February 7, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 348 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Amidst growing expectations for renewed Russian military offensives in the coming weeks, Ukrainian military intelligence spokesman Vadym Skibitsky said yesterday that Russia appears to be preparing for expanded operations in the Donbas and southern Zaporizhzhia regions. [more]
  • Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Støre announced yesterday that his country plans to donate about $7.3 billion in military and civilian aid to Ukraine over the next five years, pending final approval by his country’s parliament. [more]
  • Reports cite Ukrainian officials as saying today that the past 24 hours have been the deadliest of the war so far for Russian forces, with more than 1,000 Russian troops estimated to have been killed in the past day. [more]

TURKEY AND SYRIA | The death toll from yesterday’s magnitude 7.8 earthquake in southeastern Turkey and northern Syria has risen to more than 5,000 and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has announced a three-month state of emergency across the 10 provinces most affected. Amidst international efforts to recover survivors, the area has experienced as many as 200 aftershocks which have caused further damage. About 6,000 buildings are reported to have collapsed in the quake, according to reports. [more]

STATE OF THE UNION | Among the topics expected to be addressed by U.S. President Joe Biden in tonight’s State of the Union speech before Congress are the country’s economic situation, the war in Ukraine, relations with China, infrastructure progress, and racial tensions. Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders is scheduled to deliver the Republican response to Biden’s speech. [more]

NEW YORK | A new report from New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board says that nearly 150 NYPD police officers engaged in misconduct, including instances of excessive use of force, while responding to protests in the city over the 2020 killing of George Floyd. According to the report, only 15% of about 1,800 allegations against police were substantiated and the NYPD notes that more than 400 police officers were injured during the protests. [more]

TRAIN DERAILMENT | Railway and first responder crews conducted a draining and controlled burn of dangerous chemicals in derailed train freight cars yesterday in East Palestine, Ohio. Nearby residents in both Ohio and Pennsylvania were ordered to evacuate the area due to potential explosions and release of chemicals after the train derailed on Friday. [more]

MARYLAND | Erek Barron, U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland, announced yesterday that two people were arrested last week for plotting to collapse Baltimore’s power grid by damaging five electricity substations and noted that the planned attacks appeared to be “racially or ethnically motivated.” [more]

TEXAS | Authorities in Austin, Texas, say an estimated 20,000 homes in the city remain without power six days after an ice storm brought down trees and power lines across the region. Reports say at the peak of the outages, up to 170,000 homes and businesses had no electricity. [more]

BIODIVERSITY | A new report from the scientific data analysis group NatureServe, as well as exclusive Reuters reporting, says that 34% of plants and 40% of animals in the U.S. are at risk of extinction, and that 41% of ecosystems are at risk of collapse. The report cites habitat degradation, land conversion, invasive species, damming and polluting of rivers, and climate change as major contributors to the biodiversity and extinction risks. [full report] [more]

COVID-19 | A new study in the journal JAMA Internal Medicine estimates that the COVID-19 pandemic was responsible for an extra 622 deaths among U.S. doctors aged 45 and older from March 2020 through December 2021. [full study] [more]

GLOBAL SECURITY | In a wide-ranging speech laying out his priorities for 2023 to the U.N. General Assembly, Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said yesterday that countries around the world need to commit to the peaceful settlement of disputes and proposed a new U.N. Agenda for Peace. Guterres warned that the world faces unprecedented challenges, including climate change, economic turmoil, threats of nuclear conflict, and expansion of wars, and urged countries to switch from “irresponsible” short-term thinking to greater consideration of “what will happen to all of us tomorrow.” [full speech] [more]

ISLAMIC EXTREMISM | A new report from the United Nations Development Program says that sub-Saharan Africa has emerged as the global epicenter of violent Islamic extremism and that people in the region are increasingly joining such extremist movements for employment and economic reasons rather than religious ones. [full report] [more]

NORTH KOREA | At a meeting of North Korea’s Workers’ Party Central Military Commission yesterday, leader Kim Jong Un ordered his country’s military to increase its combat readiness amidst increasing tensions with South Korea, Japan, and the United States. [more]

FRANCE | A third round of nationwide protests is taking place today in France over the government’s plan to increase the full retirement pension age from 62 to 64. Significant disruptions are expected today in the transportation, education, and oil, electricity, and gas supply sectors. [more]

PERU | Officials in southern Peru’s Camana province say at least 36 people have died and more than 600 homes have been destroyed in landslides caused by steady rains in the region this month. [more]

AUSTRALIAN ECONOMY | Continuing the global inflation-fighting trend, Australia’s central bank yesterday raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point to 3.35% after the country’s inflation rate rose to 7.8% in the fourth quarter of 2022. It was the bank’s ninth consecutive interest rate hike.  [more]

AIRLINE INDUSTRY | Aerospace company Boeing has announced plans to cut about 2,000 jobs, with the workforce reduction primarily affecting the company’s finance and human resources divisions. Reports say about a third of the roles eliminated will be outsourced to India. [more]

MOVIEGOING | AMC Theaters, the largest movie theater chain in the U.S., announced a new pricing plan yesterday under which the price of movie tickets will be determined in part by the location of a viewer’s seat in the theater. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | Popular music's British Invasion began when the Beatles landed in New York City this date in 1964, and two nights later, as Beatlemania stormed America, their performance on The Ed Sullivan Show was watched by 73 million viewers. [more history]

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