February 27, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 368 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Speaking at a news conference today in Beijing, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said China is seeking meaningful dialogue and a peaceful solution for the war in Ukraine. The statement came amidst ongoing reports that China is considering providing Russia with military supplies to be used in the invasion. [more]
  • Ukrainian officials say their air defenses shot down 11 of 14 Iranian-made attack drones launched by Russia overnight, with the majority destroyed near Kyiv. [more]

COVID-19 | The U.S. Department of Energy’s intelligence unit has reportedly determined “with low confidence” that the SARS-CoV-2 virus that caused the COVID-19 pandemic is likely to have accidentally leaked from a lab in Wuhan, China. A “low confidence” determination is typically indicative of a lack of consistent information needed to reach a firmer conclusion. Previous U.S. intelligence reports from other agencies have disagreed on whether the virus was leaked from a lab or if it spread to humans through contact with a contaminated animal. [more]

MICHIGAN | Tens of thousands of people remain without power this morning in Michigan following last week’s ice storm that cut electricity to some 600,000 homes and businesses at peak outage levels. [more]

OHIO | Removal of contaminated waste from the site of this month's train derailment and associated chemical release in East Palestine, Ohio, is expected to resume today after being paused over the weekend by the Environmental Protection Agency due to uncertainty over what disposal sites would accept the waste materials. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel said yesterday that Republican Party 2024 presidential candidates will not be allowed to take part in party-sponsored debates during the primary season if they do not pledge to support the party’s eventual presidential nominee. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Reports say Israeli settlers set some 30 homes and cars on fire in the occupied West Bank town of Hawara yesterday during demonstrations sparked by the killing of two brothers from a nearby Jewish settlement by a Palestinian gunman earlier in the day. Israeli troop levels in the region have been increased today in an attempt to de-escalate tensions. [more]

ITALY | Italian Coast Guard officials say at least 60 migrants died early Sunday when the boat in which they were traveling struck a reef and broke apart off the southern coast of Italy. United Nations migration and refugee officials say an estimated 170 migrants were aboard the ship and that most were from Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia. [more]

CHINA AND TAIWAN | U.S. Central Intelligence Agency Director William Burns said in a televised interview yesterday that Chinese President Xi Jinping has ordered the Chinese military to be ready to invade Taiwan by 2027, but stressed that Xi’s order does not necessarily mean that such an invasion is inevitable or that it has been decided upon, and expressed doubt in China's confidence that it could successfully prevail in such an invasion. [more]

HUMAN RIGHTS | The U.N. Human Rights Council begins a month-long session today in Geneva, Switzerland, during which major topics of discussion are expected to include Russian war crimes in Ukraine and the treatment of Muslim Uyghurs by China. [more]

NORTH KOREA | Amidst continuing reports of severe food shortages, North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party opened a conference dedicated to agriculture yesterday, according to state media. Reports from South Korea say grain supplies in the North are some 20% below the country’s annual demand. [more]

SERBIA AND KOSOVO | Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti are scheduled to meet today in Brussels, Belgium, to discuss European Union proposals aimed at resolving long-standing tensions and crises between the two countries that date back to when Kosovo broke away from Serbia in 2008. [more]

YEMEN | A humanitarian aid pledging conference co-hosted by Sweden, Switzerland, and the U.N. is underway today in Geneva at which some $4.3 billion in funding is being sought to help millions of people in Yemen amidst the country’s ongoing civil war. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs says that 21 million people in Yemen, or two-thirds of the country's population, need help and protection. [more]

MEXICO | Tens of thousands of people took part in protests yesterday in Mexico City’s central plaza against recently passed electoral law changes that would cut the salaries of election officers, reduce funding for local election offices and for training of polling oversight officials, and reduce penalties for candidates who fail to report campaign spending. [more]

U.K. | British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen are expected to hold a press conference later today in London to announce progress on a deal regarding post-Brexit trade rules for Northern Ireland. [more]

PAKISTAN | Pakistani media reports that retired General Amjad Shoaib, a prominent supporter of former Prime Minister Imran Khan, was arrested this morning on charges of inciting the public against national institutions after a television appearance Saturday in which he urged government employees to protest against the administration of Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif by not performing their duties. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | Officials from Afghanistan’s ruling Taliban government said today that security forces killed two Islamic State militants, and arrested one other, in an overnight raid in the capital city of Kabul. [more]

ACTIVISM | Reports say environmental activists blocked entrances to Norway’s energy ministry this morning in protest against the building of wind turbines built on land traditionally used by indigenous Sami reindeer herders. [more]

ELECTRIC VEHICLES | Japanese automaker Nissan Motor Co. said today that it expects to accelerate its shift to electric vehicle production worldwide, especially in Europe, where the company projects that 98% of its offerings will be either electric or hybrid models by 2026. [more]

TECH LAYOFFS | The New York Times reported last night that social media company Twitter has laid off some 200 employees, or about 10% of its workforce, in its latest round of job cuts. [more]

GOLF | Chris Kirk won the PGA Tour’s Honda Classic in a one-hole playoff against Eric Cole yesterday. The win was Kirk’s first PGA Tour victory since 2015. [more]

FILM AWARDS | “Everything Everywhere All at Once” won the top prize for best ensemble cast performance in a motion picture at last night’s Screen Actors Guild Awards. The best actor and actress awards went to Brendan Frasier for “The Whale” and Michelle Yeoh for “Everything Everywhere All at Once.” [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 $32.2 million in receipts, followed by "Cocaine Bear," and "Jesus Revolution." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 2010, a magnitude-8.8 earthquake struck Chile, causing widespread damage and triggering a tsunami that devastated coastal areas; it was the most powerful earthquake to strike the region since 1960. [more history]

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