January 19, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 329 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Former Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, who currently serves on the security council of President Vladimir Putin, said today that a defeat of Russia in Ukraine could trigger a nuclear war. Reports say Kremlin officials endorsed Medvedev's statement as being in full accord with Moscow's principles on preserving the Russian state. [more]
  • Reports say a new U.S. military aid package for Ukraine could be valued as high as $2.6 billion and is expected to include up to 100 Stryker combat vehicles and 50 Bradley armored vehicles. The new aid package has not yet been formally announced. [more]
  • The International Atomic Energy Agency plans to place teams of experts at all four nuclear power plants in Ukraine in a move aimed at reducing the risk of severe accidents amidst the ongoing Russian invasion, according to Agency head Rafael Grossi. [more]
  • The European Parliament voted today to approve a resolution calling on E.U member states to “work in close cooperation with Ukraine to seek and build political support in the U.N. General Assembly and other international forums ... for creating the special tribunal for the crime of aggression against Ukraine.” [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | Federal Reserve policymaker Loretta Mester, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland, said yesterday there is growing evidence that sharp interest rate hikes are starting to reduce inflation but that further rate hikes will be necessary to bring inflation down to the Fed’s target level. Mester’s statement, made in an interview with the Associated Press, came amidst news that, year over year, the Labor Department's producer price index fell 6.2% and the Commerce Department's measure of retail sales fell by 1.1% in December. [more]

DEBT CEILING | U.S. government spending is expected to reach its $31.4 trillion borrowing limit today as policy disagreements between Republican and Democratic lawmakers over increasing the limit continue. Barring a debt limit increase agreement, the Treasury Department is expected to employ emergency cash management measures to postpone any type of U.S. debt default until this summer. [more]

CALIFORNIA | President Joe Biden, accompanied by FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and Gov. Gavin Newsom, is expected to meet today with first responders, business owners, and residents of central California during a tour of areas affected by California’s weeks-long series of severe storms. [more]

U.S. IMMIGRATION | The State Department is expected to announce a new program today through which individual U.S. citizens can sign up to sponsor refugees who are resettling in the United States. In its first year, the Welcome Corps program hopes to sign up 10,000 Americans to help 5,000 refugees during their first 90 days in the country. [more]

U.S.-ISRAEL RELATIONS | The war in Ukraine, threats from Iran, and dissension over Israeli policies on Palestinians and the West Bank are expected to be among the main topics of discussion when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hosts U.S. National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan today in Jerusalem. [more]

NEW ZEALAND | Saying that “With such a privileged role comes responsibility. The responsibility to know when you are the right person to lead, and also when you are not,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced today that she will resign from her position, effective February 7, after five and a half years in office. Reports say it is unclear yet who will serve as prime minister until the country’s 2023 general election in October. [more]

CONGO | U.N. investigators say they have discovered two mass graves containing at least 49 bodies in the Democratic Republic of Congo’s northeastern Ituri Province, which has seen increasing levels of violence between rival militias in the past several months. [more]

JAPANESE ECONOMY | Japan’s Finance Ministry says the country’s trade deficit rose to a record-high $156 billion (19.97 trillion yen) in 2022 — the largest deficit since it began keeping comparable records in 1979. [more]

CZECH REPUBLIC | The coalition government of Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala survived a parliamentary no-confidence vote yesterday following a 25-hour debate in parliament that saw Fiala’s government accused of incompetence and of not doing enough to alleviate the effects of high inflation. [more]

PERU | Reports say hundreds of protestors from Peru’s remote Andean regions are expected to take part in a march today in Lima against the government of President Dina Boluarte and in support of former President Pedro Castillo, who was the country’s first leader from a rural Andean background. At least 42 people have died in protests since Castillo’s impeachment and removal from office last month after he attempted to dissolve the country's parliament. [more]

FRANCE | Nationwide protests scheduled for today in France in response to a plan to raise the country’s retirement age are expected to disrupt train and air travel, electricity supplies, and other public sector services. [more]

IRAQ | The official Iraqi News Agency says at least two people have died and up to 80 have been injured in a stampede that broke out outside a Basra soccer stadium ahead of today’s Gulf Cup tournament final between Iraq and Oman. [more]

LITERATURE | The U.S. Library of Congress has selected novelist Meg Medina as its new National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature. Medina, the Library's first Hispanic ambassador, says she wants to “make reading and story-sharing something that happens beyond classroom and library walls” during her two-year term. [more]

ENTERTAINMENT | The Songwriters Hall of Fame has selected seven writers for induction in its 2023 class: Snoop Dogg, Gloria Estefan, Sade, Jeff Lynne, Glen Ballard, Teddy Riley and Liz Rose. [full details] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1955, U.S. President Dwight D. Eisenhower held the first-ever televised presidential press conference. [more history]

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