January 5, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 315 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • President Joe Biden confirmed yesterday that the U.S. is considering providing Ukraine with Bradley Fighting Vehicles — medium armored combat vehicles that usually serve as troop carriers — in addition to some 2,000 combat vehicles previously provided. [more]
  • During a phone call today, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan urged Russian President Vladimir Putin to declare a unilateral ceasefire in Ukraine to advance negotiations and chances of peace, according to a statement from Erdogan’s office. [more]
  • Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said yesterday that calls by the E.U. for his country to impose sanctions against Russia over the war in Ukraine represent an unacceptable interference in Serbia's internal affairs. Several E.U. nations have previously called for Serbia’s bid for E.U. membership to be suspended until it aligns its foreign policies with the 27-nation bloc. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Work in the House of Representatives remains at a standstill as members failed to select a Speaker for the second day in a row yesterday. In three rounds of voting yesterday, Republican leader Kevin McCarthy failed to receive the 218 votes usually needed to be elected Speaker, with some 20 fellow Republican majority members supporting other candidates or simply voting ‘present.’ The House is scheduled to reconvene today at noon. [more]

CALIFORNIA | Evacuation orders have been issued today for several high-risk coastal areas of California as the state deals with a powerful ‘atmospheric river’ storm that is expected to drop as much as six inches of rain in some regions. [more]

UTAH | Officials in the southern Utah town of Enoch say eight family members, including five children, were found dead from gunshot wounds in their home yesterday. Police did not provide any additional details or potential motive for the killings. [more]

ABORTION | Following a final ruling by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration earlier this week allowing retail pharmacies to offer medical abortion pills, pharmacy chains Walgreens and CVS have both announced plans to complete the registration and training required to allow them to dispense the pills where legally permissible. [more]

COVID-19 AND CHINA | Amidst the ongoing surge of coronavirus cases in China, the European Union yesterday “strongly encouraged” its members to implement COVID-19 testing requirements for all travelers from China to E.U. member states. Additionally, World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said yesterday that his agency is concerned about the lack of outbreak data from China and that he understands why some nations are imposing testing requirements on travelers from China. [more]

JERUSALEM | At the request of Palestinian officials and several Islamic and non-Islamic states, the U.N. Security Council is scheduled to hold an emergency meeting today to discuss the controversial visit earlier this week by Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir to the Jerusalem holy site known to Jews as the Temple Mount and to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary or Al-Aqsa Mosque. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | Afghanistan's Taliban government reported today that a series of raids yesterday resulted in the death of eight Islamic State militants, and the arrest of nine others, connected to recent terrorist attacks in Kabul. [more]

U.K. | Setting out his government’s priorities for the coming year, British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak pledged yesterday to cut inflation in half, strengthen the U.K. economy overall, and fight illegal immigration. [more]

POPE BENEDICT | Italian media, citing police security plans, report that an estimated 100,000 people are expected to attend today’s funeral for Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died on December 31 at the age of 95. [more]

PAKISTAN | Reports say Pakistan intends to seek $16.3 billion in international aid for flood recovery efforts next week at the “International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan” meeting in Geneva, which is being jointly hosted by the U.N. and Pakistan. The appeal follows catastrophic flooding last summer that killed more than 1,700 people and affected some 33 million Pakistanis. [more]

TECH LAYOFFS | Amazon and Salesforce announced plans for major job cuts yesterday, with Amazon planning to cut about 18,000 positions — up from a previously announced 10,000 — and Salesforce planning a 10% workforce reduction or about 8,000 jobs. [more]

TECH SHOWCASE | The annual CES tech showcase event, formerly known as the Consumer Electronics Show, opens today in Las Vegas, with attendance expected to rebound after two years of pandemic-related restrictions. This year’s event has a theme for the first time ever: Human Security for All, which highlights how tech companies are addressing global challenges, such as access to food, healthcare, personal income, environmental protection, personal safety, community security, and political freedom. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1933, construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. The bridge once boasted the longest main span in the world and has been celebrated for the magnificence of its setting. [more history]

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