August 22, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 544 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • According to a new British intelligence report, a Russian medium-range bomber was “highly likely destroyed” by a helicopter-style drone on August 19 at the Soltsky-2 airbase in Novgorod Oblast, some 650 km away from the Ukrainian border, adding weight to assessments that some drone attacks against Russian military targets are being launched from inside Russian territory since helicopter-style drones would not have the range to reach Soltsky-2 from outside the country. [more]
  • Russian defense officials say falling debris from four thwarted Ukrainian drone attacks on Moscow overnight damaged buildings and vehicles in the city’s western suburbs, but caused no casualties. [more]

HAWAII | Speaking yesterday during a visit to the Hawaiian island of Maui, President Joe Biden said the U.S. federal government will provide aid “for as long as it takes” for Maui to recover and rebuild from damage caused by recent wildfires, and pledged to respect sacred lands, cultures, and traditions during the rebuilding process. Officials say the death toll from the wildfires stands at 115 and that about 850 people remain missing. [more]

TROPICAL STORM HILARY | Officials with the U.S. National Hurricane Center say that while Tropical Storm Hilary — the first tropical storm to hit southern California in 84 years — has weakened as it moves inland, potentially life-threatening flooding from the storm can still be expected in affected areas, including portions of California, Nevada, Oregon, and Idaho. [more]

U.S. BANKING | Citing high funding costs and commercial real estate sector issues, S&P Global today downgraded its credit ratings and outlooks on multiple U.S. regional banks, including Associated Banc-Corp, Valley National Bancorp, UMB Financial Corp, Comerica Bank, S&T Bank, River City Bank, and KeyCorp. [more]

TRUMP GEORGIA ELECTION TRIAL | Former U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to surrender to authorities in Fulton County, Georgia, on Thursday, for processing prior to his trial on charges alleging actions taken to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election in Georgia. Bond for Trump has reportedly been set at $200,000, and formal arraignment is expected to take place during the week of September 5. As part of his pre-arraignment order, the former president was warned against intimidating co-defendants, witnesses, or victims in the case. [more]

TRUMP FEDERAL ELECTION TRIAL | Federal prosecutors filed an objection yesterday to an April 2026 start date proposed by attorneys for former President Donald Trump for his 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]

RSV VACCINE | The U.S. Food and Drug Administration yesterday issued its first approval for a vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, for use in pregnant women so their newborns will be protected against the virus from birth. Pfizer's Abrysvo vaccine is intended to protect infants from RSV through the first six months of life.  [more]

JAPAN | Tokyo Electric Power Company will reportedly begin releasing treated and diluted radioactive wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant into the Pacific Ocean as early as this Thursday. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida gave final approval to the release plan today and pledged that safety and monitoring measures will last throughout the years of planned wastewater releases. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | According to a new report from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, there have been at least 800 instances of extrajudicial killing, arbitrary arrest and detention, torture and ill-treatment and enforced disappearance carried out against individuals affiliated with the former government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and its security forces since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021. [press release] [full report] [more]

NIGER | Amidst Niger’s ongoing military coup, the African Union has suspended Niger, with immediate effect, from membership in the continent-wide bloc and called for the international community to not take any actions to legitimize the power of Niger's military leaders. [more]

PAKISTAN | The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for a vehicle ambush today in Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in which six Pakistani army soldiers were killed. [more]

GREECE | Reports say at least eight villages and a city hospital were evacuated in northeastern Greece overnight as firefighters battle fast-spreading wildfires in the Alexandroupolis region. [more]

DUBAI | Administrators of Dubai International Airport — the world’s busiest for international travel — said today that the airport served some 41.6 million passengers in the first half of 2023, exceeding 2019’s pre-pandemic service levels for the same period. [more]

THAILAND | With the support of more than half of Thailand’s parliament today, real estate mogul Srettha Thavisin has been cleared to form a coalition government and become the country’s new prime minister. [more]

BASKETBALL | The NBA’s New York Knicks yesterday sued the Toronto Raptors, alleging that former player-development assistant Ikechukwu Azotam provided Knicks’ scouting reports and other confidential materials to the Raptors. [more]

NCAA FOOTBALL | The University of Michigan has announced a self-imposed three-game suspension for head football coach Jim Harbaugh as part of NCAA investigations into alleged recruiting violations. [more]

CHESS | Five-time world chess champion Magnus Carlsen is set to play 18-year-old Rameshbabu Praggnanandhaa today in Azerbaijan for the Chess World Cup title. [more]

ENTERTAINMENT | More than 3,000 movie theaters in the U.S. are expected to take part in this year’s National Cinema Day by charging just $4 for tickets to all movies on Sunday, August 27. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1485, Henry Tudor, the future King Henry VII, defeated the Yorkist king Richard III in the Battle of Bosworth Field, effectively ending the Wars of the Roses and establishing the Tudor dynasty on the English throne.   [more history]

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