February 15, 2023


Listen to this issue.

UKRAINE | Today is day 356 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • At the launch of an appeal for $5.6 billion in aid funding yesterday, U.N. humanitarian aid and refugee agencies, including the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs and the High Commissioner for Refugees, said more than 15 million people in Ukraine and who have fled Ukraine in the face of the Russian invasion are in need of assistance. [more]
  • European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday that a new round of E.U. sanctions being considered against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine could cost about $11.8 billion in lost trade, but that such measures are needed to keep up the pressure on Russia and its military operations. [more]
  • A new report from Yale University researchers says at least 6,000 Ukrainian children have been taken into custody by Russia and placed in re-education camps inside Russia since the invasion of Ukraine began and that the actions are a potential war crime. The Yale Humanitarian Research Lab report notes that Russian officials have characterized any custody of Ukrainian children as part of humanitarian projects for abandoned orphans. [full report] [more]

MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY | Authorities say the three people killed and five others wounded in Monday’s mass shooting incident at Michigan State University were all students at the school and that a motive for the shooting is still under investigation. [more]

UNKNOWN AERIAL OBJECTS | White House national security spokesman John Kirby said yesterday that the three unidentified aerial objects shot down by U.S. warplanes over North America in the last week "could just be balloons tied to some commercial or benign purpose." The statement came amidst continuing investigations into the objects and reports of similar objects being detected over both Romania and Moldova. [more]

OHIO | Amidst reports of possible local contamination, some residents of the area where a train carrying hazardous chemicals derailed on February 3 near East Palestine, Ohio, are being urged to use bottled water. Authorities say no dangerous levels of contaminants have been detected, but that investigations are still underway. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | U.S. stock markets were mixed yesterday after Bureau of Labor Statistics data released yesterday showed consumer inflation to have fallen by 6.4% year-over-year in January — down from 6.5% in December, but not as big a decline as expected. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Long-serving Democratic U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein of California announced yesterday that she will not seek re-election in 2024. Feinstein, 89, and the oldest member of Congress, was first elected to the Senate in 1992. [more]

ENVIRONMENT | At a Security Council meeting on the threat to international peace and security from rising sea levels, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said yesterday that the increased pace of rising sea levels endangers some 900 million people living in low-lying coastal areas worldwide, with countries such as Bangladesh, China, India, and the Netherlands being at particularly high risk. [more]

SYRIA | The U.S. Central Command says its forces shot down an Iranian-made drone flying over a base housing U.S. troops yesterday at Mission Support Site Conoco in northeastern Syria. Reports say no claims of responsibility for the drone flight have yet been made. [more]

MARBURG VIRUS | World Health Organization officials said this week that an outbreak of Marburg virus disease has been confirmed recently in Equatorial Guinea. Reports on the current outbreak say at least nine people in the country have died from Marburg infection, which has a fatality rate of about 88%, and that more than 200 people have been quarantined. [more]

NEW ZEALAND | Officials say at least four people were killed in flooding and landslides caused by Cyclone Gabrielle, which struck the northern New Zealand on Monday. An estimated 160,000 properties in the affected region remain without power this morning and searches are continuing for hundreds of people authorities have not been able to contact. [more]

INDIA | Tax officials in India are conducting a second day of searches at the New Delhi and Mumbai offices of the BBC, prompting criticism of potential suppression of press freedom by the Indian government. The searches come weeks after a BBC documentary deemed critical of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which was blocked from being screened in India, was first aired in the U.K. [more]

GERMANY | Reports say a computer system outage has caused major disruptions to flight operations by German airline Lufthansa at its main hub in Frankfurt, Germany, today. The outage comes just two days ahead of an anticipated one-day airline industry strike at Multiple German airports on Friday called by major labor unions over pay issues. [more]

U.S. AND PHILIPPINES | Amidst growing concern over China’s influence in the South China Sea region, Philippines army chief Romeo Brawner said today that U.S. and Philippine military units will hold their largest joint training exercises since 2015 in the second quarter of this year. [more]

ELECTRIC VEHICLES | U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg announced final rules for a national electric vehicle charger network yesterday as part of the federal government’s $7.5 billion funding initiative for a nationwide system of EV charging stations that will use the dominant “Combined Charging System," or CCS, charging connector standard. [more]

NFL | Following the Philadelphia Eagles’ loss to the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl LVII, both Eagles’ coordinators have been hired as the head coaches of other teams. Defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon will be the head coach at Arizona and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen will coach at Indianapolis. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1898, an explosion in Havana harbour sank the battleship USS Maine, killing 260 American seamen and precipitating the Spanish-American War, which originated in the Cuban struggle for independence from Spain. [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

Sign up for a free or supporting membership to further our mission.