May 22, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 452 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Russian officials claimed over the weekend that their forces had won control of the eastern Ukraine city of Bakhmut — a major focus of fighting for more than eight months. Ukrainian military commanders say that while Russian forces do, indeed, control most of the city, Ukrainian troops continue to control a small part. [more]
  • At the G7 summit this weekend in Japan, where Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy made an in-person appearance, U.S. President Joe Biden announced a new $375 million military aid package for Ukraine consisting largely of ammunition and armored vehicles and said the U.S. has agreed to train Ukrainian pilots on American-made F-16 fighter jets. [more]
  • U.N. officials say Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant — the largest nuclear power station in Europe — lost its connection to external power today for the seventh time since the Russian invasion began and that the plant switched to emergency diesel generators to power its cooling systems. [more]

U.S. DEBT | Debt ceiling negotiations between House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and President Joe Biden, who has returned from the G7 summit in Japan, are set to resume today. Reports say talks regarding the debt limit aimed at preventing a looming default were largely stalled over the weekend. [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | Police in Kansas City, Missouri, say three people were killed, and two others were injured early Sunday in a shooting incident at the city’s Klymax Lounge bar. Details on the victims and possible suspects have not yet been released. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina is expected to officially launch his campaign for the 2024 Republican nomination for president today in North Charleston, South Carolina. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The National Association for Business Economics says its latest outlook survey of 45 economists suggests that U.S. inflation will average 4.2% this year, up from 3.9% forecast in the group’s February survey, and that interest rates will remain high as the Federal Reserve makes modest progress in the fight against inflation through the rest of 2023. [more]

WILDFIRES | Health authorities in Colorado and Montana have issued air quality alerts due to smoke from Canadian wildfires in Alberta and British Colombia drifting south into the U.S. states. [more]

FLORIDA | The NAACP joined the League of United Latin American Citizens and the gay rights advocacy group Equality Florida this weekend in issuing a travel advisory for Florida, saying that new laws and policies championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis and Florida lawmakers are “openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals.” [more]

SUDAN | A seven-day cease-fire agreement is set to take effect today between warring military and paramilitary forces in Sudan. The U.S.- and Saudi-brokered cease-fire agreement reached over the weekend is aimed at ensuring civilian protections and facilitating the flow of humanitarian aid to those affected by fighting in the African nation. [more]

U.S. AND PAPUA NEW GUINEA | Amidst competition with China for influence in the Pacific region, the U.S. is scheduled to sign a new security pact with Papua New Guinea today. State Department officials say the agreement will strengthen security cooperation, enhance the capacity of Papua New Guinea’s defense forces, and increase regional stability. [more]

ITALY | Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology says Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, erupted yesterday, sending ash over the eastern Sicily city of Catania and disrupting flights from the city’s airport. [more]

GREECE | Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ center-right New Democracy party won, by far, the most votes in national elections over the weekend, but failed to obtain the overall majority of parliamentary seats needed to form a government. Mitsotakis is expected to call for a second national election within weeks today that would revert to a system under which the leading party is granted a bonus of up to 50 seats in parliament. [more]

EL SALVADOR | Reports say at least 12 people were killed, and dozens of others were injured, Saturday night in a crowd crush involving soccer fans angry at having been blocked from entering a stadium for a match in San Salvador. [more]

E.U. ENERGY | Reports say the European Parliament has delayed its vote on new E.U. renewable energy targets scheduled for tomorrow due to opposition from several countries, including France, Bulgaria, Romania, and Poland. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Palestinian health officials say at least three Palestinians were killed this morning in an Israeli military raid on the West Bank’s Balata refugee camp. Reports say as many as six other people were wounded in gunfire that Israeli officials say was sparked by shots being fired at Israeli troops. [more]

LEBANON | In what reports say was intended as a response to the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, about 200 members of Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement took part in live-fire military and drone exercises yesterday near Lebanon’s border with Israel. [more]

ARMENIA AND AZERBAIJAN | Russia’s TASS news agency cites Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan as saying that Armenia is ready to recognize the contested Nagorno-Karabakh region as part of Azerbaijan if the security of its ethnic Armenian population is guaranteed. [more]

ESTONIA AND LATVIA | In what reports say is the largest-ever defense cooperation between the Baltic neighbors, NATO members Estonia and Latvia yesterday announced a joint plan to purchase IRIS-T air defense systems from Germany. [more]

BELGIUM | Trade unions in Belgium are taking part in a day of protest today over working condition and pay issues. Reports say public transportation and traffic disruptions are being seen in Brussels this morning and multiple other sectors, including garbage collection and day care operations, could be affected by the protests. [more]

SOUTH KOREA AND E.U. | In meetings involving South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, and European Council President Charles Michel, South Korea and the European Union agreed today to increase their security cooperation and to work together on climate change, health, and supply chain issues. [more]

TECH REGULATION | The European Union announced a $1.3 billion fine against Facebook parent Meta today for transferring European user data to the U.S. in violation of the E.U.’s strict data privacy laws. [more]

GOLF | Brooks Koepka shot a final-round 3-under-par 67 yesterday to win his third PGA Championship. The win was Koepka’s fifth major tournament victory. [more]

HORSE RACING | National Treasure won Saturday’s Preakness Stakes, followed by Blazing Sevens and Kentucky Derby winner Mage. [more]

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE | "Fast X" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $67.5 million in receipts, followed by "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," and "The Super Mario Bros. Movie." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1960, the Great Chilean earthquake -- one of the largest earthquakes on record at 9.4–9.6 on the moment magnitude scale -- struck the southern coast of Chile, killing about 5,700 people and creating seismic sea waves that caused death and destruction in distant Pacific coastal areas, notably Japan and Hawaii.  [more history]

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