Current Events This Week: February 2023

Updated February 15, 2024 | Infoplease Staff

World News | U.S. News | Disaster News | Science & Technology News

It's a busy world out there, so that’s why we’ve boiled it all down to our top stories for each week of February 2023.

We collect current events of the week starting and ending on a Friday, so make sure you check back at the end of every week to keep up-to-date on what's happening in the world and the U.S., including politics, disasters, science & technology, and military actions.

  1. Our Top Stories for the Week of January 27, 2023
  2. Our Top Stories for the Week of February 4, 2023
  3. Our Top Stories for the Week of February 11, 2023
  4. Our Top Stories for the Week of February 17, 2023

Our Top Stories for the Week of January 27, 2023

It’s been a busy week, from political power moves in the U.S. to disastrous floods in New Zealand. Who has time to keep track of it all? That’s why we’ve boiled it all down to our top stories of the week.


Violence And Suicide Bombings

Police car and tape

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • More Shootings In California: On Saturday, January 28, 2023, Police confirmed that a shooting at a residence in California on Saturday morning killed three individuals and wounded four more. The shooting occurred at about 2:30 a.m. in Bergeron Crest, Los Angeles. According to Sgt Bruce Borihanh, a police spokesperson, two of the four individuals injured were sent to the hospital by ambulance, while the other two were transported in a private automobile. This is the fourth such shooting in California this month.[1]

  • Police In Turmoil After Assault On Tyre Nichols: On Sunday, January 29, 2023, Memphis police disbanded the specialist police squad that included the five cops who beat Tyre Nichols. The video from the police officers' bodies and the security pole showed Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man, continuously begging out for his mother as the policemen pummeled, kicked, and beat him with a baton in his mother's neighborhood. The cops involved have been charged with murder, assault, abduction, and other offenses.[2]

  • Suicide Bomber Kills 59 People: On Monday, January 30, 2023, A suicide bomber targeting a police officer praying inside a mosque in Peshawar, Pakistan, killed at least 59 people. Shehbaz Sharif, Pakistan's Prime Minister, stated that "terrorists seek to instill fear by attacking people who fulfill the job of safeguarding the country." The explosion occurred during afternoon prayer at approximately 13:30  in the northwestern city near Pakistan's border with Afghanistan. The United Nations Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, denounced the attack.[3]

Sources: [1] The Guardian [2] Reuters [3] BBC


Political Moves And Power Plays

Politics chessboard

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • North Korea Accuses US Of Dangerous Escalations: On Friday, January 27, 2023, following reports by Ukraine's envoy to France that the country would get more than 300 tanks from Western nations. North Korea accused the United States and its allies of crossing the line by delivering tanks to Ukraine. Although the tanks are yet to arrive in Ukraine, it is reported that the U.S. will supply 31 M1 Abrams tanks, and Germany agreed to supply 14 Leopard 2 A6s.[1]

  • Sunak Sacks Party Chairman: On Sunday, January 29, 2023, The Chairman of the Conservative Party, Nadhim Zahawi, was removed by the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom after his ethical adviser learned that HMRC is probing his tax issues. Mr. Zahawi, who was responsible for the United Kingdom's tax system while he was chancellor, was alleged to have paid about £5 million in total, including penalties.[2]

  • Ukraine Will Not Get Jets: On Tuesday, January 31, 2023, Western allies decided not to send F-16s or other western combat planes to Ukraine. When asked if he would deploy F-16s to Ukraine, U.S. President Joe Biden stated "no," but added that he would continue communicating with Ukraine about their arms request. Ukraine began demanding fighter planes built by a U.S. military industry shortly after the U.S. and Germany agreed to send their own tanks to Ukraine for the first time.[3]

  • Court Blocks New Jersey Law To Sue Gun Industry: On Wednesday, January 1, 2023, a federal judge barred a New Jersey law that allows the state's attorney general to sue gun makers and sellers for endangering public safety. The Governor's spokesperson, Phil Murphy, expressed his unhappiness with the ruling, but he is optimistic that it will be overturned on appeal. Quraishi determined that the New Jersey statute contradicted the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act of 2005. (PLCAA).[4]

  • More Countries Ban China: On Wednesday, February 1, 2023,  After China was able to circumvent the embargo on chips placed on them by the US owing to the presence of other rivals in the chip manufacturing business, the U.S. was in discussions with other key chip manufacturing companies such as the Netherlands and Japan to ensure the success of the embargo. The Chinese semiconductor industry has been a key target of U.S. export restrictions as china continues to invest heavily in the business.[5]

