Design a site like this with
Get started

The Week of 2022 September 12 – 18

September 12

Russian forces target Ukraine power stations while retreating
Retreating Russian forces attacked Ukrainian power stations and other infrastructure as they fled from Kharkiv province in the face of a Ukrainian counterattack to reclaim territory seized by Russia early in its invasion. Russia’s precision strikes caused a fire at a large power station outside Kharkiv, Ukraine’s second largest city. At least one person was killed. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky denounced what he called “deliberate and cynical missile strikes” that targeted civilians and amounted to terrorism. The attacks caused widespread outages across Ukraine. Separately, Ukrainian operators shut down the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant in the Russian-occupied south, to keep nearby fighting from triggering a radiation disaster. [The Associated Press, Reuters]
Proclamations recognize Charles as king in U.K., Commonwealth
The capital cities of Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland held proclamation ceremonies Sunday officially declaring Charles king of the nations that make up the United Kingdom, along with England. Thousands of people gathered for the official announcement at Edinburgh Castle, Cardiff Castle, and Hillsborough Castle in Belfast. The ceremonies took place as Queen Elizabeth’s coffin was transported from Balmoral Castle, her country estate in Scotland, to Edinburgh, on the way to London. King Charles III met with Realm High Commissioners to bolster longstanding relationships with the 14 formerly British-ruled lands where he is still head of state. Some of the Commonwealth realm countries are considering dropping the British crown. [The New York Times]
Study says COVID still keeping 500,000 out of work force
COVID-19 is continuing to force about 500,000 people to stay out of the U.S. labor force, according to a study released Monday by economists Gopi Shah Goda of Stanford University and Evan J. Soltas of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Millions quit jobs during the pandemic. Some retired, some lacked child care, some feared infection. “If we stay where we are with COVID infection rates going forward, we expect that 500,000-person loss to persist until either exposure goes down or severity goes down,” Soltas said. The labor force, a measure of those working or seeking employment, rose to 164.7 million in August, topping the February 2020 pre-pandemic level for the first time but falling short of where the U.S. labor force would have been. [The Wall Street Journal]
Biden administration expands restrictions on chip sales to China
The Biden administration plans to expand restrictions on U.S semiconductor shipments to China, Reuters reported Sunday, citing several people familiar with the matter. The Commerce Department reportedly plans to confirm the policy, which applies to artificial intelligence and chipmaking tools, in new regulations, formalizing restrictions spelled out earlier this year in letters to KLA Corp., Lam Research Corp., and Applied Materials Inc. The letters ordered the companies not to send chipmaking equipment to Chinese semiconductor manufacturers that haven’t obtained U.S. licenses. The rules also would formalize restrictions the Commerce Department established last month in letters telling Nvidia and Advanced Micro Devices to stop shipping some artificial intelligence computing chips to China. [Reuters]
Sweden conservative bloc leads election still too close to call 
Sweden’s Sunday election remained too close to call overnight, but near-final results suggested that a bloc of right-wing parties might have narrowly beaten Prime Minister Magdalena Andersson’s left-wing bloc. The early count showed Andersson’s ruling Social Democrats with 30.5 percent of the vote. That was more than any other single party, but her four-party left-wing coalition fell short of a majority in the 349-seat parliament, or Riksdag. Exit polls initially suggested Andersson and her allies would eke out a win, but the early vote count shifted the edge to the conservative bloc, which includes a populist anti-immigration party that won its most support ever. [BBC News, The Associated Press]
Earthquake search, rescue continue as 4 confirmed dead in Papua New Guinea
Authorities in Papua New Guinea on Sunday confirmed that at least four people were killed in the 7.6-magnitude earthquake that struck the southwestern Pacific island nation. The quake’s epicenter was about 41 miles east of Kainantu in the country’s highlands, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. One of the people killed was caught in a landslide in the southeastern Madang province. Three others were buried in another landslide in Wau, a town in nearby Morobe province. An unspecified number of people were injured by debris and falling structures. Numerous homes, health clinics, and rural roads sustained damage. The hardest hit areas were sparsely populated, limiting the destruction. [NBC News]
Fast-spreading Oregon wildfire breaks through containment lines
A fast-spreading Oregon wildfire threatened more than 2,000 homes after it “breached existing lines” on Sunday, officials said. The blaze has quadrupled in size since last week, forcing people to evacuate thousands of homes and hundreds of commercial buildings along the smoke-choked Interstate 5 corridor, some of them in the Portland metropolitan area. The Cedar Creek fire, started Aug. 1 by a lightning storm, had grown to nearly 86,000 acres as of Sunday, and was 0 percent contained. The fire got worse heading into the weekend as it was fueled by gusty winds and hot, dry conditions. Gov. Kate Brown (D) declared as state fire emergency on Friday, clearing the state fire marshal to support local fire agencies responding to the blaze. [NPR]
Child poverty rate down 59 percent since 1993
The child poverty rate has dropped 59 percent since 1993, The New York Times reported Sunday, citing an analysis of Census Bureau data the newspaper conducted jointly with the nonpartisan research group Child Trends. The research showed that child poverty fell in every state and among white, Black, Hispanic, and Asian children, whether they had one parent or two. The numbers were down among immigrant households, too. Rates of deep poverty also fell sharply. In 1993, nearly 28 percent of the nation’s children were living in households without enough income to meet basic needs. By 2019, that number was about 11 percent. More than eight million people are still in poverty, with Black and Latino children about three times as likely as their white peers to be poor. [The New York Times]

