January 4, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 314 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Russia’s defense ministry today revised the number of its troops killed in a January 1 Ukrainian missile attack on a military facility in the Moscow-controlled Donetsk region city of Makiivka to 89 — up from an earlier estimate of 63. Officials also suggested that cell phone use by troops at the facility allowed Ukrainian forces to target the site. [more]
  • Ukrainian foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said today that his country is currently preparing to receive U.S.-supplied Patriot air defense missile systems announced as part of a $1.85 billion aid package announced by U.S. President Joe Biden in December. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Members of the House of Representatives are expected to continue voting today for the House Speaker position after failing to elect a nominee in three rounds of voting yesterday. It was the first time in 100 years that a House speaker was not elected in the first round of balloting. Republican leader Kevin McCarthy, whose party now controls the House, says he does not intend to withdraw his nomination for Speaker, despite his current lack of support from some 20 members of the Republican caucus. [more]

MORE U.S. POLITICS | Washington Democratic Senator Patty Murray was appointed president pro tempore of the Senate yesterday — the first woman to ever hold the position. [more]

ABORTION | The U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized rules yesterday aimed at expanding the availability of abortion pills where such drugs are legal. The rules allow medical abortion drugs to be prescribed via telehealth consultations and delivered through the mail, and also allow the drugs to be dispensed by online and brick-and-mortar retail pharmacies instead of just at specialized clinics. [more]

WASHINGTON | Authorities in Washington state have announced the arrest of two men, Matthew Greenwood, 32, and Jeremy Crahan, 40, in connection with damage to four Pierce County power substations that caused power outages for some 14,000 customers on Christmas Day. Reports say the suspects are thought to have damaged the substations as cover for a planned burglary. [more]

CUBA | Amidst increasing numbers of Cubans attempting to enter the U.S. via the border with Mexico, the United States Embassy in Cuba announced this week that it is reopening its visa and consular services for the first time since 2017. [more]

JAPAN | Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said yesterday that he hopes to deepen his country’s economic and defense alliance with the United States during his upcoming trip to Washington. Kishida is scheduled to meet with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on January 13. [more]

MYANMAR | Marking the 75th anniversary of his country’s independence from Britain today, Myanmar military leader Senior Gen. Min Aung Hlaing called for national unity and said plans for a democratic election in the Southeast Asian nation later this year will move forward. Min Aung Hlaing also announced that some 7,000 prisoners will be pardoned to mark the anniversary, though ousted leader Aung San Suu Kyi is not expected to be among those pardoned. [more]

SOMALIA | Police in Somalia say at least 19 people were killed early today when two suicide car bombers exploded devices near a military facility in the Mahaas district of the country’s Hiran region. The al-Qaida-linked militant group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack. [more]

INDIA | As part of long-term plans to reduce carbon emissions, the Indian government announced today that it has approved a 2.11 billion dollar incentive plan to promote and reduce the costs associated with producing green hydrogen — a term used to indicate hydrogen split from water molecules using renewable energy. [more]

MICROSOFT | Video game testers at the Microsoft subsidiary ZeniMax Studios voted yesterday to join the Communications Workers of America union, becoming the tech giant’s first unionized workers in the United States. [more]

R.I.P. | Apollo 7 astronaut Walter Cunningham, the last surviving crew member from 1968's first successful crewed space mission in the NASA Apollo space program, died in Houston yesterday at the age of 90. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1948, the Southeast Asian nation of Burma (today, Myanmar) formally gained independence, completing the transfer of power negotiated by Burmese leader Aung San and British Prime Minister Clement Attlee in 1947. [more history]

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