December 16, 2022


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UKRAINE | Today is day 295 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian officials say at least 60 missiles were fired by Russian forces overnight targeting civilian infrastructure in four Ukrainian cities: Kyiv, Kryvyi Rih, Zaporizhzhia, and Kharkiv. [more]
  • The U.S. will expand its military combat training program for Ukrainian forces over the winter, according to Pentagon officials. The program reportedly aims to train about 500 Ukrainian troops each month at Germany’s Grafenwoehr training area starting in January. [more]

DEFENSE FUNDING | The U.S. Senate gave final approval yesterday to a nearly $858 billion national defense funding bill for the current fiscal year. The spending package, which President Biden is expected to sign, is about 10% higher than last year’s level, includes a 4.6% pay raise for servicemembers and civilian Department of Defense workers, and rescinds the U.S. military's requirement that servicemembers be vaccinated against COVID-19. [more]

LOUISIANA | Five Louisiana law enforcement officers were charged yesterday with state crimes ranging from negligent homicide to malfeasance in connection with the May 2019 death of Black motorist Ronald Greene while being arrested. [more]

IMMIGRATION | A federal judge yesterday temporarily blocked a Biden administration plan to end a Trump-era policy requiring asylum-seekers to wait in Mexico for hearings in U.S. immigration court until legal challenges by Texas and Missouri are settled. [more]

PUERTO RICO | The U.S. House yesterday passed a bill that would allow Puerto Rico to hold a first-ever binding referendum to choose whether the island territory should become U.S. state, declare independence, or establish independence with free association. Reports say the measure is not expected to pass in the Senate. [more]

COFFEE SHOP STRIKE | More than 1,000 baristas at 100 Starbucks coffee shops around the U.S. are expected to take part in a three-day strike starting today. The strike is seen as part of efforts to unionize the coffee chain’s stores. [more]

SPYING | Former Twitter employee Ahmad Abouammo, 45, of Seattle, Washington, was sentenced to 42 months in federal prison yesterday for his role in monitoring and providing information about Saudi dissidents to members of the Saudi royal family. Abouammo was convicted in August on charges of acting as a foreign agent, conspiracy, wire fraud, and international money laundering. [more]

NEW YORK | Gov. Kathy Hochul signed a bill into law yesterday that bans the sale of cats, dogs, and rabbits in New York pet stores in an attempt to target commercial breeding operations. The New York law is similar to measures passed in recent years in California, Maryland, and Illinois. [more]

KENNEDY ASSASSINATION | The U.S. National Archives has made available online some 13,000 previously withheld documents related to the November 1963 assassination of President John F. Kennedy. [more]

PERU | Reports say tens of thousands of Peruvians took part in nationwide protests yesterday calling for ousted President Pedro Castillo to be released from police custody. The protests came as Peru’s government declared a 30-day state of emergency that suspends some rights of assembly and movement and increases some police powers in an effort to calm violent protests. [more]

CHOLERA | Dr. Philippe Barboza, the World Health Organization’s Team Lead for Cholera and Epidemic Diarrhoeal Diseases, said today that the global stockpile of cholera vaccines is "currently empty or extremely low" amidst worldwide increased outbreak levels of the disease this year. [more]

CHINA AND JAPAN | Amidst Beijing’s criticism of Japan’s adoption of a new national security strategy that moves away from its strictly defensive military policy, Chinese naval ships sailed through the Osumi Strait in southern Japan and the Miyako Strait south of Okinawa yesterday. Chinese officials said the naval show-of-force “sent a signal amid Japan’s recent militaristic moves.” [more]

MALAYSIA | Reports say at least 16 people are dead, and 17 others remain missing, following a landslide at a tourist campground in Batang Kali, Malaysia, early this morning. [more]

NORTH KOREA | North Korean state media reports that leader Kim Jong Un supervised the test yesterday of a new “high-thrust solid-fuel motor” for a new strategic weapon. Reports say the test was most likely related to efforts to build a solid-fueled intercontinental ballistic missile. [more]

FRANCE | Officials in the Lyon suburb of Vaulx-en-Velin say 10 people, including five children, were killed in a residential building fire early this morning. The cause of the fire is under investigation. [more]

AFRICA | U.S. President Joe Biden yesterday announced $2.5 billion in new humanitarian aid to help African nations address emergency and longer-term food insecurity. The pledge came on the final day of the three-day U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit in Washington, DC. [more]

WORLD MARKETS | Stock indices worldwide fell sharply yesterday on fears that moves by central banks in the U.S., E.U., U.K., and Switzerland to continue raising interest rates could spark a recession. On the U.S. markets yesterday, the S&P 500 fell 2.5%, the Nasdaq composite fell 3.2%, and the Dow fell 2.2%. [more]

TWITTER | Pointing out that the European Union’s Digital Services Act requires a respect for media freedom, E.U. commissioner Vera Jourova warned Twitter today that it could face sanctions for suspending the accounts of multiple journalists who had reported on a service that used publicly available data to track the location of Twitter owner Elon Musk’s private plane. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1631, more than 3,000 people were killed by a major eruption of Italy's Mount Vesuvius. [more history]

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