March 24, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 393 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • European Union leaders yesterday endorsed a plan for members of the 27-nation bloc to jointly purchase 1 million rounds of artillery ammunition for Ukraine over the next 12 months. The plan was approved by E.U. foreign and defense ministers earlier this week. [more]
  • Ukrainian officials say at least 10 civilians were killed, and 20 others wounded, in renewed Russian attacks on multiple Ukrainian sites today. Among those killed were five civilians making use of an aid station in the Donetsk region town of Kostiantynivka. [more]

U.S. AND SYRIA | One U.S. contractor was killed, and five U.S. service members and one additional U.S. contractor were wounded, yesterday when a suspected Iranian-made drone struck a maintenance facility near Hasakah in northeast Syria. Reports say U.S. forces struck at least two sites controlled by Iran-backed militia groups in Syria’s Deir el-Zour province in response, killing at least eight people. [U.S. DoD release] [more]

COVID-19 | The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday blocked President Joe Biden’s order that required federal employees to be vaccinated against COVID-19, upholding a preliminary injunction against the vaccine mandate issued by a federal judge in January 2022. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | The Chinese Ministry of National Defense said today that the U.S. could face “serious consequences” after the U.S. Navy sailed a destroyer in disputed waters around Paracel Islands in the South China Sea for the second day in a row. [more]

BOOK BANS | New data released by the American Library Association shows that attempted book bans and restrictions at school and public libraries increased significantly in 2022. The ALA says more than 2,500 different books were challenged in 2022, compared to 1,858 in 2021 and just 566 in 2019. [more]

SOUTH CAROLINA | The South Carolina Senate passed a measure yesterday that bars citizens of foreign adversary nations from purchasing property in the state. The measure would apply to citizens from nations on a U.S. Dept. of Commerce list of foreign adversaries that currently includes China, Russia, Cuba, Iran, and North Korea. [more]

LOS ANGELES | A three-day strike over pay issues by teachers and school support staff in the Los Angeles Unified School District ended yesterday. Negotiations between unions and the school district are reported to be ongoing. [more]

UTAH | Utah Gov. Spencer Cox signed measures into law yesterday that will require parental consent for use of social media platforms by children under the age of 18 in the state, prohibit social media use by children between the hours of 10:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m., and require age verification for anyone who wants to use social media in the state. The laws are scheduled to take effect in March 2024. [more]

SAUDI ARABIA AND SYRIA | Saudi Arabian state media reports that talks are taking place aimed at re-opening the Saudi embassy in Syria for the first time in 10 years. [more]

NORTH KOREA | Military officials in North Korea say their forces tested a nuclear-capable underwater drone this week that is designed to generate a “radioactive tsunami” capable of destroying naval groups and ports. [more]

FRANCE | Reports say more than 1 million people took part in demonstrations across France yesterday in opposition to President Emmanuel Macron's plan to raise the pension age from 62 to 64. Officials say dozens of protesters and more than 100 police officers were injured in yesterday’s protests. [more]

HONG KONG | Officials in Hong Kong say at least 70 people were injured early today when a truck collided with four passenger buses in the city’s Kowloon district. The cause of the incident is under investigation. [more]

INDIA | Opposition Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi was disqualified from serving in the Indian parliament yesterday following his conviction on charges of criminal defamation in connection with a 2019 speech in which he made comments about Prime Minister Narendra Modi's surname. [more]

CRYPTOCURRENCY | South Korean entrepreneur Do Kwon, founder of Terraform Labs, was arrested yesterday in Montenegro and is scheduled to be extradited to South Korea to face charges related to the $40 billion crash of Terraform’s TerraUSD cryptocurrency in May 2022. [more]

CONSULTING LAYOFFS | Irish-American professional services and consulting company Accenture announced plans to cut 19,000 jobs worldwide — about 2.5% of its workforce — over the next 18 months. [more]

NCAA BASKETBALL | Kansas State point guard Markquis Nowell set the all-time NCAA Tournament record for assists in a game last night with 19 assists recorded in the Wildcats’ 98-93 win over Michigan State. [more]

TRACK & FIELD | The World Athletics Council announced new rules yesterday banning male-to-female transgender athletes from participating in women's international track and field competitions. The Council also announced that it will continue to bar participation by Russian and Belarussian athletes "for the foreseeable future" over the invasion of Ukraine. [more]

BOOK AWARDS | Among the winners last night at the National Book Critics awards were: “Bliss Montage” by Ling Ma (fiction), Beverly Gage’s “G-Man” (biography), and Isaac Butler’s “The Method: How the Twentieth Century Learned to Act” (nonfiction). [awards website] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1989, the oil tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground, spilling some 11 million gallons (41 million litres) of oil into Prince William Sound in Alaska and creating the largest oil spill in U.S. history up to that time. [more history]

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