May 15, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 445 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • France, Germany, and the U.K. all made renewed pledges of additional military aid to Ukraine this weekend as Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy met with his counterparts in Paris and Berlin over the weekend, and in the U.K today. Zelenskyy also met with Italian Premier Giorgia Meloni and Pope Francis over the weekend. [more]
  • At a news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz in Berlin yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said his country’s military counteroffensive will be aimed not at attacking Russian territory, but at liberating internationally recognized areas of Ukraine from Russian occupation. [more]

U.S. IMMIGRATION | According to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, Border Patrol arrests along the U.S.-Mexico border averaged 5,250 on Friday and Saturday — the first two days following the expiration of the COVID-era Title 42 border restrictions — down significantly from the more than 10,000 daily arrests seen three times last week in the lead-up to the expiration. [more]

CALIFORNIA | A teachers’ union strike over pay and other working condition and social issues in Oakland, California, enters its second full week today with negotiations continuing. Schools have remained open during the strike, but reports say limited numbers of students have attended classes led by office staff. [more]

NORTH CAROLINA | Governor Roy Cooper on Saturday vetoed a bill passed by the North Carolina legislature that would ban abortions in the state after 12 weeks of pregnancy — down from the state’s current 20-week ban. Reports say the Republican-dominated legislature is likely to override Cooper’s veto, allowing the bill to become law. [more]

U.S. BIRTHS | According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, 3.64 million babies in the U.S. were issued Social Security numbers in 2022. The year's  top five first names for girls were Olivia, Emma, Charlotte, Amelia, and Sophia, while those for boys were Liam, Noah, Oliver, James, and Elijah. [more]

U.S. REAL ESTATE | According to data firm FactSet, the National Association of Realtors is expected to report later this week that sales of existing homes in the U.S. fell from 4.44 million in March to 4.33 million in April. [more]

U.S. TECHNOLOGY | The Commerce Department opened its application process Friday for $500 million in grants that cities can use to become technology hubs. Up to 10 cities are expected to receive funds under the Regional Technology and Innovation Hub Program, which requires applicants to have state, local, educational, training, and corporate partner involvement. [more]

U.S. DEBT | Talks concerning the looming U.S. debt level crisis are expected to resume tomorrow between President Joe Biden and congressional leaders before Biden travels to Japan on Wednesday for the G7 summit. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | A Chinese court today sentenced 78-year-old United States citizen John Shing-Wan Leung, who holds permanent residency in Hong Kong, to life in prison on spying charges. Details of the charges against Leung, who was arrested by China’s counterintelligence agency in April 2021, have not been released to the public. [more]

MYANMAR | Reports say at least six people have died, hundreds have been injured, and thousands have been evacuated after Cyclone Mocha made landfall in Myanmar’s western Rakhine state yesterday afternoon. [more]

TURKEY | With more than 99% of votes counted and no candidate having received at least 50% of the vote, yesterday’s presidential election in Turkey appears to be headed for a runoff on May 28 between incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and opposition alliance candidate Kemal Kilicdaroglu. [more]

THAILAND | In elections yesterday, the opposition Move Forward and Pheu Thai parties together captured a majority of seats in Thailand's 500-member House of Representatives. A July vote by the House and 250-seat military-appointed Senate will determine who becomes Thailand's next prime minister. [more]

MEXICO | Authorities in the northern Mexico state of Tamaulipas say at least 26 people died yesterday when a passenger van and a freight truck collided near the state capital of Ciudad Victoria. [more]

MIDDLE EAST | The United Nations today, for the first time, is officially commemorating the Palestinian “Nakba,” or “catastrophe,” in recognition of some 700,000 Palestinians who fled or were forced from their homes in 1948 following the U.N.’s partition of British-ruled Palestine into separate Jewish and Arab states. Israel and the U.S. were among 30 U.N. nations that voted against the commemoration in a General Assembly vote last November. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | A Palestinian man was killed this morning when Israeli forces conducting a raid in the West Bank city of Nablus came under fire and shot back. Reports say at least 112 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank this year. [more]

CAMBODIA | The major opposition Candlelight Party was disqualified from taking part in July’s elections today by Cambodia's electoral commission, which cited a failure by the party to properly submit registration documents as the reason for the move. Activists say the disqualification means that the ruling Cambodian People's Party will face little real opposition in the coming elections. [more]

EUROVISION | Swedish singer and 2012 Eurovision winner Loreen won the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest yesterday in Liverpool, England, with her ballad “Tattoo,” becoming only the second person to win the contest twice. [more]

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE | "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $60.5 million in receipts, followed by "The Super Mario Bros. Movie" and "Book Club: The Next Chapter." [more]

BASKETBALL | The Boston Celtics’ Jayson Tatum scored 51 points — the most in a Game 7 of a series in NBA history — yesterday to lead Boston to a 112-88 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. With the win, the Celtics move on to the Eastern Conference finals, where they will face the Miami Heat. [more]

SOCCER | With a 4-2 win over Espanyol yesterday that included two goals by Robert Lewandowski, Barcelona clinched its first Spanish soccer league title in four years. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1940, in San Bernadino, California, brothers Maurice and Richard McDonald opened a drive-in restaurant that gave rise to the fast-food chain McDonald's. [more history]

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