January 20, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 330 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • A new $2.5 billion military aid package for Ukraine announced by the U.S. yesterday includes eight Avenger air defense systems, 350 Humvees, 53 Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles, more than 100,000 rounds of artillery ammunition and rockets, missiles for the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, 3 million rounds of small arms ammunition, 90 Stryker combat vehicles, and 59 Bradley fighting vehicles. [more]
  • Addressing a meeting of the Ukraine Defense Contact Group of some 50 global defense ministers at Ramstein Air Base in Germany today via video link, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy urged supporting nations to accelerate their delivery of heavy weapons and funding to his country, saying “the war started by Russia does not allow delays." [more]

ABORTION | The annual anti-abortion March for Life is scheduled to take place in Washington, DC, today — its first occurrence since the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade right-to-abortion decision last year. [more]

WILDFIRES | U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said yesterday that, with new funding, the U.S. Forest Service will spend some $930 million on efforts to reduce wildfire dangers in 10 western states by clearing trees and underbrush from national forests. [announcement] [more]

HAWAII | Amidst ongoing heightened tensions between the U.S. and Russia over the war in Ukraine, the Pentagon said yesterday that the U.S. Coast Guard has been monitoring a Russian Vishnya-class Kareliya surveillance ship patrolling off the coast of Hawaii for the past several weeks. Defense officials note the Russian ship has remained in international waters. [more]

ORGANICS | The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced new rules yesterday to strengthen its enforcement of requirements for foods labeled as ‘organic.’ The new rules increase certification requirements for both domestic and imported organic foods, call for increased inspections, and require higher levels of record-keeping and fraud prevention practices. [Federal Register announcement] [more]

TRUMP | Florida-based U.S. District Judge Donald M. Middlebrooks yesterday ordered former President Donald Trump and one of his attorneys to pay nearly $1 million for filing a frivolous lawsuit against Trump’s 2016 presidential election rival Hillary Clinton and others for political purposes. In his decision, Middlebrooks said the former president has a “pattern of abuse of the courts” and that the lawsuit against Clinton was “brought in bad faith for an improper purpose.” [more]

RUST SHOOTING | Prosecutors in New Mexico announced yesterday that they intend to charge actor Alec Baldwin and armorer Hannah Gutierrez-Reed with involuntary manslaughter in connection with the October 2021 accidental shooting death of cinematographer Halyna Hutchins during the filming of the movie Rust. [more]

U.S. TRAVEL | Federal Aviation Administration officials say last week’s outage of its Notice to Air Missions pilot information system that led to all U.S. flight being temporarily grounded was caused by a contractor unintentionally deleting files on a computer server. [more]

YEAR OF THE RABBIT | Lunar New Year celebrations will be held across large parts of Asia this weekend, marking the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit on Sunday. Reports cite the Chinese government as saying it expects as many as 2.1 billion travel journeys to take place over the new year celebration period. [more]

FRANCE | More than 1.1. million people took part in strikes and protests against the government’s proposed increase in the national retirement age across France yesterday, according to the country's Interior Ministry. Protest and union leaders have called for another round of associated strikes and protests on January 31. [more]

PERU | At least 13 civilians and four police officers were injured in protests against President Dina Boluarte in Lima, Peru, yesterday, according to the country’s Interior Ministry. Boluarte called for more dialog to end weeks-long protests triggered by the ouster of former President Pedro Castillo, but says she does not intend to resign. [more]

SOUTH KOREA | Reports say at least 60 makeshift homes were destroyed in a fire that spread through Seoul’s Guryong village illegal encampment early today, but that no injuries or deaths have yet been reported. More than 800 firefighters and other first responders were involved in containing the fire and evacuating residents, according to South Korean officials. [more]

JAPANESE ECONOMY | Consumer inflation in Japan reached a 41-year high of 4% in December 2022, according to the country’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications. [more]

INDIA AND SRI LANKA | Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said today that his country has made financial assurances to the International Monetary Fund to help facilitate an IMF bailout and debt restructuring plan for neighboring Sri Lanka. [more]

COVID-19 | Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said today that his country will downgrade the legal status of COVID-19 to the same level as seasonal influenza in the coming months, which would significantly relax coronavirus-related public health prevention measures currently in place. [more]

TECH LAYOFFS | Google parent company Alphabet announced early this morning that it plans to eliminate about 12,000 jobs at the company, representing about 6% of its total workforce. [more]

DATA PRIVACY | U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile said yesterday that a data breach of its computer network in late November compromised the personal information of as many as 37 million customers, including addresses, phone numbers and dates of birth. The breach was discovered on January 5, according to a company filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. [more]

R.I.P. | Musician and singer David Crosby died yesterday at the age of 81. Crosby was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame twice, once with the 1960s band The Byrds and once with the group Crosby, Stills & Nash. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1981, the Iran hostage crisis ended when Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini released 52 Americans who had been held hostage for 15 months. [more history]

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