August 2, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 524 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian military officials say Russian drone strikes in the region of the Black Sea port city of Odesa overnight damaged a grain storage facility and caused a fire at transportation and shipping facilities that process grain exports. [more]
  • A new report from humanitarian law firm Global Rights Compliance’s Mobile Justice Team says its investigation into the treatment of prisoners in Ukraine’s Russia-occupied Kherson region found that 43% of 320 cases examined showed evidence of torture, including beatings and sexual assault, against Ukrainian prisoners by Russian guards. [more]

TRUMP INDICTMENT | In an indictment returned by a federal grand jury and released by the U.S. Justice Department yesterday, former U.S. President Donald Trump was charged with four felony crimes related to alleged actions taken to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and block the transfer of power. The four charges include: Conspiracy to Defraud the United States, Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, Obstruction of and Attempt to Obstruct an Official Proceeding, and Conspiracy Against Rights. In a statement on the indictment, special counsel Jack Smith said that Trump remains innocent until proven guilty in a court of law and urged everyone to read the full indictment. [full indictment document: online | PDF] [more]

U.S. DEBT RATING | Fitch Ratings yesterday downgraded the U.S. government’s credit rating from the highest-possible AAA level to AA+ — the second time in the country’s history that its credit rating has been cut, the first being a downgrade by ratings agency Standard & Poor’s in 2011. Fitch cited rising debt levels at the local, state, and federal level and a “steady deterioration in standards of governance” as reasons for its downgrade. [more]

COVID-19 | The U.S. National Institutes of Health yesterday announced the opening of its RECOVER Phase II clinical trials aimed at testing multiple treatments for long COVID, which is marked by long-term symptoms following infection by SARS-Cov-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, and which is reported to affect between 10% and 30% of people recovering from coronavirus infection. [trial information] [more]

U.S.-MEXICO BORDER | Reports say 1,100 of 1,500 active-duty U.S. military troops deployed to the U.S.-Mexico border to fill support roles earlier this year will be withdrawn from the border region by August 8, with the remaining 400 scheduled to continue their roles through August 31. [more]

MICHIGAN | Prosecutors in Michigan filed charges against two allies of former President Donald Trump yesterday in connection with allegations that they illegally accessed and tampered with voting machines in the state following the 2020 elections. Those charged were former Republican state attorney general candidate Matthew DePerno and Daire Rendon, a former Republican state representative. [more]

NEW JERSEY | Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver — the first Black woman to hold statewide office in New Jersey — died yesterday after a sudden illness while serving as acting governor during Gov. Phil Murphy’s family vacation in Italy. [more]

CHINA | According to the Beijing Meteorological Bureau, the Chinese capital region recorded 29.3 inches (744.8 milliliters) of rain between Sunday and this morning — its highest rainfall total in 140 years. At least 20 people are reported to have died and many areas in the capital region have experienced power and water outages, as well as road closures, due to severe flooding. [more]

MORE CHINA | The Chinese government’s Cyberspace Administration proposed new regulations yesterday under which people under the age of 18 would be blocked from accessing the internet on mobile devices from 10pm to 6am and time limits — two hours per day for users aged 16-18, one hour for those 8-16, and eight minutes for children under eight — would be imposed on daily usage of smartphones. [more]

IRAN | According to Iranian state-run news agency IRNA, Iran’s paramilitary Revolutionary Guard launched previously unannounced military drills on the disputed Abu Musa and Greater Tunb islands in the Persian Gulf today. The two islands are also claimed by the United Arab Emirates. [more]

POLAND | The Polish Defense Ministry said yesterday that it was increasing troop levels on the country’s border with Belarus following the violation of Polish airspace by a Belarusian helicopter. Belarus has denied the violation and has accused Poland of making up the accusation to justify a troop buildup. [more]

TYPHOON KHANUN | Officials in Japan’s Okinawa prefecture say at least one person has been killed, more than 20 others have been injured, and hundreds of domestic and international flights in and out of the Naha airport have been canceled as Typhoon Khanun passes through the region. [more]

EL SALVADOR | Reports say as many as 7,000 military troops and 1,000 police officers in El Salvador have been ordered to establish a security perimeter around the rural region of Cabañas in an effort to flush out gang members thought to be hiding there. The deployment was ordered by President Nayib Bukele as part of his ongoing war on gangs, which has seen more than 70,000 suspected gang members arrested since March 2022. [more]

BASEBALL | Houston Astros pitcher Framber Valdez, in last night’s 2-0 win over the Cleveland Guardians, threw Major League Baseball’s third no-hitter of the season and the 16th in Houston Astros history. [more]

HOLLYWOOD | The Writers Guild of America, whose members have been on strike for about three months, will reportedly meet with studio representatives on August 4 for talks aimed at restarting negotiations between the two sides. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1990, Iraq invaded Kuwait. Saddam Hussein's subsequent refusal to withdraw his troops from Kuwait sparked the Persian Gulf War.  [more history]

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