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North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un walks to a meeting with former President Donald Trump in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019, in Panmunjom, Korea.
North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un walks to a meeting with former President Donald Trump in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019 in Panmunjom, Korea. Brendan Smialowski / AFP via Getty Images, file

Monday’s Mini-Report, 12.19.22

Today’s edition of quick hits.


Today’s edition of quick hits.

* Pyongyang’s ballistic missiles: “North Korea fired a pair of ballistic missiles on Sunday toward its eastern waters, its first weapons test in a month and coming days after it claimed to have performed a key test needed to build a more mobile, powerful intercontinental ballistic missile designed to strike the U.S. mainland.”

* Nicely done: “Emergency releases from the U.S. Strategic Petroleum Reserve are slated to end this month, concluding an unusual attempt to lower gas prices after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent oil prices soaring. Over the release period, Washington sold 180 million barrels of crude at an average of $96.25 apiece, well above the recent market price of $74.29—meaning the U.S., for now, is almost $4 billion ahead.”

* An important arrest: “A Tennessee man already facing charges of assaulting a police officer during the storming of the Capitol last year was charged on Friday with plotting to assassinate several of the federal agents who had investigated him and to attack the F.B.I.’s field office in Knoxville, Tenn.”

* The end of a big labor dispute in California: “The University of California and 48,000 people who work as teachers and researchers while earning postgraduate degrees came to a tentative labor agreement Friday, both sides announced. The deal, which includes significant raises for the employees, ends the grad students’ five-week strike.”

* It sounds like getting the bivalent boosters is a great idea: “Updated booster shots have bolstered Americans’ defenses against serious Covid, reducing the risk of hospitalization by roughly 50 percent compared with certain groups inoculated with the original vaccines, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in a pair of studies published on Friday.”

* An astonishing report on the war in Ukraine: “Russian soldiers go into battle with little food, few bullets and instructions grabbed from Wikipedia for weapons they barely know how to use. They plod through Ukraine with old maps ... from the 1960s, recovered from the battlefield, or no maps at all. They speak on open cellphone lines, revealing their positions and exposing the incompetence and disarray in their ranks.”

 * In much of the industrialized world, this would seem like madness, because it is: “Gun violence recently surpassed car accidents as the leading cause of death for American children.”

* An interesting tidbit that caught my eye: “Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough, speaking ahead of President Biden at Friday’s event in Delaware that is focused on military veterans, shared a factoid about another speaker on the program: Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-Del.) is the last remaining Vietnam War veteran serving in the Senate.”

See you tomorrow.