March 3, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 372 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In a video statement today, Yevgeny Prigozhin, founder of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group, said his forces have nearly surrounded the Donetsk region city of Bakhmut and called for Ukraine to withdraw its forces from the area. [more]
  • Reports say the U.S. is expected to announce a new $400 million military aid package for Ukraine today that includes large amounts of ammunition and rockets, as well as armored vehicles that can deploy bridges of up to 60 feet in length. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | Addressing a business conference in California yesterday, Federal Reserve Board of Governors member Christopher Waller said continuing strong economic data and high inflation may mean the Fed will need to raise interest rates above the 5.1% mark that they projected in December would be reached in 2023. [more]

MEDAL OF HONOR | Retired U.S. Army Col. Paris Davis, one of the first Black officers to lead a Special Forces team in combat, will be awarded the Medal of Honor today by President Joe Biden. The recommendation for the award was lost multiple times in the nearly 60 years since Davis’ June 1965 actions against North Vietnamese forces and in saving three fellow soldiers as a member of the 5th Special Forces Group, for which he is being recognized. [more]

KANSAS | U.S. Justice Department officials say two Kansas men — Cyril Gregory Buyanovsky and Douglas Robertson — were arrested yesterday on charges of illegally exporting aviation-related technology to Russia in violation of export laws and Ukraine-relation sanctions. [more]

SANTOS | The House Ethics Committee announced yesterday that it has opened an investigation into New York Republican Rep. George Santos to examine Santos’ possible “unlawful activity with respect to his 2022 congressional campaign,” possible “violation of federal conflict of interest laws,” and allegations of “sexual misconduct towards an individual seeking employment in his congressional office.” [more]

SOUTH CAROLINA | In a high-profile murder trial in South Carolina yesterday, attorney Alex Murdaugh, 54, was convicted of killing his wife and son in June 2021. Murdaugh is scheduled to be sentenced today and is expected to appeal his conviction. [more]

TEXAS | Reports say about 120,000 homes and businesses in Texas remain without power this morning following severe storms and tornados that affected much of the state yesterday. [more]

BELARUS | Nobel Peace Prize winner and human rights activist Ales Bialiatski was sentenced to 10 years in prison yesterday by a Belarusian court on charges of financing protests and smuggling money that rights groups say were politically motivated. [more]

INDO-PACIFIC | Top diplomats from the so-called Quad group of the U.S., Australia, India, and Japan released a joint statement yesterday expressing their support for freedom, rule of law, sovereignty and territorial integrity, peaceful settlement of disputes in the Indo-Pacific region, and, while not naming China directly, noting their concern over “challenges to the maritime rules-based order, including in the South and East China Seas” and the “the militarization of disputed features.” [more]

NICARAGUA | A report released yesterday by the U.N. Human Rights Experts Group on Nicaragua says the government of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega has committed — and continues to commit — crimes against humanity through practices such as murder, imprisonment, torture, including sexual violence, deportation, and politically motivated persecution, and calls for international sanctions against those responsible for the crimes. [more]

CAMBODIA | Kem Sokha, former opposition leader of the now-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party, was found guilty of treason and sentenced to 27 years under house arrest yesterday by a court in Phnom Penh. Kem Sokha was arrested in 2017 after government prosecutors accused him of attempting to stage a revolution to topple Cambodia’s government. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Reports say a 15-year-old Palestinian died in the West Bank town of Azzoun yesterday after being shot by Israeli forces conducting a search for people in the area who were throwing objects at Israeli vehicles. [more]

KOREA | U.S. and South Korean military officials said today that large-scale annual joint military exercises will take place later this month, as scheduled, despite recent North Korean statements that it would take “unprecedently” strong action against such drills. [more]

U.K. | Officials at Britain’s MI5 domestic intelligence agency today apologized for missing potential opportunities to prevent the 2017 suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in northwest England that killed 22 people. Investigators found that the agency did not act quickly enough on information about Salman Abedi, who carried out the attack. [more]

ENVIRONMENT | A new report from the International Energy Agency says global emissions of energy-related carbon dioxide rose to a record-high 36.8 billion metric tonnes in 2022 — up 0.9% from 2021, with a large part of the increase being attributed to a rebound in air travel following pandemic lows. [full report] [more]

MUSIC | Singer-songwriters Joni Mitchell was awarded the U.S. Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song this week in recognition of her influence, impact, and achievement in the field of popular song dating back to the 1960s. [more]

R.I.P. | Influential jazz saxophonist Wayne Shorter died yesterday in California at the age of 89. Shorter was a member of Art Blakey’s Jazz Messengers and the Miles Davis Quintet and was a co-founder of the 1970s fusion band Weather Report. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1931, The Star-Spangled Banner, written by Francis Scott Key during the War of 1812, was officially adopted as the national anthem of the United States by an act of Congress. [more history]

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