September 13

Fighting for democracy?

Ukrainian forces drive Russians to border in Kharkiv counteroffensive
Ukraine’s military continued its unexpectedly swift counteroffensive against Russian troops in northeastern Kharkiv province on Monday, retaking several villages and driving retreating, outnumbered Russian troops all the way to the Russian border. A Russian-installed official in the region, Vitaly Ganchev, told the state-owned Rossiya-24 television channel “the situation is becoming more difficult by the hour.” The success of the counteroffensive, after months without significant progress for Ukraine, boosted national morale and prompted even some of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s allies to criticize the invasion. “The world is impressed. The enemy is panicking,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said. [USA Today]
Biden expands ‘Cancer Moonshot’
President Biden on Monday announced an expansion of his “Cancer Moonshot” initiative to reduce cancer deaths by speeding up research on new treatments, detection, and prevention methods. Cancer “doesn’t care if you’re a Republican or a Democrat,” Biden said at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston. “Beating cancer is something we can do together.” Biden compared the push to Kennedy’s speech exactly 60 years ago calling for putting a man on the moon. Biden said his administration’s initiative aims to reduce cancer deaths by 50 percent over 25 years. He named longtime science adviser Renee Wegrzyn as the first director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, created in March. [NBC News]
DOJ says it would accept Trump special master candidate
The Justice Department indicated in court papers filed Monday that it would accept one of former President Donald Trump’s two proposed candidates for special master to review documents seized in a search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home in Florida. If Judge Aileen Cannon selects the candidate, former New York federal judge Raymond Dearie, as special master, the review could start soon. Trump’s lawyers on Monday asked Cannon to deny a DOJ request to restore FBI access to the material for its criminal investigation into Trump’s handling of classified documents and other papers that belong in the National Archives. Cannon has told the FBI and prosecutors they can’t use the material until a special master has determined whether some documents are protected by attorney-client or executive privilege. [The Washington Post, The New York Times]
Book: Trump intended to stay in White House despite loss
Former President Donald Trump seemed to acknowledge he had lost to President Biden right after the 2020 election, before changing course and insisting the election had been stolen from him, New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman writes in a forthcoming book. Haberman said that after Trump started questioning the legitimacy of the results, he told close aides he was “never leaving” the White House, CNN reported Monday. “I’m just not going to leave,” Trump told an aide, according to Haberman. It had not been previously reported that Trump insisted he simply wouldn’t leave the White House. Haberman’s book, Confidence Man: The Making of Donald Trump and the Breaking of America, is due out Oct. 4. [CNN]
Lee Jung-jae, Zendaya make Emmy history
Netflix’s hit series Squid Game won several statues at Monday’s Emmy Awards, with South Korea’s Lee Jung-jae becoming the first Asian actor to win outstanding lead actor in a drama series. He was also the first person to win the award for a series that‘s not in English. Hwang Dong-hyuk took the award for best director in the drama category. Zendaya won the Emmy for outstanding lead actress in a drama series. The Euphoria star, who also won in 2020, became the first Black actor to win the lead drama actress Emmy twice. “My greatest wish for Euphoria was that it could help heal people, and I just want to say thank you for everyone who has shared their story with me,” Zendaya said. [CNN, Rolling Stone]
King Charles and siblings escort Queen Elizabeth’s coffin in Edinburgh procession
Britain’s King Charles III and his siblings — Prince Andrew, Princess Anne, and Prince Edward — on Monday walked behind the hearse carrying the coffin of their mother, Queen Elizabeth II, as it was driven from the Palace of Holyroodhouse to St. Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh, Scotland. Thousands of mourners watched the procession silently. The queen will lie in rest in the cathedral until Tuesday afternoon. The coffin will then be flown to London and taken to Buckingham Palace ahead of a Monday funeral in Westminster Abbey. British police have arrested at least four people who protested the monarchy and King Charles as the nation mourns the death of the queen, whose 70-year reign was the longest in the country’s history. [BBC News, Reuters]

