September 26, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 579 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Ukrainian military officials said yesterday that Viktor Sokolov, the commander of Russia's Black Sea Fleet, was killed along with 33 other officers in a Ukrainian attack on Russia’s Crimean naval headquarters last week. A video released today by the Russian defense ministry, however, appears to show Sokolov taking part in a video conference with Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and other top military officials after the Ukrainian attack. [more]
  • The Pentagon said yesterday that its first shipment of U.S. M1 Abrams tanks has arrived in Ukraine and that the tanks are being deployed to Ukrainian forces in various parts of the country. [more]

U.S. GOVERNMENT FUNDING | Amidst continued infighting between Republican factions, the House of Representatives is expected to begin voting today on advancing some of the bills necessary for government funding ahead of a September 30 deadline and potential partial government shutdown. The Senate is expected to vote today on a stopgap funding measure to allow more time for consideration of an overall funding bill, and financial research company Moody's says a shutdown would highlight how political polarization is worsening the U.S.’ fiscal standing and could well have negative impacts on the U.S. government’s credit rating.  [more]

U.S. LABOR | Reports say President Joe Biden is expected to join United Auto Workers union members on the picket line today in Michigan in a show of support for the union’s ongoing partial strike against the Big 3 U.S. automakers. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | The Republican National Committee says that seven candidates who have qualified by meeting minimum poll support and donations levels will take part in tomorrow night’s second Republican presidential debate, including Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, Nikki Haley, Vivek Ramaswamy, Chris Christie, Doug Burgum, and Mike Pence. Polling front-runner Donald Trump has chosen to not participate in the debate and Asa Hutchinson did not qualify to participate. [more]

NET NEUTRALITY | Reuters cites unnamed sources as saying that U.S. Federal Communications Commission chair Jessica Rosenworcel plans to begin efforts to reinstate net neutrality rules rescinded during the Trump administration and that an initial FCC vote on the issue could take place as early as this month. In 2017, the FCC voted to reverse rules that barred internet service providers from blocking, throttling, or offering paid prioritization of internet traffic. [more]

U.S. AND POLAND | The United States yesterday announced the signing of a $2 billion Foreign Military Financing direct loan agreement to support Poland’s defense modernization. In a media release, the U.S. State Department noted that Poland’s security “is vital to the collective defense of NATO’s Eastern Flank” and that Poland plays a “central support role in facilitating international assistance to neighboring Ukraine.” [State Dept. release] [more]

U.S. AND PACIFIC ISLANDS | Speaking to leaders of the 18-member Pacific Islands Forum yesterday in Washington, D.C., U.S. President Joe Biden said his administration is seeking Congressional approval of $200 million in new assistance for the Pacific Islands region that includes funds for dealing with climate-related and other natural emergencies. [White House fact sheet] [more]

NATO | In a speech marking the opening of Hungary’s autumn parliamentary session yesterday, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán said his country is in no hurry to ratify Sweden's application to join the NATO alliance. Hungarian media reports cite other officials as suggesting that a vote on Sweden’s membership bid may not take place in parliament this year. Also, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said today that his country will ratify Sweden's NATO bid if the United States keeps its commitment to facilitate the sale of F-16 fighter jets to Turkey.  [more]

NAGORNO-KARABAKH | Officials in the separatist region of Nagorno-Karabakh between Azerbaijan and Armenia say at least 20 people were killed and nearly 300 others were wounded today in an explosion at a gas station where people seeking to flee the region for Armenia had lined up for fuel. [more]

YEMEN | Bahrain's state news agency BNA reports that two Bahraini servicemen were killed and several others were wounded yesterday in a Houthi drone attack on Saudi-led coalition forces near the Saudi-Yemeni border. The attack follows recent peace talks with Houthi officials aimed at ending the conflict in Yemen, which Saudi officials had described as “positive.” [more]

EGYPT | Election officials in Egypt announced yesterday that their country will hold a presidential election at the beginning of December. Reports note that multiple candidates have filed to run for the office, but that current President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi remains the strong favorite in the race. [more]

SWEDEN | Authorities in Sweden say two explosions yesterday – one in the Stockholm suburb of Hasselby and one in the southern city of Linkoping – injured at least three people and damaged multiple buildings. Swedish media reports that the explosion in Linkoping appears to be related to an ongoing gang feud, and that it is currently unclear if the two explosions were related. [more]

PAKISTAN | Pakistani officials say that, following a four-month pause, national ID cards are again being issued to transgender people while an Islamic court ruling that halted the cards is being appealed. In a May ruling, the country’s Islamic court, which has a constitutional mandate to review laws for compliance with Islamic teachings, said that giving transgender people equal rights goes against Islam. [more]

GERMANY | Federal police in Germany arrested five people yesterday in connection with an investigation into the smuggling of Syrian migrants into the country. Reports say more than 350 police officers took part in raids across Germany that resulted in the arrests and in the identification of more than 100 Syrian citizens thought to have been smuggled into the country. [more]

R.I.P. | Actor David McCallum, best known for his television roles in “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” in the 1960s and on the long-running CBS series “NCIS,” died yesterday at the age of 90, according to a statement released by CBS. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1580, after nearly three years at sea, English Admiral Francis Drake arrived in Plymouth Harbor, England, completing his circumnavigation of the world.  [more history]

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