15 January 2023

Weekly Newsletter

Military & Armed Conflict

The US and Japan announced plans to bolster their military ties,Australia and Papua New Guinea pledged a new security pact,China conducted large-scale combat drills near Taiwan,and Sweden announced plans to reactivate its military conscription.Meanwhile, a suicide bombing outside Afghanistan's foreign ministry killed and injured several,the US Navy seized suspected Iranian assault rifles bound for Yemen,a report found that US and UK weapons killed 87 Yemeni civilians in just over a year,Ethiopia's Tigray rebels started handing over their heavy weapons,and an international human rights group called on India to close its airspace to Myanmar warplanes


On Monday, Russia denied reports that it's attempting to force a Korean-style peace dealas Moscow's defense ministry vowed to continue to develop its nuclear triad in 2023.On Tuesday, Russia's Wagner mercenary group announced it had captured the Donetsk town of Soledar -a claim refuted by Ukrainian Pres. Zelenksyy on Wednesday and the nation's deputy defense minister on Thursday.This was echoed by a spokesperson for Kyiv on Friday, who said that the fight for the small mining town was still ongoing.Meanwhile, after NATO's secretary general said that supplying Western tanks to Ukraine hasn't been ruled out, the UK announced plans to send 12 Challenger 2 tanks to Kyiv on Saturday.This came as the Western alliance signed a joint declaration with the EU on Tuesday, pledging to boost security in the Euro-Atlantic region

World Politics

Australian Cardinal George Pell died at 81,a report found that 14 UK MPs were given over pound250K in campaign donations,UK's Tory MP Andrew Bridgen lost the party whip over a COVID tweet,Russia blamed Armenia for the breakdown of Nagorno-Karabakh talks,the French and German foreign ministers hailed Ethiopia's peace process,and Nigeria's Independent National Electoral Commission warned rising insecurity could derail next month's elections.Meanwhile, the director of the CIA traveled to Libya,hundreds attended a government rally against Al-Shabab in Somalia,Bolivia's former pres. Evo Morales was banned from entering Peru,Venezuela asked Interpol to arrest three new opposition leaders,and Brazil's supreme court ordered the arrests of several top officialsafter protesters breached government buildings

US Politics

A special counsel was appointed to oversee an investigationafter classified files from Biden's VP term were found at three locations,and the US GOP voted for a general probe of Biden's presidency.Meanwhile,US Rep. George Santos rejected GOP calls to resign,Biden made his first visit to the southern border,the Jan. 6 House Committee referred four Trump lawyers for prosecution,and Trump's businesses were fined $1.6M

Crime & Justice

The final report on Seoul's deadly Halloween crush recommended prosecution for 23 officials,the UN called for a probe into the murder of two Honduran environmentalists,an armed group in Nigeria abducted 32 people from a train station,and a knife attack at a Paris train station injured six.Meanwhile, a US official who spied for Cuba was released after 20 years,US Conservative activist Matt Schlapp was accused of sexual assault,social media personality Andrew Tate lost his appeal in a Romanian court,the president of the Turkish Medical Association was convicted on terror charges,and Pakistan denied ties to a package containing uranium at UK's Heathrow airport

Civil Liberties

The Black Lives Matter founder's cousin died in police custody,the US House passed the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act,the US Pentagon formally ended its COVID vaccine mandate for troops,UK unions criticized the country's new strike laws,Myanmar jailed 112 Rohingya,and Peru launched a genocide probe after its deadly protests.Meanwhile, India began the demolition of 678 houses in the nation's sinking Himalayan town,Iran executed two more protestersand hanged its former deputy defense minister,a Syrian refugee who was stranded in a Malaysian airport for seven months became a Canadian citizen,Amnesty International called on Algeria to annul the death sentences issued to 49 people,and the UK accused China of eroding Hong Kong's freedoms


The "Unlock Michigan" COVID group was reportedly funded by dark money,Saudi Arabia announced plans for the Hajj to return to pre-COVID attendance,China further relaxed its COVID restrictions,and Uganda declared an end to its Ebola outbreak.Meanwhile, the US safety agency considered a ban on gas stoves,and Obamacare saw record enrollment for 2023

Weather & Environment

Over 17 died as storms battered California,at least a further nine were killed by storms in the southern US,a "one-in-100-year" flood forced evacuations in Australia,and donors pledged $9B to help Pakistan recover from its recent floods.Meanwhile, the UAE named its oil chief to lead the UN's upcoming COP28 talks,a UN report predicted the ozone layer will completely heal by 2066,a study found that oil giant ExxonMobil accurately predicted climate change,and Japan said it may release water from its damaged Fukushima power plant in the spring or summer

Money & Economy

The World Bank warned that the global economy is "perilously close" to a recession,the US added 223K jobs in December,the US Dept. of Education announced a new student loan repayment program,7K nurses held a strike in New York City,which ended after a deal on "safe staffing ratios" was reached,and UK's PM Rishi Sunak signaled his openness to increase nurses' wages.Meanwhile, lawyers for crypto exchange FTX said the company uncovered $5B in crypto assets,and a Swedish company found over 1M tonnes of rare minerals


Australian Open loosened its COVID rules for tennis players


A report said Goldman Sachs is planning to cut 3.2K employees,a dozen Twitter janitors protested their firing,Seattle schools sued tech giants over students' mental health,and the US Federal Aviation Administration grounded flights after a computer outage


The US Pentagon released its UFO report,NASA's rover found gemstones on Mars,NASA found two Earth-sized exoplanets,and historic UK satellite launch failed to reach orbit

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