July 18, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 509 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • One day after withdrawing from the U.N.-brokered deal allowing the export of grain from Ukrainian Black Sea ports, Russian forces targeted the port city of Odesa overnight with 25 attack drones and six cruise missiles, according to Ukrainian authorities. All of the missiles and drones were shot down by air defenses, according to reports. [more]
  • Officials in Russia’s Belgorod region, which borders Ukraine, say at least five people were injured by Ukrainian artillery near the village of Shamino today. [more]

IOWA | District Court Judge Joseph Seidlin temporarily blocked Iowa’s new ban on most abortions in the state yesterday while legal challenges to the ban play out. The new ban, signed into law last week, bans prohibits most abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. [more]

CYBERSECURITY | The White House, tech manufacturers, and retailers are launching the new “U.S. Cyber Trust Mark” certification and labeling initiative today, which will allow consumers to identify smart and internet-connected devices that are less vulnerable to cyberattacks. The program, which has been compared to the “Energy Star” labeling program for describing products’ energy efficiency, is expected to be implemented in 2024. [more]

TEXAS | According to a report in the Houston Chronicle, which cites an e-mail from a Texas Department of Public Safety trooper that calls the policies inhumane, state border security officers have been ordered to push Mexican immigrants back into the Rio Grande River and have been told to not give water to asylum seekers. [more]

HEATWAVE | The World Meteorological Organization warned today that the ongoing heatwave affecting much of the northern hemisphere may be associated with increased risks of heart attack and death. [more]

ISRAEL AND U.S. | Israeli President Isaac Herzog will meet with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House today and is scheduled to address the U.S. Congress tomorrow. Herzog’s visit comes amidst ongoing concern over judicial reforms planned by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government. [more]

GREECE | Greek authorities have issued evacuation orders for thousands of people in at least six seaside communities near Athens due to two wildfires that have spread rapidly due to high winds. [more]

FRANCE | French lawmakers are expected to vote today on a policing reform bill that includes provisions allowing law enforcement agents to remotely access the cameras, microphones, and location services of phones and other internet-connected devices used by some criminal suspects. [more]

INDIA | Authorities in the Indian state of Assam said today that at least eight people have died in separate flooding-related incidents and more than 115,000 people have been displaced in the state since the Brahmaputra River overflowed its banks amidst heavy monsoon rains earlier this month. [more]

ISRAEL | Nationwide demonstrations are taking place in Israel today in opposition to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s proposed judicial overhaul that seeks to give lawmakers greater control over the appointment of judges, grant parliament the power to overturn high court decisions, and pass laws impervious to judicial review. [more]

KOREA | Amidst ongoing tensions with North Korea over its missile testing program, a nuclear-capable U.S. ballistic missile submarine, the USS Kentucky, made a port call in South Korea today — the first visit to South Korea by this type of submarine in nearly 40 years. [more]

MORE KOREA | The United Nations Command overseeing the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea says an American citizen crossed the DMZ from south to north without authorization today and has been taken into custody by North Korean authorities. [more]

U.K. | The British government’s controversial Illegal Migration Bill, which would prevent most people from claiming asylum in the U.K. without permission and deport them to their country of origin or a third country, such as Rwanda, is on track to become law in the coming days after final proposed amendments to the bill were voted down in Parliament early today. [more]

HOLLYWOOD | The Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers said yesterday that it offered SAG-AFTRA actors’ union members more than $1 billion in compensation and benefit increases before the union went on strike late last week. [more]

ENTERTAINMENT | Singer Taylor Swift’s album ““Speak Now (Taylor’s Version)” debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard charts this month, making it her 12th No. 1 album — the most ever for a female recording artist. The record was previously held by Barbara Streisand. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1976, for her performance on the uneven parallel bars at the Olympic Games in Montreal, Nadia Comăneci of Romania became the first gymnast to be awarded a perfect score of 10 in an Olympic gymnastics event.  [more history]

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