  • Ilhan Omar Voted Off House Committee: On Thursday, February 2, 2023, Ilhan Omar was accused of making antisemitic and disrespectful statements about 9/11, which many Republicans, including Speaker McCarthy, thought were inappropriate for such a sensitive subject as the Foreign Affairs Committee. Rep. Ilhan Omar stated during the debate and on her Twitter account that the House Republicans' move was a retaliation technique and a target to a minority, which has resulted in death threats. She is the third senior Democrat to lose her committee assignment since Republicans assumed control of the House.[6]

Sources: [1] CNN [2] BBC [3] The Guardian [4] Reuters [5] The Guardian [6] BBC


Disasters And Near Disasters


Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Auckland Flood: On Wednesday, February 1, 2023, the city of Auckland in New Zealand endured a series of rainstorms, causing citizens' normal lives to come to a standstill as homes were flooded, power supply was disrupted, and four people were found dead. While officials work to clear the roads and return life to normal in the region, Auckland schools have halted physical attendance for a week to monitor the situation's progress.[1]

  • Authorities Found Missing Radioactive Capsule: On Wednesday, February 1, 2023, A missing capsule was reported to contain Caesium-137, a highly radioactive element was found on a remote highway in Australia. It went missing from a cargo ship from a Rio Tinto mining facility to Perth, Australia's capital. Authorities think the capsule, which is about 8 millimeters high and 6 millimeters round, fell from the vehicle bringing it from the mine along the Great Northern Highway.[2]

Sources: [1] BBC [2] CNN


In Other News

News icons

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Deadline Shifted For Old Naira Return: On Sunday, January 29, 2023, the governor of Nigerian Central Bank, Godwin Emefiele, announced that Nigerians now have till February 10, 2023, to deposit old Naira notes with the Central Bank of Nigeria, a date which was previously set at January 31, 2023. The new deadline is intended to allow citizens who reside in remote areas to swap their old notes.[1]

  • The United States To End Covid Emergency Status: On Tuesday, January 31, 2023, after years of sweeping pandemic measures to stop the spread of COVID-19, President Joe Biden's administration said that the virus's emergency designation would be lifted on May 11. After the declaration expires, the government will no longer be liable for COVID-19 vaccinations, testing, and some treatments, since they will be handed to private insurance and government programs.[2]

Sources: [1] Reuters [2] Reuters

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Our Top Stories for the Week of February 4, 2023

It’s been a busy week, from massive earthquakes in the Middle East to radical errors in AI technology. Who has time to keep track of it all? That’s why we’ve boiled it all down to our top stories of the week.


Disasters and Deaths

Earthquake in Turkey and Syria

Photo Source: AP 

  • Turkiye And Syria In Massive Ruin: On Monday, February 6, 2023, consecutive earthquakes of magnitude 7.8 and 7.5 hit close to the Eastern Anatolian fault line along the border of Turkiye and Syria. The disaster led to the death of more than 12,000 people and the massive destruction of constructions. International support continues to arrive as criticism and death toll increase due to delays in the arrival of emergency services in the country.[1]

  • Australian Girl Attacked By Shark: On Saturday, February 4, 2023, Local officials reported that a Shark attacked and killed a 16-year-old girl who was swimming in a river in Perth, Western Australia. According to reports, she was pronounced dead after being rescued from the river. The girl had dived into the river to swim with a pod of dolphins that had been observed nearby.[2]

  • Wildfire In Chile: On Sunday, February 5, 2023, several wildfires have been reported blazing over central Chile in recent days, killing at least 23 people, damaging 800 houses, and triggering the declaration of an emergency in three areas. The flames have wounded 66 people, while over 1,500 more have sought safety in shelters. A state of emergency has been issued in three sparsely inhabited central areas, home to many vineyards, apple orchards, and berry farms, as well as vast swaths of forest land.[3]

  • 54 Wolves Culled In Sweden: On Tuesday, February 7, 2023, In less than a month, 54 wolves were slaughtered in Sweden's biggest and most contentious cull. According to the farmers, a Swedish wolf population of up to 460 slaughtered over 340 sheep in 2021.  "The culling is very vital to curb the spread of the wolves," said Gunnar Gloersen, Predator manager at the Swedish Hunters' Association.[4]

  • Bus Crash Leaves 2 Kids Dead: On Wednesday, February 8, 2023, Authorities verified that a city bus that smashed into a daycare center in a Montreal suburb killed two children and wounded several more. The bus driver, who is verified to be a city transport employee, has been captured. The 51-year-old bus driver is now charged with two charges of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, two counts of aggravated assault, and several counts of assault with a dangerous weapon.[5]

