September 29, 2023


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UKRAINE | Today is day 582 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates:

  • Meeting with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in Kyiv yesterday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said NATO has contracts in place for providing some $2.5 billion in ammunition for Ukraine, including artillery, missile, and tank munitions. [more]
  • According to a Kremlin release today, Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered Andrei Troshev, a senior commander of the Wagner mercenary group, to take charge of forming volunteer military units for combat operations in Ukraine. [more]

U.S. GOVERNMENT FUNDING | House Speaker Kevin McCarthy said yesterday that the House will not take up a short-term funding measure from the Senate aimed at keeping the federal government fully running ahead of tomorrow’s deadline. In moves that would not prevent a partial government shutdown, the House approved three spending bills yesterday that fund the departments of Defense, Homeland Security, and State, and McCarthy suggested that such progress was a good sign for the possibility of the House reaching an agreement on its own temporary overall funding bill. [more]

U.S. NATIONAL PARKS | The governors of several U.S. states, including Arizona, Utah, Wyoming, South Dakota, and Washington, have reportedly advanced plans to keep iconic national parks in their states open in the event a partial federal government goes into effect this weekend due to budget impasses in Congress. [more]

U.S. SURVEILLANCE | The executive branch’s three-member independent Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board agency said yesterday that U.S. intelligence agencies should be required to get court approval prior to reviewing communications collected under Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that involve U.S. citizens. Section 702 currently allows the warrantless collection of foreign communications, even when the targeted foreigners are communicating with people in the United States. [more]

BIDEN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY | Constitutional and legal scholars appearing at the first hearing of the House committees overseeing the impeachment inquiry into President Joe Biden appeared to suggest yesterday that evidence revealed so far does not rise to the level of impeachable offenses, though Republican leaders of the Oversight, Judiciary, and Ways and Means committees say they intend to show that Biden “abused his public office for his family’s financial gain.” [more]

TRUMP NEW YORK FRAUD TRIAL | A New York state appeals court yesterday rejected former President Donald Trump’s bid to delay the fraud-related civil trial against him that is scheduled to begin on Monday. The judge in the case issued a summary judgement earlier this week, saying Trump and others repeatedly defrauded banks, insurers, and others through the use of falsified financial statements, and will consider punishments, as well as allegations of conspiracy, falsifying business records, and insurance fraud in next week’s trial. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | In its final estimate for the period, the Commerce Department said yesterday that the U.S. gross domestic product grew at a 2.1% annual rate in the April-June quarter. Also yesterday, the Labor Department reported that a lower-than-expected 204,000 people filed initial claims for state unemployment benefits in the week ended September 23. [more]

U.S. LABOR | Barring significant progress in ongoing contract talks, the United Auto Workers union is expected to announce an expansion of its strike against the Big 3 U.S. automakers later this morning. [more]

U.S. AND SAUDI ARABIA | Citing unnamed U.S. and Saudi sources, Reuters reports that the Saudi Arabia is seeking a deal with the United States under which the U.S. would agree to defend the Middle East country in the event it is attacked in exchange for Saudi Arabia normalizing relations with Israel. [more]

PAKISTAN | Authorities in Pakistan say two bomb attacks took place this morning– one each in the Baluchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces – killing at least 57 people and wounding more than 60 others amidst celebrations of the birthday of Islam’s Prophet Muhammad. Reports say there have, as yet, been no claims of responsibility for the attacks. [more]

KOSOVO | Reports say police in Kosovo conducted at least five raids in three municipalities in the country’s Serb-dominated northern regions today in connection with investigations into a shootout last Sunday between Serb insurgents and Kosovo police that resulted in four deaths in the village of Banjska. [more]

IRAN | The international community has begun to verify Iran’s claims from earlier this week that it successfully launched and placed into orbit an imaging satellite – a move criticized by the U.S. and other western nations as potentially advantageous to Iran’s ballistic missile program. [more]

ARMENIA | Officials at the U.N refugee agency say the number of refugees fleeing the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region into Armenia following recent Azerbaijani military operations to secure control of the region is expected to reach as high as 120,000. [more]

BASEBALL | With a 2-0 win over the Boston Red Sox last night, the Baltimore Orioles clinched this season’s American League East division championship. Last night’s win was the team’s 100th of the season – the sixth time in team history, and the first time since 1980, to have reached that milestone. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1988, Discovery was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida, marking a resumption of NASA's space shuttle program, which had been suspended following the Challenger explosion in 1986. [more history]

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