April 3, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 403 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Boris Gryzlov, Russia’s ambassador to Belarus, said yesterday that Russia will deploy tactical nuclear weapons close to Belarus’ borders with NATO countries. Belarus shares more than 750 miles of borders with NATO members Lithuania, Latvia, and Poland. [more]
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will travel to Warsaw, Poland, on Wednesday, where he is expected to meet with Polish President Andrzej Duda and with Ukrainian’s who have fled the war to Poland. [more]
  • High-profile Russian military blogger and Kremlin supporter Vladlen Tatarsky was killed Sunday in St. Petersburg, Russia, when an explosion occurred in a cafe where he was meeting with the public. Russian media reports that one suspect, Darya Tryopova, has been arrested in connection with the bombing and that government officials have blamed Ukrainian intelligence for orchestrating the attack. [more]

U.S. STORMS | Confirmed or suspected tornadoes in 11 U.S. states killed at least 32 people over the weekend. Among those states with deaths from the storms were Arkansas, Delaware, Mississippi, Tennessee, Indiana, Illinois, and Alabama. [more]

ESPIONAGE | NBC News cites unnamed current and former U.S. officials as saying that the Chinese spy balloon that overflew the U.S. in February was able to gather intelligence from several sensitive U.S. military facilities, despite government efforts to keep it from doing so. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Former Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced yesterday that he will seek the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential election. [more]

TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS | Former U.S. President Donald Trump is scheduled to be arraigned, fingerprinted, and photographed tomorrow afternoon at a Manhattan courthouse following his indictment last week by a grand jury investigating alleged hush money payments made on his behalf during the 2016 presidential election. [more]

OIL PRICES | The price of U.S. benchmark crude oil rose 5.1% to $79.58 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange this weekend after the OPEC+ group of oil exporters announced a production cut of 1.15 million barrels per day from May to the end of 2023. [more]

NATO | NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said today that Finland will become the military alliance’s 31st member tomorrow. The ascension comes after Turkey, which is still blocking Sweden’s application for membership, approved Finland’s application last week. [more]

ISRAEL | Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s cabinet gave preliminary approval yesterday for the establishment of a national guard force to be overseen by ultranationalist National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir. Details of the force’s size, duties, and independence from the police are yet to be established. [more]

SYRIA | Multiple sites in Syria’s Homs province were hit by airstrikes attributed to Israel yesterday, wounding five soldiers, according to Syrian state media. Reports say Israeli forces intercepted and shot down an aircraft that crossed into Israel from Syria later in the day. [more]

KOREA | Amidst high tensions with North Korea, naval forces from the U.S., South Korea, and Japan began anti-submarine drills today off the coast of South Korea’s southern island of Jeju. [more]

KOSOVO | The war crimes trial of former Kosovo President Hashim Thaci began this morning in The Hague. Thaci pleaded not guilty to 10 charges of persecution, murder, torture, and forced disappearance in connection with actions taken during the late 1990s insurgency that eventually led to Kosovo’s independence from Serbia. [more]

ALGERIA | Algerian journalist and broadcaster Ihsane El-Kadi was sentenced to five years in prison yesterday in Algiers after being convicted on charges of threatening state security. El-Kadi’s website and radio station, seen by many as platforms that allowed criticism of the Algerian government, were ordered to be shut down as part of the sentencing. [more]

MOZAMBIQUE | U.N. health officials say more than 19,000 cases of cholera have been documented across eight provinces in Mozambique in the weeks after the area was hit by Cyclone Freddy. Flooding and infrastructure damage caused by the storm are major contributors to the disease outbreak, according to the U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. [more]

MALAYSIA | In a move celebrated by human rights groups, Malaysia’s parliament passed sweeping legal reforms today that abolish mandatory death penalty sentences, reduce the number of offenses punishable by death, and replace natural-life prison sentences with prison terms of between 30 and 40 years. [more]

FINLAND | The center-right National Coalition Party received the most votes yesterday in Finland’s parliamentary elections yesterday, with 20.8%, and is expected to lead efforts to form a coalition government with the right-wing populist party The Finns and Prime Minister Sanna Marin’s Social Democratic Party, each of which received about 20% of votes. [more]

MONTENEGRO | Exit polls indicate that Jakov Milatovic has won the runoff presidential election in Montenegro, defeating Milo Djukanovic, who had led the NATO member country’s government for decades. [more]

AI | Artificial intelligence software ChatGPT has been blocked in Italy at the request of the Italian government, which has raised issues with the software’s privacy and security policies and has suggested that the software may violate the European Union’s strict data protection rules. [more]

MCDONALD’S LAYOFFS | Reports say corporate staff for Chicago-based fast food giant McDonald’s have been told to work from home as the company prepares to announce staffing cuts and restructuring plans this week. [more]

NCAA BASKETBALL | LSU defeated Iowa, 102-85, last night to win the 2023 NCAA women’s national basketball championship. The men’s championship game will be played tonight, with San Diego State facing Connecticut. [more]

MUSIC | Kane Brown and Katelyn Brown won the top Video of the Year award for “Thank God” at last night’s CMT Music Awards. The award for female video of the year went to Lainey Wilson for “Heart Like a Truck” and the top male video award went to Jelly Roll for “Son of a Sinner.” [full awardee list] [more]

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE | "Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $38.5 million in receipts, followed by "John Wick, Chapter 4" and "Scream VI." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1948, U.S. President Harry S. Truman signed into law George C. Marshall's post-World War II plan to revive the economies of western and southern European countries so as to foster democracy in the region. [more history]

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