July 12, 2023


Listen to this issue.

UKRAINE | Today is day 503 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • NATO alliance members meeting in Lithuania announced the formation of a new NATO-Ukraine Council yesterday as a framework for consultations and emergency meetings regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Alliance members did not, however, offer a specific timeline for Ukraine to join NATO, choosing to conclude that Ukraine can join “when allies agree and conditions are met.” [more]
  • Members of the G7 group of leading economies — the U.S., Germany, Japan, France, Canada, Italy, and the U.K. — are expected to unveil a new security framework for Ukraine in the near future, according to British officials. In the new framework, the G7 will reportedly “set out how allies will support Ukraine over the coming years to end the war and deter and respond to any future attack.” [more]

LAW ENFORCEMENT | FBI Director Christopher Wray is scheduled to testify today before the House Judiciary Committee, which is leading multiple investigations into allegations that the Bureau unfairly targets conservatives. [more]

U.S. BANKING | The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau yesterday ordered Bank of America to pay customers more than $100 million and fines totaling about $150 million for charging overdraft fees multiple times, withholding promised reward bonuses on credit cards, and opening accounts without customer consent. [more]

NORTHEASTERN U.S. FLOODING | Federal Emergency Management Agency teams are assessing damage in multiple northeastern U.S. states, including New York, Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire, following this week’s heavy rains and flooding that damaged homes, snarled traffic, and closed roads in the region. [more]

JUDICIAL ETHICS | In response to an Associated Press investigative series on Supreme Court ethics, Senator Dick Durbin, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, called yesterday for the U.S. Supreme Court to establish an ethics code to which justices would be bound, similar to what is standard in other branches of government. [more]

ENVIRONMENTAL REGULATION | The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a final rule yesterday that mandates a 40% overall reduction in the production and use of hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs, in the U.S. between 2024 and 2028. The agency notes that “HFCs are a class of potent greenhouse gases commonly used in refrigeration and air conditioning, aerosols, and foam products. Their climate impact can be hundreds to thousands of times stronger than the same amount of carbon dioxide.” [more]

HOLLYWOOD | The Screen Actors Guild -American Federation of Television and Radio Artists union agreed yesterday to join federal mediation efforts with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, but expressed doubt on whether an agreement on pay and other issues could be reached ahead of a contract expiration at 11:59pm Pacific tonight. [more]

NORTH KOREA | South Korean and Japanese officials say an intercontinental ballistic missile fired by North Korea today flew about 1,000 km at a maximum altitude of 6,000 km before landing in the ocean. The launch was North Korea’s first of an ICBM in three months. [more]

RELIGIOUS HATRED | The U.N. Human Rights Council passed a resolution this morning calling for U.N. rights officials to publish a report on religious hatred around the world and for nations to review their related laws to identify and resolve gaps that could “impede the prevention and prosecution of acts and advocacy of religious hatred.” The resolution, introduced by Pakistan on behalf of the 57-nation Organization of Islamic Cooperation, was opposed by both the U.S. and the European Union, among others, who said it was designed to safeguard religious symbols rather than human rights. [more]

KENYA | Reports say police used teargas to disperse protesters today in the Kenyan capital of Nairobi and other cities amidst demonstrations sparked by recent tax hikes. [more]

CYBERSECURITY | Microsoft said yesterday that the China-based hacking group Storm-0558 recently breached e-mail accounts for some 25 organizations and government agencies in Western Europe and suggested that the group did so for "espionage, data theft, and credential access” purposes. Reports say U.S. government agencies may have been affected by the breach also. [more]

TECH AND GAMING MERGER | A federal judge ruled yesterday that Microsoft’s $69 billion proposed acquisition of video game company Activision Blizzard can move forward despite Federal Trade Commission objections over potential antitrust and competition issues. FTC officials have not yet indicated if they will appeal the ruling. [more]

TENNIS | Elina Svitolina beat No. 1-ranked Iga Swiatek yesterday to reach the semifinals at Wimbledon. Svitolina will play Marketa Vondrousova for a spot in Saturday’s tournament’s final. [full bracket: men / women] [more]

BASEBALL | Colorado catcher Elias Díaz hit a two-run go-ahead home run last night to lead the National League to a 3-2 win over the American League in Major League Baseball’s All-Star Game. Diaz was named the league’s All-Star Most Valuable Player after the game. [more]

R.I.P. | Award-winning Czech-born writer Milan Kundera, best known for his works “The Unbearable Lightness of Being” and “The Book of Laughter and Forgetting,” died yesterday in Paris at the age of 94, according to the Moravian Library, which houses the author’s personal collection. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1984, Democratic presidential candidate Walter F. Mondale put forward Geraldine Ferraro as his running mate, making her the first woman ever nominated for vice president by a major U.S. political party.  [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

Sign up for a free or supporting membership to further our mission.