February 28, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 369 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said yesterday that the situation in and around the eastern Donetsk city of Bakhmut — site of increasingly intense fighting in recent weeks amidst renewed Russian assaults — is becoming “more and more difficult," while Ukrainian ground forces commander Colonel General Oleksandr Syrskyi characterized the city’s situation as “extremely tense.” [more]
  • U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen made an unannounced visit to Kyiv yesterday, during which she met with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and announced the transfer of $1.25 billion in financial aid to Ukraine. [more]

STUDENT LOANS | The U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments today in two challenges to the Biden administration plan to forgive up to $20,000 in student loan debt per borrower. Reports say some 16 million applications for loan forgiveness under the program have been approved. [more]

CHILD LABOR | The U.S. Departments of Labor and Health and Human Services yesterday announced the formation of a new task force aimed at stopping the illegal labor exploitation of migrant children in the United States. Officials say investigations found nearly 4,000 children working for hundreds of U.S. companies in violation of federal labor laws last year. [more]

CYBERSECURITY | Officials with the U.S. Marshals Service said yesterday that a portion of the service’s computer system was compromised in a cyberattack detected on February 17. The cyberattack was deemed a “major incident’ by investigators, who say sensitive information on ongoing operations, as well as personal information on service employees and targets of investigation, may have been compromised. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | A new survey from the National Association for Business Economics shows that a majority of economists surveyed believe the U.S. will experience a recession this year, but that fewer feel the recession will begin by the end of March than supported such a timeline in previous surveys. [more]

FLORIDA | Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill into law yesterday removing Disney World's self-administration powers over the park's Reedy Creek Improvement District and transferring district oversight power to the state. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | An Israeli motorist holding U.S. citizenship was shot and killed by a suspected Palestinian gunman near the West Bank city of Jericho yesterday in the latest violence amidst increasing regional tensions. [more]

BREXIT | British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen announced a post-Brexit agreement yesterday that will allow the free flow of goods to Northern Ireland from the rest of the U.K. while keeping in place restrictions on goods intended to be passed on to the Republic of Ireland or other E.U. nations. [full agreement documentation] [BBC explainer] [more]

NORTH KOREA | At a meeting of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party yesterday, leader Kim Jong Un called for greater national solidarity to significantly increase his country’s grain production. The move comes amidst foreign reports that grain supplies in North Korea are about 20% lower than what is needed for its population. [more]

CONGO | The United Nation’s World Food Program has temporarily suspended flights of helicopters delivering food and other aid to remote regions in eastern Congo after one of its helicopters came under heavy fire in the country’s North Kivu province. [more]

COVID-19 | Hong Kong Chief Executive John Lee announced today that the city’s COVID-19-related mask mandate will be lifted starting tomorrow. Masks will no longer be required indoors or outdoors, or on public transportation, but can still be required in hospitals, nursing homes, and other high-risk locations. [more]

JAPAN | Prosecutors in Tokyo, Japan, announced charges against one Olympic organizing committee official and executives from six companies today in connection with alleged violations of anti-monopoly laws associated with the city's bid to host the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. [more]

ARTIFICIAL SWEETENERS | A new study in the journal Nature Medicine says that people who had large amounts of the artificial sweetener erythritol in their blood were found to be at up to twice the risk of heart attack or stroke, compared to those with the lowest blood levels of the sweetener. [abstract] [more]

TIKTOK | The federal governments of both the U.S. and Canada have announced bans on use of the Chinese-owned video sharing app TikTok on government-owned phones and other devices, citing privacy and security concerns as the reasons for the bans. [more]

SOCCER | Lionel Messi was named the best FIFA men’s player of 2022 yesterday at the soccer governing body’s Best FIFA Football Awards in Paris. Spain’s Alexia Putellas was named the best FIFA women’s player. [full list of awardees] [more]

BASEBALL | Reports say the average annual salary for players in Major League Baseball rose to a record $4.22 million last year after the end of the league’s 99-day lockout in March. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1983, the final episode of the immensely popular American TV series MAS*H aired and was watched by an estimated 106 million viewers. [more history]

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