June 23, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 484 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Reports cite advance copies of the U.N.'s latest annual “list of shame" report on the treatment of children in conflict zones as saying that actions by Russian armed forces and affiliated groups killed 136 children and maimed another 518 in Ukraine in 2022. [more]
  • Among the pledges made at the conclusion of the Ukraine Recovery Conference in London yesterday were: $1.3 billion in new aid from the U.S., including more than $500 million to restore and improve Ukraine’s energy grid, $55 billion from the E.U. through 2027, $305 million in aid and $3.8 billion in World Bank loan guarantees from the U.K., and $416 million in humanitarian aid from Germany. [more]

CONTRACEPTION | U.S. President Joe Biden is expected to issue an executive order today that directs federal departments to consider requiring private insurers to offer expanded contraception options under the Affordable Care Act and orders government agencies to explore ways to make over-the-counter contraception, including emergency contraception, more affordable and accessible. [more]

I-95 | The section of Interstate 95 that collapsed due to a truck fire on June 11 in Philadelphia is scheduled to reopen today, relieving related traffic issues in the heavily-used stretch of the U.S.’ main north-south highway on the East Coast. Reports say the interim repair and reconstruction will eventually be replaced with a new permanent bridge. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | Speaking before the Senate Banking Committee yesterday, Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell suggested that the Fed will likely raise interest rates at least once more this year to fight persistently high inflation. [more]

WYOMING | Teton County Judge Melissa Owens ruled yesterday that Wyoming’s first-in-the-nation ban on abortion pills must be suspended while lawsuits challenging the ban proceed. The ban had been due to take effect on July 1. [more]

TITAN SUBMERSIBLE | Following the discovery of debris during search operations yesterday, officials say OceanGate Expeditions’ Titan submersible that went missing earlier this week likely suffered a “catastrophic implosion,” killing all five people on board during its mission to visit the wreckage of the Titanic southeast of Newfoundland, Canada. [more]

TROPICAL STORM BRET | Airports, businesses, schools, and offices across many eastern Caribbean islands are closed today as Tropical Storm Bret entered the region with maximum sustained winds of 60 mph. [more]

INDIA | Indian government relief agency officials say more than 500,000 people in the country’s northeastern region have been affected by recent flooding from monsoon rains, with at least 14,000 people having been forced from their homes. [more]

SAUDI ARABIA | The Saudi media ministry reports that more than 1.49 million foreign pilgrims have arrived in the country ahead of this year’s Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, which begins on Monday. This is the first such annual gathering without coronavirus-related restrictions since pandemic measures were put in place in 2020. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Volker Turk, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, warned today that escalating violence between Israeli forces and Palestinian fighters in the West Bank could spiral out of control. Reports note that an estimated 126 Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank and 24 Israelis have died in attacks by Palestinians so far this year. [more]

SOUTH AFRICA | According to the South African Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, at least 31 suspected illegal miners are believed to have died in a gas explosion at an abandoned gold mine in the city of Welkom. Officials say the explosion occurred on May 18, but that details of the incident are just now being uncovered. [more]

CHINA | Reports say at least four people were killed, and five others were injured, yesterday in an explosion at a steel mill in Yingkou, China. City emergency response officials say an equipment malfunction at the mill may have caused the explosion. [more]

U.K. ECONOMY | The Bank of England raised its key interest rate by a higher-than-expected half a percentage point yesterday to a 15-year high of 5%. [more]

MOSQUITO-BORNE DISEASES | Researchers at the European Center for Disease Prevention and Control say the increase in mosquito populations in Europe associated with climate change is elevating the risks to Europeans of mosquito-borne viral diseases such as dengue, yellow fever, chikungunya, zika, and West Nile viruses. [full report] [more]

CANADA | The Canadian Senate yesterday gave final approval to a bill that will require major online platforms such as Google and Facebook to pay media outlets for news content that they share or repurpose on their platforms. Reports say Facebook parent company Meta has confirmed that it will likely comply with the bill by ending news availability on Facebook and Instagram for its Canadian users. [more]

FOREVER CHEMICALS | Reports say chemical manufacturer 3M has agreed to pay at least $10.3 billion to settle lawsuits related to the contamination of public drinking water systems with per- and polyfluorinated substances — so-called “forever chemicals” that are used in a variety of products and that do not degrade naturally. [more]

BASKETBALL | The San Antonio Spurs selected 7-foot-4 Victor Wembanyama with the No. 1 overall pick in last night's 2023 NBA Draft. Alabama freshman forward Brandon Miller and G League Ignite’s Scoot Henderson were taken second and third, respectively, by the Charlotte Hornets and the Portland Trail Blazers. [more]

COLLEGE WORLD SERIES | LSU will face Florida in the best-of-three College World Series finals starting Saturday night after beating No. 1 Wake Forest, 2-0, last night in Omaha, Nebraska. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1961, the Antarctic Treaty was enacted, banning military activity on the continent and reserving it for free and nonpolitical scientific investigation. The treaty's original signatories were Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, and the United States -- all of which were active on the continent at the time. As of 2023, the treaty has 56 parties. [more history]

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