June 19, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 480 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In their latest intelligence assessment, British officials say recent Russian casualty levels in Ukraine are probably at their highest level since the battle for Bakhmut in March and that both Russia and Ukraine are suffering high numbers of casualties due to intense fighting in the early stages of Ukraine’s counteroffensive. [more]
  • Denise Brown, the U.N. humanitarian coordinator for Ukraine, said yesterday that the Russian government has refused to allow aid workers access to areas of southern Ukraine affected by the recent collapse of the Kakhova dam that are under Russian military control and urged Moscow to “act in accordance with their obligations under international humanitarian law.” [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | In a number of multi-victim incidents of gun-related violence in the U.S. over the weekend:

  • In Willowbrook, Illinois: Police say at least 23 people were shot Sunday when multiple people opened fire on a crowd of hundreds gathered to celebrate the Juneteenth holiday. Police say at least one of the shooting victims has died. [more]
  • In St. Louis, Missouri: One teenager was killed, and nine others wounded, early Sunday when gunfire broke out during a party being held at a downtown office building. Police say a minor in possession of a handgun is in custody as a person of interest and that shell casing from an AR-style assault weapon were found at the scene. [more]
  • In Carson, California: Eight people, all aged 16-24, were wounded in a shooting at a pool party in the southern California city of Carson on Saturday. Report say two shooting victims are in critical condition. [more]
  • In central Pennsylvania: One state trooper was killed, and another critically wounded, Saturday when a man drove his truck into the parking lot of the Lewistown state police barracks and began firing at officers before fleeing. The suspect was shot and killed by police following a search that spanned several nearby towns. [more]
  • In Washington state: Two people were killed, and at least two others were wounded, Saturday night when, according to police, a man began firing randomly into a crowd at a Washington state campground where many people were staying to attend the nearby Beyond Wonderland electronic dance music festival. The suspect was shot by police and taken into custody. [more]
  • In Baltimore, Maryland: Police say six people were wounded in a shooting incident in Baltimore’s northern region Friday night. Reports say all of the victims are expected to survive. [more]
  • In Kellogg, Idaho: Four people were killed yesterday in a shooting incident at a housing development yesterday. Police say a 31-year-old suspect has been detained, and reports cite residents of the development as saying there was an ongoing dispute between neighbors at the location of the incident. [more]

U.S. INTERNET ACCESS | The Commerce Department has announced the awarding of $930 million in grants for broadband internet projects to underserved areas in 35 states and Puerto Rico. The grants, awarded to state government agencies, tribal governments, and telephone and electric cooperatives, are funded by the $1 trillion infrastructure measure signed into law in 2021. [more]

CALIFORNIA | The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection says 71-year-old Edward Fredrick Wackerman, of Mariposa, has been arrested on suspicion of starting the July 2022 Oak Fire in Mariposa County that burned some 19,200 acres, destroyed 127 homes, and injured three firefighters. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | Concluding a two-day visit to China, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken met with Chinese President Xi Jinping today in Beijing. In earlier meetings with Chinese diplomats, Blinken emphasized the need for the two countries to manage their competition and maintain better lines of communication, while his Chinese counterpart said the countries are at a critical juncture and need to choose between dialogue or confrontation. [more]

MINNESOTA | A U.S. Justice Department report released on Friday concludes that inadequate oversight and difficult processes for investigating complaints contributed to racial discrimination and excessive use of force by members of the Minneapolis Police Department in the periods surrounding the May 2020 killing of George Floyd. As a result of the findings, Minneapolis and its police department have agreed to a federal consent decree, which requires policing reforms to be overseen by an independent monitor and approved by a federal judge. [more]

CLIMATE FUNDING | Reports say U.S. President Joe Biden will announce a new $600 million series of investments to help coastal communities around the U.S. fight climate change today during a visit to Palo Alto, California. [more]

UGANDA | Forty-two people, including 38 students, were killed Friday when gunmen reported to be members of the Islamic State-affiliated Allied Democratic Forces Muslim extremist group set fire to a secondary school dormitory and then attacked victims with machetes in the western Uganda town of Mpondwe. Reports say an additional six students were abducted by the attackers. [more]

INDIA | Reports say as many as 170 people have died in recent days in India’s populous Uttar Pradesh and Bihar states due to an ongoing heat wave in which temperatures have reached sustained levels of 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43.5 degrees Celsius). Authorities say power outages that have left some areas without running water, fans, or air conditioning have contributed to the crisis. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Reports say at least three Palestinians were killed, and 29 others wounded, today in a series of ground assaults and helicopter gunship attacks in the West Bank city of Jenin. Israeli authorities say an unspecified number of Israeli troops were wounded in clashes during an arrest raid in the city. [more]

MORE ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | The Israeli government approved measures yesterday that transfer responsibility for planning West Bank settlements from the country’s defense minister to its finance minister and remove some requirements for government approval of settlement construction. [more]

GREECE | The suspected death toll from last week’s sinking of a migrant boat off the coast of Greece has risen to more than 500, according to reports. Pakistan, from where many of the migrants originated, has declared a national day of mourning today for the victims. [more]

HUMAN RIGHTS | Speaking before the U.N. Human Rights Council today, U.N. human rights chief Volker Turk called for expansion of his office’s presence around the world, including first-time establishment in both China and India. The U.N. human rights office currently has a presence in 95 countries. [more]

AUSTRALIA | The Australian Senate voted today to give final approval to a measure calling for a national referendum on creating an Indigenous Voice to Parliament advisory body that, according to supporters, would give the country’s indigenous minority more say in the national government. [more]

CYBERSECURITY | Tech giant Microsoft says a series of widespread outages of its Microsoft 365 office suite, Outlook, Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive, and Azure cloud computing platforms in early June were caused by distributed denial-of-service attacks linked to the hacktivist group Anonymous Sudan. [more]

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE | "The Flash" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $55 million in receipts, followed by "Elemental," and "Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse." [more]

GOLF | Wyndham Clark shot a final-round even-par 70 yesterday to finish one stroke ahead of Rory McIlroy and win the U.S. Open at California’s Los Angeles Country Club. [more]

SOCCER | The U.S. men’s national soccer team beat Canada, 2-0, last night to win the team’s second straight CONCACAF Nations League title. [more]

BASKETBALL | In a deal first reported by ESPN, the Washington Wizards will trade three-time NBA All-Star Bradley Beal to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, and a series of future draft pick swaps. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1865, with the arrival of Union soldiers in Galveston, Texas, the state's residents finally learned about the Emancipation Proclamation two and a half years after it was issued. The day became the annual holiday known as Juneteenth, commemorating the end of slavery in the United States.  [more history]

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