September 14

Influential French director Jean-Luc Godard dies at 91
French New Wave director Jean-Luc Godard, widely considered one of the greatest filmmakers of all time, has died. He was 91. Godard’s wife, Anne-Marie Mieville, told French media that he “died peacefully at home, surrounded by loved ones.” Godard made his feature directorial debut with Breathless in 1960, after beginning his career as a film critic. Breathless was listed as the 13th greatest movie ever made in Sight & Sound’s most recent poll of the all-time best films. “Modern movies begin here,” Roger Ebert wrote in 2003, calling the film “revolutionary” and praising its “headlong pacing, its cool detachment, its dismissal of authority, and the way its narcissistic young heroes are obsessed with themselves and oblivious to the larger society.” [Reuters]
GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham proposes nationwide abortion restrictions
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) introduced a bill Tuesday that would ban abortions nationwide after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and leave in place more restrictive bans in some states. There’s “no chance” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) will allow a vote on the legislation, The New York Times said. The bill appeared designed to give Republicans a chance to unite behind a shared policy on the abortion issue ahead of the November midterm elections. Some Republicans have pushed to sharply limit or ban abortion since the Supreme Court overturned the landmark Roe v. Wade decision that had protected abortion rights for 50 years. Others want more modest restrictions. A backlash, particularly among women voters, has hurt Republicans’ chance of winning control of the Senate in November. [The New York Times]
Inflation rises despite falling gas prices
The Labor Department reported Tuesday that the consumer price index rose 8.3 percent in August compared to a year earlier, down from 8.5 percent in July and 9.1 percent in June. Prices rose 0.1 percent month-to-month, picking up after holding steady in July. Economists had expected falling gas prices and other factors to pull down inflation a little more. Excluding volatile food and energy costs, core prices increased 0.6 percent from July to August, up sharply from July’s 0.3 percent figure. Core prices were up 6.3 percent compared to a year earlier. They rose 5.9 percent in July. The news sent stocks plunging on expectations of even more aggressive interest rate hikes by the Federal Reserve, hurting economic growth. [The Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal]
Ukraine pushes deeper into Russian-occupied areas
Ukrainian troops recaptured more territory in northeastern Kharkiv province on Tuesday, as Russian occupying forces continued their frenzied retreat amid Ukraine’s surprisingly effective counteroffensive. Ukraine’s border guard services said the army has retaken the town of Vovchansk, just two miles from the Russian border, for the first time since the Feb. 24 invasion. Russia also abandoned Melitopol, the second largest city in Ukraine’s southern Zaporizhzhia province, and fled toward Russian-annexed Crimea, according to the city’s pre-occupation mayor. Russia’s hasty retreat was unexpected after months of an apparent stalemate. “They left like the wind,” one Ukrainian civilian, Svitlana Honchar, said in the newly freed northeastern village of Chkalovske. “They were fleeing by any means they could.” [The Associated Press]
U.S. says Russia covertly funneled $300 million to influence foreign politics
Russia has secretly given more than $300 million to foreign political parties and candidates since 2014 in a campaign to influence policies and elections, according to a new U.S. intelligence review. The Biden administration ordered the review this summer and downgraded the classified findings so it could share them with the public and other countries. A senior Biden administration official said Russia is “trying to advantage specific political parties and undermine democracy in all of these countries,” and the U.S. believes “one of the most effective ways to counter Russian covert influence is to expose it.” The official said releasing the information also puts “these foreign parties and candidates on notice that if they accept Russian money secretly, we can and we will expose it.” [The Washington Post, CNN]

