May 2, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 432 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • The U.S. intelligence community estimates that more than 20,000 Russian troops have been killed, and another 80,000 have been wounded, in fighting in Ukraine since December, according to White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby. [more]
  • Russia’s RIA Novosti state news agency cites Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying Moscow has taken steps to accelerate production of weapons and other military equipment to enable Russian forces to continue operations in Ukraine. [more]

OKLAHOMA | Reports say authorities in Oklahoma, during a search for two missing teenaged girls and a convicted sex offender with whom the girls were thought to be traveling, discovered the bodies of seven people near the town of Henryetta yesterday. Police have not yet provided details on the identities or causes of death, but the missing girls are thought to have been among those found dead. [more]

U.S. DEBT | Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, in a letter to Congressional leaders yesterday, said the U.S. could default on its debt as early as June 1 if the country’s debt limit is not raised. Also yesterday, President Joe Biden invited minority and majority leaders of both the House and Senate to a White House meeting on May 9 for talks aimed at averting a national debt limit crisis. [more]

U.S. BANKING | In the wake of three U.S. bank failures this year, the U.S. Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., or FDIC, recommended yesterday that the bank deposit insurance limit be raised above the current $250,000 level for some business accounts. [more]

U.S. IMMIGRATION | The Associated Press cites unnamed Biden administration sources as saying that the Department of Homeland Security will announce plans this week to extend work permits and deportation protections an additional two years for some 76,000 Afghans in the United States who fled Taliban control following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. [more]

ILLINOIS | Police in Illinois say at least six people died, and 30 others were injured, yesterday in crashes involving 40-60 cars along Interstate 55 when a dust storm severely limited visibility for drivers in the state’s Montgomery County area. [more]

COVID-19 | White House COVID-19 coordinator Dr. Ashish Jha said yesterday that most remaining federal COVID-19 vaccine requirements for federal workers and federal contractors, as well as foreign air travelers to the U.S., will end next week when the coronavirus-related national public health emergency expires on May 11. [more]

KOSOVO AND SERBIA | Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic and Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti will meet in Brussels today, along with E.U. foreign policy chief Josep Borrell, for negotiations on an 11-point E.U.-backed proposal to normalize relations between the two countries and to resolve issues surrounding some 1,600 people still missing since the 1998-99 war between the countries. [more]

PAKISTAN | Officials in Pakistan say at least three militants were killed, and seven others arrested, late Sunday night in two separate raids by security forces on hideouts associated with the Pakistani Taliban. [more]

AUSTRALIA | Health ministry officials in Australia said today that, as part of efforts to reduce smoking and nicotine addiction, taxes on tobacco will be raised 5% per year for the next four years starting in September and that new restrictions on vaping and vaping products will be implemented. [more]

ISRAEL | Israeli opposition leader Benny Gantz said yesterday that no real progress has been made in talks aimed at reaching a compromise with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government on controversial plans to overhaul the nation’s judiciary. [more]

KUWAIT | Kuwaiti state media reports that the country’s recently reinstated parliament was, once again, dissolved yesterday by royal decree and that Crown Prince Sheikh Meshal al-Ahmad al-Sabah has said that new parliamentary elections would be "accompanied by some legal and political reforms to take the country to a new phase of discipline and legal reference.” [more]

HOLLYWOOD | The Writers Guild of America announced its first strike in 15 years last night following failed labor talks with television and film studios. [more]

LAYOFFS | Bloomberg reports that Wall Street bank Morgan Stanley is planning to cut about 3,000 jobs — about 5% of its staff — around the world this quarter due to challenging market conditions. [more]

SOCCER | Criticizing broadcasters in England, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain for low offers to show the upcoming Women’s World Cup, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said yesterday that those countries could face a blackout of the tournament. The FIFA Women’s World Cup is scheduled for July 20-August 20 in Australia and New Zealand. [more]

R.I.P. | Canadian singer-songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, best known for his 1970s works that included “Sundown” and “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” and for which he received five Grammy nominations, three platinum records, and nine gold records for albums and singles, died yesterday in Toronto at the age of 84. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 2011, Osama bin Laden—founder of the militant Islamist organization al-Qaeda and mastermind of numerous terrorist attacks, notably the September 11, 2001, attacks—was killed by U.S. forces in Abbottabad, Pakistan.  [more history]

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