February 20, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 361 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ahead of this week’s one-year anniversary of the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden made an unannounced visit to Kyiv today during which he met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, reiterated U.S. support for Ukraine, and pledged an additional $500 million in military aid. [more]
  • In an interview yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said intelligence indicates that China is considering providing “lethal support” to Russia for its invasion of Ukraine and warned of the dangers to U.S-Sino relations should China choose to do so. [more]
  • Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said today that his country will provide Ukraine with $5.5 billion in financial aid and include Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in an online summit of G-7 leaders this Friday to mark the one-year anniversary of the Russian invasion. [more]

CARTER | Following a series of short hospitalizations, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, 98, has chosen to receive hospice care at his home in Plains, Georgia, rather than undergo additional medical interventions, according to a statement released by his foundation, The Carter Center. [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | At least one person was killed, and four others wounded, in a shooting incident last night during a pre-Mardi Gras parade in New Orleans, Louisiana. Police say two guns were recovered at the scene of the shooting and that one suspect was detained. [more]

MORE U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | Police in Memphis, Tennessee, say one person was killed, and at least 10 others wounded, early Sunday when unknown gunmen shot victims at two locations, including a nightclub, in the city’s Whitehaven neighborhood. [more]

CALIFORNIA | An estimated 8,500 Pacific Gas & Electric customers remain without power this morning in the Oakland and Alameda areas following a fire yesterday at a power substation that initially left some 50,000 customers without power in the east San Francisco Bay area. [more]

NORTH KOREA | Japan has requested an emergency meeting of the U.N. Security Council following a series of North Korean ballistic missile firings into the waters off its eastern coast. North Korea says the missile launches — one on Saturday and two today — were made in response to South Korean, U.S., and Japanese military exercises. [more]

BRAZIL | Officials in Brazil’s Sao Paulo state say at least 36 people have died in recent days due to flooding and mudslides caused by record-setting rain in the region. Multiple cities in the area have cancelled this week’s Carnival festivities due to ongoing recovery efforts and the risk of further impacts from the rains. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Ahead of a now-cancelled U.N. Security Council vote on a resolution that would have condemned Israel's plans for expanded settlements in the occupied West Bank, the U.S. has reportedly brokered an agreement under which Israel has agreed not to expand settlements until at least August and Palestinian leaders agreed to not pursue action against Israel at the U.N. or other international bodies for six months. [more]

ISRAEL | Protests are expected today outside the Israeli parliament as legislators are expected to hold an initial vote on judicial reforms proposed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. Supporters of the reforms say the country’s judiciary has too much power, while critics contend the reforms would weaken Israel’s system of checks and balances. [more]

MOLDOVA | Reports say several thousand people took part in protests supported by the country’s Russia-friendly Shor Party in the Moldovan capital of Chisinau yesterday, calling for, among other things, the government to pay citizens’ winter heating bills and for the resignation of President Maia Sandu. [more]

TURKEY AND SYRIA | U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced an additional $100 million in U.S. aid yesterday for refugee and humanitarian assistance in Turkey and Syria amidst ongoing recovery efforts associated with the February 6 earthquake that killed more than 44,000 people in the two countries. [more]

TAIWAN | Health officials in Taiwan announced today that most of the territory’s COVID-19-related indoor mask mandates have been lifted. Masks will still be required in healthcare settings and on public transportation. [more]

ENVIRONMENT | A series of U.N.-sponsored meetings on ocean and marine biodiversity begins today in New York City, with the aim of achieving an international agreement on the conservation and sustainable use of marine ecosystems, including those that lie outside national boundaries. The Intergovernmental Conference on Marine Biodiversity of Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction meetings run through March 3. [more]

ONLINE SERVICES | The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in two cases this week centered on Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which shields internet services from liability for material posted by users on their networks. [more]

NBA | Team Giannis outscored Team LeBron, 184-175, yesterday to win the NBA’s annual All-Star showcase game. Jayson Tatum scored 55 points for the winning side and was named the game’s most valuable player. [more]

GOLF | Jon Rahm shot a 2-under-par 69 final round yesterday to win the PGA Tour’s Genesis Invitational tournament and regain the No. 1 world ranking. [more]

NASCAR | Ricky Stenhouse Jr. won the Daytona 500 in double overtime and under a caution flag yesterday. The win ended Stenhouse’s five-year losing streak. [more]

FILM AWARDS | “All Quiet on the Western Front” won the best picture award, as well as six other prizes, at the 2023 British Academy Film Awards yesterday. “The Banshees of Inisherin” and “Elvis” were among the other top awardees, winning four awards each. [full list of awardees] [more]

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE | "Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $104 million in receipts, followed by "Avatar: The Way of Water," and "Magic Mike's Last Dance." [more]

R.I.P. | Actor and comic Richard Belzer, widely known for his recurring role as detective John Munch in “Homicide: Life on the Street” and “Law & Order: SVU,” died yesterday at his home in southern France, according to reports. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1962 John H. Glenn, Jr., the oldest of seven astronauts selected by NASA for Project Mercury spaceflight training (and later a U.S. senator), became the first American to orbit Earth, doing so three times. [more history]

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