December 2, 2022


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UKRAINE | Today is day 281 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Mykhailo Podolyak, an advisor to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, said yesterday that data from Ukraine’s military estimates that between 10,000 and 13,000 Ukrainian soldiers have been killed since the Russian invasion began. [more]
  • Reports say much of the southern Ukraine city of Kherson is without power again today due to electrical infrastructure damaged caused by Russian shelling, just days after power was restored in the city after previous damage was fixed. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The Labor Department is scheduled to release its November jobs report today. Economists surveyed by research firm FactSet estimate that employers added 200,000 jobs last month, which would be the lowest level since December 2020. [more]

U.S. MORTGAGES | Mortgage firm Freddie Mac reported yesterday that the average interest rate for a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage in the U.S. fell to 6.49% this week — down from 6.58% last week and the third-straight weekly decline. [more]

PANDEMIC FUNDING FRAUD | In a report released yesterday, the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis says that financial technology firms failed to adequately screen applications for the pandemic-related Paycheck Protection Program, contributing to high levels of fraudulent loans issued under the program. [more]

TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS | A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit ruled yesterday that a special master should not have been appointed to conduct an independent review of documents seized by the FBI at the Florida home of former President Donald Trump in August, and ended the review, which the Justice Department says had delayed its investigation of classified documents found at the Trump estate. [more]

STUDENT LOANS | The U.S. Supreme Court agreed yesterday to take up the case involving challenges to the Biden administration plan to forgive up to $20,000 per borrower in federal student loan debt. Arguments in the case are expected to take place in February or March 2023. [more]

RAIL STRIKE | Ahead of a December 9 strike deadline, the U.S. Senate voted yesterday to impose a compromise labor agreement on rail worker unions and companies. The House approved the measure previously and President Biden is expected to sign the bill into law when he receives it from Congress. [more]

EUROPEAN ENERGY | Ahead of a Monday deadline to set a bloc-wide price for discounted oil, European Union diplomats are reportedly considering setting a $60-per-barrel price cap on Russian oil. [more]

PAKISTAN | The U.S. State Department yesterday added Pakistan’s Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, or TPP, and al-Qaida in the Indian Subcontinent to its list of global terrorist organizations, triggering economic sanctions against the groups and a ban on U.S. persons engaging with them. [more]

CHINA | According to its newly released 2022 China Military Power Report, the U.S. Department of Defense estimates that China’s nuclear weapons stockpile could reach 1,500 warheads by 2035 — up from its current level of about 400 — if production continues at its current pace. [more]

SYRIA | Amidst Turkish military operations against Kurdish forces in northern Syria, the Syrian Democratic Forces, which operates in the region, says it will no longer participate in joint counterterrorism operations with the United States and other allies against the ISIL or ISIS terrorist groups. [more]

INDONESIA | Reports say Indonesia’s new criminal code, which is expected to be passed by the country’s government this month, includes provisions that would penalize extramarital sex with up to one year in jail, make insulting the president or state institutions illegal, and ban cohabitation before marriage. [more]

COST OF LIVING | According to the 2022 Economist Intelligence Worldwide Cost of Living report, the most expensive cities in the world in which to live are: Singapore, New York, Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, and Los Angeles. [full report] [more]

WORLD HERITAGE | Some 48 cultural practices in 61 countries have been added to the U.N.’s UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity, including five in urgent need of safeguarding. Among those in the list are the French baguette, Chinese tea-processing techniques, Japanese ritual dances, Serbian traditional plum brandy, Cambodian martial arts, and Cuban light rum processes. [full list] [more]

WORLD CUP | Morocco beat Canada, Japan beat Spain, Germany beat Costa Rica, and Croatia and Belgium tied in yesterday’s matches at the World Cup in Qatar. Today’s matches include Ghana vs Uruguay, South Korea vs Portugal, Serbia vs Switzerland, and Cameroon vs Brazil. [full schedule and results] [more]

COLLEGE FOOTBALL | Executives of the College Football Playoff announced yesterday that it will expand to a 12-team playoff for crowning a national champion starting in 2024. [more]

MUSIC | According to organizers of the Glastonbury Festival, Elton John’s June 25 performance at the music festival next year will be his “final U.K. show of his last ever tour.” [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1804, Napoleon crowned himself emperor of France in the presence of Pope Pius VII. [more history]

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