He needs a ride

September 15

Crowds wait hours to file past Queen Elizabeth’s coffin
Crowds gathered in London on Wednesday to watch a horse-drawn carriage take the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall, where Britain’s longest-serving monarch will lie in state until her state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday. King Charles III and his siblings marched behind the coffin, as did his sons. Well into the night, thousands of people, many having waited hours in line, filed solemnly past the late queen’s coffin, which rested on a catafalque in the middle of the 900-year-old hall. Some of the mourners were in tears. “I had to be here,” said Esther Ravenor, a Kenyan who lives in the U.K. “She is a true role model. She loved us all, all of us.” Elizabeth died a week ago at age 96. [BBC News, The Associated Press]
Sweden’s prime minister resigns as right-wing bloc wins Parliament control 
A bloc of right-wing parties has won a narrow majority in Sweden’s Parliament, seizing control from the Swedish Social Democratic party’s ruling center-left coalition. The conservative bloc’s victory was due largely to an unprecedented showing for the far-right nationalist Sweden Democrats party. With 99 percent of the ballots counted, the right-wing bloc had 176 of the Parliament’s 349 seats, the Swedish Election Authority reported. Ulf Kristersson, head of the Moderates, is expected to lead the new government as prime minister. He said the vote gave his coalition a “mandate for change.” The current prime minister, Magdalena Andersson, conceded on Wednesday and said she will step down Thursday. [The New York Times]
Senators propose designating Russia as state terrorism sponsor
A bipartisan group of senators on Wednesday introduced legislation to designate Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. “The need for this measure is more pressing now than ever before,” said Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), one of the bill’s sponsors. He cited Russia’s killing of civilians and other “brutal, cruel oppression” in Ukraine as justification for the designation, which Ukraine has pushed for. Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), another sponsor, said passing the legislation would send a powerful message of support for Kyiv. It was not immediately clear what will happen next with the proposal. The Biden administration has said there are more effective ways to punish Russia for invading Ukraine. [Reuters]
Zelensky visits town retaken from Russia in Ukrainian counteroffensive
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky made a rare trip outside the capital city of Kyiv on Wednesday to visit areas Ukraine’s military has retaken from Russia in a counteroffensive that sent Russian forces into an embarrassing retreat. Zelensky watched as Ukraine’s flag was raised over the burned-out municipal headquarters in the recaptured city of Izium, south of Kharkiv in eastern Ukraine. The rout of Russian forces marked the biggest military defeat for Moscow since its army withdrew from the area around Kyiv months ago. Russian President Vladimir Putin is joining leaders of India, China, and Central Asian nations in Uzbekistan on Thursday for an eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting where he is scheduled to discuss Ukraine with Chinese President Xi Jinping. [The Associated Press]
Patagonia founder gives company away to fight climate change
Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, 83, announced Wednesday that he is transferring ownership of the $3 billion outdoor-apparel company to a trust and a nonprofit organization to fight climate change and protect unspoiled land. The trust was designed to protect Patagonia’s independence, values, and mission as part of an arrangement to use all of its profits to protect the environment. Chouinard and his family are giving 100 percent of the company’s voting stock to the Patagonia Purpose Trust, and 100 percent of its nonvoting stock to the Holdfast Collective, a nonprofit dedicated to “fighting the environmental crisis and defending nature.” “Earth is now our only shareholder,” the unconventional entrepreneur wrote in a letter posted on the company’s website. [MarketWatch, The Washington Post]
Election denier Donald Bolduc wins New Hampshire GOP Senate primary
Political newcomer Donald Bolduc, a supporter of former President Donald Trump’s debunked 2020 election conspiracy theories, narrowly won New Hampshire’s Republican U.S. Senate nomination, NBC News projected Wednesday. He beat state Senate President Chuck Morse, the more moderate candidate and the favorite of the GOP establishment. Bolduc advances to the November general election to challenge incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, who easily won renomination on Tuesday. The race is one of a handful of close contests that could tip control of the Senate. With Election Day less than two months away, Hassan has more than $7 million in her campaign chest. Bolduc, a retired Army brigadier general, reported $84,000 at the end of August. [NBC News]
FBI seizes MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell’s phone
FBI agents this week seized the cellphone of MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell, a prominent ally of former President Donald Trump, Axios reported Wednesday. The move came after agents questioned Lindell about a Colorado county clerk who’s being investigated for tampering with voting machines made by Dominion Voting Systems, the focus of debunked pro-Trump conspiracy theories about cheating in the 2020 election. The clerk, Tina Peters of Mesa County, has been indicted on state charges concerning an alleged plot to download electronic data from voting machines. Peters pleaded not guilty. The warrant used to take the phone described Lindell as one of several “co-conspirators,” linking the case to the prominent mouthpiece for Trump’s disinformation about the election. [Axios, The New York Times]

