May 23, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 453 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Security forces in the Russian region of Belgorod are reported to be continuing operations for a second straight day today against raids that Moscow blames on Ukrainian saboteurs but that Ukraine says are being carried out by anti-Kremlin Russian partisans. [more]
  • The Ukrainian finance ministry says the International Monetary Fund has begun its review of a $15.6 billion loan program for Ukraine to support the country’s economy as the Russian invasion continues. [more]

WEATHER AND CLIMATE | An updated report from the U.N. World Meteorological Organization says nearly 12,000 extreme weather, climate, and water-related events from 1970 through 2021 killed more than 2 million people and caused $4.3 trillion in economic damage globally. The report notes that about 90% of deaths associated with the studied events were in developing countries and that mortality rates from such events have declined in more recent years due to early warning systems. [press release] [full report] [more]

U.S. DEBT | After resuming debt ceiling negotiations yesterday, President Joe Biden and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy both characterized their discussions as productive, but failed to reach an agreement that would increase the federal borrowing limit ahead of a potential debt default as early as June 1. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott launched his bid yesterday for the Republican 2024 presidential nomination on the campus of Charleston Southern University. [more]

NEBRASKA | Republican Nebraska Gov. Jim Pillen signed a bill into law yesterday that bans abortions in the state after 12 weeks of pregnancy, effective immediately, and restricts gender-affirming medical care for persons under the age of 19 as of October 1. The law is expected to face legal challenges in the coming months. [more]

COLORADO RIVER | Amidst ongoing issues caused by reduced water levels in the Colorado River, Arizona, Nevada, and California yesterday proposed a $1.2 billion plan under which the three states would cut their use of water from the river in exchange for payments from the federal government. [more]

IRAN | The Associated Press cites experts and satellite imagery evidence as suggesting that Iran is building an underground nuclear facility near the central Iran city of Natanz so deep that it could be impervious to weapons designed to destroy such sites. [more]

GUYANA | Authorities in Guyana say at least 19 children were killed in a fire yesterday at a residential school dormitory in the South American country's central city of Mahdia. The cause of the fire is under investigation, with some officials suggesting that it may have been arson. [more]

MEXICO | Authorities in Mexico yesterday raised the alert level for the country’s Popocatépetl volcano amidst increased tremors and smoke and ash discharges over the past week. Mexico’s National Center for Disaster Prevention office says an estimated 25 million people live within a 60-mile radius of the volcano and that millions of people have been warned of a possible need for evacuation should the volcano fully erupt. [more]

PAKISTAN | An Islamabad court today granted former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan temporary protection from arrest in connection with several cases in which Khan has been charged with terrorism for inciting violence. The temporary protection order expires on June 8. [more]

SPAIN | Police in Madrid, Spain, say they have arrested four people suspected of hanging an effigy of Real Madrid player Vinícius Júnior from a bridge — the latest in a series of racial abuses against the Brazilian soccer player, who is Black. [more]

U.K. | Street protests broke out in Cardiff, Wales, last night following the deaths of two local youths in a road accident that authorities say was incorrectly rumored to have followed a police chase. Police say multiple officers were injured and several arrests were made during the protests, in which trash bins and cars were set on fire. [more]

GERMANY | The federal prosecutor’s office in Germany says that three more people have been arrested on suspicion of membership in a terrorist organization in connection with an alleged plot by the Reich Citizens movement to overthrow the country’s government. [more]

UAE AND ISRAEL | Amidst ongoing Israeli-Palestinian violence criticized by most Arab League nations, United Arab Emirates’ President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and Prime Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum have invited Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attend November’s COP28 climate summit in Dubai. [more]

INDIA AND AUSTRALIA | Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has arrived in Australia for a two-day visit during which he will meet with Prime Minister Anthony Albanese for talks aimed at increasing bilateral defense and security ties between their two countries. [more]

EAST TIMOR | The East Timor National Elections Commission said today that the opposition National Congress of the Reconstruction of East Timor won 31 of 65 parliamentary seats in Sunday’s national elections, compared to 19 seats for the ruling Revolutionary Front party. Reports say the outcome likely precipitates the return of former independence fighter Xanana Gusmao, who served as prime minister from 2007 to 2015, for a second stint as the Southeast Asian nation’s leader. [more]

TIKTOK | Chinese-owned media company TikTok filed a federal lawsuit yesterday challenging the U.S. state of Montana’s first-in-the-nation ban of the company’s video-sharing platform, saying the ban violates constitutional rights of free speech and is based on unfounded speculation that the company could share users’ data with the Chinese government. [more]

BASKETBALL | The Denver Nuggets advanced to their first-ever NBA Finals with last night’s 113-111 win over the Los Angeles Lakers. [more]

MORE BASKETBALL | Veteran NBA player Carmelo Anthony has announced his retirement from the league after 19 seasons during which he played for five different teams. Anthony made 10 All-Star teams during his career and was the NBA’s No. 9 all-time leading scorer. [more]

NFL | Reports say former New England Patriots and Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady has agreed to purchase a minority ownership stake in the Los Vegas Raiders NFL franchise. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1951, China formally annexed Tibet as an autonomous region, giving rise to a Tibetan independence movement—led by the Dalai Lama, winner of the 1989 Nobel Peace Prize—that continued into the early 21st century.  [more history]

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