June 15, 2023


Listen to this issue.

UKRAINE | Today is day 476 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • NATO defense ministers are meeting today in Brussels for discussions centered on future relations with Ukraine and are scheduled to take part in an additional meeting of the U.S.-led Ukraine Contact Group later for talks concerning military aid to support Ukraine’s fight against the Russian invasion. [more]
  • Reports from Russia’s TASS and RIA news agencies cite Russian officials as saying that regional elections will be held in September in the four Ukrainian regions annexed by Russia. [more]

YOUTH SUICIDE AND HOMICIDE | A new report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that suicide and homicide were the second and third leading causes of death, respectively, for people aged 10–24 in the U.S. in 2021, and suggests that the COVID-19 pandemic, higher rates of depression, limited availability of mental health services and the number of guns in U.S. homes were factors likely to have contributed to rising rates. [full report] [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | After the Federal Reserve left its benchmark interest rate unchanged at about 5.1% yesterday, Fed Chair Jerome Powell said that while U.S. inflation appears to be cooling, it is still well above the Fed’s 2% target, suggesting that further interest rate hikes are likely later this year. [more]

COLORADO | According to an Associated Press report, Anderson Lee Aldrich, the suspect in the October 2022 mass shooting at Colorado Springs’ Club Q gay nightclub, is seeking to reach a plea deal with prosecutors that would spare him the death penalty as he faces murder and hate charges. [more]

OREGON | Reports say Republican and Democratic state legislators in Oregon appear to be close to an agreement that would end a six-week legislative boycott by Republican senators following negotiations that have centered on reaching compromises on bills on abortion, transgender healthcare, and gun safety. [more]

MORE OREGON | A Multnomah County Circuit Court jury in Portland, Oregon, yesterday ordered the PacifiCorp electric utility company to pay more than $70 million in additional punitive damages for its role in causing wildfires in Oregon in 2020 that burned some 1,875 square miles of land and destroyed thousands of homes. The punitive damages are in addition to an earlier verdict that is expected to result in billions of dollars in compensation from the company. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, 45, filed paperwork with the U.S. Federal Election Commission yesterday declaring his candidacy for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. [more]

NEW YORK | Reports say a New York grand jury has voted to indict Daniel Penny, a former U.S. Marine sergeant, in connection with last month’s death of Jordan Neely, a homeless man, who Penny held in a chokehold on a Manhattan subway. Penny has stated he acted to protect himself and other passengers, while other witnesses are reported to have stated that Neely did not physically threaten or attack anyone before Penny grabbed him. [more]

NORTH CAROLINA | Governor Roy Cooper yesterday signed into law a series of recently passed bills that expand legal betting on sports and horse racing in North Carolina. The move makes North Carolina the 29th state to legalize mobile sports betting. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | The U.S. Department of State confirmed yesterday that Secretary of State Antony Blinken will travel to China this weekend for talks aimed at improving relations and keeping lines of communication open between the two countries. Blinken will be the most senior U.S. official to visit China since President Biden took office. [more]

CYCLONE BIPARJOY | Officials in India and Pakistan say more than 150,000 people have been evacuated from coastal areas ahead of this evening's expected landfall of Cyclone Biparjoy near Pakistan’s southern Sindh province and India’s western state of Gujarat. [more]

GREECE | Greek coast guard officials say search and rescue efforts are continuing today after a migrant boat carrying hundreds of people sank off the coast of southern Greece yesterday. Reports say at least 78 people are confirmed dead, 104 have been rescued, and dozens more are still missing. [more]

NORTH KOREA | South Korean officials say North Korea fired two short-range missiles into the sea off its east coast today, just hours after Pyongyang warned of a response to ongoing military drills by South Korean and U.S. troops. [more]

GERMANY | The German organization that oversees claims made on behalf of Jews who suffered under the country’s Nazi movement has reportedly approved $1.4 billion in aid to Holocaust survivors around the world for 2024. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Palestinian health officials say Israeli troops killed a Palestinian man yesterday in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus. Israeli authorities say the incident took place after troops demolishing the home of a Palestinian militant came under fire and fired back. [more]

NEW ZEALAND | Data released by Statistics New Zealand today shows that the country’s economy has now had two consecutive quarters of negative growth, satisfying the nation’s definition of having entered a recession. [more]

KOSOVO AND SERBIA | Kosovo Prime Minister Albin Kurti said today that his country has tightened controls on its border with Serbia after three of its policemen were detained earlier by Serbian forces. Officials from each of the countries have accused the other of border violations in connection with the incident. [more]

U.K. | The British House of Commons Privileges Committee released a report today that concludes that former Prime Minister Boris Johnson deliberately misled lawmakers about parties held in 2020 and 2021 in violation of COVID-related lockdown regulations and that his actions warranted a 90-day suspension from Parliament. Johnson, who resigned from Parliament late last week ahead of the report’s release, has condemned the Committee’s investigation and report as a “witch hunt” conducted by a “kangaroo court.” [more]

SHIPPING INDUSTRY | The International Longshore and Warehouse Union, which represents some 22,000 U.S. West Coast dockworkers at 29 ports says it has reached a new contract agreement with the Pacific Maritime Association after more than a year of negotiations that involved multiple work and traffic disruptions. Terms of the new contract were not disclosed. [more]

LITERATURE | American novelist Barbara Kingsolver was named the winner of the Women’s Prize for Fiction at a ceremony in London, England, yesterday for her novel “Demon Copperhead,” a coming-of-age tale set in southwest Virginia’s Appalachia region for which Kingsolver also won the 2023 Pulitzer Prize for fiction. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1215, the Magna Carta—a charter of English liberties that occupies a unique place in the popular imagination as a symbol and a battle cry against oppression—was sealed, under threat of civil war, by King John.  [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

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