May 24, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 454 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian military officials said today that heavy fighting continues around the eastern city of Bakhmut despite Russian claims that its military has complete control of the city. [more]
  • Vyacheslav Gladkov, governor of Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, said today that Russian forces shot down a “large number” of drones over the region overnight. [more]
  • U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said earlier this week that the Russian mercenary group Wagner is attempting to obscure its acquisition of military equipment for use in Ukraine by routing weapons purchases through the West African nation of Mali. Officials with the Russian foreign ministry have denied the allegations. [more]

U.S. DEBT | Reports say debt ceiling negotiations between the White House and congressional Republicans ahead of a potential June 1 federal debt default are centered on the duration of a 1% cap on annual spending growth and on either maintaining or reducing federal spending levels in 2024 compared to 2023. [more]

ILLINOIS | According to a report released yesterday by Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul, more than 450 adult Catholic clergymen sexually abused 1,997 children in the state over a period of almost 90 years. The report further notes that investigators identified 149 abusers that the various Catholic dioceses in Illinois had not previously disclosed. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is expected to launch his campaign for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination today in a live event on the social media platform Twitter. [more]

SECURITY POSTING | Reports say U.S. President Joe Biden intends to nominate Air Force Lt. Gen. Timothy Haugh to be the new head of both the National Security Agency and the U.S. Cyber Command. Haugh, a career signals intelligence officer and Bronze Star recipient, is currently the deputy commander of the U.S. Cyber Command. [more]

TRUMP INVESTIGATIONS | A New York State judge yesterday scheduled the trial of former President Donald Trump on 34 counts of falsifying business records related to alleged hush-money payments made during his 2016 presidential campaign for March 25 of next year and ordered Trump to not use evidence turned over by prosecutors to attack witnesses or post sensitive documents about the case to social media. Trump, who attended yesterday’s hearing via video hookup, called the actions a violation of his freedom of speech and characterized the trial date, which is in the middle of the 2024 presidential primary season, as election interference. [more]

GUAM | Emergency measures are in place, U.S. warships have been relocated, and residents of low-lying areas have been ordered to evacuate ahead of the main arrival of Typhoon Mawar on the Western Pacific U.S. island territory of Guam this morning. Reports say the storm is currently generating winds of up to 140 mph. [more]

RUSSIA | A Russian court yesterday extended by three months the detention of Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was arrested on espionage charges in March — charges his employer and the U.S. government have denied. Gershkovich detention was extended until August 30 at the pre-trial hearing, which was attended by at least one U.S. embassy official. [more]

MORE RUSSIA | Reuters cites unnamed sources as saying that Russian scientist Alexander Shiplyuk, head of Siberia's Khristianovich Institute of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, who was arrested last year on suspicion of treason, is suspected of turning over classified materials on Russia’s hypersonic missile program to China in 2017. [more]

RUSSIA AND CHINA | Meeting with Chinese officials in Beijing today, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said Russia-China relations are at an all-time high due to “increased turbulence in the international arena” and pressure from Western nations. Reports say today's meetings resulted in agreements on trade services, agricultural exports, and sports cooperation. [more]

PAKISTAN | Security officials say at least four people were killed today in a suicide bomb attack on a security checkpoint in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. The bombing came one day after a similar attack on an oil and gas plant in the Hangu district for which the Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility. [more]

GUYANA | Police in Guyana say the fire that killed 19 children earlier this week at a school dormitory in the South American country’s town of Mahdia was set by a student who was upset after her cell phone was confiscated. [more]

SOUTH AFRICA | Health officials in South Africa’s Gauteng province have declared a disease outbreak amidst growing numbers of cases of cholera. Reports say at least 15 people have died and 37 people have been hospitalized in the region due to the disease. [more]

U.K. ECONOMY | Annualized consumer inflation in the U.K. fell to 8.7% in April, according to the Office for National Statistics — down from 10.1% in March and the lowest level since March 2022. Reports note that sustained high food prices played a large role in the inflation rate not dropping even lower. [more]

INDIA AND AUSTRALIA | Meeting today in Sydney, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese announced new agreements on migration and green hydrogen production and said their countries will increase security cooperation and work toward a formal free trade agreement this year. [more]

ISRAEL | The Israeli parliament passed a new two-year budget early this morning, with supporters saying the budget gives the government the tools it needs to govern effectively and opponents criticizing it for allocating what they say is too much money for ultra-Orthodox and pro-settlement movements. [more]

ECUADOR | Following last week’s constitutional dissolution of the National Assembly by President Guillermo Lasso, Ecuador’s National Electoral Council announced yesterday that early presidential and legislative elections will be held August 20. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | The Brooklyn Bridge—spanning the East River from Brooklyn to Manhattan Island in New York City—opened on this date in 1883. The bridge, considered a brilliant feat of 19th-century engineering, was designed by civil engineer John Augustus Roebling.  [more history]

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