March 1, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 370 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered his country's border protections to be strengthened yesterday after several drones that Kremlin officials say were launched by Ukraine flew into Russian airspace. Reports say one drone got within about 60 miles of Moscow and that no significant damage was caused by the airspace incursions. [more]
  • Ukrainian presidential advisor Alexander Rodnyansky said today that Ukraine may pull its forces back from the Donetsk-region city of Bakhmut amidst Russia’s increasingly intense and violent attempts to capture the city. [more]

COVID-19 | Adding to recent reports of various U.S. government agencies concluding that the COVID-19 pandemic was or was not caused by a laboratory leak in Wuhan China, U.S. FBI Director Christopher Wray said in an interview yesterday that the FBI’s assessment of the virus’ origin is that it was “most likely a potential lab incident in Wuhan.” [more]

LOUISIANA | The U.S. Justice Department, on behalf of the Environmental Protection Agency, filed a lawsuit against Louisiana-based chemical company Denka Performance Elastomer LLC yesterday, alleging that emissions from the company’s synthetic rubber production processes at its LaPlace, Louisiana, plant pose an unacceptable cancer risk to nearby communities and seeking to force the company to reduce its emissions. [more]

ENVIRONMENT | Idaho yesterday joined Texas in its legal challenge to a Biden administration update to the Clean Water Act that expanded water pollution protection to thousands of small streams, wetlands, and other waterways. The Idaho and Texas lawsuit, as well as separate challenges by other states, contend that the new rules exceed the federal government's authority and infringe upon the liberties of states and private property owners. [more]

BIDEN CABINET | U.S. President Joe Biden announced yesterday that he is nominating civil rights attorney and former head of California’s labor department Julie Su to serve as his administration’s Secretary of Labor, replacing outgoing Secretary Marty Walsh. Su currently serves as a deputy secretary in the Labor Department. [more]

CHICAGO | Mayor Lori Lightfoot lost in her bid to remain Chicago’s mayor yesterday, coming in third in voting behind candidates Paul Vallas and Brandon Johnson, who will face each other in a runoff on April 4. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | The Chinese Foreign Ministry today condemned the formation of a new U.S. House of Representatives committee aimed at countering Chinese influence as representing an “ideologic bias” and “Cold War mentality.” The House Select Committee on the Chinese Communist Party began working yesterday, with Chairman Mike Gallagher of Wisconsin saying U.S.-China competition is “an existential struggle over what life will look like in the 21st century.” [more]

GREECE | At least 36 people were killed, and 85 others wounded, last night when a passenger train and a freight train collided at high speed on the same rail line near the town of Tempe in northern Greece. The cause of the collision is under investigation and reports say the rail stationmaster from the nearby city of Larissa has been arrested on charges of manslaughter by negligence. [more]

CENTRAL ASIA | On a visit to Kazakhstan yesterday, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken pledged the Biden administration’s support for the independence of the five Central Asian nations — Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan — and warned their leaders of potential threats posed by Russian territorial and economic aggression. [more]

SOMALIA | Reports say the United States has increased its military aid to Somalia amidst ongoing operations against al-Qaida-associated al-Shabab militants by the African nation’s government, with some 61 tons of U.S. weapons and ammunition arriving in the capital Mogadishu yesterday. [more]

ISRAEL | Opponents to the Israeli government’s planned actions to limit the power of the country’s judiciary have called for a “national disruption day” today in cities across Israel. Reports say large demonstrations are taking place in multiple cities this morning and that protesters have blocked some high-traffic roadways and rail lines. [more]

SOUTH KOREA AND JAPAN | In a speech marking the anniversary of the 1919 uprising against Japanese colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula today, South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol said Japan has changed from its militaristic past and is now a “partner that shares the same universal values” and cooperates with South Korea on security, economic and other global issues. [more]

NIGERIA | Bola Tinubu was declared the winner of Nigeria’s presidential election today by the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission. Reports say Tinubu’s victory is likely to be challenged by second and third place candidates Atiku Abubakar and Peter Obi. [more]

GERMANY | German Transport Minister Volker Wissing said yesterday that his country will not back a proposed European Union ban on the sale of new cars with combustion engines starting in 2035 because the E.U. Commission has refused to include an exemption for vehicles that can burn cleaner synthetic e-fuels. [more]

CHINESE ECONOMY | China’s National Bureau of Statistics reports that the country’s manufacturing activity expanded in February at its fastest pace in more than a decade, with the Bureau’s manufacturing purchasing managers' index rising to 52.6 — up from 50.1 in January. [more]

BASKETBALL | Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic became just the sixth player in NBA history to record 100 career triple-doubles, with 14 points, 11 rebounds, and 10 assists in last night’s 133-112 Nuggets’ win over the Houston Rockets. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | Yellowstone National Park, situated in the western United States and designated a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1978, was established by the U.S. Congress as the country's—and the world's—first national park on this date in 1872. [more history]

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