September 20, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 573 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • In an address to the U.N. General Assembly yesterday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy accused Russia of weaponizing food and energy and of abducting children during its invasion of Ukraine, and warned that, “When hatred is weaponized against one nation, it never stops there.” [more]
  • U.S. President Joe Biden, speaking before the U.N. General Assembly yesterday, urged the international community to maintain its support for Ukraine against the Russian invasion, saying any declines in such support would allow Russia to “brutalize Ukraine without consequence” and warning that no country could be confident in its independence “if we allow Ukraine to be carved up” by Russia. [more]

U.S. GOVERNMENT FUNDING | Ahead of a September 30 deadline to pass government funding legislation, the U.S. House of Representatives voted yesterday to send its version of a defense spending bill to the Senate for consideration. Reports note there are significant differences between House and Senate versions of the defense appropriations and policy bill and that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy is facing opposition from within his own party on provisions of the overall spending bill, increasing fears of a partial government shutdown. [more]

BIDEN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY | U.S. House Republicans have scheduled their first hearing in the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden for September 28, according to a representative of the House Oversight Committee. [more]

PENNSYLVANIA | Democrat Lindsay Powell won a special election in Pennsylvania’s Pittsburgh region yesterday, meaning that Democrats will maintain their 102-101 majority in the state’s House of Representatives. Powell will fill the 21st District House vacancy left by Democrat Sara Innamorato, who resigned in July. [more]

U.S. AND ISRAEL | U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are scheduled to meet today in New York City – their first meeting since Netanyahu took office last year. Reports note that the decision to meet in New York instead of at the White House is widely interpreted as a sign of tensions between the Biden administration and Netanyahu’s far-right government. [more]

U.S. AND IRAN | Speaking before the U.N. General Assembly yesterday, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi characterized the United States’ 2018 withdrawal from the 2015 agreement on Iran's nuclear development efforts as “an inappropriate response” and called for the U.S. to demonstrate “in a verifiable fashion” that it seeks a resumption of the deal. [more]

AZERBAIJAN AND ARMENIA | Azerbaijan and Armenian separatist forces are reported to have agreed to a cease fire in the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region today following a second straight day of escalated military operations in the region. Azerbaijan had characterized its operations in the region as “anti-terrorist" in nature, while Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashiyan suggested that Azerbaijan’s goal was to draw Armenia into hostilities. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | According to a new report from the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, more than 1,600 instances of human rights violations by authorities have been documented in Afghanistan for the period of January 2022 to July 2023, with nearly 50% of such violations involving acts of torture and other cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment. [press release] [full report] [more]

ISRAEL, WEST BANK, AND GAZA | Palestinian health officials say at least six Palestinians were killed in Israeli military operations over the past 24 hours — five in raids on refugee camps in the West Bank and one in the Gaza Strip. Reports note that another 30 Palestinians were wounded in the raids, which Israeli officials say were aimed at dismantling militant networks, and that Israel closed its border crossing with Gaza this morning amidst ongoing border protests. [more]

CHINA | Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reports that at least 10 people were killed, and four others were seriously injured yesterday when tornados hit the Jiangsu province cities of Suqian and Yancheng. [more]

U.K. ECONOMY | Britain’s Office for National Statistics reports today that annualized consumer inflation in the U.K. fell, unexpectedly, to 6.7% in August — down from 6.8% in July and the lowest level since February 2022. [more]

CATALYST AWARD | Actor, author, and activist Michael J. Fox has been named the latest recipient of the Elevate Prize Foundation’s Catalyst Award for his efforts to find a cure for Parkinson’s disease through his Michael J. Fox Foundation. Fox says the $250,000 award will be used to help develop the first biological staging system for Parkinson’s disease. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1870, Italian troops occupied Rome, leading to the eventual incorporation of Rome into the Kingdom of Italy and the limiting of papal governing authority to the Vatican itself and a small district around it. [more history]

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