March 23, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 392 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • European Union foreign and defense ministers meeting in Brussels this week approved a plan to set up a joint purchasing program to provide Ukraine with as many as 1 million rounds of artillery ammunition over the next 12 months. Reports say the program would have an estimated cost of about 2 billion euros. [more]
  • Ukrainian officials say at least one person in Zaporizhzhia and eight others near Kyiv were killed yesterday in renewed Russian missile and drone attacks that hit civilian targets, including a Kyiv-area student dormitory. [more]
  • While on a visit to Warsaw yesterday, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said his country will provide development support to Poland for its efforts in assisting Ukraine. [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | Police in Denver, Colorado, say high school student Austin Lyle, 17 -- the suspect in yesterday's shooting of two school administrators at Denver's East High School --  was found dead last night near his abandoned car. [more]

U.S. DRUG SHORTAGE | A report released yesterday by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee says that 295 prescription drugs were considered in short supply in the U.S. toward the end of 2022 — an increase of about 30% from 2021. The report suggests that pandemic-related supply chain issues were largely responsible for the rise in shortages affecting medications. [full report] [more]

ABORTION | A district court judge in Wyoming yesterday temporary blocked a newly enacted law that bans almost all abortions in the state, saying the law’s characterization of abortion as not being healthcare violates the state’s constitution. [more]

FLORIDA | The Florida Department of Education said this week that the state’s so-called ‘don’t say gay’ law banning discussion of sexual orientation or gender identity through third grade could be expanded to cover all grades through the end of high school under a new measure awaiting the signature of Gov. Ron DeSantis. [more]

U.S. AFGHANISTAN REVIEW | The White House announced yesterday that a long-delayed review of the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan — often criticized for its swift and chaotic nature that led to the return to power of the Taliban — will be released next month. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate by a quarter of a percentage point yesterday to 4.75-5% — the highest level since September 2007. Fed comments on the update, however, indicate that it may slow future rate increases. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | Chinese military officials claimed today that a U.S. naval guided-missile destroyer, the USS Milius, illegally entered China’s waters around the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea and was expelled. U.S. officials have disputed the claims, saying the ship was conducting routine operations in the region and was not expelled. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said yesterday that his government has no plans to build new settlements in the northern region of the occupied West Bank, despite this week’s parliamentary repeal of a law banning such settlements. [more]

ISRAEL | The Israeli parliament passed a measure today that blocks the country’s courts from deeming a prime minister unfit to hold office. Critics say the law is tailored to support Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who is facing trials for fraud, breach of trust, and accepting bribes, while supporters of the law say it is needed to help restore balance between the executive and judicial branches. [more]

SOMALIA | The African Union issued an appeal for $90 million in international aid yesterday to support the A.U. peacekeeping mission in Somalia through the end of 2024, when Somali forces are scheduled to take full responsibility for the country’s security. [more]

FRANCE | Travel and public service unions have called for mass demonstrations today across France — the first such action since President Emmanuel Macron used a constitutional provision to implement his national pension reform measures without a parliamentary vote. [more]

CANADA | The official Canadian statistics agency reports that the country’s population increased by more than 1 million people for the first time in history in 2022, with about 96% of the increase due to a surge in immigrants and temporary residents. [more]

INDIA | Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi was sentenced to two years in prison today after having been convicted in a criminal defamation case for comments made about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surname during an election rally in 2019. Gandhi has been granted bail for 30 days pending an appeal. [more]

AUSTRALIA | Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced plans today for a proposed national referendum that would recognize Australia’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the country’s constitution. [more]

TECH PRIVACY | TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew is scheduled to appear before a U.S. congressional committee today, where he is expected to be questioned on the video-sharing app’s data security and user privacy practices. The testimony comes amidst growing international concern and usage bans over the Chinese-owned app’s possible security risks. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1775, Patrick Henry, a major figure of the American Revolution, delivered his well-known speech featuring the phrase “give me liberty or give me death” at the second Virginia Convention, at St. John's Church in Richmond, Virginia. [more history]

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