April 7, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 407 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Reports cite Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov as saying during a visit to Turkey that any peace talks aimed at ending the war in Ukraine should be based on the establishment of a “new world order” that takes Russian interests and concerns into account. [more]
  • A new British intelligence assessment suggests that Russian forces have likely seized the center of the eastern Donetsk city of Bakhmut, which has been a focus of fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces for months. [more]

TENNESSEE | The Tennessee House of Representatives held votes yesterday on expelling three of the body’s members who took part in a protest calling for gun control reform last week on the floor of the House chamber in the aftermath of the recent school shooting at Nashville's Covenant School. House members voted to expel two of the members, Reps. Justin Jones and Justin Pearson, who are both Black, but did not expel Rep. Gloria Johnson, who is white. [more]

ALASKA | Three Native Alaskan tribes — the Kwethluk, Tuluksak, and Bethel — filed a federal lawsuit this week aiming to block construction of the large Donlin Gold mine project in southwestern Alaska. The tribes claim a 2018 environmental review for the project failed to properly study the projects health and environmental risks. [more]

U.S. PACIFIC FISHING | The Pacific Fishery Management Council, an advisory group to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, recommended yesterday that the fishing season for king salmon, also known as chinook, be closed for 2023 along most of the West Coast due to near-record low populations of the fish caused by years of drought in the region. A final decision on the closure is expected from the Secretary of Commerce in the coming days. [more]

CHEMICAL EMISSIONS | New rules proposed yesterday by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would require chemical plants across the U.S. to actively measure certain hazardous compounds that cross beyond their property lines and take steps to reduce them during temporary emissions spikes. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The Labor Department reported yesterday that initial applications for unemployment benefits fell to 228,000 in the week ended April 1 — down from 246,000 in the previous week — and that there were about 1.82 million continuing claims for benefits in the week ended March 25. [more]

JUSTICE THOMAS | A story published yesterday by the nonprofit investigative journalism organization ProPublica says Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas has, for more than two decades, accepted luxury transportation and trips from Republican donor Harlan Crow without reporting them. In a statement responding to the story, Crow said he and his wife have been friends of the Thomas family for years and that they have never discussed or sought to influence any legal or political issues. [more]

ENVIRONMENTAL POLITICS | U.S. President Joe Biden yesterday vetoed a congressional measure, passed by both the House and Senate, that would have overturned an expansion of the definition of wetlands and waterways in the U.S. subject to protection under the Clean Water Act. Proponents of the congressional measure say the expanded definitions constitute environmental overreach that harms businesses, developers, and farmers. [more]

TRANSGENDER SPORTS | The U.S. Department of Education proposed a new rule yesterday that would block schools and colleges that receive federal funding from enacting outright bans on transgender athletes competing on school athletic teams that align with their gender identities. Under the proposal, however, schools could create restrictions for limiting transgender participation in sports based on factors such as fairness in competition, injury risks, level of competition, and student age. [more]

IRS | According to a new strategic plan released by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the IRS plans to hire nearly 30,000 new employees and deploy new technologies to improve tax enforcement and customer service over the next two years. [more]

ISRAEL, LEBANON, AND GAZA | Israeli airstrikes on targets in southern Lebanon and the Gaza Strip early this morning have prompted fears of escalating violence in the Middle East. The Israeli strikes came after militants in Lebanon fired more than 30 rockets at Israel yesterday. Reports say the Israeli military has reinforced its troops near borders with Lebanon and Gaza amidst the increased unrest. [more]

NORTH KOREA | Meeting in Seoul today, U.S., South Korean, and Japanese nuclear envoys called for an international ban on North Korea sending workers abroad and for increased efforts to block its cybercrime activities as ways to decrease funding for North Korea’s nuclear programs. [more]

JAPAN | Japanese officials say all 10 crew members of a national defense force Black Hawk helicopter are still missing after the aircraft crashed at sea yesterday while on a reconnaissance mission in Japan’s southern islands. [more]

NORTHERN IRELAND | Authorities in Northern Ireland have warned of increased risks of unrest and possible violent attacks ahead of celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday peace agreement on April 10. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | United Nations officials say the 3,330 Afghan men and women it employs stayed home from work for a second day in a row yesterday to protest this week’s Taliban order that female Afghans not work for the international organization. [more]

GLOBAL ECONOMY | International Monetary Fund chief Kristalina Georgieva said yesterday that the IMF expects the global economy to grow less than 3% this year — down from about 3.4% last year — and to stay at about the 3% level for the next five years. Georgieva also suggested that the decrease raises the risks of global hunger and poverty. [[more](Kristalina Georgieva)]

GOLF | The second round of The Masters golf tournament gets underway this morning in Augusta, Georgia, with Brooks Koepka, Jon Rahm, and Viktor Hovland tied at 7-under-par after yesterday’s first round. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1948, the World Health Organization, a specialized agency of the United Nations, was formally established.  [more history]

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