01 January 2023

Weekly Newsletter

Military & Armed Conflict

China held drills around Taiwan,as the east Asian island extended its mandatory military service,and the US approved $180M in military aid for Taipei.Meanwhile, the US military claimed that a Chinese fighter jet flew dangerously close to an American surveillance plane,North Korea's Kim Jong-un presented new military goals,and South Korea fired shots after it reportedly detected Pyongyang drones crossing its airspace.Elsewhere, Ethiopian airlines resumed flights to the war-torn Tigray region,and an attack in eastern Syria killed at least 10 oil workers.


On Monday, Ukraine's foreign minister Dmytro Kuelba said that Kyiv hopes to pursue a UN-backed peace summit by the end of February.However, despite comments from Russian Pres. Vladimir Putin that he's open to negotiations,Kuelba said he doesn't anticipate Moscow's participation.On Tuesday, the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights put the latest casualty figures at over 6k confirmed deaths and more than 10k injured but said the real figures are likely far higher.This was followed by one of Russia's heaviest aerial onslaughts against Ukraine on Thursday, which saw it reportedly fire over 120 missiles across the country.Belarus claimed that it shot down a Ukrainian air defense missile over its territory during the attack and called on Kyiv to "hold those responsible to account."Moscow's missile attacks continued on Saturday, with explosions recorded in three districts of Kyiv.Meanwhile, Putin held a videoconference call with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on Friday.

World Politics

Former Pope Benedict XVI died at 95,Benjamin Netanyahu was sworn in as Israel's new prime minister,former Maoist guerilla leader Pushpa Kamal Dahal became Nepal's new PM,Japan lost its fourth minister in two months,and Spain appointed a new ambassador to Venezuela.Meanwhile, Peru arrested six generals amid a probe into ousted Pres. Pedro Castillo,Bolivia's opposition leader Luis Fernando Camacho was arrested on terrorism charges,Myanmar's deposed leader Aung San Suu Kyi was jailed for seven more years,and Brazil banned guns in its capital ahead of President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's inauguration.In other news,Putin politicsbanned the supply of oil to countries abiding by the new price cap,Ukraine's Odesa removed a statue of Russian Empress Catherine the Great,India said it's investigating the death of a Russian politician in the eastern state of Odisha,and Serbia revoked its high troop alert on the border with Kosovo.Elsewhere, Argentina's president said he would abide by a court ruling mandating the return of funds taken from the opposition-led capital in 2020,and Australia announced plans to legislate the Indigenous Voice to Parliament next year,and approved a request to extradite a former US Marine.

US Politics

US Pres. Joe Biden signed a $1.7T funding bill,SCOTUS temporarily halted the termination of Title 42,and three buses carrying migrants were dropped off at VP Kamala Harris' home.Meanwhile, the Jan. 6 Committee withdrew its subpoena of Trump,as the former president's tax returns were released,a New York prosecutor announced plans to investigate representative-elect George Santos after he admitted to fabricating details of his resume,and an Arizona judge ruled against gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake's election lawsuit,but denied Governor-elect Katie Hobbs' request for sanctions against Lake.

Civil Liberties

The UN called on the Afghan Taliban to reverse its recent restrictions on women,and halted some operations in Afghanistan amid a ban on female aid workers,Iran rerouted a Dubai-bound flight carrying soccer legend Ali Daei's family,and an Iranian chess player competed without her hijab.In other news, a US study claimed that abortion bans may increase suicide risk,and a new batch of "Twitter files" alleged that the Biden admin. pressured the social media company into banning users with opposing COVID stances.

Crime & Justice

A US man was sentenced to 16 years in prison for a 2020 plot to kidnap Michigan's governor,and social media personality Andrew Tate and his brother were arrested in Romania over allegations of human trafficking.

Money & Economy

A survey found that 40% of the UK's junior doctors plan to quit the National Health Service over pay,Spain announced a $10B aid package to counter inflation in 2023.and Indonesia tightened its palm oil exports.


Uzbekistan claimed that at least 18 children died after consuming an India-based cough syrup,a new Chinese-made COVID antiviral pill completed its "phase 3" trial,and Hong Kong dropped nearly all of its COVID restrictions,as mainland China ended its COVID quarantine for foreign travelers,and announced plans to resume issuing tourist passports and visas.Meanwhile, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) said it will explore whether legal cannabidiol is safe in foods and supplements,a report said the FDA broke its rules when it approved an Alzheimer's drug,and Hershey Co. was sued over allegations that its dark chocolate contains harmful levels of metals.


An unprecedented winter storm in the US killed at least 65.


Twitter faced an outage that affected tens of thousands of users,and the US Dept. of Transportation said it would investigate Southwest Airlines' recent mass flight cancellations,as the company's competitors United and American Airlines announced plans to cap prices to help Southwest passengers get home.


Brazilian soccer legend Pel.


A deadly hotel-casino fire in Cambodia broke out near the Thai border,and a mine collapsed in China.

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