July 4, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 495 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • The Russian Defense Ministry says four Ukrainian drones were shot down by air defenses on the outskirts of Moscow today, while another was forced down using electronic countermeasures. Reports indicate that the drone attack, which Ukrainian officials have not confirmed, caused a temporary closure of Moscow’s Vnukovo airport. [more]
  • Officials in the northeastern Ukrainian city of Sumy say at least three people were killed, and 21 others were injured, yesterday when Russian drones damaged two apartment buildings in the city. [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | Police in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, say a gunman opened fire, apparently randomly, in the city’s southwestern Kingsessing neighborhood last night, killing five people and wounding two others. Reports say the suspected shooter, a 40-year-old man, surrendered to police after being chased into an alley. [more]

MORE U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | Reports say at least three people were killed, and eight others were wounded, late last night when an unknown gunman fired into a large crowd gathered to watch a July 4 fireworks display in a parking lot in Fort Worth, Texas. Police say no arrests have been made in connection with the shooting and that no motive has yet been identified. [more]

U.S. MATERNAL MORTALITY | According to a new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the U.S. rate of maternal mortality — defined as death during pregnancy or up to a year afterward — more than doubled between 1999 and 2019, exclusive of the coronavirus pandemic, with Black mothers having the highest rate and the rates in American Indian and Native Alaskan mothers showing the largest increases over the study period. [more]

NATO | Member nations of the NATO alliance agreed today to extend Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg’s term in office by one year after no consensus could be reached on appointing a replacement. Stoltenberg, who has served in the post since 2014, is the alliance’s second-longest serving secretary-general after former Dutch foreign minister Joseph Luns. [more]

EL NIÑO | The World Meteorological Organization declared the onset of El Niño conditions for the first time in seven years today and said it expects a surge in global temperatures and disruptive weather and climate patterns across large parts of the world as a result of the weather pattern, which is characterized by increased water surface temperatures in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Israeli forces continued large-scale anti-militant operations in the West Bank refugee camp of Jenin for a second straight day today. Palestinian officials say 10 Palestinians have been killed in the action and that more than 4,000 residents of Jenin have fled the area since the Israeli action began yesterday. [more]

MORE ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Police in Tel Aviv, Israel, say at least seven people were injured today in a car-ramming and stabbing attack carried out by an assailant believed to be a Palestinian from the West Bank. [more]

JAPAN | International Atomic Energy Agency head Rafael Grossi met with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida today to submit the IAEA’s final report on the planned release of treated radioactive wastewater from the damaged Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean. According to reports, the IAEA has approved Japan's plan, saying it is consistent with global safety standards and that the release would have a "negligible radiological impact to people and the environment".  [more]

TURKEY AND EGYPT | For the first time in a decade, Turkey and Egypt appointed ambassadors to each other’s nations today in a move aimed at restoring full diplomatic ties that have been strained since the military ouster of Egypt’s Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in 2013. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | According to a notice released by the Taliban administration’s Ministry for the Prevention of Vice and Propagation of Virtue today, all hair and beauty salons for women in Afghanistan must close within one month. [more]

BASEBALL | Atlanta Braves outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. became the first Major League Baseball player to reach 20 home runs, 40 stolen bases, and 50 runs batted in before the All-Star break last night, stealing his 40th base during Atlanta’s 4-2 win over the Cleveland Guardians. [more]

TENNIS | Women’s tennis legend Venus Williams, 43, lost to Elina Svitolina yesterday in the first round of the 2023 Wimbledon tournament in London, England. Williams was the oldest player at Wimbledon this year and the fourth-oldest to ever compete in the tournament's main draw. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, which called for the American colonies to secede from Great Britain, a proclamation now commemorated as the birthday of the United States of America. [more history]

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