May 25, 2023


Listen to this issue.

UKRAINE | Today is day 455 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • The head of Russia’s Wagner mercenary group said yesterday that 20,000 Wagner troops died in the drawn-out battle for the eastern Ukraine city of Bakhmut and that his forces are in the process of pulling out of the city to turn control of the area over to the Russian military. [more]
  • Ukrainian officials say all 36 Iranian-made Shahed drones launched by Russian forces at Kyiv overnight were shot down. The wave of drone attacks was the 12th such attack on Kyiv this month. [more]
  • Reports cite Andriy Yermak, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy’s chief of staff, as saying today that 106 captured Ukrainian soldiers have been released as part of a new prisoner exchange with Russia. Yermak did not disclose information about the Russian troops released as part of the exchange. [more]

U.S. DEBT | Amidst ongoing debt ceiling negotiations and just days before a potential June 1 federal default, the House of Representatives is scheduled to adjourn until Tuesday today for the extended Memorial Day holiday weekend. Reports say the Fitch Ratings agency has placed a negative rating watch on U.S. federal credit over what it characterized as brinkmanship and political partisanship in the debt ceiling debate. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis formally launched his bid for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination yesterday in an event on the social media platform Twitter that was disrupted by technical difficulties. [more]

U.S. MILITARY | President Joe Biden is expected to nominate Air Force four-star general Charles Q. Brown Jr. to be the next chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in a Rose Garden event later today. Brown, who currently serves as the Chief of Staff of the Air Force, would replace Army General Mark Milley, whose term expires in October. [more]

JANUARY 6 | Stewart Rhodes, founder of the far-right Oath Keepers group, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy in connection with the January 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol aimed at keeping former President Donald Trump in power following the 2020 elections, is scheduled to be sentenced in a Washington, DC, federal court today. [more]

U.S. AND KOREA | A series of large-scale live-fire military exercises involving some 2,500 U.S. and South Korean troops and about 610 weapons systems, including fighter jets, attack helicopters, drones, tanks, and artillery begins today near the border with North Korea. The exercises — five of which are scheduled to be held through the middle of June — have been condemned by North Korea. [more]

GUAM | Reports say many residents of the U.S. territory of Guam remain without power and utilities today following last night’s landfall of Typhoon Mawar. Officials say some parts of the island received more than two feet of rain as the storm passed and that the U.S. Navy has ordered the USS Nimitz aircraft carrier strike group to the area to assist in recovery efforts. [more]

UNITED NATIONS | The U.N. is marking the 75th anniversary of the formation of U.N. peacekeeping forces today with a ceremony honoring the more than 4,200 peacekeepers who have died in the service since 1948. [more]

IRAN | Amidst ongoing international concern over its nuclear program, Iran today unveiled the latest version of its liquid-fueled Khorramshahr ballistic missile. Iranian military officials say the new Khorramshahr-4 missile has a range of about 1,240 miles and can carry a 3,300-pound warhead. [more]

RWANDA | Officials with the U.N. tribunal for war crimes committed in Rwanda say Fulgence Kayishema, the former Rwandan police officer accused of ordering the killing of some 2,000 Tutsis seeking refuge in a church during the 1994 genocide, has been arrested in South Africa. Kayishema is expected to be returned to Rwanda to face trial. [more]

CAMBODIA | The Cambodian Constitutional Council today refused to overturn a decision by the country’s National Election Committee that barred the opposition Candlelight Party -- widely seen as the only credible challenger to the ruling Cambodian People’s Party -- from July’s national elections over a paperwork issue. [more]

U.K. | The U.K. Office for National Statistics says a “series of unprecedented world events throughout 2022 and the lifting of restrictions following the coronavirus pandemic” led to a record-high number of people immigrating to Britain in 2022. The office says a total of 1.2 million people moved to the U.K. in 2022, while 557,000 left — a net immigration level of more than 600,000. [more]

CANADA AND SAUDI ARABIA | The governments of Canada and Saudi Arabia agreed yesterday to restore full diplomatic ties between their two countries and to appoint new ambassadors. The 2018 severing of formal ties between the countries was sparked by Canadian diplomats calling for the release of women’s rights activists held by Saudi Arabia. [more]

R.I.P. | Singer Tina Turner, often termed the “Queen of Rock ‘n’ Roll,” died yesterday at her home near Zurich, Switzerland, at the age of 83. Over the course of her decades-long career, Turner sold more than 150 million albums, won 12 Grammy awards, and was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame twice — once with former abusive husband Ike Turner in 1991 and on her own in 2021. [more]

HOCKEY | The Florida Panthers advanced to the NHL’s Stanley Cup Final with last night’s 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Panthers will appear in the Final for the first time since 1996 and will face the winner of the Western Conference series between Vegas and Dallas. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1787, the Constitutional Convention opened in Philadelphia, where 55 state delegates, initially charged with amending the Articles of Confederation, later drafted the Constitution of the United States.  [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

Sign up for a free or supporting membership to further our mission.