August 15, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 537 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Overnight Russian missile attacks in the western Ukraine region of Lviv damaged multiple civilian buildings and killed or injured several residents, according to local officials. Among the sites heavily damaged in the attacks was a kindergarten in the city of Lviv. [more]
  • The U.S. yesterday announced a new $200 million military aid package for Ukraine, consisting of air defense munitions, artillery rounds, mine-clearing equipment, and anti-armor capabilities. Also, Sweden is expected to announce its latest military aid package to Ukraine today, valued at some $313 million, and consisting mainly of ammunition and spare parts for previously delivered weapon systems. [more]

TRUMP GEORGIA INDICTMENT | A Fulton County, Georgia, grand jury returned criminal indictments against former U.S. President Donald Trump and 18 allies yesterday in connection with attempts to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in the state. Others charged in the 41-counts specified in the indictments, which allege that defendants engaged in a criminal racketeering enterprise, include: former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, Trump’s personal attorney Rudy Giuliani, Trump administration Justice Department official Jeffrey Clark, and lawyers John Eastman, Sidney Powell and Kenneth Chesebro. [read the full indictment] [more]

MONTANA | In what reports say is the first time a U.S. court has ruled against a government for violating a constitutional right based on climate change, a Montana judge ruled yesterday that a state policy for evaluating fossil fuel permits, while not allowing agencies to consider greenhouse gas emissions, violates residents’ constitutional right to a clean and healthful environment. [more]

COLORADO RIVER BASIN | The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation is expected to announce a slight easing of water usage cuts for 2024 along the Colorado River, which provides water for seven U.S. states, 29 Native American tribes, and two states in Mexico. [more]

HAWAII | Governor Josh Green said the death toll from last week’s wildfires on the Hawaiian island of Maui is expected to continue to rise as search and recovery crews work their way through affected areas. Ninety-nine people have been confirmed dead in the wake of the fires, and the Biden administration is reported to be seeking $12 billion in disaster relief aid for the region. [more]

U.S. MILITARY | With the retirement of Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Mike Gilday yesterday, the U.S. Navy joined the Army and Marine Corps in not having a confirmed leader due to the blocking of military nominations led by Alabama Senator Tommy Tuberville over abortion-related Pentagon policies. [more]

U.S., SOUTH KOREA, AND JAPAN | Amidst increased concern over North Korea’s nuclear program, reports say U.S. President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol are expected to announce plans for expanded ballistic missile defense and technology cooperation when the leaders meet Friday at the presidential retreat at Camp David, Maryland. [more]

RUSSIA | Amidst continued devaluation of the ruble, which has lost almost a third of its value since the beginning of 2023, Russia’s central bank increased its key interest rate by 3.5 percentage points to 12% yesterday. [more]

MORE RUSSIA | Officials in Russia’s southern republic of Dagestan have declared a day of mourning following a fire and resulting explosion at a gas station in the city of Makhachkala that killed 30 people and injured at least 75 others. [more]

CHINESE ECONOMY | In a continuation of recent signs of a slowing Chinese economy, government data released yesterday shows that consumer spending, factory output, and export demand all declined in July. [more]

JAPAN | Typhoon Lan made landfall on the Japanese island of Honshu early today, cutting off power to tens of thousands of homes and businesses. Reports say the storm has prompted the cancellation of nearly 900 flights across Japan and that more than 200,000 people have been ordered to evacuate to safe areas. [more]

MALAYSIA | The Malaysian high court yesterday acquitted former Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin of four charges of abuse of power yesterday in connection with allegations of obtaining bribes for his Bersatu political party. Yassin still faces three related charges of money laundering. [more]

FRANCE | Reports say as many as 650 firefighters took part in efforts to control a fire that broke out in southwestern France’s Pyrénées-Orientales region yesterday. Authorities say 17 firefighters were injured while fighting the blaze, and that some 3,000 vacationers and residents were evacuated from the area. [more]

HOLLYWOOD | More than 100 days into its ongoing strike, the Writers Guild of America is expected to respond this week to the latest contract proposal from major television and movie studios. Reports say talks between the two sides could also resume this week. [more]

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP | Spain beat Sweden, 2-1, today to advance to this weekend’s 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup final, where they will face the winner of tomorrow’s match between Australia and England. [more]

NCAA FOOTBALL | Georgia leads the AP preseason top 25 ranking for the upcoming college football season, followed by Michigan, Ohio State, Alabama, and LSU. [full rankings] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1947, after three decades of independence movements, India was established as a free and independent country, ending nearly 200 years of British rule.   [more history]

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