside her own Conservative party and from opposition parties after her budget plans triggered turmoil in U.K markets and economic outlooks. Truss will remain in office until a successor is chosen by Conservative party members, which is expected to happen by the end of next week. [more]

EUROPEAN ENERGY | Leaders of European Union nations began a two-day summit in Brussels yesterday to discuss the issue of a possible bloc-wide gas price cap to address the energy crisis prompted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine. [more]

PAKISTAN | With a unanimous vote today, Pakistan’s election commission found former Prime Minister Imran Khan guilty of “corrupt practices” and disqualified him from being a member of parliament. Khan’s PTI political party has rejected the ruling and says it will appeal the ruling to the Islamabad High Court. [more]

MEXICO | Reports say as many as 120 homes have been damaged and more than 1,500 people evacuated following the crash of a fuel truck and resulting fire in the central Mexico city of Aguascalientes. [more]

TWITTER | Tesla CEO Elon Musk told investors that he plans to reduce social media company Twitter’s workforce of 7,500 by nearly 75% if his plan to purchase the company goes through, according to a report in the Washington Post. Reports say that Twitter General Counsel Sean Edgett, in response to the Post article, e-mailed company employees yesterday saying that there are no plans for company-wide layoffs. [more]

ELECTRIC VEHICLES | A new Reuters industry analysis says that the world’s top automakers plan to spend nearly $1.2 trillion through 2030 to develop and produce millions of electric vehicles, along with the batteries and raw materials to support that production. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1520, explorer Ferdinand Magellan and three Spanish ships, in their search for a route to circumnavigate the globe, entered the strait later named for him, sailing between the mainland tip of South America and the island of Tierra del Fuego toward the Pacific Ocean. [more history]

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