Not Trump's pillowGraham's sign

September 16

Putin concedes that China’s Xi has ‘concerns’ about Ukraine invasion
Russian President Vladimir Putin met Thursday with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and conceded that Beijing had “questions and concerns” about Russia’s invasion or Ukraine. It was their first in-person talk since Russian forces invaded Ukraine in late February. China has refused to condemn the unprovoked invasion, and increased its trade with Russia to record levels as the Kremlin scrambles to offset the impact of Western sanctions. Putin promised in an opening speech ahead of the meeting that he would “explain in detail our position on this issue.” Xi promised to “work with Russia to extend strong mutual support,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, and thanked Putin for “Russia’s adherence to the one-China principle and stressed that Taiwan is a part of China.” [CNN]
Ukraine finds mass grave in northeast after Russian retreat
Ukrainian authorities said Thursday they found a mass burial site with 440 bodies near Izium, a city in northeast Kharkiv province that Russian forces occupied for months before fleeing in the face of a Ukrainian counteroffensive. “Russia is leaving death behind it everywhere and must be held responsible,” Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said in a video address. The mass grave, believed to hold the bodies of Ukrainian soldiers and civilians, was the largest found in Europe since the 1990s, after the Balkan wars. A marker over one grave said it contained the bodies of 17 Ukrainian soldiers, although investigators said it could contain up to 30. [Reuters, The Associated Press]
Trump warns of ‘problems’ if he’s indicted over classified documents
Former President Donald Trump warned on a conservative radio show Thursday that there will be “problems in this country the likes of which perhaps we’ve never seen before” if he is criminally charged over his handling of classified documents after he left the White House. When conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt said critics might say Trump was inciting violence, the former president said: “That‘s not inciting — I’m just saying what my opinion is. I don’t think the people of this country would stand for it.” FBI agents searched Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in Florida on Aug. 8 and seized numerous classified and top-secret documents among other papers that should have been returned to the National Archives. [The Washington Post]
Judge names special master to review government documents seized from Trump
U.S. District Court Judge Aileen Cannon on Thursday appointed Raymond Dearie as the special master to review more than 11,000 documents, some highly classified, that FBI agents seized from former President Donald Trump’s Florida residence last month. Dearie, 78, is a former chief federal judge in New York. The Justice Department indicated last week it would accept Dearie, one of Trump’s picks for special master, but disagreed with Cannon on including about 100 documents marked classified in his review. Cannon, a Trump appointee, ruled Dearie would examine the classified documents, and denied DOJ’s request to let prosecutors use the material before the review is finished. The Justice Department said delaying the investigation could risk national security, and is likely to appeal. [The Washington Post]
Indiana implements near-total abortion ban
Indiana’s ban on nearly all abortions took effect Thursday. The legislation, SB 1, includes narrow exceptions for cases of rape and incest through 10 weeks of pregnancy and medical emergencies up to 20 weeks, and requires the procedure to be performed in hospitals. Democratic lawmakers in Indiana called the law a “death sentence.” “I’m old enough to remember before Roe v. Wade,” Rep. Sue Errington (D) said. “And I know that laws like this only ban safe legal abortion. Women are going to suffer, and some will die from this.” The ACLU and abortion providers are challenging the law in court. Indiana lawmakers passed the law in early August, allowing six weeks before it was implemented. West Virginia lawmakers passed a similar ban this week. [The Guardian, CNN]
Tech companies join White House push to fight violent extremism
The White House announced Thursday during the “United We Stand” summit hosted by President Biden that tech companies would adopt policies and tools to help fight hateful rhetoric. In coordination with the event, social media and tech giants, including YouTube, Twitch, Microsoft, and Facebook’s Meta, announced new initiatives to limit the spread of such posts. The companies have faced pressure to address their roles in spreading and amplifying violent rhetoric since mass shootings in Buffalo, New York, and Uvalde, Texas, in which the suspects had histories of violent online posts. The Biden administration announced several steps at the summit to strengthen federal efforts to counter hate-fueled violence like the 2016 Orlando Pulse Nightclub attack and the 2019 Walmart attack in El Paso. [The Washington Post, The Guardian]
Biden executive order seeks to block China investment in some U.S. technology
President Biden signed an executive order Thursday stepping up efforts to block Chinese investment in U.S. technology and keep Americans’ private data away from Beijing. In a move likely to intensify tensions with China, Biden ordered the secretive Committee on Foreign Investments in the United States to focus on preventing a foreign power from getting access to technologies Biden has singled out for their importance to U.S. economic growth. The committee will review cases related to “microelectronics, artificial intelligence, biotechnology and biomanufacturing, quantum computing, advanced clean energy, and climate adaptation technologies,” the White House said. The order doesn’t mention China by name, but focuses on technologies prioritized in President Xi Jinping’s “Made in China 2025” drive. [The New York Times]

