11 December 2022

Weekly Newsletter

Military & Armed Conflict

Turkey reportedly set a deadline for the Syrian Democratic Forces to withdraw from northern Syria,Sudan's military and political parties signed a transition deal amid protests,Colombia reached an agreement with the left-wing National Liberation Army rebel group,Ethiopia's Tigray forces said they've withdrawn 65% of their fighters from the frontline,the US House backed a record military spending bill,and Japan, the UK, and Italy announced plans to collaborate on a new fighter jet.Meanwhile, the Democratic Republic of Congo raised the death toll from the recent alleged M23 massacre to over 270,at least seven were killed in a northern Afghanistan roadside blast,and three Palestinians were killed in an Israeli raid.


On Monday, multiple blasts were reported at airfields from deep inside Russian territory.While Ukraine has routinely targeted infrastructure in Russia's border regions, this was the first time blasts were reported hundreds of miles within the country.Following further reports of attacks on Tuesday, the governor of the Kursk region announced an extension to its highest yellow terror-threat level for 15 days.In response to the strikes - believed to have been carried out with drones - Putin met with his security council, as US Secretary of State Antony Blinken claimed that Washington has "neither encouraged nor enabled" them.Despite these losses, Putin hailed the achievements of his military's territorial gains in a meeting with his Human Rights Council on Wednesday and admitted that the war could turn into a "long-term process."Amid this warning, the Russian president suggested the possibility of a settlement to end the war on Friday but voiced skepticism, claiming that Western countries had "deceived" Moscow in the past.Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court (ICC) denounced last week's EU proposal to set up a UN-backed court to investigate alleged war crimes in Ukraine.

World Politics

Indian PM Narendra Modi's party won a record landslide in his home state of Gujarat,Nepal's Sher Bahadur Deubaw will remain PM after his Congress Party won the most seats in a recent election,Peruvian Pres. Pedro Castillo was detained and impeached after an attempt to dissolve Congress,the leader of the UK's Labour Party supported the devolution of power from Westminster,Argentina's vice president was sentenced to six years on corruption charges,and Elon Musk said that Twitter might have been biased in this year's Brazilian elections.Meanwhile, protesters in Mongolia tried to storm the state palace,anti-government protests in southern Syria turned deadly,Germany arrested 25 people accused of plotting a coup,and Iran's attorney general signaled that the morality police would be disbanded.Elsewhere, detained WNBA star Brittney Griner was freed in a prisoner swap,the US dismissed a suit against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi,Chinas Xi arrived in Saudi Arabia to "bolster ties,"which saw the two nations sign a partnership agreement,the UAE's president visited Qatar,and India signaled that it would continue to buy Russian oil despite the G7's price cap.In other news, Croatia joined Europe's free-travel zone,the UK refused to sanction Bangladesh's anti-terrorism paramilitary unit Rapid Action Battalion,and an incoming Israeli minister called for the expulsion of Qatar-based news company Al Jazeera.

US Politics

Democrat incumbent Raphael Warnock won Georgia's Senate race,SCOTUS heard a North Carolina redistricting case about who has the power to regulate elections,a US House Committee heard testimony about an alleged SCOTUS leak,and Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema switched from Democrat to Independent.In Trump news, the Jan. 6 Committee's special counsel subpoenaed officials in several key presidential swing states,the former president pushed for immunity from Jan. 6 lawsuits,two more classified documents were found at one of Trump's storage sites,Biden rebuked Trump after he apparently suggested "terminating" the Constitution,and jury deliberations in the Trump Organization tax fraud trial began,which saw the company convicted on all counts.

Civil Liberties & Legislation

A Reuters report alleged that the Nigerian military ran a secret abortion program,Iran conducted its first protest-related execution,Greece held demonstrations over the police shooting of a teenager from the Roma community,and a Hong Kong pro-democracy media tycoon was jailed on fraud charges.Meanwhile, Indonesia outlawed premarital sex,Google launched an anti-misinformation campaign in India,a new lawsuit accused Musk and Twitter of gender discrimination,and SCOTUS heard a challenge to Colorado's Anti-Discrimination Act.In other news, Elon Musk released several batches of the "Twitter Files," which revealed employee efforts to suppress the Hunter Biden laptop story,suggested the company had a "secret blacklist" to limit users,and revealed that top executives allegedly tweaked the rules to permanently ban Trump.

Crime & Justice

Al Jazeera urged the ICC to investigate the killing of journalist Shireen Abu Akleh,a report alleged that the murder of Pakistani journalist Arshad Sharif was a targeted assassination,an attack on a North Carolina power grid left Moore County in the dark,and Indonesia released the convicted Bali bomber on parole.Meanwhile, the US Secret Service alleged that Chinese hackers stole millions in COVID relief money,Germany's Wirecard fraud trial began,the founder of crypto exchange FTX may reportedly face a market manipulation inquiry,and the ex-president of collapsed blood-testing company Theranos was sentenced to 13 years.

Money & Economy

Economists polled by Reuters predicted that the US is heading into a shallow recession,a US global regulator warned that foreign exchange swap debt is an $80T "blind spot,"the Confederation of Business Industry forecast that the UK economy will shrink in 2023,Australia raised its rates to a 10-year high,South Korea's fuel ran short at petrol stations amid trucker strikes,and 28 oil tankers logjammed in Turkish waters.


China loosened its COVID quarantine and testing rules,and a study found that US child marijuana use soared 245% in the last 20 years.

Weather & Environment

Cyclone Mandous made landfall in India,a Kansas oil spill shut down the Keystone pipeline,the UN said that 8M may still be exposed to Pakistan's floodwaters,as its secretary-general warned that corporations have turned the environment into "playthings of profit,"the EU proposed legislation to fine airlines that pollute,and a study that sequenced 2M-year-old DNA revealed Greenland's "lost world..


The Biden administration urged SCOTUS to narrow its protections for Big Tech,Meta threatened to remove news content from its platforms if the US passes a media bill,and a report said that Meta's targeted ad model would face EU restrictions.Meanwhile, Juul agreed to settle thousands of vaping lawsuits,Chicago and Uber reached a $10M settlement,New York Times staffers staged a 24-hour strike,the CEO of book publisher Penguin Random House resigned,and soda maker PepsiCo announced plans to lay off hundreds of workers in North America.In other news, Twitter fired its lawyer over allegations that he vetted internal documents part of the "Twitter Files,"and Musk's brain implant tech firm Neuralink is reportedly being investigated over an alleged violation of the Animal Welfare Act.


A US soccer journalist died while covering the World Cup match between Argentina and the Netherlands.


Three Chinese astronauts returned to Earth after six months in space.

Sign up to our daily newsletter