May 26, 2023


Please note that there will be no Daily Brief issue published on Monday, May 29, as we honor Memorial Day here in the United States. Regular operations will resume on Tuesday, May 30.
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UKRAINE | Today is day 456 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian Defense Ministry officials say at least two people were killed, and 23 others wounded, today when a Russian missile hit a clinic in the city of Dnipro. The Ministry described the missile attack as a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. [more]
  • Japan yesterday strengthened its sanctions against Russia over the invasion of Ukraine, freezing the assets of about 100 individuals and groups and banning exports to organizations associated with the Russian military. [more]

U.S. DEBT | White House and Congressional negotiations on raising the U.S. debt ceiling are expected to continue over the weekend ahead of a potential federal debt default as early as June 1. Reports say there remain significant disagreements over more strict work requirements for persons receiving government food, monetary, and health care aid and on spending levels for 2024 and 2025. [more]

ANTI-SEMITISM | Noting that antisemitic incidents account for about 63% of reported religiously motivated hate crimes in the U.S., President Joe Biden yesterday unveiled what the White House termed the first-ever U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism. [fact sheet] [more]

TEXAS | An investigating committee of the Republican-led Texas state House of Representatives voted unanimously yesterday to send articles of impeachment against state Attorney General Ken Paxton to the full House. The 20 articles of impeachment include allegations of bribery, unfitness for office, and abuse of public trust against Paxton. [more]

JANUARY 6 | Steward Rhodes, founder of the far-right Oath Keepers group, was sentenced to 18 years in prison yesterday in connection with his seditious conspiracy conviction for actions related to the January 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol aimed at keeping former President Donald Trump in power following the 2020 elections. Rhodes’ sentence is the longest-yet given in hundreds of January 6-related cases. [more]

U.S. SUPREME COURT | In a 5-4 ruling yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court limited the scope of what can be considered protected wetlands under the Clean Water Act. The ruling, praised by industry, homebuilding, and farming groups and condemned by environmental groups, says that federally protected wetlands must be directly adjacent to a “relatively permanent” waterway “connected to traditional interstate navigable waters.” [Court ruling PDF] [more]

ALABAMA | The Alabama state House of Representatives voted unanimously yesterday to approve legislation that would reduce the state’s sales tax on groceries from 4% to 2%. The state Senate is expected to approve the bill in the near future. [more]

COVID-19 | A new U.S. National Institutes of Health study of nearly 10,000 Americans says that about 10% of people infected with the omicron coronavirus variant developed symptoms associated with long COVID — effects lasting more than six months after infection — a lower rate than the approximately 23% long COVID rate seen in patients infected with earlier variants. The study, published in JAMA, notes that among those symptoms most strongly associated with long COVID were: postexertional malaise, fatigue, brain fog, dizziness, GI symptoms, palpitations, changes in sexual desire or capacity, loss of or change in smell or taste, thirst, chronic cough, chest pain, and abnormal movements. [full study] [NIH press release] [more]

SOMALIA | Reports say a military base housing Ugandan forces of the African Union peacekeeping mission in Somalia was attacked by al-Shabab militants this morning. A statement released by al-Shabab claims that 137 soldiers were killed in the attack. [more]

JAPAN | Police in Japan’s Nagano prefecture say a 31-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a rare shooting and stabbing incident yesterday in which four people were killed. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Israeli officials say a Palestinian man was shot and killed this morning after infiltrating the Tene Omarim Jewish settlement in the occupied West Bank and attempting to stab a resident. [more]

TURKEY | Citizens of Turkey will vote Sunday in a runoff presidential ballot, choosing between incumbent President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the leader of Turkey’s main opposition party. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | Prominent rights groups Amnesty International and the International Commission for Jurists released a new report today condemning the crackdown on women’s right by Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers and saying that the Taliban’s gender-based persecution could be considered a crime against humanity under International Criminal Court statutes. [full report] [more]

PERU | Reports say anti-drug police in Peru yesterday seized 58 one-kilogram packages of cocaine bearing a picture of the Nazi flag and embossed with the name Hitler aboard a Liberian-flagged vessel bound for Belgium. [more]

ELECTRIC VEHICLES | Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution jointly announced plans yesterday to build a $4.3 billion battery plant as part of Hyundai’s new electric vehicle assembly plant in the U.S. state of Georgia. The plant is expected to begin production by late 2025. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1940, during World War II, the British began to evacuate their troops from Dunkirk, France.  [more history]

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