April 17, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 417 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Amidst ongoing concerns that China could decide to provide weaponry to Russia for use in Ukraine, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu met with Chinese defense minister Li Shangfu yesterday in Moscow. [more]
  • One hundred and thirty Ukrainian prisoners of war were released by Russia yesterday as part of an Orthodox Easter prisoner exchange, according to Ukrainian officials, who did not specify how many Russian prisoners were released as part of the exchange. [more]
  • Poland, Hungary, and Slovakia have announced plans to ban imports of some Ukrainian grain products to protect local agriculture markets amidst the influx of cheap Ukrainian supplies. European Commission officials said over the weekend that such unilateral actions are unacceptable and called for talks to resolve the underlying issues. [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | Four people were killed, and 28 others injured, Saturday when a yet-unidentified gunman opened fire during a teenager’s birthday party being held in a dance studio in Dadeville, Alabama. Local police have not said if a suspect in the shooting is in custody. [more]

MORE U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | Two people were killed, and four others injured, Saturday night when a gunman fired into a crowd at Louisville, Kentucky’s Chickasaw Park. No suspect in the incident has yet been identified. [more]

ABORTION | The U.S. Supreme Court ordered Friday that a lower court ruling overturning the FDA’s decades-old approval of the abortion drug mifepristone be put on hold for five days while justices consider the matter further. [more]

2020 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION | Opening statements in Dominion Voting Systems’ defamation lawsuit against Fox News have been delayed until tomorrow. The delay, announced by Delaware Superior Court Judge Eric Davis late Sunday, has led to speculation that the parties in the lawsuit may be seeking to reach an out-of-court settlement in the case. [more]

VOLUNTEERING IN THE U.S. | According to data released recently by AmeriCorps and the U.S. Census Bureau, the number of Americans participating in formal charity volunteering activities fell 7% from 2019 to 2021 — the largest decline since the organizations began collecting such data in 2002. [survey data] [more]

SUDAN | Reports say at least 97 civilians and an unknown number of soldiers were killed in fighting over the weekend between the Sudanese military and the country’s Rapid Support Force paramilitary group. The warring forces are headed by two former military allies who orchestrated the African nation's October 2021 military coup. [more]

FRANCE | France’s Constitutional Council approved the government’s controversial plan to increase the country’s national retirement age from 62 to 64 on Friday. President Emmanuel Macron has indicated he would like to see the measure implemented by the end of 2023, while opponents have vowed to continue protests. [more]

KOREA | Amidst ongoing expansion of North Korean threats and missile tests, U.S., South Korean, and Japanese forces conducted joint missile defense exercises today in the waters off the Korean peninsula’s east coast. [more]

RUSSIA | Prominent Russian opposition activist Vladimir Kara-Murza, Jr., was sentenced to 25 years in prison on charges of treason and denigrating the Russian military today in Moscow. The charges against Kara-Murza stemmed from a speech he made in the U.S. in March 2022 denouncing the Russian invasion of Ukraine. [more]

MEXICO | Reports say at least seven people, including one child, were killed Saturday when unidentified gunmen stormed the La Palma resort in the central Mexican state of Guanajuato. [more]

SYRIA | The U.S. military’s Central Command says a helicopter raid by U.S. forces in northern Syria early today resulted in the “probable death” of a senior Islamic State leader. [more]

MYANMAR | The military government of Myanmar announced that it granted amnesty to more than 3,000 prisoners today in recognition of the Buddhist New Year celebration. Reports say it is unknown how many, if any, of the more than 17,000 political detainees in the country were among those granted amnesty. [more]

GERMANY | Former Chancellor Angela Merkel, who stepped down in December 2021, is scheduled to receive Germany’s highest honor, the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit, today in recognition of her 16 years of leading the country. [more]

NUCLEAR POWER | Two nuclear power-related milestones occurred over the weekend in Europe: first, Germany shut down its final three remaining nuclear power plants as part of the country’s transition to renewable energy, and second, Finland’s Olkiluoto 3 nuclear reactor — Europe’s most powerful by production capacity — was transitioned into full regular production operation. [more]

HOCKEY | The U.S. beat Canada, 6-3, in Toronto yesterday to win the 2023 IIHF women’s hockey world championship. [more]

BROADWAY | “The Phantom of the Opera” ended it 35-year Broadway run last night, closing after 13,981 performances. Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber dedicated the final show to his son, Nick, who died last month. [more]

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE | "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $87 million in receipts, followed by "The Pope’s Exorcist" and "John Wick: Chapter 4." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1982, the Canada Act, passed by the British parliament, took effect, establishing certain individual rights, preserving parliamentary supremacy, and making Canada a wholly independent and fully sovereign state [more history]

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