June 27, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 488 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In its daily intelligence report, the U.K. Ministry of Defense says that new Ukrainian military advances in the country’s eastern Donbas region constitute “one of the first instances since Russia's February 2022 invasion that Ukrainian forces have highly likely recaptured an area of territory occupied by Russia since 2014.” [more]
  • The U.S. is expected to announce a new $500 million military aid package to Ukraine today, consisting of more than 50 armored vehicles, missiles for the Patriot and HIMARS systems, demolition and obstacle-clearing equipment, and artillery and small arms ammunition. [more]

INTERNET INFRASTRUCTURE | Calling high-speed internet access a necessity and pledging such access for every home in the U.S. by 2030, President Joe Biden announced more than $40 billion in funding yesterday for the expansion of high-speed internet access in every U.S. state. [more]

GUANTANAMO | Releasing her new 23-page report to the U.N. Human Rights Council yesterday, Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, the first independent U.N. investigator to visit the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, said that the 30 men still being held at the facility are subject to “ongoing cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment under international law.” Responding to the report, U.S. officials said “the United States disagrees in significant respects with many factual and legal assertions” made in the report. [more]

LOUISIANA | The U.S. Supreme Court ruled yesterday that a lawsuit challenging a new congressional districting map in Louisiana can move forward to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Opponents of the new map, which was used in last year’s mid-term elections, say it violates the Voting Rights Act by creating just a single majority-Black district in a state where about one-third of residents are Black. [more]

MISSOURI | Reports say 26-year-old Keivon Greene was charged with first-degree assault and armed criminal action yesterday in connection with a weekend shooting in Kansas City, Missouri, that killed three people and wounded six others. Prosecutors are expected to file additional charges against Greene, and police say a second suspect in the case is being sought. [more]

NEW YORK CITY | A plan from New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority to charge large tolls to drive in high-traffic areas of the city received approval from the Federal Highway Administration yesterday. The new tolls, plans for which are still being finalized, are expected to be implemented in 2024, and could raise as much as $1 billion per year for MTA projects, according to reports. [more]

TRUMP TRIALS | U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein is scheduled to hear arguments today on a request by attorneys for Donald Trump to move the former president’s case regarding alleged falsification of business records related to hush money payments made during the 2016 presidential campaign from state to federal court. Such changes in jurisdiction are allowed under U.S. law if they involve actions taken by federal government officials as part of their official duties, but are rarely granted, according to reports. [more]

MORE TRUMP TRIALS | Multiple U.S. media outlets, including CNN and  CBS, have published an audio clip of former President Donald Trump apparently discussing a “highly classified” document about potential U.S. military plans for Iran with people working on the memoir of his former chief of staff Mark Meadows. The audio clip is thought to be part of evidence collected for the criminal trial related to Trump’s possession of classified materials after leaving office. [more]

RUSSIA | The Russian Federal Security Service says it has closed its investigation into Saturday’s armed rebellion by Yevgeny Prigozhin’s Wagner mercenary group. In a speech last night, President Vladimir Putin said that mercenary troops who took part in the Wagner action could either swear allegiance to Russia and join its military or leave the country for Belarus. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | According to a new report from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, 3,774 Afghan civilians have been killed or wounded in violent attacks since the Taliban takeover in 2021, with three quarters of such casualties having been caused by indiscriminate improvised explosive devices or IEDs. [more]

INDONESIA | Indonesian President Joko Widodo today launched a reparations program for victims of state human rights abuses related to 12 violent government campaigns in which at least 500,000 people are estimated to have been killed between 1965 and 2003. [more]

HONDURAS | Following the deaths of 46 inmates in gang-related violence at a women’s prison last week, military police yesterday began to implement President Xiomara Castro’s plan to hand over control of the nation’s prison system to the Honduran military. [more]

JAPAN | The Tokyo Electric Power Company says construction of the equipment and tunnels needed to begin releasing treated wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean has been completed and is ready to undergo safety inspections. The wastewater release, which faces opposition from neighboring countries, fishing groups, and others, is expected to begin later this summer. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Amidst spiking levels of Israeli-Palestinian violence, the Israeli Defense Ministry committee that oversees settlement construction in the West Bank approved plans yesterday for the building of some 5,700 new homes in Jewish settlements in the West Bank. [more]

HOCKEY | Edmonton Oilers star Connor McDavid was named the National Hockey League’s most valuable player at last night’s 2023 NHL Awards ceremony — his third such award in his eight-year career. [more]

COLLEGE BASESBALL | LSU beat Florida, 18-4, last night in a decisive Game 3 to win the 2023 Men's College World Series in Omaha, Nebraska. [more]

COLLEGE SPORTS | University of Iowa basketball star Caitlin Clark was named Athlete of the Year at last night’s Collegiate Women Sports Awards ceremony in Los Angeles, California. Other finalists for the award were University of Texas volleyball player Logan Eggleston and Stanford University golf player Rose Zhang. [more]

R.I.P. | John Goodenough, co-recipient of the 2019 Nobel Prize in chemistry for his work in developing the lithium-ion battery, died Sunday at the age of 100, according to a release yesterday from the University of Texas at Austin, where Goodenough served on the faculty for nearly 40 years. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | First minted in 1869, the yen was adopted as Japan's official monetary unit on this date in 1871, when the government suspended the exchange of clan notes, money issued by feudal lords that had circulated since the 16th century.  [more history]

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