June 14, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 475 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • At a meeting with military journalists and bloggers yesterday, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russian forces may seek to occupy more Ukrainian land to protect vulnerable Russian border territory, that Russian weapon and ammunition production has been increased, but is still not at the levels needed, that Russia could pull out of a U.N.-brokered deal allowing the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports, and that the United States could end the war by stopping its supply of weapons to Ukraine. [more]
  • U.S. officials announced a new $325 million military aid package for Ukraine yesterday that includes National Advanced Surface-to-Air Missile Systems, High-Mobility Artillery Rocket Systems, Stinger and Javelin missiles, and Bradley and Stryker armored fighting vehicles. [more]
  • Ukrainian officials say at least six people were killed, and more than a dozen others were injured, overnight in Russian missile, drone, and artillery attacks on the southern port city of Odesa and the eastern Donetsk region cities of Kramatorsk and Konstantinovka. [more]

TRUMP ARRAIGNMENT | Former U.S. President Donald Trump pleaded not guilty in a Miami federal court yesterday to 37 felony criminal charges related to his retention of classified documents at his Florida home after leaving office. At an event following the arraignment, Trump continued to characterize his indictment as political persecution. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | The Federal Reserve is widely expected to leave its benchmark interest rate unchanged today for the first time in 15 months, while keeping open the possibility of resuming rate hikes at its meeting next month. The Fed decision comes a day after government data showed that consumer inflation rose 4% in May, compared to the year-ago period — down from the 4.9% increase seen in April. [more]

HATCH ACT | The U.S. Office of Special Counsel oversight agency has reportedly issued a warning letter to White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre for repeated references to “MAGA Republicans” during press conferences in violation of the Hatch Act, which bars civil servants from political activities during the course of their official duties. [more]

FROST DAMAGE | According to an Associated Press report, governments and agriculture officials in multiple northeast U.S. states are seeking federal disaster declarations and direct aid to growers following a late-season frost in May that destroyed large portions of crops at vineyards and apple orchards across the region. [more]

LOUISIANA | The major U.S. Army base in western Louisiana — formerly Fort Polk — was renamed Fort Johnson yesterday in the latest Defense Department move to rename facilities previously named for Confederate officers. The base is now named after Sgt. William Henry Johnson, a Black hero of World War I who received the Medal of Honor nearly a century after his heroic actions in the Argonne Forest. [more]

BELARUS AND RUSSIA | In an interview with Russian state television, Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko said yesterday that his country has begun receiving deliveries of Russian tactical nuclear weapons. Reports say the nuclear weapon deployments are the first outside of Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. [more]

REFUGEE CRISIS | According to the newly released U.N. refugee agency’s Global Trends report on forced displacement, the global total of people displaced by war, persecution, violence, and human rights abuses stood at a record 108.4 million in 2022, up 19.1 million from the previous year. The report notes that at least 35 emergencies were recorded last year that led to mass displacements, including those in Ukraine, the Congo, Ethiopia, and Myanmar. [full report] [more]

GERMANY | The German government released its first-ever National Security Strategy today, which, among other things, commits to comply with a NATO standard of spending at least 2% of the country’s gross domestic product on defense, names Russia as the greatest threat to European security, says China’s economic actions put pressure on regional stability, and notes increased terrorist activity risks due to radicalization and the return of fighters from crisis and conflict zones. [more]

GREECE | Greek coast guard officials say at least 59 people died early this morning when an Italy-bound fishing boat carrying more than one hundred migrants sank off the coast of Greece’s southern Peloponnese region. [more]

JAPAN | Japanese military officials say two people were killed, and one other was wounded, today when an 18-year-old army trainee shot three fellow soldiers at a firing range in central Japan’s Gifu Prefecture. The country’s Ground Self-Defense Force has temporarily suspended all live-fire shooting and explosive drills nationwide while the incident is investigated. [more]

NATO | Officials from NATO, Sweden, Finland, and Turkey are in Ankara today for a meeting aimed at overcoming Turkey’s reluctance to approve Sweden’s bid to join the NATO alliance over what it says is Sweden’s leniency toward terror organizations. [more]

INDIA | Reports say at least nine people were killed yesterday in renewed violence between rival Hindu and Christian groups in India’s northeastern Manipur state, where at least 100 people have been killed and hundreds of homes have been burned in related clashes since early May. [more]

IRAN AND NICARAGUA | Meeting with Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega yesterday in Managua, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi criticized U.S. sanctions against both countries, saying the U.S. has been unable to “paralyze our people with threats and sanctions” [more]

GOOGLE | European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said that Alphabet’s Google may have to sell off parts of its businesses to address regulators concerns after the company was charged with anti-competitive practices in its digital advertising business by European Commission antitrust officials today. [more]

HOCKEY | The Vegas Golden Knights beat the Florida Panthers, 9-3, last night to win the Stanley Cup Final series and claim the franchise’s first NHL title. Vegas wing Jonathan Marchessault was named the league playoff’s most valuable player. [more]

R.I.P. | Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Cormac McCarthy, author of works including “The Road,” “All the Pretty Horses,” and “No Country for Old Men,” died of natural causes yesterday at the age of 89, according to a release from his publisher. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1982, the surrender of the large Argentine garrison at Port Stanley to the British military concluded the Falkland Islands War, which was fought for the control of the Falkland Islands and its dependencies—South Atlantic territory long disputed by the warring nations.  [more history]

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