February 13, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 354 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian military officials say Russian targeting of infrastructure facilities continued over the weekend, with 12 missile and 32 air strikes taking place across Ukraine on Sunday. [more]
  • In an interview published Friday, Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, suggested it could take up to two more years for Russia to achieve its goal of fully securing control of Ukraine’s eastern Donbas region. [more]

TURKEY AND SYRIA | The death toll from last week’s earthquakes that struck southeastern Turkey and northern Syria has risen to more than 36,000. Turkish officials say about 35,000 rescue and recovery workers are involved in ongoing operations, including about 9,500 international aid workers from 74 countries. [more]

UNKNOWN AERIAL OBJECTS | Three additional unidentified aerial objects have been shot down over North America since last week’s downing of a suspected Chinese surveillance balloon off the coast of South Carolina. U.S. military officials say investigations are still underway to determine the nature of the objects, which fighter jets shot down over Alaska, Canada, and Lake Huron. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | House Oversight Committee Chair James Comer said in an interview yesterday that Republicans will not seek cuts to Social Security or Medicare programs in ongoing debt ceiling negotiations, but that “everything else is on the table.” [more]

GUN VIOLENCE | Police in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, say they arrested two people, Nikeal Franklin and Jy’Shaun Jackson, Friday in connection with a January 22 nightclub shooting that wounded 12 people. The two suspects were charged with attempted first-degree murder and principal to attempted first-degree murder, respectively. [more]

U.S. MILITARY EXERCISES | Officials with the U.S. Navy’s Japan-based 7th Fleet say the Navy and Marine Corps began joint exercises involving ships, ground forces, and aircraft this weekend in the South China Sea. The exercises come amidst increasing tensions between the U.S. and China, which claims sovereignty over most of the South China Sea region. [more]

IRAN AND CHINA | Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi begins a three-day visit to China tomorrow. Talks between Raisi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are expected to center on increased economic, energy, transportation, and agricultural cooperation between the two countries. [more]

NEW ZEALAND | States of emergency are in place in Auckland, New Zealand, and surrounding regions today due to flooding, heavy winds, and power outages associated with Cyclone Gabrielle. [more]

EUROPEAN ENERGY COSTS | A new report from the Brussels-based economic think tank Bruegel says that European countries have earmarked or allocated a total of 792 billion euros, or about 845 billion U.S. dollars, since September 2021 for programs aimed at helping to shield households and companies from soaring energy costs. [full report] [more]

EUROPEAN ECONOMY | European Commission economists today revised their projection for bloc-wide economic growth for 2023 to 0.9% — up from a previous estimate of 0.3% — and predicted that while the bloc will avoid a recession, high prices will continue to plague consumers for months to come. [more]

ISRAEL | Israeli President Isaac Herzog yesterday urged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to delay plans to overhaul Israel’s judicial system. Herzog’s statement comes amidst political clashes between those who feel the country’s judicial branch wields too much power and support Netanyahu’s plan and those who feel the plan would weaken the Israeli government’s system of checks and balances. [more]

SOMALIA | Reports say least 12 members of the al-Shabaab terrorist group were killed yesterday near Hobyo, Somalia, in U.S. Africa Command airstrikes, which had been requested by Somalia’s federal government. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | At least one Palestinian man was killed and seven others wounded early this morning in clashes between Israeli forces conducting an arrest raid and residents of the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. Reports say the man killed was a member of the Hamas militant group. [more]

PORTUGAL | A Catholic Church-funded investigation commission in Portugal says in a new report that at least 4,815 children have been sexually abused by members of the Portuguese Catholic Church since 1950, with most of the victims having been children aged 10-14. [more]

PAKISTAN | At least 50 people suspected of taking part in the kidnapping and lynching of a man in police custody in Pakistan’s eastern Punjab province on Saturday have been arrested, according to local officials. Reports say the man was in custody on charges of blasphemy and that the people who seized him from police custody were mostly Muslims angered by alleged desecration of a copy of the Quran. [more]

PHILIPPINES | Officials with the Philippine Coast Guard said today that a Chinese naval ship aimed a “military grade laser” at a Philippine vessel in the South China Sea on February 6, temporarily blinding some crew members. [more]

NFL | The Kansas City Chiefs beat the Philadelphia Eagles, 38-35, last night to win Super Bowl LVII. Chiefs’ quarterback Patrick Mahomes was named the game’s most valuable player. [more]

GOLF | Scottie Scheffler shot a final round six-under-par 65 to win the Phoenix Open and regain the world number one ranking, which he lost to Rory McIlroy in October. [more]

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE | "Magic Mike’s Last Dance" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $8.2 million in receipts, followed by "Avatar: The Way of Water," and the 25th anniversary re-release of "Titanic." [more]

R.I.P. | David Jude Jolicoeur, also known as Trugoy the Dove, and one of the founding members of the hip hop trio De La Soul, has died at the age of 54, according to a statement released yesterday by his business representative. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | Following the Glorious Revolution, William and Mary were proclaimed king and queen of England on this date in 1689, after which they ruled jointly as King William III and Queen Mary II until her death in 1694. [more history]

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