August 25, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 547 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Russian officials say Ukraine attacked the annexed region of Crimea overnight with a coordinated attack involving 42 drones and that all the attack platforms were destroyed or suppressed by air defenses or electronic countermeasures. [more]
  • Following recent announcements by Denmark, the Netherlands, and Norway that they will provide Ukraine with U.S.-made F-16 fighter jets, U.S. military officials said yesterday that Ukrainian pilots will be trained to operate the fighter jets at a base in Arizona beginning in October. [more]

TRUMP GEORGIA ELECTION TRIAL | Former U.S. President Donald Trump surrendered for pre-trial booking at the Fulton County, Georgia, jail yesterday, in connection with his pending trial on charges that he conspired to overturn the results of the 2020 election in the state. Trump was released on a $200,000 bond, and is scheduled to be arraigned in the case on September 5. Also in the Georgia case, Trump co-defendant Kenneth Chesebro’s formal request for a speedy trial has been accepted by the court, with an October 23 start date having been set. [more]

HAWAII | Maui County filed a lawsuit yesterday against Hawaiian Electric Company, saying the company contributed to the area's recent wildfires in which more than 100 people were killed by failing to shut off power despite dry condition and high winds from a passing storm. The company said in a statement that it was disappointed that the county “chose this litigious path while the investigation is still unfolding.” [more]

U.S. MORTGAGES | Mortgage company Freddie Mac reports that the average interest rate on a 30-year home loan in the U.S. rose to 7.23% this week - the highest level since 2001. [more]

U.S. HIRING | The Department of Justice yesterday sued Elon Musk’s SpaceX rocket company, alleging hiring discrimination by the company against refugees and people seeking or already granted asylum. The DOJ lawsuit, filed in an administrative court, claims SpaceX wrongfully claimed that U.S. law barred it from hiring anyone but U.S. citizens and permanent residents and seeks “fair consideration and back pay” for people deterred from or denied employment at SpaceX due to the company’s alleged discrimination. [more]

DIGITAL REGULATION | The European Union’s online safety and anti-disinformation Digital Services Act takes effect today, with 19 companies or services initially subject to the regulations based on self-reported user-base sizes. The companies include: social media platforms Facebook, TikTok, X (formerly known as Twitter), YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and Snapchat; online marketplaces Amazon,, Alibaba, AliExpress, and Zalando; mobile app stores Google Play and Apple’s App Store; search engines Google and Bing; and both Google Maps and Wikipedia. [more]

PAKISTAN | The United Nations children’s agency, UNICEF, said today that an estimated 4 million children in Pakistan continue to need humanitarian aid, including food and access to safe water, a year after the country’s devastating floods that caused more than $30 billion in damage and killed more than 1,700 people. [more]

RUSSIA | The Associated Press cites unnamed U.S. officials as saying preliminary intelligence assessments suggest this week’s plane crash that killed Yevgeny Prigozhin, the leader of Russian mercenary group Wagner, was caused by an “intentional explosion.” While Prigozhin’s death is widely seen as an assassination in response to the aborted Wagner uprising he led against Russian military leadership in June, Russian government officials, including Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, have called the accusation of government involvement an "absolute lie." [more]

BIODIVERSITY | Environmental leaders from 185 countries met in Vancouver, Canada, yesterday to establish a multibillion-dollar fund as part of the Kunming-Montreal Global Biodiversity Framework, which sets out goals and targets to promote “a world of living in harmony with nature where, by 2050, biodiversity is valued, conserved, restored and wisely used, maintaining ecosystem services, sustaining a healthy planet and delivering benefits essential for all people.” [more]

SOCCER | In the follow-up to the Women’s World Cup, won by Spain, world soccer governing body FIFA has released its latest ranking of women’s national teams, with Sweden at No. 1, followed by Spain, the United States, England, and France. The new rankings mark the first time the U.S. has not been in the top two since FIFA introduced women’s rankings in 2003. [more]

BASEBALL | Reports say Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg, a former No. 1 draft pick and the World Series MVP honoree in 2019, has decided to retire, with an announcement expected early next month. [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 1944, some two months after the Allied invasion of Normandy, Paris was liberated from German occupiers as the Free French 2nd Armored Division under General Philippe Leclerc entered the city. [more history]

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