05 February 2023

Weekly Newsletter

Military & Armed Conflict

The US military gained expanded access to four Philippine bases,officials reported that US arms left in Afghanistan are now surfacing in Kashmir,the US Pentagon said it was tracking an alleged Chinese "spy balloon," which it shot down on Saturday,French forces reportedly seized Yemen-bound Iranian weapons,and Brazil declined Germany's request to supply Ukraine with ammunition.Meanwhile, rockets hit a Turkish base in northern Iraq,a mosque bombing in Pakistan killed at least 100,at least 40 were killed in Nigeria in clashes between gangs and vigilantes,and Israel was blamed for a drone attack on an Iranian facility,and struck Gaza after intercepting Palestinian rocket fire.


Amid calls from Ukrainian Pres. Volodymyr Zelenskyy for Western nations to speed up the delivery of weapons,Ukraine's defense minister met with French Pres. Emmanuel Macron on Tuesday to discuss the supply of warplanes.US Pres. Joe Biden ruled out providing F-16 fighter jets on Mondaybut on Friday agreed to send longer-range bombs.Meanwhile, the US attorney general authorized the US to begin using Russian-seized assets to aid Kyiv.Discussion of military aid continued on Thursday as 15 EU officials met for two days of talks in Kyiv.Following the summit, EU officials announced that "Ukraine's future is in the EU," though they didn't set a timeline for candidacy.On the ground, pro-Russia officials from the Donetsk People's Republic announced Wednesday that their forces had largely encircled Bakhmut,prompting calls for a strategic retreat. Zelenskyy, however, vowed to keep defending the city.

World Politics

The US opened an embassy in the Solomon Islands after 30 years,US Sec. of State Antony Blinken met with Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu,former NATO general Petr Pavel won the Czech presidential election,Turkey's Pres. Recep Erdoǧan hinted that Finland's NATO bid may be accepted without Sweden,and Myanmar's junta extended its state of emergency.Meanwhile, the pope arrived in South Sudan to promote peace,four suspects in the killing of Haitian Pres. Jovenel Moïse were sent to the US for prosecution,Ethiopia's PM Abiy Ahmed met with Tigrayan leaders for the first time since their peace deal,Israel reached a deal to calm tensions with Palestinian prisoners,Brazil's Pres. Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva accused his predecessor Jair Bolsonaro of planning the Jan. 8 riots,billionaire Ihor Kolomoyskyy was the latest to be targeted in Ukraine's new anti-corruption raid,US lawmakers called on Azerbaijan to end its blockade of Nagorno-Karabakh,and Poland said a coalition of countries could boycott the Olympics if Russian and Belarusian athletes compete.In other news, British documents revealed that George W. Bush ordered the CIA to find a replacement for Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat,the UK's Conservative party Chairman Zahawi was fired,the UK fell on a global corruption ranking index,Australia announced King Charles III won't appear on its $5 bill,the US stopped granting export licenses for Huawei,and the US Energy and Commerce Committee confirmed that the CEO of the Chinese-owned social media app TikTok will appear before Congress.

US Politics

Donald Trump kicked off his 2024 campaign,South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is expected to announce her own presidential run,the FBI searched Biden's Delaware home but didn't find any classified documents,New York Rep. George Santos stepped down from his House Committee assignments,the House of Representatives removed Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee,and Trump sued veteran investigative journalist Bob Woodward over audio recordings from his last two years in office.

Crime & Justice

A report found that $5.4B was awarded for potentially fraudulent US COVID loans,the House Oversight Committee began a probe into potential COVID fraud,an analysis found that a record $3.8B in cryptocurrency was stolen in 2022,a Guantánamo detainee was freed to Belize,and Rhino poaching in Namibia was found to have reached an all-time high in 2022.

Civil Liberties

Utah banned gender-reassignment health care for transgender youth,the US College Board revised the Advance Placement African American course,a report claimed the British army spied on COVID lockdown critics,and France faced privacy criticisms over its security plan for the Paris Olympics.


Biden announced plans to end the country's COVID emergency in May,a study found that Merck & Co.'s COVID drug, Lagevrio, may cause virus mutations,a Project Veritas video showed an alleged Pfizer director expressing concern over COVID vaccine effects on women's reproductive health,a study found that COVID set students back by 35% of a year's worth of learning,and China announced plans to fully reopen its borders with Hong Kong and Macau.In other news, the US proposed rules to limit sugar in school meals,a report found that Medicare Advantage Plans in the US denied 2M prior authorization requests in 2021,and the Canadian province of British Columbia launched an experiment with decriminalizing hard drugs.

Money & Economy

In the US, the Federal Reserve raised rates by 0.25% and signaled "ongoing increases" to come,a report said that 64% of Americans are living paycheck-to-paycheck,a labor report found that 517K jobs were created in January,and Biden proposed a bill to cut hidden fees across several industries.Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund lifted its global growth forecasts,the Bank of England raised interest rates to a 14-year high,the UK faced its worst strikes in a decade,France faced a second wave of strikes over its plan to raise the retirement age,and oil and gas giant Shell reported its highest profits in 115 years.


Facebook averaged 2B daily users for the first time in December,the social media platform's parent company Meta asked a London court to block a lawsuit alleging it abused its market dominance,Elon Musk was cleared in a trial over allegations that he defrauded Tesla shareholders,India's multinational conglomerate Adani lost $65B from its market value,auto-makers Nissan and Renault agreed to restructure their alliance,and Qatar airways and Airbus settled a dispute over the safety of A350 jets.

Weather & Environment

The EU set forth a "green industry plan,"several US states failed to reach a deal on cutting consumption of the Colorado river,an arctic blast gripped the US and Canada,and New Zealand braced for flooding from a second "atmospheric river..


Scientists vowed to "de-extinct" the dodo bird.

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