25 December 2022

Weekly Newsletter

Military & Armed Conflict

A UN resolution called for peace in Myanmar,the M23 rebel group pledged to retreat from a key position in the Democratic Republic of Congo,and Seoul accused North Korea of launching ballistic missiles,as Pyongyang completed an "important, final phase" test of a military spy satellite.Meanwhile, three officers in Jordan were killed in a raid,and Pakistan militants seized a government counterterrorism center,as a suicide blast in the country's capital killed a police officer.


On Monday, Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin headed to Belarus to fortify alliances,as he ordered the strengthening of Russia's borders and called on his intelligence agencies to root out "traitors, spies, and sabateurs."Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zenlenskyy also sought to strengthen political ties, arriving in Washington on Wednesdaywhere he met with his counterpart Joe Biden, spoke at a session of Congress, and held individual meetings with several senators.On Friday, the US House approved a $45B aid package as part of a $1.7T funding bill,while Washington had already approved a further $1.85B in aid earlier in the week.Meanwhile, on Thursday, Putin announced his aim to bring the war to an endas European and Ukrainian officials claimed Zelenskyy is preparing a formula for peace to be presented in February 2023.In response to Putin's comments - dismissed by Washington - the US State Dept. called on Moscow to withdraw its troops.

World Politics

Fiji's police requested military assistance following a disputed election,Gambia's government said that it foiled an attempted coup,South Africa's Pres. Cyril Ramaphosa was re-elected as leader of the ruling African National Congress party,Tunisia's parliamentary election yielded an 8.8% turnout,Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu announced the formation of a new government,and Peru's new Pres. Dina Boluarte announced plans to replace the PM in a cabinet reshuffle,as its Congress tentatively approved plans for early elections.Meanwhile, China warned the US not to cross its "red line," referring to Taiwan,the Afghan Taliban released two US prisoners,and Chile announced plans to open an embassy in the Palestinian territories.

US Politics

The US House passed a $1.7T omnibus spending bill,the Jan. 6 Committee released its final reportand announced criminal referrals for Trump,the US House GOP released its own report on the Capitol riots,the House Ways and Means Committee voted to release Trump's tax records,and a congressional report found that the Internal Revenue Service delayed Trump's tax audits.Meanwhile, Jenn McClellan won the Democratic primary for Virginia's 4th congressional district,Jamie Raskin was elected the top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee,and gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake's Arizona election lawsuit headed to trialand wrapped up after two days.In other news, newly elected New York congressman George Santos faced allegations that his resume is inaccurate,a report alleged that Twitter secretly boosted a covert propaganda campaign in the Middle East launched by the Pentagon,and Arizona agreed to stop the construction of a border wall made of shipping containers.

Civil Liberties

The Afghan Taliban closed universities to women,a Palestinian prisoner died of cancer in Israeli custody,the Sri Lankan Navy rescued over 100 Rohingya refugees,London's High Court ruled that the UK's Rwanda deportation plan is lawful,and Sweden blocked a Turkish journalist's extradition.Meanwhile, Spainand Scotland passed bills to allow trans youth to legally change their gender,the Vatican removed an anti-abortion activist from priesthood,a Texas judge ruled against teens obtaining birth control without their parents' consent,and California's Stanford University released a guide to eliminate "harmful" language.In other news, Meta agreed to settle a $725M lawsuit accusing it of allowing third-party companies to access user data,and two more US states banned the Chinese-owned app TikTok on government devices,as the social media platform's parent company ByteDance confirmed that employees accessed two journalists' data.

Crime & Justice

An attack on a Kurdish center in Paris killed three,a shooting in Canada killed five,a former nazi secretary was convicted by a German court,Asia's most-wanted meth kingpin was extradited to Australia,and a US court found film producer Harvey Weinstein guilty of rape.Meanwhile, co-founder of crypto exchange FTX Sam Bankman-Fried was extradited to the USand later released on a $250M bond,as several of his associates pleaded guilty to fraud.

Money & Economy

A report found that the US housing market slump deepened in November,EU energy ministers agreed on a gas price cap -which Algeria opposed -and Ethiopia's banks resumed services in Tigray.In the UK, the government announced plans to deploy 1.2k troops to cover for striking ambulanceand passport control workers,as nurses held more strikes.


China's COVID surge sparked global concern,including from the WHO's chief, who said he's "very concerned,"as a report found that 37M in China were infected with COVID in a single day,and a UK study found that the antiviral drug molnupiravir hastens COVID recovery.Meanwhile, the CDC found that the US life expectancy is at its lowest in 25 years,and the US released flu medication from its national stockpile amid a spike in infections.

Weather & Environment

Powerful winter storms trekked through the USas freezing temperatures drew concerns for the safety of migrants,a 6.4-magnitude earthquake rattled northern California,and a UN agreement inched toward conserving 30% of Earth's area.


Wells Fargo agreed to pay $3.7B to settle charges that it harmed customers by using illegal fees,multinational conglomerate Honeywell settled a $200M lawsuit with the US Dept. of Justice over corruption charges,Shell announced that it would pay $15.9M to Nigeria for multiple oil spills,16 Puerto Rican cities filed a racketeering suit against several oil companies,and the UK sued a company that provided it with protectiveequipment that allegedly didn't meet requirements.In other news, Musk announced plans to step down as Twitter's CEO after launching a poll that saw users vote for him to leave the role.


Argentina defeated France in the World Cup final.

Space & Science

NASA announced the end of its "InSight" Mars mission,and over 150 new geoglyphs were discovered in Peru's Nazca Plain.

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