September 5, 2023


Listen to this issue.

UKRAINE | Today is day 558 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Following weekend talks with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Russian President Vladimir Putin said today that the agreement allowing the export of Ukrainian grain from Black Sea ports will not be restored until international commitments facilitating the export of Russian agricultural products are met. [more]
  • More than 300 people were killed, and at least 600 were wounded, in Ukraine in 2022 by cluster munitions, according to the Cluster Munition Coalition, which advocates for a ban of the weapons. [more]
  • Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Hanna Maliar said yesterday that Ukraine’s forces have retaken about three square kilometers of territory from Russian forces in the area around Bakhmut in the past week as part of an ongoing counteroffensive in the region. [more]

COVID-19 | U.S. First lady Jill Biden tested positive for COVID-19 infection yesterday, but is experiencing only mild symptoms, according to White House officials. President Joe Biden, who is scheduled to attend the G-20 summit in India later this week, was tested following his wife’s infection, but tested negative. [more]

TEXAS | The impeachment trial of Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is scheduled to begin today in the Texas Senate. The state’s House of Representatives voted to impeach Paxton earlier this year on charges that include abuse of public trust, unfitness for office, and bribery. [more]

U.S. LABOR | Ahead of a September 14 contract expiration, United Auto Workers union leader Shawn Fain said yesterday that the union is prepared to achieve workers’ pay and benefit demands by “any means necessary”. Reports say a strike of just 10 days by the UAW’s 146,000 workers could cost U.S. auto makers nearly one billion dollars. [more]

MEDAL OF HONOR | U.S. President Joe Biden is scheduled to award the Medal of Honor – the U.S. military’s highest award – to retired Capt. Larry Taylor of Tennessee at the White House today for his actions on June 18, 1968, when then-1st Lieutenant Taylor, serving as an Army helicopter pilot in Vietnam, flew his Cobra attack helicopter into heavy enemy fire to rescue a reconnaissance team that had been surrounded. [more]

JANUARY 6 | Enrique Tarrio, former national chairman of the far-right Proud Boys group, is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court today for his role in the January 6, 2021, attacks on the U.S. Capitol. Tarrio was convicted earlier this year of seditious conspiracy and other charges related to the attacks. [more]

RUSSIA AND NORTH KOREA | Reports say U.S. intelligence indicates that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un plans to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Russia in the near future for talks expected to focus on military hardware and security issues. The reports come amidst ongoing expectations that Russia will continue to seek North Korean arms and ammunition for use in Ukraine and follow a recent trip by Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu to the North Korean capital Pyongyang. [more]

CHINA AND INDIA | Amidst continuing tensions between China and India over their shared border disputes, China announced yesterday that President Xi Jinping will not attend the G-20 summit in India later this week. China will be represented at the summit by Premier Li Qiang. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | According to reports, the United Nations’ World Food Program said today that it will have to cease food aid to another 2 million people in Afghanistan this year due to funding shortfalls. The agency announced earlier this year that it would cut food aid to some 8 million people in the country. [more]

AFRICA | The first Africa Climate Summit opened yesterday in Nairobi, Kenya, with an agenda focused on climate change, agriculture, energy production, migration, and weather monitoring and forecasting. [more]

E.U. | The European Union Agency for Asylum reports that there were 519,000 applications for asylum in the E.U. in the first half of 2023 – up 28% from the same period in 2022. The organization notes that Syrian residents submitted the most applications during the period, with some 67,000 having requested asylum. [more]

NIGERIA | The cross-sector Nigeria Labor Congress workers association began a two-day “warning strike” today, protesting cost of living increases sparked by cuts in government gas subsidies. The organization has threatened a “total and indefinite” shutdown later this month if its demands for better pay and working conditions are not met. [more]

SEMICONDUCTORS | Reuters cites unnamed industry sources as saying that China is planning to launch a $41 billion state-backed investment fund to advance its semiconductor development and production sectors in an effort to better compete with U.S. and other international industry efforts. [more]

MUSIC | The iconic rock band The Rolling Stones announced yesterday that the band will soon release its first album of new material in 18 years. Details of the “Hackney Diamonds” album – the band's first since the 2021 death of drummer Charlie Watts – are expected to be announced later this week. [more]

R.I.P. | Singer-songwriter Jimmy Buffett – known for his long career that celebrated beach and ocean life – died Friday at the age of 76. Follow-up reports over the weekend indicate that Buffett died of Merkel-cell carcinoma, a rare and aggressive skin cancer. [more]

MORE R.I.P. | Steve Harwell, the longtime lead singer of the rock band Smash Mouth – whose hits include “Walkin’ on the Sun” and “Then the Morning Comes” – died yesterday at the age of 56, according to the band’s manager. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1972, Palestinian terrorists attacked the Olympic Village in Munich, West Germany, during the Summer Olympic Games, taking hostages and eventually killing 11 members of the Israeli team.  [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

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