August 29, 2023


Listen to this issue.

UKRAINE | Today is day 551 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • According to a new United Nations children’s agency report, four years of educational disruption in Ukraine – comprising periods of the COVID-19 pandemic and the Russian invasion – have resulted in significantly lower school attendance and educational performance by school-age children in the country. [more]
  • Russian news agency TASS reports that Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Hakan Fidan will meet in the “near future” in Moscow for talks centered on a possible resumption of the deal allowing the export of grain from Ukraine’s Black Sea ports. [more]

HURRICANE IDALIA | A state of emergency has been declared in 46 Florida counties ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Idalia, which is expected to reach the state’s Gulf coast tomorrow as a category 2 or 3 storm. [more]

TRUMP FEDERAL ELECTION TRIAL | Saying that “The public has a right to a prompt and efficient resolution of this matter,” U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan yesterday set March 4, 2024, as the start date for former President Donald Trump’s federal trial on charges of attempting to overturn the results of the 2020 election. Prosecutors had proposed a January 2024 start, while attorneys for Trump had proposed April 2026. [more]

HAWAII | Hawaiian Electric Company, which serves about 95% of electricity customers in the state, said in a statement this week that its power lines likely started a wildfire on Maui this month, but that Maui County’s failure to completely extinguish the fire led to further outbreaks that spread rapidly, killing at least 115 people and destroying more than 2,000 structures. Maui County has filed a lawsuit alleging that the utility company was responsible for the fires due to its failure to shut off power in high-risk conditions. [more]

NORTH CAROLINA | Officials at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill say a faculty member was killed in an on-campus shooting incident yesterday that led to an hours-long lockdown at the school. A suspect was taken into custody hours after the shooting.  [more]

AIR TRAVEL | The U.S. Department of Transportation yesterday announced a record $4.1 million fine against American Airlines for violating federal statutes prohibiting tarmac delays of three hours or more on domestic flights without providing passengers an opportunity to deplane. The department says 43 American flights between 2018 and 2021 violated the delay provisions, affecting more than 5,800 passengers. [more]

U.S. PRESCRIPTION DRUGS | The Biden administration today announced its list of the first 10 prescription drugs that will be subject to the U.S. Medicare health program’s first-ever price negotiations, as provided for in the Inflation Reduction Act. The drugs include: Eliquis, Jardiance, Xarelto, Januvia, Farxiga, Entresto, Enbrel, Imbruvica, Stelara, and Fiasp and certain other insulins made by Novo Nordisk. Reports note that any price changes resulting from the negotiations would not take effect until 2026. [negotiation program report] [White House fact sheet] [more]

U.S. AND CHINA | According to reports, Chinese Vice Premier He Lifeng told U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo during a meeting in Beijing today that China is ready to make “new positive efforts” to improve U.S-China cooperation and reduce trade tensions. [more]

SOUTH ASIA | According to an Air Quality Life Index report published today by the University of Chicago’s Energy Policy Institute, residents of South Asia – home to the world’s four most polluted countries: Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and Pakistan – can be expected to lose, on average, about five years of life expectancy at current pollution levels. [full report] [more]

TAIWAN | Taiwanese defense officials said today that military tensions on the island are at high risk of a “sharp increase” due to the detection of 12 Chinese military aircraft in Taiwan’s air defense zone and the presence of five Chinese ships carrying out combat readiness patrols in the region this morning. [more]

JAPAN AND CHINA | Japanese Foreign Minister Yoshimasa Hayashi said today that Japan could seek a World Trade Organization ruling to reverse China's ban on all Japanese seafood imports that was imposed over the release of treated radioactive wastewater from the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant into the ocean. [more]

U.K. | Transportation officials in the U.K. say a technical issue, not a cyberattack, was responsible for a nationwide air traffic control system shutdown yesterday that resulted in hundreds of flight delays and cancellations. Flight schedules are expected to improve today, with the possibility of some carry-over effect from yesterday’s problems. [more]

HONG KONG | Reports say two men were arrested in Hong Kong yesterday on charges of violating the city’s Beijing-imposed national security law by conspiring to financially support people or organizations linked to pro-democracy protests in 2019. The arrests follow 10 others earlier this month on similar charges. [more]

PAKISTAN | According to attorneys for former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Islamabad High Court has suspended Khan’s conviction on corruption charges and his related three-year prison sentence. Reports say Khan will eventually face a retrial on the charges but that the ruling allows him to participate in upcoming parliamentary elections. [more]

JAPAN | Reports say all 28 vehicle assembly lines at automaker Toyota’s 14 production plants in Japan were shut down today due to a computer system issue. According to the company, the issue does not appear to have been caused by a cyberattack. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 2005, Hurricane Katrina struck the U.S. Gulf Coast and devastated the area, especially New Orleans, which experienced catastrophic flooding after its levees were breached the following day.  [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

Sign up for a free or supporting membership to further our mission.