September 28, 2023


Listen to this issue.

UKRAINE | Today is day 581 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Russian finance ministry documents published today show that Russia intends to increase its defense spending by almost 70% in 2024 – a move that Russian officials, according to the TASS news agency, say is necessary because Russia lives “in a state of hybrid war” and continues its “special military operation” in Ukraine. [more]
  • Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said yesterday that Moscow has “no doubt” that U.S. and British assistance, as well as NATO satellite and reconnaissance assets, were used by Ukraine in its recent attack on Russia’s Black Sea naval fleet headquarters. [more]

PENNSYLVANIA | Authorities in Philadelphia say at least 52 people have been arrested in connection with Tuesday night’s series of mass lootings in the city. Reports say at least 18 state-run liquor stores were broken into during the unrest, prompting the Pennsylvania Liquor Control Board to close all 48 of its Philadelphia retail locations. [more]

TRUMP FEDERAL ELECTION TRIAL | U.S. District Judge Tanya Chutkan yesterday rejected former President Donald Trump’s request that she recuse herself from the federal trial into alleged actions taken by Trump and others to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. Attorneys for Trump had argued that past comments by Chutkan raised doubts about whether she could be fair in Trump’s trial. [more]

BIDEN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY | Republican leaders of the House Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means committees are scheduled to hold their first public hearing today in their impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden and what they contend are links to his son Hunter’s business dealings. [more]

U.S. LABOR | United Auto Workers union leader Shawn Fain said yesterday the UAW will announce plans Friday for a new expansion of its strike against the Big 3 U.S. automakers unless significant progress is made before then on new contracts. [more]

U.S. AND NORTH KOREA | U.S. Army Private Travis King, who fled into North Korea in July, was released by Pyongyang yesterday. Reports say King has arrived in San Antonio, Texas, where he is expected to face investigations and possible charges related to his actions. [more]

U.S. EDUCATION | The Department of Education announced new rules yesterday under which some college programs – mainly at for-profit institutions – could lose federal funding over excessively high student loan levels and lower-than-expected earning levels experienced by students after graduation. [DOE press release] [more]

MONTANA | State District Court Judge Jason Marks yesterday temporarily blocked a Montana law banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender minors just four days before it was to take effect. Marks said the law, which is expected to remain blocked until a full trial on the issue can be held, was likely unconstitutional and could harm the mental and physical health of minors with gender dysphoria. [more]

NAGORNO-KARABAKH | Amidst the ongoing reintegration of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region into Azerbaijan, officials in Armenia say that more than half of the region’s population has already fled. Armenia’s statement came as separatist leaders in the region announced that their unrecognized government will be dissolved by January 2024. [more]

SWEDEN | Swedish media reports say three deaths over the past 24 hours have brought to 11 the number of people killed in an ongoing spike in gun violence in the Nordic country thought to be linked to gang violence and feuds. [more]

NORTH KOREA | State-run KCNA news agency cites North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as calling today for his country to significantly increase its nuclear weapons production and for it to play a major role in a coalition of nations opposing the United States in a “new Cold War.” [more]

TAIWAN | President Tsai Ing-wen unveiled Taiwan’s first domestically developed submarine yesterday, saying the naval advancement would play an important role in strengthening Taiwan’s defense against potential Chinese aggression. [more]

ISRAEL AND GAZA STRIP | Israel reopened its main border crossing with the Gaza Strip today for the first time since closing it last week due to increased tensions and security concerns. [more]

GREECE | Authorities in central Greece say Storm Elias – the country’s second major storm in three weeks – caused significant flooding in and around the port city of Volos yesterday, prompting the evacuation of more than 250 people. [more]

SWITZERLAND | A new report from environmental group Glacier Monitoring Switzerland says Switzerland’s glaciers have lost 10% of their overall volume over the last two years due to increased temperatures. [more]

GLOBAL BUSINESS | According to the latest Global Financial Centers Index, New York City remains the world’s top financial center, followed by London, Singapore, and Hong Kong. [more]

AUTO RECALLS | Automakers Hyundai and Kia have announced recalls affecting nearly 3.4 million vehicles in the U.S. due to an issue with an anti-lock brake control module that can leak fluid, leading to an electrical short that could start a fire. Owners can search their vehicle’s identification number online to learn if a specific vehicle needs to be repaired as part of the recall. [more]

HOLLYWOOD | Following this week’s end of the Writers Guild of America’s strike, striking actors are expected to resume negotiations with studios on Monday, according to a statement released yesterday by the Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Radio and Television Artists union. [more]

BASKETBALL | A three-way NBA trade finalized last night will see seven-time All-Star Damian Lillard go from the Portland Trail Blazers to the Milwaukee Bucks, Jrue Holiday from Milwaukee to Portland, Deandre Ayton from the Phoenix Suns to Portland, and Jusuf Nurkic from Portland to Phoenix. [more]

R.I.P. | The BBC reports that actor Sir Michael Gambon, best known recently for his role as Professor Albus Dumbledore in six of the eight Harry Potter films, has died in hospital at the age of 82. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 2008, SpaceX successfully launched Falcon 1, becoming the first privately owned company to send a liquid-fueled rocket into orbit around the Earth. [more history]

Support independent information for independent minds.

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