January 23, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 333 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Polish Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki said today he will ask Germany for permission to send German-made Leopard tanks to Ukraine. Morawiecki’s statement follows comments by German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock that Poland had not asked for such permission yet and that Germany would not stand in the way of such a transfer if asked. [more]
  • The U.S. on Friday said it will designate the Russian mercenary organization Wagner Group a “significant transnational criminal organization,” and that it intends to impose sanctions on the group and its support network in the coming days. [more]

GUN VIOLENCE | Police in the Los Angeles suburb of Monterey Park, California, say 10 people were killed and at least 10 others wounded Saturday night when a gunman opened fire at a dance club following a Lunar New Year celebration. The suspect in the case, Huu Can Tran, 72, was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot in his vehicle on Sunday. [more]

MORE GUN VIOLENCE | Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, say 12 people were injured early Sunday when a gunman opened fire in an area nightclub. Officials suggested that the shooting was a “targeted event,” but did not provide further details. [more]

BIDEN DOCUMENTS | The FBI conducted a 12-hour search of President Joe Biden’s Wilmington, Delaware, home on Friday, with Biden’s permission, and is reported to have found an additional six documents marked as classified that spanned Biden’s time as a U.S. senator and as vice president. [more]

U.S. MILITARY SERVICE | Citing military briefing slides it obtained, the Associated Press reports that nine U.S. military officers who worked at a nuclear missile base in Montana decades ago have been diagnosed with the blood cancer non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The briefing slides suggested that there are indications the disease could be linked to their service at Malmstrom Air Force Base. [more]

WHITE HOUSE | Reports say President Joe Biden is expected to name Jeff Zients as his next chief of staff. Zients, previously the Biden administration’s lead on COVID-19 pandemic response management, would replace current chief of staff Ron Klein, who announced this weekend that he will resign in the coming weeks. [more]

ABORTION | Abortion-rights supporters in dozens of cities around the U.S. took part in the annual Women’s March yesterday, with the main march being held in Wisconsin ahead of upcoming elections for the state Supreme Court that could determine future abortion policy in the state. The marches marked the 50th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade abortion rights decision, which was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court last year. [more]

U.S. HOME SALES | The National Association of Realtors reported Friday that sales of existing homes in the U.S. fell 17.8% in 2022, compared to 2021 — the largest annual decline since 2008 and the weakest sales year since 2014. Rising interest rates and high home prices were cited as contributing to the decline. [more]

SWEDEN | Responding to the burning of a Quran by anti-Islam activist Rasmus Paludan and his supporters in Stockholm on Saturday, Swedish Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson said that while freedom of expression is essential to democracy, “what is legal is not necessarily appropriate,” and that the burning was a “deeply disrespectful act.” The burning took place outside the Turkish embassy in Stockholm and prompted protests in Turkey, as well as concern that the incident could affect Turkey’s decision on whether to approve the Swedish application to join the NATO alliance. [more]

JAPAN | In a speech opening Japan’s 2023 parliamentary session today, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida pledged increased financial and other related support for families to address his country’s ongoing population decline, saying that Japan’s shrinking and aging population is an economic and national security issue. [more]

NUCLEAR WASTE | Gustavo Caruso, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency task force assessing Japan’s plan to slowly release treated radioactive water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean, says Japanese regulators have shown their commitment to comply with international safety standards. Opponents of the release say that while most radioactivity is removed from wastewater during treatment and dilution, some radionuclides remain and their potential effect on marine and human life is unknown. [more]

SOMALIA | The Al-Qaida-linked al-Shabab militant group has claimed responsibility for an attack on a regional government office yesterday in the Somali capital of Mogadishu in which at least five civilians were killed and 16 others wounded. [more]

PAKISTAN | Officials in Pakistan say the nation’s power grid suffered a major breakdown today, leaving millions of people and businesses without electricity for the second time in three months. Energy Minister Khurrum Dastagir said he expects the power grid to be restored by late tonight. [more]

CANADA | Reports say the Canadian government agreed on Saturday to pay $2.1 billion to settle a lawsuit brought by 325 First Nations indigenous groups seeking reparations for the government forcing thousands of Indigenous Canadians to attend residential schools. The lawsuit, which dates back to 2012, claimed that the government school program led to a loss of language and culture in an effort to assimilate young Indigenous Canadians and that students at the government schools suffered widespread physical, sexual, and emotional abuse. [more]

ISRAEL | Complying with an Israeli Supreme Court ruling ordering him to do so, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu fired Interior and Health Minister Aryeh Deri yesterday. The Court ruled last week that Deri could not serve as a cabinet minister due to a past tax offense conviction. [more]

NEW ZEALAND | Following last week’s unanticipated resignation of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, the governing Labor Party has chosen its leader and current minister of education Chris Hipkins to be the country’s next prime minister. Hipkins will be sworn in on Wednesday. [more]

BRAZIL | Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva fired the head of the country's army, Gen. Julio Cesar de Arruda, on Saturday following weeks of election-related riots in the capital Brasilia that have seen more than 1,200 people arrested. Reports say Arruda was fired over his apparent support of rioters, who have been protesting da Silva's election win over former President Jair Bolsonaro. [more]

TURKEY | Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced Saturday that his country’s next parliamentary and presidential elections will be held May 14. Reports say Erdogan, who has served as president since 2014, plans to seek reelection. [more]

NFL | Matchups for the NFC and AFC conference championship games next Sunday are set. The Philadelphia Eagles will host the San Francisco 49ers for the NFC title game and, in the AFC,  the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Cincinnati Bengals, with the winners of the two games meeting in the Super Bowl on February 12. [more]

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE | "Avatar: The Way of Water" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $19.7 million in receipts, followed by "Puss in Boots: The Last Wish," and "M3gan." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1864, the Twenty-fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibited the federal and state governments from imposing poll taxes before a citizen can participate in federal elections, was ratified. [more history]

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