April 27, 2023


Listen to this issue.

UKRAINE | Today is day 427 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said today that the military alliance has delivered more than 98% of combat vehicles promised to Ukraine since the Russian invasion began — including 1,550 armored vehicles and 230 tanks, as well as “vast amounts of ammunition.” [more]
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky says at least one person was killed, and 23 others were wounded, overnight when Russian missiles hit a residential area in the southern city of Mykolaiv. [more]

FEDERAL DEBT BILL | The U.S. House of Representatives passed a comprehensive funding bill yesterday that calls for increasing the federal debt limit by $1.5 trillion in exchange for spending cuts and restrictions. Neither the Senate nor President Biden are expected to approve the bill, but its passage in the House is seen as a first major step in expected negotiations ahead of a potential U.S. debt default later this summer. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The Commerce Department is scheduled to release its report on U.S. economic growth for the January to March quarter later this morning. Economists surveyed by data company FactSet predict that the U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 1.9% annual rate in the first quarter — down from the 2.6% rate seen in the last quarter of 2022. [more]

TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS | A three-judge panel of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals yesterday rejected a bid by lawyers for former President Donald Trump to block testimony by former Vice President Mike Pence in the federal grand jury investigation into alleged 2020 election interference by Trump. [more]

MONTANA | The Republican-led Montana House of Representatives voted yesterday to bar transgender lawmaker Zooey Zephyr from the House floor for the rest of the legislative session yesterday, citing "decorum" rules after Zephyr's recent statement that lawmakers would have blood on their hands if they supported a ban on gender-affirming care for young people. Under the ban, Zephyr will still be able to vote and to participate in committees, but will not be able to discuss proposals and amendments under consideration in the full House. [more]

FLORIDA | Entertainment company Disney filed a lawsuit yesterday seeking to void Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ moves to assert control over the company’s theme park district through the appointment of a new oversight board. Disney says DeSantis took the move in retaliation for Disney expressing political viewpoints, while the DeSantis administration says there is no legal right for a company to essentially operate its own government or maintain special privileges. [more]

SMOKING | Preliminary results from a survey of 27,000 U.S. adults by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that cigarette smoking in the U.S. dropped to an all-time low last year, with about 11% of respondents being smokers — down from about 12.5% in 2020 and 2021. E-cigarette use, however, rose in 2022 to almost 6% — up from about 4.5% in 2021. [more]

PACIFIC INFLUENCE | Amidst ongoing efforts by both the U.S. and China to expand influence in the Pacific region, officials in Papua New Guinea say U.S. President Joe Biden will make a brief visit to the island nation on May 22 on his way to Australia. The visit would be the first to Papua New Guinea by a sitting U.S. president. [more]

SUDAN | Amidst continued unrest and large numbers of Sudanese families looking to flee violence in their country, Sudan’s warring military and paramilitary forces are reported to be considering an extension of the current three-day cease-fire, which expires today, in a deal brokered by the eight-nation East Africa trade bloc known as the Intergovernmental Authority on Development. [more]

CHINA AND SINGAPORE | Reports say at least two Chinese naval vessels will take part in joint exercises with Singapore’s navy starting tomorrow. The exercises come amidst expanded Chinese efforts to increase influence in Southeast Asia. [more]

SPAIN | Spanish Agriculture Minister Luis Planas said this week that Spain is requesting emergency funds from the European Union to support the country’s farmers and ranchers amidst extreme and continuing drought conditions. [more]

BRAZIL | A federal judge in Brazil ordered a temporary suspension on operation of the encrypted messaging app Telegram in the country yesterday, saying the platform’s owners have failed to cooperate with investigations into neo-Nazi chat groups and school violence. [more]

PAKISTAN | Authorities in Pakistan’s southern Khairpur district say at least seven people were killed overnight when a fire broke out in a moving passenger rail car. The cause of the fire is still under investigation. [more]

U.K. | Reports say planned strikes by British rail engineers will likely have significant impacts on travel to soccer’s FA Cup final on June 3 at London’s Wembley Stadium, as well as to the Eurovision Song Contest taking place May 9-13 in Liverpool. [more]

EARNINGS | Facebook parent company Meta announced higher-than-expected first-quarter earnings and revenue yesterday, prompting a spike in the company’s share prices. Meta said it earned $5.71 billion, or $2.20 per share, in the January-March period on revenue of $28.65 billion. [more]

NBA | The No. 1-seeded Milwaukee Bucks were eliminated from the NBA playoffs yesterday, losing to the Miami Heat in Game 5 of the teams’ first-round series, 128-126. [full playoff bracket] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1521, Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan was killed during a fight with inhabitants of Mactan Island, Philippines.  [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

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