U.S., Japan & South Korea Expand Security Relations: President Joe Biden, South Korean President Yoon Sik Yeol and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida attended a summit at the U.S. presidential retreat of Camp David, where the leaders agreed on the following expansions to their security relations in light of the countries' tense relations with China and North Korea:
Establishment of a communications hotline to discuss responses to threats
A commitment for the countries to consult, share information and align their messaging with each other in the face of a threat or crisis in the Pacific
The recently-established diplomatic ties between South Korea and Japan have marked a turning point in the two rivaling countries' history, which have largely been at odds with each other since World War II. Read more at Reuters
Norway, Denmark & Netherlands Agree to Give F-16 Jets to Ukraine: Norway has joined Denmark and the Netherlands in agreeing to donate U.S.-made F-16 combat jets to Ukraine. The aircrafts have been long-requested by Ukraine due to their destructive power in their capabilities to carry bombs, rockets and missiles. Norway has also agreed to donate anti-aircraft missiles and other equipment. Read more at Axios & Associated Press.
First RSV Vaccine for Babies Gets FDA Approval: The Food and Drug Administration has approved the world's first vaccine to protect newborns and young infants against respiratory syncytial virus, a common and highly contagious respiratory virus that can sometimes lead to severe and even life-threatening infections. The vaccine is to be administered to pregnant women who then develop and pass on protective antibodies to their babies. Read more at Everyday Health.
Wagner Group Leader Prigozhin Presumed Dead in Plane Crash: Wagner mercenary leader Yevgeny Prigozhin is believed to have been killed in a plane crash two months after stopping the group's march toward Moscow. The Kremlin has dismissed allegations that Russian President Vladimir Putin was behind Prigozhin's alleged death.
Russian authorities confirmed on Wednesday that the name Yevgeny Prigozhin appeared on the list of passengers aboard the Embraer Legacy 600 business jet that crashed, but they have not yet disclosed whether his body has been identified among the crash victims.
Nine other people are believed to have been on board, including Dmitry Utkin, a Wagner commander and Prigozhin's right-hand man, and Valery Chekalov, the group's logistics and security head.
Union Members Vote to Approve Five-Year UPS Contract: The International Brotherhood of Teamsters stated that more than 86 percent of union members voted in support of a five-year UPS contract that will do the following:
UPS employees covered by the contract will receive a $2.75 hourly raise this year and a $7.50 increase over the next five years.
Delivery drivers will earn an average of $170,000 in annual pay and benefits by the end of the deal, up from $145,000.
Part-time employees will see their base pay increase to $21 per hour - a nearly $5 increase - and will no longer see a tiered wage system that often resulted in many newer part-time employees being paid less. Read more at Washington Post.
Mass Shootings in US: This week, Gun Violence Archive reported a total of 15 mass shootings resulting in 68 victims injured and 16 victims dead.
Republican Presidential Primary Debate: The U.S. presidential debates in the lead-up to the 2024 election have officially commenced with Fox News hosting the first Republican debate. In attendance on the debate stage were the following candidates:
Former Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum
Former Vice President Mike Pence
Former U.S. Ambassador & South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis
U.S. Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina
Entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy
Absent from Wednesday's debate was former President Donald Trump. The following did not qualify for the debate: Larry Elder, Will Hurd, Perry Johnson and Francis Suarez.
Photo by Andrew Harnik via Associated Press