May 12, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 442 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • U.S. military officials say 31 U.S. M1A1 Abrams battle tanks have arrived ahead of schedule in Germany, where they will be used to train Ukrainian forces in their use and maintenance. Trained Ukrainian forces are expected to have the tanks available for use against Russian forces by early Fall. [more]
  • Vice Admiral Viktor Sokolov, commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, said today that security and defenses around the fleet's main base at the Crimean port of Sevastopol are being increased due to repeated Ukrainian drone strikes on the base. [more]

U.S. IMMIGRATION | The COVID-era Title 42 border restrictions expired at midnight last night, signaling the resumption of asylum policies that allow asylum seekers to be turned away unless they first seek protection in a country they traveled through on their way to the U.S. or apply for asylum online. Additionally, the House voted yesterday to expand the U.S.-Mexico border wall and impose new restrictions on asylum seekers, passing a bill that expected to fail in the Senate and face a presidential veto. [more]

U.S. DEBT | Reports say talks scheduled for today between the White House and Congressional leaders over the looming federal debt limit crisis have been postponed to next week, but that staff-level talks will continue through the weekend. [more]

GUN LAWS | Richmond, Virginia-based U.S. District Court Judge Robert Payne ruled yesterday that a federal law banning sales of handguns by licensed federal firearms dealers to young adults under the age of 21 is unconstitutional. In his ruling, Payne noted that many of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship are granted at the age of 18 and that, “If the Court were to exclude 18-to-20-year-olds from the Second Amendment’s protection, it would impose limitations on the Second Amendment that do not exist with other constitutional guarantees.” [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | Police in Chicago say two men were killed and three others were injured yesterday evening when unidentified gunmen exited a car and shot at a group of people standing outside in the city’s South Side area. [more]

NEW YORK CITY | Manhattan prosecutors announced yesterday that manslaughter charges will be filed against Daniel Penny, 24, in connection with the May 1 death of Jordan Neely, who died on a New York City subway after Penny placed him in a chokehold. Reports say Neely was screaming and begging for money on the subway and that Penny claims he acted in self-defense. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | Bureau of Labor Statistics data released yesterday shows that the government’s producer price index — a measure of wholesale prices — rose 0.2% from March to April. Compared to the year-ago period, wholesale prices were up 2.3% in April — the lowest year-over-year increase since January 2021. [more]

IRS | The U.S. Internal Revenue Service says it will begin limiting workers’ personal identifying information on communications with taxpayers starting next month in an effort to deter threats of violence against the Service’s employees and agents. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Republican presidential hopeful Vivek Ramaswamy yesterday proposed changing the overall U.S. voting age from 18 to 25, with exceptions for younger citizens who fulfill at least six months of service in the military or as a first responder or who pass the same citizenship test administered to those seeking to become naturalized citizens. [more]

ENDANGERED SPECIES | The U.S. Senate voted yesterday to overturn a Biden administration policy that expanded which lands and waters in the U.S. can be designated as places for endangered animals and plants to receive federal protection. House action on the measure is still pending, and President Biden has indicated he will veto the measure if it is approved by Congress. [more]

U.S. AND SPAIN | U.S. President Joe Biden and Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez are scheduled to meet at the White House today, where talks are expected to focus on the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine, climate change, and the establishment of migration hubs in Latin America where asylum seekers can apply for protection. [more]

ARMENIA AND AZERBAIJAN | Border clashes between Armenian and Azerbaijani forces have reportedly resulted in at least one death and six woundings since yesterday in the lead-up to talks between Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev scheduled for this weekend in Brussels. [more]

CYCLONE MOCHA | Authorities in Bangladesh and Myanmar have begun to evacuate hundreds of thousands of people away from coastal areas ahead of Sunday’s expected landfall of Cyclone Mocha, which is currently strengthening in the Bay of Bengal. [more]

SUDAN | The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees says some 200,000 people have fled from Sudan to neighboring countries since fighting erupted last month between the country’s military and paramilitary forces. [more]

ISRAEL AND GAZA STRIP | Israeli warplanes struck targets in the Gaza Strip and Palestinian militants continued to fire rockets at Israel today in the third-straight day of increased violence in the region. Reports say at least 31 Palestinians in Gaza and one man in Israel have been killed in the fighting in recent days. [more]

PAKISTAN | Pakistan’s Supreme Court ruled yesterday that the arrest of former Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this week on graft charges, which prompted widespread protests, was unlawful and asked a lower court, the Islamabad High Court, to reconsider its decision to uphold the arrest. The High Court ruled today that Khan should be released on bail for two weeks. [more]

SPAIN | The Spanish government announced 2.2 billion euros in funding yesterday for new drought response measures, including construction of infrastructure to increase urban water reuse and an increase in aid to struggling farmers. Reports say about 27% of Spain is currently designated as having a drought “emergency” or “alert.” [more]

AUSTRALIA AND CHINA | Australian Trade and Tourism Minister Don Farrell met with Chinese trade officials yesterday in Beijing for talks aimed at “advocating strongly for the full resumption of unimpeded Australian exports to China.” [more]

EUROVISION | Acts from 26 countries will compete in tomorrow’s 2023 Eurovision song contest final in Liverpool, England. [more]

MUSIC AWARDS | Lainey Wilson won the awards for album of the year and female artist of the year, while Chris Stapleton was named the entertainer of the year at last night’s 2023 Academy of Country Music Awards. The male artist of the year award went to Morgan Wallen, and Old Dominion was named group of the year. [full list of winners] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 2008, a massive earthquake struck Sichuan province in China, causing widespread destruction, killing some 90,000 people, and leaving an estimated 4.8 million people homeless. [more history]

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