January 24, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 334 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Speaking during a visit to South Africa yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov blamed the U.S. and other Western nations for impeding negotiations between Russia and Ukraine in the early months of the war last year. [more]
  • Polish Defense Minister Mariusz Błaszczak says his country has officially asked for permission from Germany to transfer German-made Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine and that he has urged other countries to also supply tanks to Kyiv for use in battling the Russian invasion. [more]
  • Multiple Ukrainian officials, including Deputy Defense Minister Vyacheslav Shapovalov, four deputy ministers, and five regional governors, resigned today amidst a new anti-corruption campaign by President Volodymyr Zelensky’s administration. [more]

GUN VIOLENCE | Police in San Mateo County, California, say seven people were shot dead yesterday in two related shootings at agricultural businesses near the city of Half Moon Bay — about 30 miles south of San Francisco. The suspect, Chunli Zhao, 67, who has been arrested, is reported to have been an employee of the businesses, as were the victims. [more]

MORE GUN VIOLENCE | Two teenage students were killed and a school administrator wounded yesterday at the Starts Right Here alternative educational program facility in Des Moines, Iowa, when Preston Walls, 18, entered the site and opened fire. Police say Walls has been charged with two counts of murder and with participation in a criminal gang and that the incident was a targeted shooting, not random. [more]

JANUARY 6 | Four members of the far-right Oath Keepers group -- Roberto Minuta, Joseph Hackett, David Moerschel, and Edward Vallejo -- were found guilty of seditious conspiracy yesterday by a Washington, DC jury for their actions related to the January 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol. The defendants were also found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct an official proceeding, obstruction of an official proceeding, and aiding and abetting, and conspiracy to prevent a member of Congress from discharging their official duties. [more]

TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS | Fulton County Superior Court Judge Robert McBurney will hear arguments in Atlanta today on whether to release a report by the special grand jury investigating efforts to overturn then-President Donald Trump's narrow 2020 presidential election loss in Georgia. The special grand jury recommended that the report be made public when it completed its work earlier this month. [more]

COVID-19 | U.S. Food and Drug Administration officials announced yesterday that the agency plans to propose a simplified approach for future COVID-19 vaccination efforts under which a once-a-year vaccination would be made available to most adults and children. [more]

ABORTION | New Mexico Attorney General Raul Torrez asked the state’s Supreme Court yesterday to block local abortion ban ordinances passed by multiple cities and counties in the state, where the procedure remains legal. [more]

FARMING SUBSIDIES | The U.S. Department of Agriculture yesterday announced a new $100 million round of subsidy payments to dairy farmers to help offset losses related to drought, supply chain issues, and the COVID-19 pandemic. [more]

NORTH KOREA | U.S. President Joe Biden has nominated State Department veteran Julie Turner to be the United States’ new special envoy for North Korean human rights — a position mandated by law, but which has been vacant since January 2017. [more]

NATO | Speaking in response to possible new Turkish objections to Sweden’s bid for NATO membership, Finnish Foreign Minister Pekka Haavisto appeared to suggest yesterday that his country could move forward with its own plans to join the military alliance independently of Sweden. [more]

MYANMAR | Human rights group Fortify Rights, along with 16 people from Myanmar, have announced the filing of a criminal complaint in Germany charging Myanmar’s military government with war crimes, genocide, and crimes against humanity allegedly committed during the military’s 2021 coup d'état. [more]

IRAN | The Iranian Foreign Ministry today condemned new sanctions imposed by the E.U., U.S., and U.K. on more than 30 Iranian officials and organizations over recent crackdowns on widespread protests prompted by the death of Mahsa Amini while in the custody of Iran’s morality police. [more]

PAKISTAN | Pakistani Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif today apologized for his country’s nationwide power outage that affected as many as 220 million people yesterday. Energy Minister Khurram Dastgir said the outage was caused by a technical problem, but reports suggest that the system failed when attempting to start up following a planned power-saving outage on Sunday. [more]

SERBIA AND KOSOVO | Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said yesterday that his country will face tough decisions in the near future as it faces potential sanctions and other repercussions from the U.S. and E.U. over tense relations with Kosovo. [more]

WORLD HEALTH | Reuters reports that the World Health Organization is investigating possible links between six Indian and Indonesian manufacturers of cough syrup that may be linked to the deaths of more than 300 children in multiple countries. [more]

AI | Tech giant Microsoft has announced that it is making a new multiyear, multibillion dollar investment in the San Francisco-based artificial intelligence startup OpenAI, maker of the ChatGPT text generation tool and the DALL·E 2 image generation platform. [more]

TECH LAYOFFS | Music streaming service Spotify announced yesterday that it plans to cut about 6% of its workforce, or some 600 jobs, as its profit outlook weakens following pandemic-era expansions. [more]

ENTERTAINMENT | Nominations for the 95th Academy Awards are scheduled to be announced at 8:30am EST today on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” and via livestream on Oscars.org. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1984, Steve Jobs introduced Apple's revolutionary Macintosh computer, two days after the groundbreaking commercial “1984” aired before a national TV audience and heralded the product's impending release. [more history]

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