18 December 2022

Weekly Newsletter

Military & Armed Conflict

The US Senate passed a record $858B defense budget,Japan unveiled a $320B military build-up plan,Denmark's new government scrapped a public holiday to boost its defense budget,US Sen. Bernie Sanders withdrew his request to vote on the Yemen war powers resolution,and Colombia and the left-wing National Liberation Army rebel group concluded a round of successful talks.Meanwhile, the UN found that over 11k children have been killed or maimed in Yemen,a Reuters report claimed that the Nigerian army deliberately massacred children in its anti-terror war,Meta was sued for allegedly inciting violence in Ethiopia,and the UK announced plans to investigate allegations that the elite Special Air Service corps killed civilians in Afghanistan.Elsewhere, Israel admitted to unintentionally killing a teenage girl in the West Bank,the Afghan Taliban killed three gunmen after they attacked a hotel,an Irish soldier was killed after a UN convoy was attacked in Lebanon,and fresh clashes erupted at the Pakistan-Afghanistan borderafter previous shelling killed seven.


On Monday, the G7 nations reaffirmed their "unwavering support" to Ukraine at a summit and promised further military and air defense systems.They were joined by the EU, which pledged an 18B ($19B) aid package, and dozens of other countries that met in Paris on Tuesday to coordinate the delivery of supplies.Meanwhile, the US is reportedly poised to deliver advanced missile defense systems to Ukraine - a decision that has been delayed amid concerns it would be seen as an escalation -and confirmed that roughly $13M of power equipment had been delivered.A ninth round of sanctions against Russia was also adopted by the EU on Friday.This came the same day the Kremlin launched over 70 missiles across Ukraine, as it continued strikes on the country's energy infrastructure, leaving Kyiv without power or electricity.By Sunday, heating was fully restored in the capital, while power was reinstated to three-quarters of the city's residents.Meanwhile, dozens of individuals - including a US citizen - were exchanged in the latest prisoner swap on Wednesday.

World Politics

US VP Kamala Harris on Tuesday kicked off the US-Africa leaders summit,where US Pres. Joe Biden called for the African Union to join the G20and said the US is "all in" on Africa's future.Meanwhile, the US announced sanctions against the Zimbabwean president's son,officials said the US is "working hard" to free former Marine Paul Whelan, who is detained in Russia,Alabama and Utah banned the Chinese-owned social media platform TikTok on government devices,after which the US Senate passed a similar bill,and China took legal action against US chip bans.In other news, Istanbul's mayor was sentenced to more than 2.5 years in prison for insulting officials,Bangladesh arrested the leader of its largest Muslim party,supporters of ousted-Pres. Jair Bolsonaro attacked police headquarters in Brazil's capital,Peru's new president sought early elections and declared a state of emergency amid ongoing protests,as a court ordered ousted Pres. Pedro Castillo to remain in pretrial detention for 18 months,and Slovakia's president called for early elections after the government fell.Elsewhere, UK PM Rishi Sunak announced new measures to curb "illegal" immigration,at least four people died after a migrant boat capsized in the English Channel,the devolved Scottish government proposed lowering the parliament candidacy age to 16,the EU General Affairs Council agreed to grant Bosnia and Herzegovina candidate status to the bloc,four were charged in an EU parliament corruption investigation,and Iran blacklisted more EU and UK officials.

US Politics

Recent polls showed that Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is garnering more support among GOP voters,Georgia's Sec. of State called for an end to election runoffs,Fox Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch sat for a deposition over allegations that the media company promoted false claims about the 2020 election,the GOP planned a probe into multiple climate groups over allegations of foreign collusion,and a judge blocked Biden's attempt to end the "remain in Mexico" policy.Meanwhile, a southern California county approved an advisory ballot to consider seceding from the state,the US House passed a Puerto Rico referendum bill,the National Archives and Records Administration released over 13k files on the assassination of former Pres. John F. Kennedy,and a trial against four Oath Keeper members for their role in the Jan. 6 riots began.

Civil Liberties & Legislation

The UN expelled Iran from its womens rights body,Iran conducted its second protest-related execution,and a Greek teenager who was shot by police died.In other news, a US Senate report alleged that female inmates have been sexually abused by prison workers for nearly a decade,Oregon's governor announced plans to commute the state's death sentences,Biden signed a bill protecting same-sex marriage,and a US court ruled that a Jewish university must recognize an LGBTQ+ club.

Crime & Justice

The founder of crypto exchange FTX was arrested and charged with fraud,the boyfriend of Breonna Taylor - shot by police in her home in 2020 - received a $2M settlement,and the suspect in the 1998 downing of Pan Am Flight 103 over the Scottish town of Lockerbie made his first appearance in a US court.Meanwhile, migrants reported mass kidnappings in Mexico,a gunman killed three women in a cafe shooting in Italy,and six - including two police officers - were killed in a gunfight in Australia.

Money & Economy

In the US, inflation slowed again in November,while a Reuters poll said that the nation is heading into a shallow recession,and the Federal Reserve boosted interest rates by another 0.5%.Meanwhile, in the UK, figures showed the country saw the greatest number of strikes since 2011 in October,as nurses held the biggest strike in the history of the National Health Service,UK inflation fell from a 41-year high,and the European Central Bank and the Bank of England raised rates by 0.5%.


Gov. DeSantis called for a grand jury to investigate COVID vaccines,a US House report alleged that the intelligence community missed opportunities to better understand COVID,a CDC report found that long COVID can be deadly,the Biden admin. announced free COVID tests for the winter,and China deactivated its national COVID tracking app,after which cases soared in Beijing.In other news, Moderna and Merck announced that their co-developed vaccine combo treatment cuts melanoma recurrence,a study found that the prevalence of Parkinson's disease in the US is 50% higher than prior estimates,base editing cell therapy in London cleared a girl's incurable cancer,a study found that extreme temperatures are linked to heart disease deaths,and Haiti prepared the rollout of its first round of cholera vaccines.

Weather & Environment

The UN said that southern Somalia may experience catastrophic famine due to poor rainfall,a report found that climate change is rapidly transforming the Arctic,and flooding in the Democratic Republic of Congo killed at least 141.


Elon Musk sold another $3.5B in Tesla stock,and Twitter suspended an account dedicated to tracking Musk's private jet, suspended and then restored the accounts of several prominent journalists,and re-launched its paid subscription service.


France defeated Morocco, reaching the 2022 FIFA World Cup final.


A residential fire near Lyon, France, killed at least ten.

Space & Science

NASA's Orion capsule returned to Earth,a US Pentagon UFO study found no evidence of aliens,the US celebrated a fusion energy breakthrough,and Israeli scientists created gene-edited hens that only lay female eggs..

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