April 12, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 412 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Sergei Aksyonov, the Moscow-appointed head of Crimea, said yesterday that Russian forces in the region are prepared for an expected Ukrainian counteroffensive. Aksyonov’s comment follows recent statements by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky reaffirming Kyiv’s intention to take control of the Black Sea peninsula annexed by Russia in 2014. [more]
  • Yevgeny Prigozhin, head of the Russian mercenary group Wagner, said yesterday that his forces control more than 80% of the eastern Ukrainian city of Bakhmut, which has been the focus of some of the most prolonged and fierce fighting of the war. [more]
  • According to a BBC report, U.S. military documents recently leaked online say several Western countries have military special forces personnel operating inside Ukraine. According to the report, five countries — the U.K., Latvia, France, the U.S., and the Netherlands — have a total of about 90 special forces personnel in Ukraine. [more]

TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS | Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg, who is overseeing the criminal proceedings against former President Donald Trump related to hush money payments allegedly made during the 2020 presidential election, filed a lawsuit yesterday against House Judiciary Committee chairman Jim Jordan, seeking to block a subpoena to testify in the Committee’s investigation into the handling of the case against Trump. [more]

TENNESSEE | In the wake of the March shooting at Nashville’s Covenant School, Tennessee Governor Bill Lee signed an executive order yesterday strengthening his state’s background check system for gun purchases. Lee also called for state lawmakers to pass so-called red flag legislation aimed at preventing gun purchases by persons that pose a threat to themselves or others. [more]

2020 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION | Jury selection is scheduled to begin tomorrow in the Fox News trial, in which the network is being sued by Dominion Voting Systems over claims that the voting machine company was part of a fraud that cost former President Donald Trump re-election. [more]

ABORTION | California and New York yesterday joined multiple other states in planning to stockpile hundreds of thousands of doses of the abortion drug mifepristone, which is the focus of multiple lawsuits in the United States. [more]

U.S. AND IRELAND | U.S. President Joe Biden is in Northern Ireland today, where he will participate in ceremonies marking the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday peace agreement and attend meetings on strengthening U.S.-Northern Ireland trade. [more]

CANADA AND U.S. | Authorities in Toronto say dozens of people were arrested and more than 170 guns seized in the year-long Project Moneypenny operation targeting illegal weapons trafficking over the U.S-Canada border. [press release] [more]

BIRD FLU | According to a new World Health Organization report, China has recorded the world’s first known death of a person infected with the H3N8 subtype of avian influenza or bird flu. The report notes that the strain does not appear to spread between people and that the patient who died had multiple underlying conditions and a history of exposure to live poultry. [full report] [more]

MYANMAR | Independent media sources in Myanmar say the death toll from yesterday’s government air attack on a crowd of opposition movement members in the town of Pazigyi is likely about 100. Officials from Myanmar’s military government acknowledged the attack, but did not provide further details. [more]

MEXICO | Federal prosecutors in Mexico announced yesterday that Francisco Garduño, the head of Mexico’s National Immigration Institute, will face criminal charges in connection with last month’s fire at a Ciudad Juarez immigration facility in which 40 migrants died. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Two Palestinian men who allegedly opened fire on Israeli troops yesterday near the West Bank settlement of Elon Moreh were shot and killed yesterday, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. [more]

INDIA | Reuters cites unnamed Indian military sources as saying that four soldiers were killed early this morning in an attack by an unknown number of shooters on a military base in the Indian border state of Punjab. [more]

GLOBAL ECONOMY | The International Monetary Fund downgraded its projection of global economic growth for 2023 yesterday to 2.8% — down from its 2.9% January estimate. IMF economists also changed their global inflation outlook for 2023 to 7% — up from their January projection of 6.6%. [more]

MUSIC PRESERVATION | Among 25 recordings added today to the U.S. Library of Congress’ National Recording Registry are: Madonna’s 1984 album “Like a Virgin,” the original 1985 theme from Super Mario Bros., the first known recording of mariachi music in 1908 by Cuarteto Coculense, the album "Synchronicity” by the Police, Bobby Gentry’s “Ode to Billie Joe,” John Lennon’s “Imagine,” Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven,” and John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads.” [full list of 25 new additions] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1981, NASA launched the first space shuttle, Columbia, which was designed to orbit Earth, transport people and cargo to and from orbiting spacecraft, and glide to a runway landing on its return to Earth. [more history]

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