September 25, 2023


Listen to this issue.

UKRAINE | Today is day 578 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Reports cite Ukrainian military officials as saying that Russia is preparing to carry out a military conscription process involving local residents of occupied areas of southern Ukraine. [more]
  • Speaking before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva today, Erik Møse, Chair of the Commission of Inquiry on Ukraine, said there is evidence that “the use of torture by Russian armed forces in areas under their control has been widespread and systematic” and that “In some cases, torture was inflicted with such brutality that it caused the death of the victim.” [more]

U.S. GOVERNMENT FUNDING | Amidst continued infighting between Republican factions, the House of Representatives is expected to begin voting as early as tomorrow on advancing some of the bills necessary for government funding ahead of a September 30 deadline and potential partial government shutdown. [more]

U.S. LABOR | The United Auto Workers union expanded its ongoing strike Friday to include another 5,600 workers at 38 General Motors and Stellantis parts distribution centers. Ford, which UAW leaders say met some of the union’s demands during negotiations over the past week, was not included in the latest strike expansion. [more]

COVID-19 | Beginning today, U.S. households can order an additional set of four free at-home COVID-19 tests at Additionally, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has information on checking your existing COVID-19 tests to see if their expiration dates have been extended. [more]

CALIFORNIA | Gov. Gavin Newsom signed several new California bills into law Saturday that expand the state’s protections for LGBTQ+ people, including ones that require cultural competency training for public school teachers and staff, create an advisory task force to determine the needs of LGBTQ+ students, and require foster care families to show that they can and are willing to meet the needs of foster children regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. [more]

HOLLYWOOD | The Writers Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers announced yesterday that they have reached a tentative agreement to end the WGA’s nearly five month strike. Details of the proposed new three-year contract agreement have not yet been released. [more]

U.S. TRAIN SERVICE | The U.S. Dept. of Transportation today announced the awarding of more than $1.4 billion in funding for 70 projects in 35 states and Washington, D.C., to improve railway safety and boost freight and passenger capacity. [DOT press release] [more]

NEW JERSEY | Senator Robert Menendez is facing calls to resign from Democratic colleagues after the three-term New Jersey U.S. senator and his wife were indicted Friday on corruption charges. Menendez has denied the charges and has indicated he does not intend to resign. [more]

U.S. AND ISRAEL | The U.S. Departments of State and of Homeland Security are expected to announce later this week that Israel will be added to the Visa Waiver Program list of 40 countries from which citizens can travel to the U.S. for three months without visas. [more]

KOSOVO | Reports say at least four people were killed yesterday in a standoff between police and ethnic Serb gunmen at a monastery near the village of Banjska in the Baltic country’s northern Serb-majority region. Kosovo is observing a day of mourning today, recognizing the death of a police officer killed in the clash. [more]

LIBYA | National prosecutors in Libya today ordered the detention of eight current and former government officials in connection with investigations into the collapse of two dams earlier this month that caused the catastrophic flooding of the city of Derna in which an estimated 4,000 to 11,000 people are believed to have died. [more]

NIGER | French President Emmanuel Macron announced yesterday that France will recall its ambassador and end its military presence in Niger due to the recent coup that removed the African country’s democratically elected president from power. [more]

PHILIPPINES AND CHINA | Philippine National Security Adviser Eduardo Ano said today that his country intends to remove a floating barrier placed by China’s coast guard to block Filipino fishing vessels from entering the disputed Scarborough Shoal lagoon in the South China Sea. [more]

SPACE | NASA scientists retrieved the organization’s first-ever samples from deep space yesterday when a small capsule containing an estimated 250 grams of material from the asteroid Bennu landed in the Utah desert. The asteroid material was collected by the Osiris-Rex spacecraft at a distance of some 63,000 miles from Earth. [more]

NFL | The Miami Dolphins scored a franchise-record 70 points in their win over the Denver Broncos yesterday — the most points by a team in a National Football League game since 1966. [more]

COLLEGE FOOTBALL | Following this weekend’s games, six teams received first-place votes in the AP Top 25 rankings — the most since Nov. 1, 2015. Georgia retained the No. 1 ranking, followed by Michigan, Texas, Ohio State, and Florida State. [full rankings] [more]

SOCCER | U.S. women’s soccer star and activist Megan Rapinoe played her final game with the national team yesterday — a 2-0 win over South Africa at Soldier Field stadium in Chicago. [more]

WEEKEND BOX OFFICE | "The Nun II" topped the North American box office over the weekend with an estimated $8.4 million in receipts, followed by "Expendables 4" and "A Haunting in Venice." [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1970, hostilities came to an end during Black September, the brief but violent civil war between the Palestine Liberation Organization and Jordan.  [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

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