Sources: [1] BBC [2] CNN [3] The Guardian [4] The Guardian [5] CNN


Fragile Foreign Affairs

Flags of different countries hang above embassy building

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Normal Relations Between Israel And Sudan: On Friday, February 3, 2023, The Israeli foreign ministry reported that Sudan and Israel had finally reached an agreement to reestablish relations. Sudan has promised to begin measures to establish diplomatic ties with Israel after a lengthy period of non-recognition, as part of a pact signed in 2020 by former US President Donald Trump, with normalization arrangements between Israel and the UAE, Bahrain, and Morocco in the "Abraham Accords." [1]

  • Chinese Balloon Flies Over Us: On Sunday, February 4, 2023, a Chinese balloon that the US claims were spying on vital military sites throughout the country was shot down. China's foreign ministry denounced the United States use of force to destroy civilian unmanned aircraft. Following the discovery of the balloon, a diplomatic crisis developed between the United States and China, prompting United States Secretary of State Antony Blinken to cancel this weekend's trip to China.[2]

  • Israel Raids Jericho: On Monday, February 6, 2023, Multiple Palestinian terrorists were killed in an Israeli army operation in Jericho, with the death toll reported to be five. The Israeli Defense Force (IDF) stated that the operation's goal was to apprehend a "Hamas terrorist cell" involved for the gun attack on a restaurant near a Jewish town near Jericho.[3]

  • Us Approves Weapon Sales To Poland: On Tuesday. February 7, 2023, The Pentagon confirms that the US State Department has approved the sale of long-range missiles, rockets, and launchers to Poland in a $10 billion agreement. Poland has recently donated outdated weapons to Ukraine to counter Russia's incursion and has spent much to strengthen its military arsenal. The agreement was feasible because Poland agreed to purchase 116 M1A1 Abrams and 250 M1A2 tanks from General Dynamics (GD) in 2022.[4]

Sources: [1] Reuters [2] BBC [3] BBC [4] Reuters


In Other News

News interview

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Cyprus Election Head To Runoff: On Sunday, February 5, 2023, The presidential election to decide Cyprus's next and eighth president is poised to enter its second week, with former foreign minister Nikos Christodoulides emerging as the top runner but failing to garner enough support for an outright victory.  The 49-year-old and Andreas Mavroyiannis, a career diplomat, will face off with Mr. Nikos in a runoff on February 12.[1]

  • Us House Ends Vaccine Mandate For Air Travel: On Wednesday, February 8, 2023, The United States House of Representatives decided to repeal the requirement that most overseas visitors be vaccinated against COVID-19. The result was 227 to 201, with seven Democrats joining the Republicans. All Republicans approved the bill. However, it is uncertain if the Senate will examine the bill.[2]

  • Google Shares Plunders After Ai Blunder: On Thursday, February 9, 2023, Google's new AI chatbot tool Bard, which has yet to be publicly released, has already been criticized for an inaccurate response it provided during a presentation this week. In the wake of Bard's inaccurate statement, shares of Alphabet, Google's parent firm, fell 7.7%, knocking $100 billion off its market value.  Bard's blunder highlights Google's quandary in incorporating the same AI technology that powers Microsoft-backed ChatGPT into its main search engine.[3]

Sources: [1] The Guardian [2] Reuters [3] CNN

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Our Top Stories for the Week of February 11, 2023

It’s been a busy week, from a massive earthquake in the Middle East to “UFOs” in Alaska. Who has time to keep track of it all? That’s why we’ve boiled it all down to our top stories of the week.


Road Traffic Accidents

Traffic accident

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Car Crash Kills 2 In Jerusalem: On Friday, February 10, 2023, a father and a small boy were murdered when a vehicle collided with many people at a bus stop in Jerusalem. The Israeli police labeled the assault as a "ramming terror attack." Aside from the two persons who perished, the accident injured five others, including two youngsters who claimed to be in severe condition.[1]

  • Bus Crash In South Africa: On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, a bus and a van hauling money crashed on a key South African road in Limpopo Province, killing 20 people, according to transport officials and an emergency medical organization. Reports said, "Three persons were discovered dead by the roadside, while 16 were discovered dead by the river. One of the 69 passengers known to have been transferred to a hospital for various ailments has also been declared deceased."[2]

  • 39 Migrants Dead In Panama: On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, a bus carrying over 60 migrants crashed over a cliff in Panama early Wednesday, killing at least 39 people. This is the country's worst migration accident in its history. More than half of the 66 people aboard the bus were declared deceased due to the accident near the Gualaca migrant shelter. Over 20 people were hospitalized with serious injuries.[3]