September 17

FedEx warns of global recession
Transport company FedEx this week warned of an impending global recession, as predicted by the declining global demand for packages. The company’s shares dropped 21 percent on Friday, notably after it estimated a $500 million revenue shortfall thanks to a slowing economy. “These numbers, they don’t portend very well,” FedEx CEO Raj Subramaniam replied, when asked if the decline in company profits suggested a recession was imminent. To address its financial woes, the company is reducing flights, temporarily grounding aircraft, cutting staff hours, delaying certain hiring, and closing 90 FedEx Office locations in addition to five corporate offices. It will also cut $500 million from its capital expenditure budget for its fiscal year, which lasts through May 2023. [CNN]
The king, Prince William visit those queueing for queen
The United Kingdom’s King Charles III and Prince William on Saturday made a surprise visit to those waiting in long lines to pay their respects to the late Queen Elizabeth II, who died earlier this month at the age of 96. Walking along the Albert Embankment, the pair thanked those who had queued overnight, and even offered notes of encouragement to anyone still roughing it: “You’re over halfway,” the prince told one young girl.  “I hope you didn’t get too frozen,” Charles said elsewhere, in reference to last night’s drop in temperature. As of roughly 8:30 a.m. ET Saturday, the queue time was around 14 hours, “with the line stretching five miles along the Thames to Southwark Park,” per BBC News. Thousands of mourners (including soccer star David Beckham) have endured painfully long lines over the last few days in hopes of visiting the queen’s coffin, which will lie in state in Westminster Hall until her funeral on Monday. [BBC News]
India’s Modi criticizes Putin’s war
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday directly criticized Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, telling the Russian president during a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization that “today’s era is not an era of war.” “I have spoken to you on the phone about this,” the Indian leader continued. Putin afterwards “glanced at Modi and then looked down before touching the hair on the back of his head,” Reuters reports. “I know your position on the conflict in Ukraine, the concerns that you constantly express,” Putin responded. “We will do everything to stop this as soon as possible.” India has notably become the No. 2 purchaser of Russian oil now that other nations, including China, have cut back in response to the war. [Reuters]
Bodies found in Ukraine’s Izium show signs of torture: Reports
Some of the over 440 bodies uncovered at a mass burial site in the recently-reclaimed Ukrainian city of Izium show “signs of torture,” including broken limbs and rope ties around the neck, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Friday. Though more than 400 graves have been uncovered thus far, the exact number of victims at the site is currently unknown. “The harsh reality indicates that the number of dead in Izium may be many times higher than the Bucha tragedy,” Ukrainian official Oleg Kotenko wrote on Telegram. Some victims were killed by gunfire, while others died of “so-called mine explosion traumas,” Serhii Bolvinov, Kharkiv’s chief police investigator, told Britain’s Sky News, per CNN.  “Some died because of airstrikes,” he continued. The buried corpses were also “mostly civilians,” according to Ukraine’s Center for Strategic Communications. [The Associated Press, CNN]
