February 16, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 357 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Valery Zaluzhnyy, commander-in-chief of the Ukrainian Armed Forces, said today that Russia fired about 36 missiles at targets across Ukraine overnight, killing at least one person, wounding seven others, and damaging at least 30 homes. [more]
  • Israeli Foreign Minister Eli Cohen is scheduled to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today in Kyiv — the first visit to the Ukrainian capital by a senior official from Israel since the beginning of the Russian invasion. [more]

BUFFALO SHOOTING | Payton Gendron, the white-supremacist teenager who was convicted of killing 10 Black people at a Buffalo, New York, supermarket last May, was sentenced to life in prison without parole on state murder and terrorism charges yesterday. A separate federal case against Gendron is still pending. [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | Police in El Paso, Texas, say one person was killed, and three others wounded, yesterday in a shooting at the city’s Cielo Vista shopping mall. Reports say two people have been arrested in connection with the shooting and that the motive behind the violence is under investigation. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The Congressional Budget Office released its latest Budget and Economic Outlook report yesterday, projecting an increased unemployment rate of 5.1% and an easing of inflation to 4.8% by the end of 2023, and a 10-year increase in U.S. federal debt to $46.4 trillion by 2033. [full report] [more]

MORE U.S. ECONOMY | Commerce Department data released yesterday shows that monthly retail and food services sales in the U.S. rose 3% in January. The monthly increase follows decreases in both November and December of 2022 and is the largest monthly jump since March 2021. [full report] [more]

RACIAL EQUALITY | U.S. President Joe Biden signed an executive order yesterday that requires federal agencies to conduct annual racial equality reviews aimed at increasing access to federal programs, services, and activities for disadvantaged communities. [more]

2ND AMENDMENT | An Oregon state Court of Appeals ruled yesterday that local governments cannot declare their jurisdictions to be so-called Second Amendment sanctuaries in which local officials are forbidden from enforcing most federal and state gun laws. Such resolutions have been passed by some 1,200 local governments around the U.S., including in Columbia County, Oregon, where the specific case in this ruling originated. [more]

TECH SUBPOENAS | As part of its investigation into what Republican leaders allege is a pattern of censorship of conservative voices, the House Judiciary Committee sent subpoenas yesterday to the heads of tech companies Meta, Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft, and Amazon, seeking any documents and communications between the companies and the executive branch of the U.S. government relating to the moderation, deletion, suppression, or reduced circulation of content. [more]

COVID-19 | Coronavirus vaccine maker Moderna said yesterday that it is committed to making its COVID-19 vaccine available for free to all people in the U.S. even after the planned expiration of the federal government’s COVID-related public health emergency in May. [more]

KOREA | Amidst increasing tensions on the Korean Peninsula, and for the first time in six years, South Korea has referred to North Korea as “our enemy” in its latest defense outlook report, which was released today. The report also estimates that North Korea’s stockpile of weapons-grade plutonium has increased by about 40% in the past two years. [more]

CARIBBEAN | Civil unrest and gang violence in Haiti is expected to be a major topic of discussion at a three-day meeting of the 15-member Caribbean Community that began yesterday in The Bahamas. Regional leaders are seeking assistance from the U.S. and Canada, who have representatives at the conference, in dealing with the situation in Haiti. [more]

CHINA AND TAIWAN | China’s commerce ministry announced new sanctions today against U.S. defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Raytheon Technologies over the companies’ arms sales to Taiwan, which China views as a breakaway province. [more]

PAKISTAN | Officials in Pakistan’s Punjab province say at least one person was killed, and eight others wounded, today when an explosion occurred inside a passenger train in the province’s Chichawatni district. The cause of the explosion is still under investigation. [more]

FRANCE | A fifth round of nationwide protests and strikes are taking place today in France against the government’s plan to increase the full retirement age from 62 to 64. Today’s strikes are expected to be less disruptive than previous instances. [more]

GERMANY | Reports say the operation of the websites of three German airports — Dusseldorf, Nuremberg, and Dortmund — have been disrupted today, with speculation from some officials that the websites were targeted by hackers. [more]

MAKE-A-WISH | Former NBA superstar and current team owner Michael Jordan announced yesterday that he will celebrate his 60th birthday this Friday by making a $10 million donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation, which helps fulfill the wishes of children with critical illnesses. [more]

R.I.P. | Actress and pin-up star Raquel Welch, best known for her work in the 1960s and ’70s and for her status as an international sex symbol, died yesterday following a brief illness, according to a statement released by her agent. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 2005, the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty aimed at reducing the emission of gases that contribute to global warming, went into effect. [more history]

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