  • Tesla Recalls 363,000 Vehicles Over Traffic Violation: On Thursday, February 16, 2023, concerns from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that Tesla Self-Driving mode might violate various local driving rules have made Tesla recalled around 363,000 vehicles across the United States. This is the second recall involving the company's complete self-driving beta system. Last year, Tesla recalled over 54,000 vehicles because the technology allowed the vehicles to go past stop signs. The most recent recall affects Tesla Model S and X vehicles.[4]

Sources: [1] CNN [2] CNN [3] Reuters [4] BBC


International Affairs

International affairs

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • U.S. Shoots Down Another Flying Object Over Alaska: On Friday, February 10, 2023, President Joseph Biden authorized a fighter plane to fire down an unidentified object off the coast of Alaska, according to the White House. According to spokesman John Kirby, the object was the size of a small vehicle and constituted a threat to public safety. The item was claimed to be flying about 40,000 feet above Alaska's northern shore.[1]

  • Cyprus Election Decided: On Sunday, February 12, 2023, after the election runoff, Nikos Christodoulides, a former foreign minister of Cyprus, was declared the country's new president. According to the official results, Andreas Mavroyiannis, a 66-year-old man, received 48.1% of the vote, while 49-year-old Christodoulides received 51.9%. With the backing of right-of-center and centrist parties, Christodoulides ran for president as an independent candidate.[2]

  • English Queen Consort Tests Positive For COVID: On Monday, February 13, 2023, The Queen Consort, Camilla, tested positive for COVID-19 after exhibiting flu symptoms, according to confirmation from Buckingham Palace. Then it was made known that she had canceled all her public appearances for the upcoming week. Before it was verified that she had tested positive for COVID-19, her travel was claimed to have been postponed owing to a seasonal sickness.[3]

Sources: [1] BBC [2] Reuters [3] BBC

Gun Violence & Disasters

Police line

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Rap Artist AKA Shot Dead In South Africa: On Saturday, February 11, 2023, AKA, one of South Africa's biggest rap artists, was shot dead outside a restaurant in Durban's eastern slums. Kieran Forbes, also known as AKA, was 35 years old. He received several honors in South Africa and was nominated for a black Entertainment Television award various times in the United States. Another man shot him as they walked from a restaurant to their automobile.[1]

  • Shooting Spree In Michigan State University: On Tuesday, February 14, 2023, three students were killed, and five others were injured when a shooter opened fire at Michigan State University. Authorities verified that all of the casualties were University students. The suspect, a 43-year-old man, has been determined to have no links to Michigan State University. It is unknown what the shooter's motivation was. The culprit left the crime site, resulting in a massive manhunt involving hundreds of cops.[2]

  • Texas Gunman Attacks Shopping Mall: On Wednesday, February 15, 2023, a shooter in an El Paso, Texas, retail mall killed one person and wounded three more.  El Paso police announced that two persons had been arrested; however, it is unknown what precipitated the incident. The University Medical Center in El Paso confirms that two of the three injured victims are in critical condition; the third victim's condition is unknown.[3]

  • Death Toll Rises To 42,000 In Turkiye And Syria: On Thursday, February 16, 2023, new official reports state that fatalities in the Turkish-Syrian earthquakes have risen to more than 42,000, with millions of people also displaced in the two countries. So far, poor construction has been blamed as the reason for massive destruction, and some developers and builders have been arrested.[4]

Source: [1] The Guardian [2] BBC [3] The Guardian [4] The Guardian

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Our Top Stories for the Week of February 17, 2023

It’s been a busy week, from tragedies in Ohio to Biden’s visit to Ukraine. Who has time to keep track of it all? That’s why we’ve boiled it all down to our top stories of the week.


Gun Violence

Gun violence

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Militants Kill 4 People In Karachi: On Friday, February 17, 2023, a prominent official of the Pakistani People's Party reported that two police officers, two rangers, and one civilian were murdered during an attack on the police headquarters in Karachi while 14 others were injured. He further stated that one of the 14 injured was in serious condition. A state of emergency has been imposed in Karachi due to the incident.[1]

  • Shooting In Mississippi: On Friday, February 17, 2023, authorities confirmed that a guy with three firearms shot his ex-wife and five other people in a remote village in the United States. The killings occurred at several sites in Arkabutla, a town of fewer than 300 people, including a shop and two residences. The guy was said to have possessed a shotgun and two pistols. Authorities placed a local primary and secondary school on lockdown during the incident.[2]

