August 18, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 540 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Officials in Moscow say a Ukrainian drone shot down by Russian air defenses over the city last night damaged a portion of the Moscow Expo Center and disrupted air traffic at all regional airports. Reports note that the Expo Center is located less than 5 kilometers from the Kremlin. [more]
  • The United States has reportedly approved plans by the Netherlands and Denmark to provide U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets to Ukraine. [more]

U.S., JAPAN, AND SOUTH KOREA | U.S. President Joe Biden is hosting South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida this weekend at Camp David, Maryland, where strengthening economic and security ties between their three countries is expected to top the agenda. [more]

U.S. MORTGAGES | Mortgage company Freddie Mac said yesterday that the average interest rate on a 30-year, fixed-rate home loan in the U.S. rose to 7.09% this week — up from 6.96% last week and the highest average rate since April 2002. [more]

TRUMP FEDERAL ELECTION TRIAL | Lawyers for former President Donald Trump proposed an April 2026 start date for Trump’s federal trial on charges that he attempted to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Prosecutors have proposed a January 2024 trial date and the judge in the case has indicated she intends to set a tentative start date during a hearing later this month. [more]

TRUMP GEORGIA ELECTION TRIAL | Police in Fulton County, Georgia, say they are investigating threats against members of the grand jury that indicted former President Donald Trump and 18 others on charges of conspiring to overturn Trump’s 2020 election loss in the state. The investigation follows the online posting earlier this week of personal information, including names, addresses, and social media accounts, of the grand jury members. [more]

JANUARY 6 | According to court documents filed yesterday, the U.S. Justice Department is seeking a 33-year prison sentence for Enrique Tarrio, former leader of the far-right Proud Boys group, who was convicted of seditious conspiracy for actions surrounding the January 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol. [more]

U.S. AND MEXICO | Alleging that a ban by Mexico on importing genetically modified corn for human consumption violates the United States-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement, the U.S. Trade Representative Office has formally requested a dispute settlement panel study the issue and release its findings. Mexico has denied that the ban violates the free trade agreement. [more]

HURRICANE HILARY | The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Hilary, currently at Category 4 strength off Mexico’s Pacific coast, could bring heavy rain and storm conditions to parts of southern California, Arizona, and Nevada this weekend into Monday.  In Mexico, the storm has prompted hurricane and tropical storm warnings and watch alerts in the states of Baja California Sur and Baja California. [more].

CANADA | Officials in Canada’s Northwest Territories province say approximately 6,800 residents of the province have been evacuated due to wildfires that are now approaching the provincial capital of Yellowknife. An additional 22 flights carrying 1,800 people are expected to leave the city today. [more]

CHINA | Reporting on yesterday’s meeting of China’s ruling Politburo Standing Committee, the official Xinhua News Agency says Chinese leaders have called for increased measures to mitigate and recover from widespread flooding in and around Beijing, where scores of residents are reported to have died in floods over the past two months. [more]

PAKISTAN | Authorities in Pakistan’s eastern Faisalabad district say two Christians have been arrested on charges of blasphemy following two days of riots in which area Muslim residents, angered by alleged desecrations of the Koran, burned churches and homes of minority Christians. [more]

WOMEN’S WORLD CUP | Spain and England will play for the 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup title Sunday morning (U.S. Eastern Time), while Australia and Sweden will face off for third place in the tournament Saturday morning. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1920, the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was ratified after Tennessee became the 36th state to approve it, capping the 72-year fight to win women the right to vote in the United States. [more history]

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