22 January 2023

Weekly Newsletter

Military & Armed Conflict

South Africa confirmed upcoming naval drills with Russia and China,France announced plans to boost its military spending by 40%,Germany's defense minister resigned,a former commander of the Russian military contractor Wagner Group sought asylum in Norway,and a report alleged that firms in Europe, the US, and Asia are helping Myanmar manufacture arms.Meanwhile, the UN discovered at least 49 bodies in mass graves in the Democratic Republic of Congo,as at least 10 were killed in a church bombing in the country's east,suspected rebels abducted 50 women in Burkina Faso,a Palestinian teenager was killed in the West Bank,and a teacher was among two Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in Jenin.


On Monday, China echoed calls for peace talks,as Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy proposed several conditions for negotiations, which Russia's foreign minister rejected on Wednesday.On Tuesday, Russia announced plans to boost its military by 1.5M troops.This came as Zelenskyy pressed Western countries to supply tanks on Thursday, with particular focus on Germany,who said on Friday that a decision is expected in the next few days.On Saturday, UK intelligence warned that both Russia and Ukraine have gathered "significant forces" in the Zaporizhzhia area - one of four regions Moscow claimed to have annexed.Meanwhile, the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights confirmed that over 7k civilians have died since the beginning of the conflict, as emergency services concluded that 44 civilians died in the recent Russian shelling of a residential tower in Dniproand as a helicopter crash near a Kyiv kindergarten killed at least 17, including senior Ukrainian officials and children.

World Politics

New Zealand's PM Jacinda Ardern resigned,with Chris Hipkins later being approved to replace her,Vietnam's Pres. Nguyen Xuan Phuc stepped down,one of Zelenskyy's top aides resigned,and Senegal's opposition leader announced plans to run for president despite facing rape charges.Meanwhile, police and protesters clashed in Peru,Brazil's Pres. Luiz In.

US Politics

Three active-duty Marines were arrested for participating in the Jan. 6 riots,a former candidate for New Mexico's legislature was arrested for allegedly conspiring to shoot several political opponents,New York City's Mayor Eric Adams said there's "no room" for migrants,Biden announced a new program to allow private citizens to sponsor refugees,and SCOTUS issued a report on the leaked draft opinion of the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.In Trump news, the former president and his lawyer were fined $938K for their lawsuits against Hillary Clinton and others,multiple Trump allies landed seats on the House Oversight and Accountability Committee,and Trump asked to regain access to Facebook ahead of his 2024 campaign,which will start with a stop in South Carolina next week.

Crime & Justice

In the US, Derek Chauvin's lawyer asked a court to hear his appeal in the murder of George Floyd,SCOTUS heard arguments over allegations that a Turkish bank helped Iran evade economic sanctions,the Justice Dept. arrested the founder of crypto exchange Bitzlato,a federal judge ordered Boeing to appear in court for arraignment,and a Georgia state trooper was shot in a clash between police and environmental groups.Elsewhere, police officers in Indonesia went on trial for their roles in a deadly soccer stampede,Italy's top mafia boss Matteo Messina Denaro was arrested,and a court in Macau sentenced gambling kingpin Alvin Chau to 18 years.

Civil Liberties

Iran said it would "firmly punish" women for breaking its hijab law,several aid organizations in Afghanistan resumed operations with female staff,a professor who was dismissed after showing an image of Prophet Muhammad in class sued the school,and a report alleged that Italy is forcibly returning migrants to Greece.Meanwhile, pro-life activists across the US gathered for the annual March for Life,SCOTUS discussed whether to hear cases challenging laws related to online speech,Texas inmates continued their hunger strike over the use of solitary confinement,the US Dept. of Labor issued citations against Amazon for exposing warehouse workers to safety hazards,Harvard reversed its decision to ban the former human rights watch head from a fellowship,and the UK blocked Scotland's Gender Recognition Reform bill.


Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis proposed permanently ending COVID restrictions,the US House GOP proposed a bill to end the COVID public health emergency,and China reported 60K COVID deaths in December.Meanwhile, Pakistan launched a nationwide anti-polio campaign,China's population dropped for the first time since 1961,Canada recommended a maximum of two alcoholic drinks per week,and the US announced new regulations to target fraud in organic food sales.

Weather & Environment

A study found that Greenland is the warmest it has been in a millennium,data showed that electric vehicles accounted for 10% of the global share in 2022,climate activist Greta Thunberg was detained by police at a German mine,and Sint Maarten announced plans to cull an entire population of vervet monkeys.

Money & Economy

The US hit its debt limit,a report found that US home sales fell to their lowest level since 2010 in December,the International Monetary Fund's chief said the global economic outlook is "less bad" than anticipated,and a study found that the richest 1% acquired two-thirds of all new wealth over the last two years.Meanwhile, China recorded one of its worst GDP growths in decades,France faced strikes over government changes to pensions,a report alleged that Mexico's state oil company Pemex destroyed resources worth $342M,and crypto giant Genesis filed for bankruptcy.

Business & Lawsuits

Harvard medical school announced that it will no longer submit data to the US news rankings,a report found that the Taliban is buying blue ticks on Twitter,a Japanese firm defended its ownership of Van Gogh's sunflowers following a lawsuit,and a class action suit claiming Tesla shareholders were defrauded by tweets from Elon Musk beganand headed to opening statements.


Scientists successfully steered lightning bolts with lasers.


Australian Open banned Russian and Belarusian flags,French soccer club Olympique Lyonnaisto was ordered to pay a former player after losing a landmark maternity lawsuit,and Italian soccer club Juventus was docked 15 points over allegations that it rigged its finances.


A plane crash in Nepal killed at least 68,and a stampede outside a soccer stadium in Iraq killed four.

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