January 17, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 327 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu said today that his country plans to make major changes to its armed forces over the next three years, including administrative reforms and strengthening of its naval, aerospace, and strategic missile forces. [more]
  • Amidst indications that multiple countries, including Germany, France, Poland, and Britain are moving closer to providing tanks to Ukraine, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reiterated his country’s urgent need for heavy weapons and tanks in his nightly video address yesterday. [more]
  • Andrei Medvedev, a former commander in Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, has sought asylum in Norway, saying that he fled the group after witnessing war crimes committed by Russian forces in Ukraine. [more]

CALIFORNIA | President Joe Biden is scheduled to visit central California on Thursday to visit areas affected by three weeks of severe storms that have led to multiple deaths, power outages, flooding, and mudslides. [more]

DRUG TRAFFICKING | Jury selection in the U.S. trial of Genaro García Luna, the former top security official in Mexico, is scheduled to begin  today in Brooklyn, New York. García Luna, who prosecutors say helped the Sinaloa Cartel move drugs,  is facing charges of participation in a criminal enterprise and drug trafficking. [more]

GUN VIOLENCE | Police in California’s Tulare County say six people were killed in the town of Goshen early Monday in what is thought to have been a gang- and drug-related targeted shooting attack. Reports say two suspects are being sought in the case. [more]

MORE GUN VIOLENCE | Reports say at least eight people were wounded yesterday during a Martin Luther King Jr. Day celebration when multiple gunmen opened fire into a crowd of hundreds of people in Fort Pierce, Florida. Police say the shooting occurred following a disagreement between two parties and that no suspects have yet been arrested. [more]

NEW MEXICO | Solomon Pena, 39, who ran unsuccessfully as a Republican for the New Mexico House of Representatives last November, was arrested yesterday in Albuquerque on charges of conspiring with and paying four men to shoot at the homes of four local Democratic lawmakers and officials. [more]

U.S.-NETHERLANDS RELATIONS | The war in Ukraine, the upcoming Summit for Democracy, and limitation of advanced technology sales to China are expected to be among the main topics of discussion when President Joe Biden hosts Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte for talks today in Washington, DC. [more]

CHINA | China’s National Bureau of Statistics reports that the country’s population fell by about 850,000 in 2022, compared to 2021 — the first population decline in the world’s most populous country since 1961, according to reports. [more]

INDIA AND PAKISTAN | In an interview today, Pakistani Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that he has proposed direct talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi to address issues between the two countries -- most especially those surrounding the disputed region of Kashmir. [more]

BELARUS | The in absentia trial of exiled Belarusian opposition leader Sviatlana Tsikhanouskaya on charges of treason began today in Minsk. Tsikhanouskaya ran against Alexander Lukashenko in Belarus’ 2020 presidential election and denounced Lukashenko’s victory as a fraud. [more]

CHINESE ECONOMY | China’s economy — the second largest in the world — grew by 3% in 2022, down from 8.1% in 2021 and its second-lowest growth rate since the 1970s, according to data released by the Chinese National Bureau of Statistics yesterday. [more]

GERMANY | German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will reportedly appoint Boris Pistorius, who has served as the interior minister of Lower Saxony since 2013, as Germany’s new defense minister, replacing Christine Lambrecht, who resigned yesterday amidst growing personal and policy criticism. [more]

ISLAMIC STATE | Dutch authorities say a Syrian man suspected of having been a security chief for the Islamic State militant group and of contributing to war crimes committed by the group during Syria’s civil war was arrested today in the village of Arkel, Netherlands. Reports say the yet-unidentified suspect applied for asylum in the Netherlands in 2019. [more]

TRANSGENDER LAW | Alister Jack, the U.K. Secretary of State for Scotland, said yesterday that the British government will block a new law that would allow people in Scotland aged 16 and older to legally change their gender by self-declaration. [more]

VIETNAM | Following allegations of his responsibility for wrongdoing by government officials under his control while serving as prime minister, Vietnamese President Nguyen Xuan Phuc announced his resignation today. [more]

TENNIS | Russian and Belarusian flags were banned from the site of the Australian Open today following complaints that their display could be seen as supporting the invasion of Ukraine and be used to try to intimidate Ukrainian players. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1917, the United States purchased three of the Virgin Islands—St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix—from Denmark for $25 million. [more history]

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