January 2, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 312 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • An estimated 400 Russian soldiers were killed in a Ukrainian missile attack on a military facility in the city of Makiivka in the occupied Donetsk region yesterday, according to Ukrainian officials. Pro-Russian authorities have confirmed that the missile attack took place, but have disputed the number of deaths. [more]
  • Ukrainian officials say their forces shot down some 45 Iranian-made explosive drones fired by Russian forces at targets across the country over the weekend. [more]
  • Russian majority state-owned energy company Gazprom said in a statement today that its gas exports outside the Commonwealth of Independent States fell by 45.5% in 2022, compared to 2021. [more]

IDAHO MURDERS | Bryan Kohberger, 28, was arrested by Pennsylvania State Police on Friday in connection with the November murders of four University of Idaho students. Reports say Kohberger plans to waive an extradition hearing so he can be quickly moved to Idaho to face murder charges. [more]

CALIFORNIA | Powerful storms caused record rainfall and heavy snow to much of northern and central California over the weekend. An estimated 153,000 households were affected by power outages in the capital Sacramento on Saturday and a portion of the state’s highway 101 was closed south of San Francisco due to flooding. [more]

INFRASTRUCTURE | U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to highlight the effects of the 2021 trillion-dollar infrastructure bill when he visits Kentucky this week. The governors of Ohio and Kentucky, as well as Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, are expected to join Biden at a ceremony on Wednesday highlighting funding for the Brent Spence Bridge Corridor Project, which connects Ohio and Kentucky across the Ohio River. [more]

WEST BANK | Haim Katz, the tourism minister in Israel’s new right-wing government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, said yesterday that Israel will invest significantly to develop tourism in the occupied West Bank, which Palestinians claim as part of a future independent state. [more]

PHILIPPINES | The Philippines’ National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council says the death toll from widespread flooding that hit the Philippines over the Christmas weekend has risen to 51, and that at least 19 people remain missing. [more]

SYRIA | Syrian military officials say the Damascus International Airport has reopened this morning following an overnight Israeli missile strikes that temporarily closed the airport. [more]

BRAZIL | Speaking at his inauguration as Brazil’s new president yesterday, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said his administration will focus on rebuilding civil rights and economic prosperity in the country while also holding outgoing President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration to account for setbacks. [more]

COLOMBIA AND VENEZUELA | Delegations from Colombia and Venezuela took part yesterday in a ceremony re-opening the “Tienditas” bridge that links the two countries, which had been closed for seven years amidst political tensions between the two South American nations. Diplomatic and commercial relations between Colombia and Venezuela were reestablished in September of last year. [more]

MEXICO | At least 14 people died, including 10 security personnel and four inmates, when yet-unidentified gunmen attacked a prison in the northern Mexico border city of Juarez yesterday, according to Chihuahua state officials. Reports say at least 24 prisoners escaped during the attack. [more]

NORTH KOREA | North Korean state media agency KCNA reported yesterday that leader Kim Jong-un has called for the country to “exponentially” expand its nuclear arsenal and develop a new intercontinental ballistic missile in the new year. [more]

PRIVACY | Indiana state Attorney General Todd Rokita announced Friday that Google has agreed to pay $20 million to settle the state’s privacy lawsuit against the tech giant over allegedly deceptive location tracking practices. [more]

R.I.P. | Several notable persons died over the New Year’s weekend, including:

  • Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI died Saturday at the age of 93. Pope Francis will lead Benedict’s funeral on Thursday at The Vatican’s St. Peter’s Square. [more]
  • News and television personality Barbara Walters died Friday at the age of 93. Walters’ 40-year career in television included co-hosting the “Today” show and “The View,” co-anchoring the “ABC Evening News,” and serving as a major contributor to the “20/20” newsmagazine. [more]
  • Jeremiah Green, founding drummer of the rock band Modest Mouse, died Saturday at the age of 45. The band had recently announced that Green had been diagnosed with cancer. [more]
  • Grammy-winning singer Anita Pointer, part of the sibling pop music group The Pointer Sisters, died Saturday at the age of 74. A cause of death was not revealed in a statement from her publicist. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1492, Granada, home of the Alhambra palace and the seat and final stronghold of the Moorish kingdom in Spain, was surrendered to the Catholic Monarchs, Ferdinand II and Isabella I, ending the Reconquest. [more history]

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