DOJ appeals portion of decision to appoint special master in Trump case
The Department of Justice on Friday asked an appeals court to allow the FBI to regain access to roughly 100 documents taken from former President Donald Trump’s Florida mansion, but did not seek to block the appointment of a so-called “special master,” or third-party individual, to review other materials. In its filing, the Justice Department requested that the appeals court refrain from submitting the 100-some classified documents to the outside arbiter, but still agreed to hand over thousands of others materials. The department’s ask arrives after Judge Aileen Cannon last week granted Trump’s request for a special master, and forbade law enforcement agencies from accessing the thousands of seized documents under investigative circumstances until the special master review has finished. The department initially asked Cannon to stay the section of her order blocking it from investigating the specific 100 or so files in question, but she denied the request on Thursday. [The New York Times]
Gavin Newsom challenges Ron DeSantis to a debate
California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) on Friday challenged Ron DeSantis (R) to a televised debate, after having decried the Florida governor and his conservative counterpart —Texas’ Greg Abbott — for relocating vulnerable migrants in protest of President Biden’s border policies. “Hey [DeSantis], clearly you’re struggling, distracted, and busy playing politics with people’s lives,” Newsom tweeted Friday. “Since you have only one overriding need — attention — let’s take this up & debate. I’ll bring my hair gel. You bring your hairspray. Name the time before Election Day.” On Thursday, the California governor called on the Department of Justice directly to investigate whether Abbott, who that same day bused some 100 migrants to Vice President Kamala Harris’ residence in Washington, D.C., and DeSantis, who on Wednesday flew roughly 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard, were in violation of federal law. [The Los Angeles Times]
West Virginia governor signs abortion ban
West Virginia Gov. Jim Justice (R) on Friday signed into law a bill banning almost all abortions save for instances of rape, incest, or medical necessity. The ban, approved by the West Virginia Legislature earlier in the week, took effect immediately, with criminal penalties to begin in 90 days. “I’ve done exactly what I said I would do — I’ve signed it,” Justice said of the legislation at a news conference Friday morning. He noted that he is “proud that I signed it and I believe wholeheartedly that it does one thing that is absolutely so important — it does protect life.” West Virginia is now the second state to enact a law prohibiting abortion since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade (1973) in June. [CNN, The Associated Press]
Broadway’s ‘Phantom of the Opera’ to close
After 35 years, The Phantom of the Opera — Broadway’s longest-running production — is set to close on Feb. 18, 2023. Cast, crew, and orchestra members were informed of the decision on Friday. Despite its renown, Phantom’s grosses have been unfortunately declining ever since it returned post-COVID, and the profits just aren’t enough to offset the show’s high costs. This won’t be the end of the beloved musical entirely, however; productions of Phantom will still continue to run elsewhere, including in London, Australia, and China (beginning next year.) [The New York Times, The New York Post]

