April 13, 2023


Listen to this issue.

UKRAINE | Today is day 413 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian military officials have disputed recent claims by Russian mercenary group Wagner that as much as 80% of the eastern city of Bakhmut is under Russian control. [more]
  • Russia and Ukraine have announced separate investigations into a recently distributed video believed to have been filmed by Russia-backed Wagner mercenaries that allegedly shows the beheading of a Ukrainian soldier. [more]

ABORTION DRUG | A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans ruled yesterday that the FDA’s approval of the abortion drug mifepristone can remain in effect, but narrowed prescribing rules for the drug, saying it can be dispensed up to seven weeks into pregnancy instead of 10 and not by mail. The ruling supersedes a recent lower court ruling that had ordered a complete blocking of the FDA’s decades-old approval of mifepristone. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | Stock indices in the U.S. closed lower yesterday following news that Federal Reserve economists seem to expect a “mild recession” later this year as the country faces continued high inflation and lower levels of bank lending. [more]

MORE U.S. ECONOMY | The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported yesterday that consumer prices in the U.S. rose 0.1% in March — down from a 0.4% increase the previous month. On a year-over-year basis, the consumer price index rose 5% in March, down from a 6% increase in February. [more]

ELECTRIC VEHICLES | THE U.S. Environmental Protection Agency proposed new, more restrictive, automobile tailpipe emissions standards yesterday aimed at increasing electric vehicle sales in the U.S. to about 10-times their current level by 2032. [more]

TENNESSEE | Shelby County commissioners voted yesterday to reappoint expelled Tennessee State Representative Justin Pearson to his position. Pearson was one of two Black lawmakers expelled from the State House of Representatives last week after taking part in a gun violence protest on the House floor. The other expelled member, Justin Jones, was reappointed by the Nashville city council earlier this week. [more]

INDIANA | Evacuation orders affecting more than 1,000 people remain in place in Richmond, Indiana, today due to a fire burning within a nearby 14-acre industrial storage site. [more]

ENVIRONMENT | A U.S. district judge yesterday temporarily blocked implementation of new Environmental Protection Agency rules that would have expanded the scope of waterways and wetlands subject to protection under the Clean Water Act. The injunction affects 24 states that have sued to block the new EPA rules, calling them an example of federal overreach. [more]

ARKANSAS | Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders signed a bill into law yesterday making Arkansas the second state, along with Utah, to require social media companies to verify the age of users who sign up for accounts and mandating that children have parental permission to create new social media accounts. The law is scheduled to go into effect in September. [more]

TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS | Former President Donald Trump yesterday sued his onetime lawyer Michael Cohen, claiming that Cohen broke a confidentiality agreement and caused “vast reputational harm” to Trump by speaking publicly about hush-money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign. [more]

FLORIDA | Reports say up to 30 centimeters of rain fell in a matter of hours yesterday in the area around Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, causing widespread flooding and closure of the city’s airport. City officials urged residents to stay off roads until the waters recede. [more]

NORTH KOREA | Reports say a missile fired by North Korea into the waters off its eastern coast early this morning may have been a new solid-fuel type of ballistic missile. U.S. officials have described the missile as having long range, while Japanese authorities say it likely had an intercontinental range. [more]

BRAZIL AND CHINA | Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva arrived in China last night for a multi-day visit during which he is scheduled to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping for talks aimed at improving trade and political relations between the two countries. [more]

SUDAN | Sudanese military officials today warned of possible violence in the African country following what they say is an escalation of deployments by the country’s powerful paramilitary force in the capital Khartoum and other cities. [more]

RUSSIA | Reports say this week’s eruption of the Shiveluch volcano in Russia’s eastern Kamchatka region has spread volcanic ash over more than 41,000 square miles, with some affected areas having ash layers up to several inches deep. [more]

NORWAY | Norway has reportedly ordered the expulsion of 15 Russian embassy officials who the Norwegian foreign ministry says are intelligence officers operating under the cover of diplomatic positions. [more]

CHINESE ECONOMY | Chinese exports rose to $315.6 billion in March — up 14.8% compared to the year-ago period -- according to government trade officials. Reports note that lower shipment levels to the U.S. and European Union in the month were offset by double-digit sales increases to several nations, including Canada, Indonesia, and Russia. [more]

MIDDLE EAST | The governments of Bahrain and Qatar agreed yesterday to restore diplomatic relations between their two countries, which had been suspended since 2017 over Qatar’s support for Islamist groups that rose to power in some countries following the 2011 Arab Spring protests. [more]

AUSTRALIA | Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology says Cyclone Ilsa, currently over the Indian Ocean, is expected to strengthen into a Category 5 storm by the time it strikes the country’s western Pilbara coast early Friday. [more]

SOCIAL MEDIA | Public broadcaster NPR said yesterday that it will stop posting to its 52 official Twitter feeds after the social media company labeled NPR first as “state-affiliated media” and then “government-funded media.” NPR executives say the labeling is inaccurate and misleading and that it incorrectly characterizes the broadcaster’s editorial independence. [more]

VAPING | Reports say electronic cigarette manufacturer Juul Labs has agreed to pay $462 million to settle lawsuits brought by multiple states alleging that the company illegally marketed its products to minors. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1964, Sidney Poitier, for his performance in "Lilies of the Field," became the first African American to win the Academy Award for best actor.  [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

Sign up for a free or supporting membership to further our mission.