February 1, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 342 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Reports say a new U.S. military aid package for Ukraine expected to be announced as soon as this week will likely include Ground Launched Small Diameter Bombs — inexpensive gliding missiles that have nearly double the range of the HIMARS rockets the U.S. has supplied previously. [more]
  • A new U.K. Ministry of Defense report says that some of the most intense Russian artillery and missile attacks since the beginning of Russia’s invasion have taken place in recent days along the Dnieper River in southern Ukraine, with the city of Kherson being a primary target. [more]

TYRE NICHOLS | Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to attend the funeral of Tyre Nichols today in Memphis, Tennessee. The Rev. Al Sharpton will deliver the eulogy for Nichols, whose death after having been beaten by police earlier this month sparked demonstrations across the United States. [more]

WINTER WEATHER | More than 1,700 flights were cancelled and road travel saw major disruptions yesterday due to ice accumulation in large parts of the southern and central United States, including Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Tennessee, and West Virginia. Much of the affected region remains under a winter weather advisory today. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Reports say Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and ambassador to the United Nations under the Trump administration, is expected to announce that she will seek the Republican presidential nomination for the 2024 election at a February 15 event in Charleston, South Carolina. [more]

CONSUMER PRICES | The Biden administration is expected to announce a series of proposals today aimed at reducing what it sees as unfair fees and practices in consumer markets. The proposals are reported to include a cap on late-payment fees by credit card companies, increased regulation on major mobile app stores, and a ban on airlines charging fees for family members to be seated next to young children. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The Federal Reserve is widely expected to raise its key interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point today following its latest policy setting meeting. Financial markets are closely watching for statements about further rate change expectations from Fed Chair Jerome Powell later in the day. [more]

HAITI | According to a U.S. Justice Department statement released yesterday, four men detained in Haiti, including three with dual U.S.-Haitian citizenship, have been transferred to U.S. custody in Florida where they will face charges related to the July 2021 assassination of former Haitian President Jovenel Moïse. [more]

NUCLEAR INSPECTIONS | The U.S. State Department said yesterday that Russia is violating the New START nuclear arms control treaty by refusing to allow on-site inspections in Russia, which were originally paused in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic and further suspended by Russia last year due to U.S. support for Ukraine. [more]

U.S. AND PHILIPPINES | U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is in the Philippines today for talks centering on the possibility of increasing U.S. military troop and weapon levels in the Southeast Asian nation as a deterrent to Chinese aggression in the region. [more]

MYANMAR | Pro-democracy activists in Myanmar have called for citizens to stay home or inside at work in a nationwide “silent strike” today to mark the two-year anniversary of the military coup that ousted the government of Aung San Suu Kyi. The U.S., U.K, and Australia have all announced new sanctions against companies linked to Myanmar’s military to mark the anniversary. [more]

U.K. | Reports say up to half a million workers are expected to take part in strikes across the U.K. today over pay and working condition issues. Major work disruptions are expected for the country’s rail, air, and bus travel industries, and many schools and universities are closing all or some classrooms due to the strikes. [more]

EUROPEAN ECONOMY | According to E.U. statistics agency Eurostat, year-over-year consumer price inflation in the 20 countries that use the euro currency fell to 8.5% in January — down from 9.2% in December and the third monthly decline in a row. [more]

FRANCE | In an interview today, French Labor Minister Oliver Dussopt said that raising the national retirement age from 62 to 64 is a “non-negotiable” move necessary to preserve the country’s pension system. Dussopt’s statement came one day after more than a million people took part in protests across France against the retirement age increase. [more]

TAIWAN | Missile systems were activated and military forces put on alert today by Taiwan’s Defense Ministry in response to operations by Chinese aircraft and naval ships near the self-governing island, which China claims as its own. The increased tensions around the island come just days ahead of a visit to China by U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. [more]

CONGO | An estimated 1 million people attended a Mass over which Pope Francis presided today in the Congolese capital of Kinshasa in which he called for mutual forgiveness as a way to ease decades of internal conflict in the African nation. [more]

SOUTH KOREAN ECONOMY | South Korea had its largest-ever monthly trade deficit last month, driven largely by lower demand for computer chips and other high-tech products and by increased costs for importing oil and gas. According to the country’s Ministry of Trade, imports outpaced exports in January by $12.7 billion. [more]

TECH LAYOFFS | Digital payments company PayPal announced yesterday that it will cut an estimated 2,000 jobs, or about 7% of its workforce, in the coming weeks, joining the list of major tech companies, including Google, Salesforce, and Microsoft that have announced major job cuts over the past month. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 2003, while returning to Earth from an orbital mission, the U.S. space shuttle Columbia broke up catastrophically at an altitude of about 40 miles over Texas, killing all seven crew members. [more history]

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