April 18, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 418 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Russian President Vladimir Putin visited troops in both the southern Kherson and eastern Luhansk regions of Ukraine today, according to Russian state television. Reports say Putin’s visit, his second to Ukraine since the war began, is seen as an effort to rally his forces ahead of an anticipated Ukrainian counteroffensive. [more]
  • During a visit to Baghdad yesterday, Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba rejected an offer from Iran to mediate peace talks between Russia and Ukraine and reiterated the Ukrainian government stance that no peace talks could take place until Russia forces withdraw from Ukrainian territory. [more]
  • The Slovakian Defense Ministry reports that it has completed its delivery of 13 Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine, becoming the second NATO member nation to provide warplanes to help defend against the Russian invasion. [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | In two recent cases of victims apparently going to the wrong addresses and being shot:

  • Andrew Lester, 84, was arrested yesterday and charged in the shooting of 16-year-old Ralph Yarl, who mistakenly went to the wrong address to pick up his younger brothers last week in Kansas City, Missouri. [more]
  • Authorities in Washington County, New York, said yesterday that Kevin Monahan, 65, has been arrested in connection with the death of Kaylin Gillis, 20, who was killed when Monahan shot at a car in his driveway in which Gillis was riding with friends when they mistakenly went to the wrong address on Saturday. [more]

NEW YORK | The U.S. Justice Department arrested two men in New York City yesterday who officials say helped establish a secret “police station” in the city at the direction of the Chinese government as part of efforts to identify and suppress the activities of pro-democracy activists in the U.S. who are critical of Beijing’s policies. Additionally, charges were filed against more than 30 officers of China’s national police force for alleged efforts to use social media to harass U.S.-based dissidents. [more]

2020 ELECTION | Opening statements are scheduled to begin today in the Dominion Voting Systems defamation lawsuit against Fox News in connection with allegations that the broadcaster defamed Denver-based Dominion by spreading false claims that the company rigged the election against then-President Donald Trump. [more]

CALIFORNIA | Authorities in California yesterday announced the arrest of 17 men from two rival criminal syndicates in connection with multiple shootings of Sikh residents of the state dating back to 2018. [more]

RUSSIA | The Moscow City Court today denied the arrest appeal of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested in the Russian city of Ekaterinburg last month and charged with espionage. Gershkovich, the Wall Street Journal, and the U. S. government have all denied he was involved in spying. [more]

SUDAN | Amidst escalating violence in Sudan in which more than 185 people have been killed in clashes between the country’s military and its paramilitary Rapid Support Forces, a U.S. embassy convoy in the capital city of Khartoum was fired upon yesterday, according to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. Reports from Sudan this morning say the warring parties have agreed to a 24-hour ceasefire, which is scheduled to take effect at 6pm local time. [more]

POLAND | In a move prompted by Poland's perceived needs to increase energy independence and move toward green energy, Polish company Orlen yesterday signed agreements for a combined $4 billion in funding from the U.S. Export-Import Bank and U.S. International Development Finance Corporation to help build 20 small, modular nuclear reactors in the European nation. [more]

KUWAIT | Kuwaiti state-run KUNA news agency reports that crown prince Sheikh Meshal Al Ahmed Al Jaber has called for his country’s parliament to be dissolved and new elections planned. The move follows a court decision that reinstated lawmakers from 2020 due to discrepancies in a parliamentary dissolution that year. [more]

LEBANON | Lawmakers in Lebanon today postponed municipal elections scheduled for May, saying funding would likely not be secured in time for polling. This is the second such postponement of local elections, which were originally scheduled for May 2022. [more]

ECUADOR | Scientists have discovered a previously unknown coral reef with abundant marine life off Ecuador's Galapagos Islands, according to a statement from the country’s environment ministry yesterday. Reports say the coral reef, located on the summit of an underwater mountain, is at a depth of about 400 meters and is approximately two kilometers long. [more]

BOSTON MARATHON | Kenyan runners Evans Chebet and Hellen Obiri won the men's and women's 2023 Boston Marathon, respectively, yesterday. More than 30,000 athletes from more than 100 countries participated in the race. [more]

NFL | The Philadelphia Eagles have reportedly signed a five-year, $255 million contract extension with quarterback Jalen Hurts, making Hurts the highest-paid player in average annual value in NFL history. [more]

ENTERTAINMENT | Film and television writer members of The Writers Guild of America voted yesterday to authorize a strike if talks with The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers do not result in a new contract by May 1. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1506, Pope Julius II laid the first stone of the new St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City.  [more history]

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