June 12, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 473 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy suggested publicly for the first time Saturday that the long-anticipated counteroffensive by Ukrainian forces is underway, saying “counteroffensive, defensive actions are taking place in Ukraine,” but declining to specify what phase or stage the actions are in. [more]
  • Undersecretary-General Martin Griffiths, the top aid official at the United Nations, says some 700,000 people are in need of drinking water following last week’s collapse of the Kakhovka dam and that damaged caused by the collapse and flooding will likely lead to lower grain exports, higher food prices around the world, and less food aid for those in need globally. [more]
  • The Russian Defense Ministry says it has signed a contract with the Chechen Akhmat paramilitary group to place thousands of troops under the control of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu for operations in Ukraine and giving the group’s fighters the same benefits and protections as regular troops, including support for them and their families if they are wounded or killed. [more]

NUCLEAR PROLIFERATION | In its latest Yearbook report, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute says the world’s nine nuclear armed states — the U.S., Russia, the United Kingdom, France, China, India, Pakistan, North Korea, and Israel — had a total of 12,512 nuclear warheads in their inventories in January 2023, with 9576 being in military stockpiles for potential use. The report notes that U.S. and Russian stockpiles account for about 90% of all nuclear weapons and that China’s nuclear arsenal increased from 350 in January 2022 to 410 in January 2023. [more]

TRUMP INDICTMENT | Announcing the unsealing of the written indictment against former President Donald Trump on Friday, special counsel Jack Smith urged the public to read the indictment in full, emphasized the importance of national security information, and said he will seek a speedy trial in the case. Trump, who is scheduled to appear in a Miami federal court tomorrow to hear the charges against him, faces 31 counts of unauthorized possession of national defense information in violation of the Espionage Act, and several counts of obstruction of justice and making false statements to investigators. [full indictment PDF] [more]

I-95 | An elevated section of Interstate 95 — the U.S.' main East Coast north-south highway — collapsed early Sunday in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Officials say the collapse occurred after a fuel tanker caught fire under the highway and have warned of extensive delays and street closures as repairs take place. [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | In multiple instances of gun violence over the weekend:

  • The San Francisco Chronicle reports that at least nine people were wounded when a suspected gang member opened fire at people attending a block party in San Francisco’s Mission District on Friday. [more]
  • Police in Syracuse, New York, say at least four people were shot, five suffered knife wounds, and four were struck by vehicles fleeing the scene when violence broke out early Sunday during a street party attended by hundreds of people on the city’s West Side. [more]
  • One person was killed, and six others wounded, in a shooting incident early Sunday at a 19-year-old's birthday party in the Northern California city of Antioch, according to police reports. [more]
  • Three people were killed, and three others wounded, Sunday night in what authorities have said was an "interpersonal dispute" at a home in Maryland's capital, Annapolis. [more]

UNABOMBER | Theodore “Ted” Kaczynski, dubbed the “Unabomber by the FBI and who was sentenced to life in prison for carrying out a series of mail bombings from 1978 through 1995 that killed three people and wounded 23 others, died Saturday at a federal prison medical center in North Carolina. [more]

CHINESE SPYING | The Associated Press cites an unnamed Biden administration source as saying that China has been operating a spy base in Cuba since at least 2019. The report follows last week’s Wall Street Journal story that China had reached an agreement with Cuba to build a signals intelligence monitoring station in Cuba to target U.S. communications, which the U.S., Chinese, and Cuban authorities all dismissed as inaccurate. [more]

UNESCO | The United States has announced its intention to rejoin the United Nations’ educational and scientific organization — UNESCO — five years after the U.S. ended its membership under the Trump administration, which cited alleged anti-Israel bias by the organization as the reason for the withdrawal. [more]

CONGO | Local authorities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s northeastern Ituri province say more than 40 people in a camp for internally displaced persons were killed in an attack by the CODECO militia group early today. [more]

PHILIPPINES | Lava began to flow from the Philippines’ Mayon Volcano yesterday. An estimated 12,000 people have been evacuated from the area around the volcano since last Friday and authorities say the evacuation zone may need to be expanded if  volcanic activity strengthens. [more]

INDONESIA | Officials with Indonesia’s Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center say the country’s Anak Krakatau volcano — located in the Sunda Strait between the main Java and Sumatra islands — has erupted at least seven times since Friday, sending clouds of ash as high as two miles into the air. No evacuations have been ordered in the region. [more]

U.K. | British authorities say 616 migrants crossing the English Channel in small boats were detected yesterday, June 11 — the highest single-day number of such migrants this year. [more]

MONTENEGRO | Reports say members of Montenegro's pro-European Union, centrist Europe Now party appears to have won the most seats in the country's parliamentary elections yesterday, but that the group's margin of victory is not large enough for it to form a government on its own. [more]

AUSTRALIA | Reports say 10 people were killed, and 25 others were wounded, yesterday when a bus carrying wedding guests rolled over in the Hunter Valley region of New South Wales state. Police say the bus driver has been arrested and charged with multiple counts of dangerous and negligent driving. [more]

SCOTLAND | Reports say former Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon was arrested and then released without charges yesterday in connection with an ongoing investigation into the funding and finances of the governing, pro-independence Scottish National Party. [more]

ITALY | Silvio Berlusconi, who served as Italy's prime minister in four governments between 1994 and 2011, died this morning at the age of 86, according to Italian media reports. [more]

BANKING | Swiss bank UBS said today that it has completed its $3.3 billion government-arranged takeover of embattled rival Credit Suisse. [more]

TENNIS | Novak Djokovic beat Casper Ruud in straight sets, and Iga Swiatek defeated Karolina Muchova, this weekend to win the men’s and women’s French Open titles, respectively. The win by Djokovic made him the men’s all-time leader in Grand Slam titles with 23. [more]

SOCCER | Manchester City beat Inter Milan, 1-0, Saturday to win the Champions League Final in Istanbul. City midfielder Rodri, who scored the game’s winning goal, was named the Champions League Player of the Season by UEFA on Sunday. [more]

GOLF | Nick Taylor beat Tommy Fleetwood on a fourth playoff hole yesterday to win the RBC Canadian Open and to become the first Canadian in 69 years to win his national open tournament. [more]

HOCKEY | The Vegas Golden Knights hold a 3-1 lead in the Stanley Cup Final following Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Florida Panthers. The potentially series-clinching Game 5 is scheduled for Tuesday night. [more]

BASKETBALL | The Denver Nuggets beat the Miami Heat, 108-95, on Friday to take a 3-1 lead in the NBA Finals. Game 5 is scheduled for tonight at 8:30pm Eastern Daylight Time. [more]

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE | "Transformers: Rise of the Beasts" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $60.5 million in receipts, followed by "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse," and "The Little Mermaid." [more]

TONY AWARDS | “Kimberly Akimbo” won five awards, including best musical, best score, best actress, and best supporting actress at last night’s 2023 Tony Awards. “Leopoldstadt” won four awards, including best play and best director. [full list of winners] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1967, in Loving v. Virginia, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously struck down a state law that banned interracial marriage, ruling that it was unconstitutional under the equal protection and due process clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.  [more history]

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