29 January 2023

Weekly Newsletter

Military & Armed Conflict

The Palestinian Authority suspended its security coordination with Israel after a deadly raid in Jenin,Israel bombed Gaza following two Palestinian rocket attacks,and a gunman killed at least seven near a Jerusalem synagogue.Meanwhile, a chemical weapons watchdog blamed Syria for the alleged 2018 chlorine attack in the city of Douma,the US military killed a senior official of the Islamic State in Somalia,Rwanda fired at a Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) fighter jet,and al-Shabaab militants stormed a government office in Somalia.In other news, Burkina Faso ended its military pact with France,a Norweigan fund dropped several Chinese and Indian firms for allegedly selling weapons to Myanmar,and a former commander of the Russian military contractor Wagner Group was detained in Norway.


Poland formally asked Germany for permission to export tanks to Ukraine on Monday -a request approved by Berlin on Wednesday, when the country also announced plans to provide Ukraine with their own Leopard 2 tanks following mounting pressure.Warsaw announced on Friday that it would supply 74 tanks.Germany's decision was followed by a "closely coordinated" announcement from the US that it also plans to send 31 tanks to Ukraine.Russia opposed the decisions, saying it views them as "direct involvement" in the conflict.On the ground, Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy warned that the frontline remains "extremely acute" as pro-Russia forces from the Donetsk People's Republic announced advances around the city of Vuhledar.Meanwhile, as Tuesday marked 11 months since the start of the conflict, the Ukrainian government was shaken by a series of corruption allegations that resulted in the dismissal and resignation of several key officials.

World Politics

The FBI alleged North Korea was behind a $100M crypto theft,the US White House raised concerns over allegations that Chinese companies have sold equipment to Russia,Japan and the Netherlands considered joining US chip restrictions on China.and Turkey's Pres. Recep Tayyip Erdo.

US Politics

Pres. Joe Biden named former COVID lead Jeff Zients as his next chief of staff,Sen. Joe Manchin said it would be a "mistake" not to negotiate the debt ceiling,and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy warned that Rep. George Santos will be removed if recommended by the ethics committee,and expelled Reps. Adam Schiff and Eric Swalwell from the House Intelligence Committee.Meanwhile, Meta said it would reinstate Donald Trump's Facebook and Instagram accounts,four more Oath Keepers members were convicted of seditious conspiracy,and two men were sentenced for assaulting an officer during the Jan. 6 riots.

Crime & Justice

In the US, California was devastated by three mass shootings in three days,a report found that half of the country's mass attacks from 2016-2020 were motivated by grievances,police cam footage from the arrest and death of Tyre Nichols was released,the FBI hacked a criminal ransomware gang,an ex-FBI agent was charged for working with a sanctioned Russian businessman,and a report estimated that COVID unemployment fraud may exceed $60B.Elsewhere, the UN warned that Myanmar's opium production is surging,the International Criminal Court reopened its probe into the Philippines' war on drugs,a man was charged with assaulting the UK's former health secretary,and a security guard was killed in an attack on Azerbaijan's Tehran embassy.

Civil Liberties

Two lawsuits challenged state bans on abortion pills,the pope said being gay is a sin but not a crime,a judge blocked California's COVID "misinformation" law,and thousands protested the official national day of Australia.Meanwhile, a report found that 42% of UK asylum seekers facing deportation to Rwanda are married,France repatriated 47 nationals from Syrian camps,a French watchdog warned that the nation's society remains "very sexist,"and India's plan for digital IDs in Kashmir sparked concerns.


A Project Veritas video appeared to show an alleged Pfizer official admitting to exploring "mutating" COVID,the FDA proposed a new COVID vaccine strategy,North Korea's capital was locked down due to an unnamed respiratory illness,and Japan's PM Fumio Kishida said the nation is "on the brink" of a population decline.Meanwhile, data showed that England and Wales have experienced a major spike in excess deaths,research found a link between viral illnesses and brain disease,a report said that antidepressants may be linked to antibiotic resistance,and a study found that blood-based testing could detect Alzheimer's disease before a clinical diagnosis.

Money & Economy

Figures showed that the US economy grew by 2.9% in Q4,a US jobs report for 2022 revealed that the biggest pay raises went to black, young, and low-wage workers,and the Bank of Canada hiked rates but signaled it may halt further increases.Meanwhile, a strike over pay grounded flights at Berlin's airport,a rolling blackout in Pakistan left 220M without power,and a poll predicted that India is likely to borrow a record $198B in the fiscal year 2023-24.


Microsoft confirmed a multibillion-dollar investment in ChatGPT-maker OpenAI,as outages hit the company's platforms,Spotify said it would lay off 6% of its workforce,and CVS and Walmart announced plans to cut pharmacy hours at their stores.Meanwhile, semiconductor chipmaker Intel Corp. lost $8B off its market value,Chevron recorded an annual profit of $35.5B,Tesla announced a record profit for Q4,and Elon Musk testified in a trial over allegations that he defrauded Tesla shareholders.


The Doomsday Clock's hand was moved closer to midnight, while a study found that Earth's core may have stopped spinning and reversed direction..

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