June 20, 2023


Listen to this issue.

UKRAINE | Today is day 481 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian military officials say 32 of 35 Shahed attack drones launched by Russia at Ukrainian targets overnight were shot down and that one of the drones that was not destroyed hit a critical infrastructure facility in the western Lviv region. [more]
  • Russia’s TASS news agency cites Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu as saying today that Ukraine has launched 263 attacks on Russian territory since June 4 and that it has plans to strike the Russia-annexed Crimea region with long-range artillery and missiles. [more]
  • Reuters cites Ukrainian Deputy Minister for Strategic Industries Sergiy Boyev as saying Kyiv is in talks with arms manufacturers from Germany, Italy, France, and other European countries about companies setting up arms production facilities in Ukraine itself. [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | Police in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, say at least six teenagers were wounded yesterday when shooting broke out at a large Juneteenth celebration in the city. Reports say one of those wounded may have been a gunman himself and is in police custody, and that other suspects are being sought. [more]

MISSISSIPPI | Officials in Mississippi’s Jasper County say at least one person was killed and nearly two dozen others were injured early Monday when a tornado struck near the town of Louin. Several other suspected tornadoes affected other regions of the state Monday, and reports say as many as 40,000 people were left without power due to the storms. [more]

TRUMP DOCUMENTS TRIAL | U.S. Magistrate Judge Bruce Reinhart yesterday ordered attorneys for former President Donald Trump to not release evidence in the classified documents case against Trump to the media or public, saying the “materials, along with any information derived therefrom, shall not be disclosed to the public or the news media, or disseminated on any news or social media platform, without prior notice to and consent of the United States or approval of the Court.” [more]

CALIFORNIA | Disciplinary hearings against attorney John Eastman, which could result in his disbarment in California, begin today before the California State Bar in connection with charges by the Bar that his formulation of plans to keep Donald Trump in office following the 2020 presidential election constituted “moral turpitude, dishonesty, and corruption” and was an “an egregious and unprecedented attack on our democracy.” [more]

SEARCH OPERATION | U.S. and Canadian agencies are taking part in search and rescue operations today following loss of contact with a submersible bound for the wreckage of the Titanic southeast of Newfoundland, Canada. OceanGate Expeditions’ Titan submersible lost contact with its support ship Sunday and is reported to have up to 72-96 hours of air for its five passengers. [more]

AI REGULATION | U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled to meet with a group of academic and technology leaders today in San Francisco for discussions concerning advanced artificial intelligence systems, their benefits and risks, and potential ways to regulate their development and capabilities. [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | Without specifying areas of agreement or improvement, both U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Chinese President Xi Jinping said they were satisfied with their meeting yesterday in Beijing and that their countries will continue to work to improve relations. Reports note, however, that the U.S. request to resume military-to-military contacts to avoid misunderstandings was rejected by China. [more]

TROPICAL STORM BRET | The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says Tropical Storm Bret, currently located in the central Atlantic Ocean with sustained winds of about 40mph, is expected to strengthen into a Category 1 hurricane by tomorrow and that it could pose a hurricane threat to the eastern Caribbean by Thursday. [more]

UAE AND QATAR | Statements issued by the United Arab Emirates and Qatar yesterday confirm that the two Gulf countries have reopened their embassies in each other's capital cities following as six-year suspension of diplomatic relations sparked by allegations of support of Islamist groups by Qatar in the years following the 2011 Arab Spring protests. [more]

EUROPEAN AIR DEFENSES | Speaking at a one-day meeting of European defense ministers and other officials from some 20 countries in Paris yesterday, French President Emmanuel Macron said Europe should work toward a more independent European airspace defense system that doesn’t rely as much on U.S. equipment and technology. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | Speaking before the U.N. Human Rights Council yesterday, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Afghanistan Richard Bennett said that the Afghan Taliban’s “grave, systematic, and institutionalized discrimination against women and girls” could constitute “gender apartheid.” [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Palestinian officials say a 21-year-old man was shot and killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank town of Husan today — one day after six others were killed and dozens were wounded in clashes in the city of Jenin. [more]

ESTONIA | The Estonian Parliament voted to approve a bill today making  Estonia the first Central European nation to legalize same-sex marriage. The new law will take effect in 2024.  [more]

U.K. | The British House of Commons voted, 354-7, yesterday to endorse a report that found former Prime Minister Boris Johnson to have lied to lawmakers about parties held in his offices during the coronavirus pandemic in violation of public health emergency restrictions -- a finding that strips Johnson of the lifetime access to Parliament usually granted to former lawmakers.  Johnson, who resigned his seat in Parliament earlier this month, has criticized the actions against him as “deranged” and politically motivated. [more]

NEW ZEALAND | Police say a 24-year-old Chinese national is in custody in connection with a series of axe attacks that wounded at least four people at three neighboring Chinese restaurants yesterday in the Auckland, New Zealand, suburb of Albany. Officials say the motive behind the attack is under investigation. [more]

MARINE BIODIVERSITY | The United Nations yesterday adopted the first-ever international treaty to protect marine life and biodiversity in waters outside national boundaries. The new treaty, which will be opened for signatures in September, will create a new organization to manage conservation of ocean life and establish marine protected areas in the high seas and set rules for conducting environmental impact assessments for oceanic commercial activities. [more]

CLIMATE | A new report from the Nepal-based Centre for Integrated Mountain Development says that, at current global emission levels, glaciers across the Hindu Kush Himalayan mountain ranges could lose up to 80% of their volume by 2100, that glaciers in the region disappeared 65% faster in the 2010s than in the preceding decade, and that continued reduction in the region’s glaciers will have major adverse impacts on water availability, property, infrastructure, and flood and landslide risks. [full report] [more]

SEMICONDUCTOR PRODUCTION | Tech giant Intel and the German government reportedly signed an agreement yesterday under which Intel will spend more than $32 billion to build a semiconductor production facility in the eastern German city of Magdeburg and the German government will cover about a third of the facility’s production costs. [more]

PARIS OLYMPICS | Reports say French police began an unannounced search of the headquarters of the 2024 Paris Olympic Games this morning as part of a corruption investigation into allegations of favoritism and misuse of public money in the awarding of construction contracts. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1903, American automobile-racing driver Barney Oldfield accomplished the first mile-a-minute performance in a car, at Indianapolis, Indiana.  [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

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