June 21, 2023


Listen to this issue.

UKRAINE | Today is day 482 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • National and business leaders from dozens of countries are attending the two-day Ukraine Recovery Conference, which began today in London. Attendees aim to discuss and raise funds for the rebuilding of Ukraine, which the World Bank estimates will cost more than $400 billion. [more]
  • U.S. military officials said yesterday that the Pentagon overestimated the value of military aid provided to Ukraine over the past two years by $6.2 billion, and that, due to the discrepancy, the Defense Department now has an aid funding surplus that can be used for future aid packages without additional congressional approval. [more]
  • Russian officials say three Ukrainian attack drones were brought down using electronic countermeasures today as they approached a military warehouse facility outside of Moscow. [more]

HUNTER BIDEN | According to a Justice Department plea agreement letter released yesterday that concludes a five-year investigation, Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, will plead guilty to federal tax charges against him and has agreed to enter a diversion program to avoid penalties associated with a separate charge of possession of a firearm by a drug user or addict. [more]

TRUMP DOCUMENTS TRIAL | A federal judge in Florida yesterday set a preliminary start date of August 14 for the criminal trial of former President Donald Trump on charges related to his handling and possession of classified documents after leaving office. District Judge Aileen Cannon said that all pre-trial motions should be filed by July 14, and reports note that the trial could well be delayed past the August 14 date due to various motions and challenges. [more]

ARKANSAS | U.S. District Judge Jay Moody struck down Arkansas’ ban on gender-affirming medical care for people under the age of 18 yesterday, ruling that the law violated the constitutional rights to due process and equal protection of transgender youth and families and violated the First Amendment rights of medical providers. The ruling is expected to be appealed. [more]

U.S. EDUCATION | A new report from the U.S. National Center for Education Statistics says that National Assessment of Educational Progress math and reading test scores for 13-year-olds in the U.S. fell by 9 and 4 points, respectively, between 2020 and 2023, suggesting longer-than-expected negative impacts to education from the coronavirus pandemic. [full report] [more]

U.S. AND INDIA | Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in New York City yesterday where he will meet with U.N. officials and take part in an International Day of Yoga event before heading to Washington, DC, where he is expected to address a joint session of Congress, meet with U.S. President Joe Biden, and attend a state dinner at the White House. [more]

SUBMERSIBLE SEARCH | Search and rescue efforts continue today in the North Atlantic waters southeast of Newfoundland, Canada, as OceanGate Expeditions’ Titan submersible, which was bound for the wreckage of the Titanic, is believed to be running out of air with five people on board. Reports say underwater noises were detected early this morning in the search area, but did not elaborate on what could have caused them. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Reports say four Israelis were killed, and several others were wounded, yesterday when two Palestinian men opened fire on patrons of a gas station and a restaurant near the West Bank Israeli settlement of Eli, prompting fears of escalating violence and reprisals by Israeli settlers. The Palestinian militant group Hamas says the two attackers, both of whom were killed following the attacks, were members of its organization. [more]

SUDAN | At an international fundraising event in Geneva yesterday, donors pledged close to $1.5 billion in humanitarian aid for relief efforts to help those affected by ongoing fighting between military and paramilitary forces in the African country. Reports note that some 2.2 million people have been forced from their homes due to the violence. [more]

HONDURAS | According to officials from Honduras’ national police investigation agency, at least 41 prisoners were killed yesterday in riots linked to members of the Barrio 18 street gang at a women’s prison in the town of Tamara. [more]

SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT | According to a new report from the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Solutions Network, not a single one of the 17 sustainable development goals adopted by the U.N. General Assembly in 2015 are on track to reach their target levels by the agreed-upon 2030 deadline. [full report] [more]

TERRORISM | At a U.N counter-terrorism conference yesterday, an international panel of experts said that Africa was the world’s terrorism hotspot in 2022, with half of all victims of terrorist activity for the year having been located in sub-Saharan Africa. [more]

ONLINE ADVERTISING | Gannett — the largest U.S. newspaper publisher by total daily circulation — filed a civil lawsuit against Google and its parent company Alphabet yesterday, seeking unspecified damages for what it alleges is Google’s unlawful monopoly over online advertising technology tools used by publishers to buy and sell ad space. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1893, at the World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, the first Ferris wheel -- invented by Pittsburgh-based engineer George Washington Gale Ferris, Jr.  -- made its debut.  [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

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