July 5, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 496 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • The governors of Russia’s Kursk and Belgorod regions, both of which border Ukraine, say Ukraine launched cross-border rocket and drone attacks on towns in their regions early today in which multiple private houses were damaged and at least one person was wounded. [more]
  • Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said today that no final decision has yet been made on whether to renew the U.N.- and Turkey-brokered deal allowing the export of grain from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, which expires on July 17. Russian officials have recently expressed their country's reluctance to renew the deal due to restrictions on exports of Russia's own grain and fertilizer. [more]

U.S. GUN VIOLENCE | Police in the U.S. capital of Washington, D.C., say nine people were wounded in a shooting incident shortly before 1 a.m. this morning when shots were fired from a vehicle at people attending an outdoor Fourth of July celebration in the city’s northeastern region. No arrests have yet been made in connection with the incident. [more]

U.S. SOCIAL MEDIA AND GOVERNMENT | Citing Biden administration communications with social media companies to try to address online postings that could result in vaccine hesitancy during the COVID-19 pandemic or affect elections, U.S. District Judge Terry Doughty granted an injunction yesterday barring several federal agencies and executive branch officials from contacting social media companies with the aim of “encouraging, pressuring, or inducing in any manner the removal, deletion, suppression, or reduction of content containing protected free speech.” [more]

WHITE HOUSE | Reports say the White House was briefly evacuated Sunday evening following the discovery of a suspicious white powder — later determined to be cocaine — in a common area of the building’s West Wing. Officials note that the substance was found in an area accessible to tour groups and that President Biden was not affected by the evacuation, as he was in Camp David for the weekend. [more]

U.S., CHINA, AND TAIWAN | Chinese Defense Ministry spokesperson Col. Tan Kefei said today that the latest round of U.S. weapons sales to Taiwan — a $440.2 million package that includes 30 mm ammunition and related equipment and spare parts for vehicles, small arms, and combat weapon systems — is “tantamount to accelerating the transformation of Taiwan into a ‘powder keg’ and pushing the Taiwanese people into the abyss of disaster.” [more]

GLOBAL TEMPERATURE RECORD | Scientists at the University of Maine’s Climate Reanalyzer project say Monday, July 3, was the hottest day on record, with the average global temperature reaching a record 62.62 degrees Fahrenheit (or 17.01 degrees Celsius), surpassing the previous record high set in August 2016. [more]

SWEDEN AND NATO | NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg is scheduled to meet with senior officials from Turkey, Sweden, and Finland tomorrow for talks aimed at overcoming Turkey’s reluctance to ratify Sweden’s application to join the NATO alliance. [more]

ISRAEL AND WEST BANK | Israeli forces withdrew from the West Bank’s Jenin refugee camp today following two days of anti-militant operations that reports suggest were Israel’s strongest military activity in the occupied territory in nearly 20 years. Palestinian officials say at least 12 Palestinians were killed, and another 140 wounded, in the two days of violence. [more]

PAKISTAN | Authorities in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province say a suicide bomber targeted a security checkpoint in the region today, killing two soldiers and one civilian youth and wounding at least 14 others. [more]

CHINA | Authorities in China’s southwestern Chongqing municipality said today that at least 15 people have died in recent flooding brought on by prolonged heavy rains. Another four people remain missing in the region, according to reports from the official Xinhua News Agency. [more]

BIRD FLU | Reports cite officials from the Paris-based World Organization for Animal Health as saying that the West African country of Togo has reported a new outbreak of the highly virulent H5N1 bird flu on a poultry farm near the capital city of Lomé, and that the infection killed 1,450 of a flock of 1,500 birds. [more]

NETHERLANDS | Hundreds of flights at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport were canceled or delayed and all trains in the northern Netherlands were halted this morning due to strong storms that brought heavy winds to the region. [more]

SOCCER | Canada beat Cuba, 4-2, last night to advance to the quarterfinals of the CONCACAF Gold Cup, in which they will play the United States on Sunday. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1996, Dolly, a female Finn Dorset sheep, was born near Edinburgh, becoming the first mammal successfully cloned from adult somatic cells. Her birth was not publicly revealed until the following year. [more history]

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