  • Student Stabs Teacher In France: On Wednesday, February 22, 2023, A high school student stabbed to death a teacher in the French town of Saint-Jean-de-Luz. The incident was verified on Wednesday by the French government's spokesman, Olivier Veran, who stated the assailant was a 16-year-old adolescent. According to Jerome Bourrier, a local prosecutor, the local police have initiated an inquiry into the assassination, and the suspect has been arrested.[3]

  • Journalists Shot Dead While Investigating Murder: On Thursday, February 23, 2023, a shooter opened fire on two journalists covering a homicide in Orlando, Florida. He murdered one and seriously wounded the other. He then shot a nine-year-old child and her mother at a neighboring house. Keith Melvin Moses, 19 years old, was detained immediately after the incident. Karine Jean-Pierre, White House Press Secretary, sent a message of condolence to the family of the journalist that died and the injured crew member.[4]

Sources: [1] CNN [2] BBC [3] BBC [4] Reuters


Ukraine Occurrences

Ukraine Russia War

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • EU Calls For Arm Purchase For Ukraine: On Saturday, February 18, 2023, following reports from Kyiv that its force will require additional supplies, authorities reveal that the European Union is looking at methods for its member countries to band together and purchase ammunition to support Ukraine. At a meeting in Brussels on Monday, EU foreign ministers are scheduled to discuss the possibility of acquiring 155-millimeter artillery. She also said the purchase might be akin to the EU's early purchase of COVID vaccinations.[1]

  • Biden Visits Ukraine: On Monday, February 20, 2023, Joe Biden paid his first visit to Kyiv since Russia's invasion over a year ago. Biden unveiled a fresh $500 million aid package for Ukraine and new sanctions against Russia, stating it will include more military weapons, including as artillery ammunition, javelins, and Howitzers. After a long flight from Washington, Biden landed in Kyiv at 8 a.m. local time and arrived at the Mariinsky Palace 30 minutes later.[2]

Sources: [1] Reuters [2] CNN


Ohio Tragedies


Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Power Plant Explosion: On Tuesday, February 21, 2023, an explosion ripped through a power plant in Ohio, spilling molten metal and debris on nearby buildings. The explosion at the I. Schumann & Co. metals business which had operated for more than 100 years in the area, drew the attention of fire departments throughout northeast Ohio. 13 persons were brought to the hospital, with many of them suffering from burns and another being treated on the spot. A Cuyahoga County spokesman subsequently verified that the explosion killed a 46-year-old male.[1]

  • 45,000 Animals Dead In Toxic Crash: On Friday, February 24, 2023, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) said during a press conference that 43,700 aquatic creatures were discovered dead three weeks after the train crash in East Palestine, Ohio. None of the creatures were considered terrestrial or endangered. The railway accident involved 38 carriages, 11 carrying hazardous materials.[2]

Sources: [1] Reuters [2] BBC


In Other News

Other news

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • North Korea Fires Ballistic Missile: On Sunday, February 19, 2023, South Korean Joint Chiefs of Staff confirmed that North Korea launched a ballistic missile toward the sea off its east coast, after Pyongyang threatened a harsh response to upcoming US-South Korean military maneuvers. North Korea has also announced testing a Hwasong-15 billion intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) just one day before a surprise launch practice for a mobile counterattack against foreign forces. The missile was spotted at 5:22 p.m. by the South Korean military.1]

  • Jimmy Carter Rendered In Hospice Care: On Sunday, February 19, 2023, according to the Carter Center, former US President Jimmy Carter has decided to forego further medical intervention and instead accept hospice care and spend the remaining time he has at home with his family. Carter has had a number of health difficulties in the last year, but he has reacted well to therapy. He resigned from government after losing the presidential election to Republican opponent Ronald Reagan in 1980.[2]

  • European Commission Bans Tiktok: On Thursday, February 23, 2023, staff and personnel were told to delete the social media application TikTok from their personal and professional devices. The instruction came in response to allegations that the app's Chinese owner, ByteDance, gathers user data and sells it to the Chinese government. The Commission employs around 32,000 contract and permanent staff, who must erase the software from their smartphones by March 15.[3]

Sources: [1] The Guardian  [2] Reuters [3] BBC

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Do you want to find out about the rest of the events that happened around the world in previous weeks?

Check out Current Events This Week: January 2023 to discover more and keep on top of the news. And if you enjoyed this article, why not drop a line to let us know, or share it with others who are curious about the events of the past week!

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Taoheed Ademola

Copywriter and News Editor

Taoheed is a freelance copywriter and journalist who has been involved in generating content… read more about this author