January 31, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 341 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Amidst Ukrainian calls for Western allies to provide advanced military aircraft for the fight against the Russian invasion, U.S. President Joe Biden and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have both ruled out providing fighter jets in recent days. [more]
  • French and Australian officials announced plans yesterday for their countries to jointly produce thousands of 155-millimeter artillery shells for the Ukrainian military, with deliveries to Kyiv expected to begin by March of this year. [more]

GUN VIOLENCE | At least 10 people were wounded yesterday in a drive-by shooting in Lakeland, Florida. Police say the incident appears to have been a targeted shooting and suggested that it may have been related to drug sales being conducted in the area. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The latest policy meeting of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s Board of Governors begins today in Washington, DC. The Fed is widely expected to announce a quarter-point interest rate hike tomorrow, signaling a possible easing of its aggressive rate hikes to fight inflation. [more]

COVID-19 | U.S. President Joe Biden announced yesterday that he will end the country’s COVID-19 national and public health emergencies on May 11, clearing the way for federal policy to treat COVID-19 as an endemic threat managed through health agencies’ normal authorities. [more]

TYRE NICHOLS | Officials in Memphis, Tennessee, said yesterday that, in addition to the five former police officers charged in the murder of Tyre Nichols, two additional officers have been disciplined and three emergency responders have been fired in connection with the case. [more]

MEDICARE FRAUD | The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says it expects to recover up to $4.7 billion from insurance companies over the next 10 years due to new and tougher penalties for improper or fraudulent charges submitted as part of the Medicare Advantage program. [more]

TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS | Reports say testimony began yesterday before a Manhattan grand jury hearing evidence about the possible role of former President Donald Trump in payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels to not reveal her story of an alleged sexual encounter with Trump in the lead-up to the 2016 presidential election. [more]

TECH EXPORTS | The Associated Press cites an unnamed source as saying that Japan and the Netherlands have agreed to join the United States in restricting technology exports to China that would facilitate Chinese production of advanced computer chips. [more]

EUROPEAN ECONOMY | E.U. statistics agency Eurostat reports today that the gross domestic product for the euro currency bloc grew by 0.1% in the fourth quarter of 2022, compared to the previous quarter, and by 1.9% compared to the same period in 2021. [more]

GLOBAL ECONOMY | Citing China’s easing of its zero-COVID policies and apparent global economic resilience in the face of high inflation and interest rates, as well as the war in Ukraine, economists at the International Monetary Fund now say they expect the global economy to grow by 2.9% this year — up from its October estimate of 2.7%. [more]

PAKISTAN | The death toll from yesterday’s suicide bombing at a mosque in the northwestern Pakistan city of Peshawar has risen to at least 95, according to local officials. In a visit to Peshawar, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif characterized the attack as “no less than an attack on Pakistan.” [more]

KOREA | Visiting Seoul today for talks with South Korean military officials, U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the United States plans to increase its levels of advanced weapons, including fighter jets and bombers, in South Korea in response to increased levels of missile tests and nuclear threats from North Korea. [more]

AMAZON RAINFOREST | Amidst calls for increased preservation of the Amazon rainforest from the new administration of Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, Germany yesterday pledged $222 million in support of environmental policies in Brazil. [more]

MYANMAR | A new report from humanitarian monitoring group Myanmar Witness says Myanmar’s military government is increasingly relying on airstrikes to counter armed resistance in the country, with 135 airstrikes in which more than 400 people have been killed documented in the second half of 2022. [full report] [more]

MADAGASCAR | Officials at Madagascar’s National Office for Risk and Disaster Management said yesterday that flooding and landslides caused 30 deaths and left at least 20 missing when tropical storm Cheneso crossed the island nation last Thursday. [more]

TECH PROFITS | Citing lower demand for consumer electronics products caused by a weak global economy, tech giant Samsung Electronics yesterday reported a fourth-quarter 2022 operating profit of $3.5 billion — down 69% from the same period in 2021 and its lowest quarterly profit since 2014. [more]

AVIATION | Giving way to more efficient and profitable planes, the final Boeing 747 jumbo jet, long a mainstay of both cargo and passenger aviation, will be delivered today. The final plane is the 1,574th 747 built since Boeing began producing the model in 1969. [more]

R.I.P. | Actress Cindy Williams, best known for her role as Shirley Feeney in the 1970s and 80s television sitcom “Laverne & Shirley,” died last week at the age of 75, according to a statement released by her family yesterday. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1606, British provocateur Guy Fawkes—one of the Gunpowder Plot conspirators, who sought to blow up Parliament and to assassinate King James I for his repression of Roman Catholics—was executed in London. [more history]

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