September 18

Typhoon Nanmadol hits southern Japan
The powerful Typhoon Nanmadol made landfall in Japan’s southernmost main island of Kyushu on Sunday, prompting heavy rains, high winds, and the risk of mudslides. Thousands of residents sought safety from the storm, which “has the potential to be the most destructive tropical storm to strike Japan in decades,” Reuters notes. In some areas, officials are prepared to see 20 inches of rain or more. Regional train and ferry services have been canceled, and hundreds of domestic flights have been grounded. A few injuries have been reported, but no deaths. In the coming days, the storm is projected to pass over all of Japan’s main islands before heading back to sea on likely Wednesday or Thursday. [The New York Times, Reuters]
Tropical Storm Fiona prompts hurricane warning in Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico is under its first hurricane warning in over three years thanks to Tropical Storm Fiona, which is expected to strengthen into something more sinister by the time it reaches the island nation Sunday afternoon. Forecasters predict the storm will bring high winds and potential floods and mudslides, with rainfall totaling between 12 to 16 inches (though up to 25 inches is possible locally). The National Hurricane Center expects the storm to get stronger as it moves toward and over the southwestern Atlantic early next week, at which point it will likely avoid the U.S. East Coast but possibly track toward Bermuda. As of 8:30 p.m. ET Saturday night, over 19,000 homes and businesses in Puerto Rico were without power. [CNN, The Weather Channel]
6.9-magnitude earthquake shakes Taiwan
Southern Japan was hit with tsunami warnings after a strong, 6.9-magnitude earthquake struck the southeastern coast of Taiwan on Sunday. The quake was initially surveyed at a magnitude of 7.2, only to be later downgraded by the U.S. Geological Survey to a 6.9. At least one person — a worker in a cement factory — was killed after equipment fell on him. “There is a possibility of aftershocks in the future,” Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen wrote on Facebook. “I would like to appeal to the people of Taiwan to remain vigilant.” Sunday’s quake followed a 6.4-magnitude tremor on Saturday that left no major damage. As of Sunday evening local time, Japan’s Meteorological Agency had lifted the tsunami warnings. [NBC News, The New York Times]
Alaska governor declares disaster in communities impacted by storm
Entire homes and buildings have been uprooted from the ground in Alaska this weekend, as heavy rains and flooding brought about by remnants of Typhoon Merbok pummel the state’s coast. On Saturday, Gov. Mike Dunleavy (R) declared a disaster for the impacted communities, where a number of residents have taken shelter in school buildings. Maj. Gen Torrence Saxe of the Alaska National Guard said “there likely will be a military response” to the storm, and that aircraft are prepared to assist with evacuations if need be. As of early Sunday, water was continuing to surge and coastal flood warnings remained in effect. Winds should weaken as the storm moves inland. [CNN, Insider]
E.U. suggests cutting funding to Hungary over corruption
The European Commission on Sunday suggested cutting roughly $7.5 billion in funding for Hungary due to concerns of corruption, a move that stands to widen the already-existing rift between the governing body of the European Union and that of Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. The commission must first, however, ask E.U. member countries to approve the suspension, which amounts to 65 percent of funding from three programs. Still, the commission seems to have left room for the possibility Hungary enacts reforms and is able to secure the money after all. This is the first time the E.U. has employed a new, budget-safeguarding policy that makes “funding conditional on certain standards,” writes The Washington Post. Member states will now have at least a month to mull the cash suspension, though an extension on the matter is both possible and likely. [The Washington Post]
Trump rallies for Vance in Ohio
Former President Donald Trump on Saturday rallied for Ohio Republican Senate nominee J.D. Vance, whose match-up against Democratic incumbent Tim Ryan has quickly become one of the most-watched races of the 2022 midterms. On Saturday, Trump praised Vance as an “incredible patriot who will take the fight to Biden and the radical left media every day.” Additionally, the former president addressed the recent FBI raid on his Florida mansion, which he called on Vance to “do something about.” “The people behind these savage witch hunts have no shame or morals, no conscience, and absolutely no respect for the citizens of our country,” Trump said of the “Washington swamp.” Furthermore, and perhaps most notably, Trump used the opportunity before Republican voters to tease his own 2024 presidential bid, repeatedly telling the crowd to “stay tuned.” [Politico]

Published by Guestspeaker

A joint effort of several authors who do find that nobody can keep standing at the side and that “Everyone" must care about what is going on in today’s world. We are a bunch of people who do not mind that somebody has a totally different idea but is willing to share the ideas with others and to be Active and willing to let others understand how "today’s decisions will influence the future”. Therefore we would love to see many others to "Act today".

One thought on “The Week of 2022 September 12 – 18

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: