December 21, 2022


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UKRAINE | Today is day 300 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In his first trip abroad since the beginning of the Russian invasion of his country, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will visit the U.S. today where he will meet with President Joe Biden and address Congress in Washington, DC. [more]
  • The Associated Press cites unnamed U.S. officials as saying yesterday that the U.S. is preparing to provide a $1.8 billion military aid package to Ukraine that includes at least one Patriot missile battery and precision guided missiles for fighter jets. [more]
  • Amidst concerns that Russian forces could initiate a new offensive against Ukraine from Belarus, a new order restricting access to parts of Belarus' Gomel region that borders Ukraine and Russia was issued by Belarus’ government today. [more]

JANUARY 6 | The House committee investigating the January 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol is expected to release its full final report on the attacks today, following up on the  release of a summary report and the recommendation that criminal charges against former President Donald Trump be pursued by the Justice Department earlier this week. [more]

CALIFORNIA | Reports say thousands of households remain without power in California ’s Humboldt County today following the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck off the Northern California coast yesterday. Two deaths and at least 12 injuries have been blamed on the earthquake, which also caused significant building and infrastructure damage. [more]

TEXAS | Former Fort Worth Police Department officer Aaron Dean was sentenced to more than 11 years in prison yesterday by a Texas jury for the October 2019 shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson, 28, who was inside her mother’s Fort Worth home when Dean, who was investigating a report of an open door at the home, fatally shot her through a window. [more]

DRUGS | In a statement released yesterday, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration says it seized the equivalent of 379 million potentially deadly doses of fentanyl in 2022 — more than double the amount seized in 2021. DEA officials say the amount of fentanyl seized in 2022 would be enough to kill all 331.9 million Americans. [more]

TRUMP TAX RETURNS | The House Ways and Means Committee voted along party lines yesterday to publicly release the tax returns of former President Donald Trump from the years 2015-2020, which have been a subject of Committee investigations for two years. The release is expected to take place in the coming days following the redaction of personal information in the returns. [more]

ARMENIA AND AZERBAIJAN | U.N. Assistant Secretary-General for political affairs Miroslav Jenča warned yesterday of the possibility of renewed conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region and urged the international community to increase diplomatic efforts to achieve a lasting peace between the two former Soviet countries. [more]

CHINA | Reports cite Chinese health officials as saying China only attributes deaths from pneumonia or respiratory failure to COVID-19 in its official coronavirus death counts and that deaths in COVID-infected patients with pre-existing illnesses are not counted as COVID-19 deaths. The counting methods used in China have concerned international health experts, who say the narrow definitions could result in significant undercounting of the virus’ impact. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | Afghanistan’s Taliban government yesterday banned female students from attending universities, effective immediately. The country’s Ministry of Higher Education says the ban applies to both public and private universities and requires universities to inform the ministry once the ban has been implemented. [more]

MORE AFGHANISTAN | In what is being characterized as a “goodwill gesture,” Afghanistan’s Taliban government released two U.S. citizens from custody yesterday, according to U.S. State Department spokesperson Ned Price, who declined to identify the freed Americans. [more]

PERU | The Peruvian Congress yesterday granted preliminary approval to a plan to hold early national elections in April 2024 — two years ahead of schedule. The move comes amidst continuing widespread protests in Peru following the removal from office and arrest of former President Pedro Castillo. [more]

U.K. | Health Secretary Steve Barclay said yesterday that, due to disruptions in emergency services, people in the U.K. should exercise caution and avoid unnecessary drinking, sports, and other activities during today's 24-hour strike by thousands of ambulance workers. [more]

MEXICO | Mexican Foreign Relations Secretary Marcel Ebrard says Mexico will intends to ask the U.S. for as much as $48 billion in financing to build large scale solar energy projects and related power transmission lines in the northern Mexico state of Sonora. [more]

BANKING | Consumer bank Wells Fargo will pay $3.7 billion in refunds and penalties to settle charges of improperly charging fees and interest on auto and home loans and incorrectly applying overdraft fees against savings and checking accounts, as well as wrongfully repossessing vehicles and denying mortgage loan modifications. The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau says the bank’s improper actions impacted more than 16 million customers. [more]

ONLINE COMMERCE | E-commerce giant Amazon has reportedly agreed to changes in its business practices in the European Union to avoid anti-trust investigations into the company in the 27-nation bloc. E.U. officials say that under the agreement the company will give customers more visible choices when buying products and more delivery options for its Prime members. [more]

SOCCER | Sunday’s World Cup final between Argentina and France was the second most-watched soccer match ever in the United States, according to data released by Nielsen, Fox, and Telemundo, which showed a combined English- and Spanish-language U.S. audience of about 25.7 million. The most-watched soccer match ever in the U.S., with 26.7 million viewers, was the 2015 Women’s World Cup final in which the U.S. beat Japan, 5-2. [more]

BASKETBALL | United Wholesale Mortgage CEO Mat Ishbia has reportedly agreed, pending league approvals, to purchase a majority stake in the Phoenix Suns and Phoenix Mercury professional basketball franchises from owner Robert Sarver for $4 billion. [more]

R.I.P. | Pittsburgh Steelers’ legend and NFL Hall of Fame running back Franco Harris died last night at the age of 72, according to his family. Harris ran for 12,120 yards in his career and won four Super Bowl rings with the Steelers. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1898, having recently discovered polonium, future Nobel Prize winners Marie and Pierre Curie discovered the radioactive element radium, a silvery white metal that would later be used to treat cancer. [more history]

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