April 26, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 426 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • The Ukrainian government is set to announce a new initiative today to promote innovation in the development of drone and other technologies to aid in the country’s war against Russia. The Brave1 initiative will seek to bring state, military, and private sector developers working on defense issues together to fund and work on defense-related technology projects. [more]
  • Speaking at a news conference yesterday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov suggested that the European Union is becoming increasingly militarized and aggressive in efforts to contain Russian influence and warned of the bloc’s increased cooperation with the NATO military alliance. [more]
  • Reports say Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky spoke with Chinese President Xi Jinping via phone today in the two leaders’ first official contact since the start of the Russian invasion. [more]

SUPREME COURT | Citing the principles of judicial independence and separation of powers, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts has declined an invitation from the Senate Judiciary Committee to testify next week during a committee hearing on ethical standards at the Court. Reports say Roberts, in place of testimony, provided the committee with a copy of the Court’s “Statement on Ethics Principles and Practices” signed by all nine justices. [more]

U.S. AND KOREA | Amidst ongoing concern over North Korea’s nuclear program development, U.S. President Joe Biden and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeo will reportedly sign an agreement today under which U.S. nuclear-armed submarines will dock at South Korean ports for the first time in more than 40 years. [more]

RIGHT TO REPAIR | Colorado yesterday became the first U.S. state to have a “right to repair” law for tractors and combines, requiring manufacturers to provide necessary manuals, tools, parts, and software to purchasers of farm equipment. Legislators in several other states, including Florida, Maryland, Missouri, New Jersey, Texas, and Vermont have introduced similar legislation. [more]

MONTANA | Montana’s Republican-led House of Representatives is scheduled to vote today on censuring or expelling transgender state representative Zooey Zephyr, who the body’s Montana Freedom Caucus says encouraged an insurrection by encouraging protests that have disrupted House business. Zephyr has been blocked from speaking in the House since last week, when she said state legislators who voted to ban gender-affirming care for young people would have “blood on their hands.” [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson is expected to formally announce his campaign today for the Republican nomination for the 2024 presidential race. [more]

MORE U.S. POLITICS | Reuters cites unnamed sources as saying that tech billionaire and major Republican donor Peter Thiel is not planning to donate to any political candidates in 2024. [more]

SUDAN | World Health Organization representatives in Sudan say one of the warring parties in the country’s ongoing internal conflict has seized control of a national health laboratory in Khartoum that contains samples of dangerous diseases, including measles, polio, and cholera, and have warned of the “huge biological risk” associated with the potential release or mishandling of the samples. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | Taliban leaders in Afghanistan say their forces, in a recent assault in the country’s southern regions, killed the Islamic State militant believed to have been the mastermind behind the August 2022 suicide bombing at the Kabul airport that killed 13 U.S. service members and more than 150 Afghan citizens during the U.S. withdrawal from the country. [more]

QUAD | Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced today that he will host leaders of the Quadrilateral Security Dialogue, or Quad, nations — Australia, the U.S., India, and Japan — for a security summit in Sydney on May 24. Talks are expected to focus on global economic pressures, regional security, and the war in Ukraine. [more]

SINGAPORE | Singapore executed a man today for coordinating the delivery of 1 kilogram of cannabis in 2013. The country’s drug-related laws, which have been criticized by activists and international bodies, allows imposition of the death penalty for trafficking more than 500 grams of cannabis. [more]

COVID-19 | The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced yesterday that international travelers will no longer be required to provide a negative PCR test for COVID-19 to enter China beginning Saturday. A negative antigen test result from within 48 hours before travel will still be required. [more]

DIGITAL REGULATION | TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, Google, and Amazon are among 19 major online platforms that European Commission officials say will be required to satisfy extra requirements regarding online safety, illegal content, and disinformation under the bloc’s recently approved Digital Services Act regulations. [more]

ALS | The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday granted accelerated approval to Biogen’s tofersen injection to treat patients suffering from a rare form of the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease. [more]

SPACE | Japanese company ispace says there is a “high probability” that its lunar lander crashed into the moon yesterday in the company’s mission to join the U.S., Russia, and China as the only entities to ever achieve a successful moon landing. [more]

MICROSOFT | Antitrust regulators in the U.K. say they will block Microsoft’s proposed $69 billion purchase of game maker Activision Blizzard over concerns that the purchase would harm competition in cloud gaming. Reports say Microsoft is expected to appeal the decision. [more]

R.I.P. | Entertainer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte died yesterday of congestive heart failure at his New York home. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1986, a devastating environmental catastrophe occurred when an explosion and fire at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine released large amounts of radioactive material into the atmosphere. [more history]

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