June 28, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 489 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian officials say at least 10 people were killed, and 61 others were wounded, yesterday in a Russian missile strike on a popular restaurant in the eastern Ukraine city of Kramatorsk. [more]
  • A new Reuters/Ipsos survey indicates that most Americans support the U.S. providing military aid to Ukraine to defend against the Russian invasion, with 81% of Democrats, 56% of Republicans, and 57% of independents in favor of supplying U.S. weapons to Ukraine. [more]

SUPREME COURT | In Moore v. Harper, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled 6-3 yesterday that election rules set by state legislatures can be reviewed and adjudicated in state courts. The ruling, grounded in a challenge to congressional districts drawn by North Carolina’s legislature, is seen as a rejection of the independent state legislature theory, which holds that legislatures have absolute power in setting the rules of federal elections in their states. [more]

COVID FRAUD | A new report from the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of Inspector General estimates that the SBA disbursed over $200 billion in potentially fraudulent COVID-19 pandemic-related Economic Injury Disaster and Paycheck Protection Program loans, representing about 17% of all such funds disbursed by the agency, and notes that nearly $30 billion of the fraudulent loan funds have been seized or returned to the SBA in subsequent actions. [full report] [more]

OKLAHOMA | Presenting her audit of Oklahoma’s fiscal year 2021 spending, state Auditor & Inspector Cindy Byrd said yesterday that mismanagement and lack of compliance and oversight led to the improper spending of more than $29 million in federal funds, much of it related to COVID-19 relief measures. [more]

ARIZONA | Reports say more than 1,000 residents of Scottsdale, Arizona, were ordered to evacuate yesterday following the outbreak of a fire in the city’s northern region that burned an estimated 2,500 acres within hours. [more]

AIR QUALITY | Air quality advisories and alerts were issued in multiple U.S. states yesterday following a resurgence of smoke levels from Canadian wildfires in the Great Lakes region. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, parts of Illinois, lower Michigan and southern Wisconsin had the worst air quality in the country yesterday, and air quality in Chicago, Detroit and Milwaukee was categorized as “very unhealthy.” [more]

COVID WORKFORCE | According to U.S. Census Bureau data released yesterday, the share of U.S. jobs worked on-site dropped about 10% from 84% in 2019 to 74% in 2021, the first full year of the COVID-19 pandemic, while the share of jobs done exclusively from home rose from 11% to about 21% over the same period. [more]

U.S. EMPLOYMENT LAW | The federal Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, signed into law by President Joe Biden last year, went into effect yesterday. The new law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to workers for known limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. [more]

SUDAN | The U.N. High Commission for Refugees said yesterday that ongoing violence between Sudan’s military and paramilitary forces, which is thought to have killed more than 3,000 people already in 10 weeks of conflict, is likely to force more than 1 million refugees to flee the northeast African nation by October. [more]

MEXICO | Authorities in Mexico’s southern state of Chiapas say 14 state police officers were abducted by unidentified gunmen yesterday, prompting the deployment of federal and local forces to locate them. [more]

FRANCE | Reports say at least 31 people were arrested, 25 police officers injured, and 40 cars burned in overnight unrest in multiple French cities following the death of a 17-year-old delivery driver who was shot and killed during a police check in the Paris suburb of Nanterre yesterday. Authorities say the police officer who shot the victim has been detained and that the police presence in Paris and other cities has been increased to deal with protests. [more]

JAPAN | As part of its National Defense Strategy, the Japanese government today released guidelines for the development of defense technology and urged private firms and research institutes to collaborate in defense-related development. [more]

U.K. | In a report released today, the U.K. food bank charity Trussell Trust says that about one in seven people in the U.K. — or about 11.3 million people — experienced food insecurity in 2022, caused largely by high inflation and “weaknesses in the social security system.” [full report] [more]

NEW ZEALAND AND CHINA | As part of a week-long visit to China, New Zealand Prime Minister Chris Hipkins yesterday signed cooperative agreements between the two countries aimed at strengthening trade, food security, and agriculture relations and expanding e-commerce, green economy, and electric vehicle cooperation. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, and his consort, Sophie, were assassinated by Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo, Bosnia, precipitating the outbreak of World War I.  [more history]

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