September 15, 2023


Listen to this issue.

UKRAINE | Today is day 568 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Reports say Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is expected to visit the White House and Capitol Hill next week during a trip to the U.S. that coincides with a session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York City. [more]
  • Ukrainian military officials say their forces retook the eastern village of Andriivka from Russian occupation today as Kyiv’s counteroffensive operations in the Donetsk region continue. [more]

HAWAII | Authorities on the Hawaiian island of Maui say they will allow residents and business owners to make escorted visits to their properties in the wildfire-devastated Lahaina region beginning later this month. Reports say visits will be offered by zones that depend on the completion of hazardous materials removal by the Environmental Protection Agency. [more]

AUTO WORKERS STRIKE | About 13,000 members of the United Auto Workers union went on strike at selected production plants of General Motors, Ford, and Stellantis today after the union’s contract with the companies expired last night. [more]

TREE PLANTING | U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced $1.13 billion in funding yesterday for 385 projects in all 50 U.S. states, Washington, D.C., Puerto Rico, and selected tribal nations to plant and maintain trees as part of efforts to improve the climate resilience of communities, reduce extreme heat, and improve access to nature. The funds will be provided under the Inflation Reduction Act. [more]

FIREARMS INDICTMENT | Hunter Biden, son of U.S. President Joe Biden, was indicted yesterday on federal firearms charges. The younger Biden is accused, under a rarely-invoked and legally contested statute, of illegally purchasing and possessing a handgun while being an active user of illegal drugs. [more]

WISCONSIN | In a move already legally challenged by opponents, the Republican-controlled Wisconsin Senate voted yesterday to fire Wisconsin Elections Commission Administrator Meagan Wolfe, who has been a target of election skeptics who claim she was part of a plot to manipulate the 2020 vote in the state. [more]

TEXAS | Closing arguments are scheduled for today in the Texas Senate impeachment trial of the state’s attorney general, Ken Paxton, on charges of corruption and bribery. [more]

COVID-19 | Following FDA and CDC approval of updated COVID-19 vaccines this week, newly released results of a Reuters/Ipsos poll of U.S. residents indicate that about 30% of respondents were very interested in getting an updated vaccine, another 24% were somewhat interested, almost 17% were not very interested, and 30% were not interested at all. [more]

LIBYA | Authorities in eastern Libya say the death toll in this week’s flooding of the city of Derna has risen to 11,300 and that some 10,100 people are still considered missing. Civilian access to the city was blocked today to facilitate search and rescue operations. [more]

GLOBAL HUNGER | Speaking before the U.N. Security Council yesterday, World Food Program Executive Director Cindy McCain said that up to 783 million people worldwide go hungry every day, with more than 345 million facing high levels of food insecurity. McCain noted that the global hunger crisis has grown significantly compared to levels before the COVID-19 pandemic and that lack of funding has forced humanitarian groups to cut food rations for millions of people. [more]

HAITI AND DOMINICAN REPUBLIC | Amidst an ongoing dispute over water rights along their shared border on the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, Dominican Republic President Luis Abinader announced yesterday that air, land, and sea borders with neighboring Haiti would be closed as of this morning and remain so “until necessary.” [more]

PAKISTAN AND AFGHANISTAN | Nine days after being closed following clashes between border guards, the main land border crossing between Pakistan and Afghanistan reopened today, according to Pakistani officials. [more]

ARMENIA AND AZERBAIJAN | Armenian state news agency Armenpress cited Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan yesterday as saying that the humanitarian situation in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region has deteriorated and as accusing Azerbaijan or continuing to mass troops along its borders with Karabakh and Armenia. The report came the same day that Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov expressed concern over increased tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan. [more]

CHINESE ECONOMY | The Chinese government reported this morning that China’s industrial output rose a higher-than-expected 4.5% in August, compared to the year-ago period – up from a 3.7% increase in July and a sign that some economists suggest indicates a recovering post-pandemic economy. [more]

HOLLYWOOD | Reports say Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers and the Writers Guild of America have agreed to resume negotiations next week in a bid to end the writers’ group’s months-long strike. [more]

PSYCHEDELICS | A study published yesterday in the journal Nature Medicine says that use of the psychedelic drug MDMA, also known as ecstasy, in combination with talk therapy resulted in significant symptom improvement in patients with post-traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD, compared to talk therapy alone. Sponsors of the study say they intend to seek approval later this year to market the drug for use in combination with talk therapy. [full study] [press release] [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1821, with the enactment of the Act of Independence of Central America, regional leaders accepted a plan drafted by Mexico's Agustín de Iturbide that brought independence from Spain to Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua.  [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

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