Current Events This Week: January 2023

Updated February 3, 2023 | Infoplease Staff

World News | US 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 January, 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 US, including politics, disasters, science & technology, and military actions.

  1. Our Top Stories for the Week of January 1, 2023
  2. Our Top Stories for the Week of January 6, 2023
  3. Our Top Stories for the Week of January 13, 2023
  4. Our Top Stories for the Week of January 20, 2023

Our Top Stories for the Week of January 1, 2023

It’s been a busy week, from important deaths to technological advances. 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.


Deaths Around The World


Photo Source: iStock

  • Prime Minister Modi Loses Mum: On Friday, December 30, 2022, Heeraben Modi, the mother of India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi, died at the age of 99. She was brought to a hospital in the western state of Gujarat when her condition deteriorated. She resided with Modi's younger brother's family, and the prime minister last visited her at the residence on December 4.[1]

  • Pope Benedict XVI Dies: On Saturday, December 31, 2022, Pope Benedict XVI, who led the Catholic Church from 2005 until his resignation in 2013, died at the age of 95. Pope Francis, his successor, had already declared that he was dangerously sick. The Vatican revealed in St Peter's Square that Francis would preside over Benedict's burial. The Pope was praised by many political and religious leaders worldwide for his courage and efforts in the Catholic church.[2]

  • Airplane Accident Kills Airport Worker: On Sunday, January 1, 2022, The Federal Aviation Administration acknowledged that a worker died on the ramp at Montgomery Regional Airport in Alabama, where an American Airlines regional carrier flight was parked. Following the event, the FAA declared the airport closed. According to two sources briefed on the situation, an earlier inquiry revealed that the employee was killed in an accident involving one of the airplane's engines that were still operating.[3]

  • 4 People Dead In Helicopter Collision: on Monday, January 2, 2023, Authorities in Australia revealed that four persons were killed and three others were critically injured in a mid-air accident between two helicopters. At about 2 p.m. local time, the crash occurred on the popular tourist strip of Main Beach on the Gold Coast, south of Brisbane. Eyewitnesses have been urged to talk with investigators who will be assigned to the accident location to investigate.[4]

  • Entire Family Of Eight Found Dead: On Thursday, January 5, 2022, During a regular welfare check, authorities discovered eight members of the same family, including five children, dead from gunshot wounds in their Utah home. They dwell in a community of around 8,000 people located 245 miles south of Salt Lake City. The governor of Utah has addressed his condolences to the community, and the city manager has expressed his condolences and stated that he is prepared to take corrective action.[5]

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


Big Tech Making Big Decisions

Big tech

Photo Source: iStock

  • Apple Launches Artificial Narrators: On Wednesday, January 4, 2023, Apple announced a new AI software that will narrate its new catalog of audiobooks. The move can potentially reduce the need for human narrators over time, which might lead to a reaction from professional narrators. According to Apple, the biggest benefit is that the AI narration would be less expensive for publishers. Other technological behemoths like Amazon and Google are also racing to develop the ultimate AI narrator.[1]

  • Sony To Make Gaming Easier For People With Disability: On Thursday, January 5, 2023, Sony announced the development of PS5 controllers for impaired gamers in partnership with its accessibility specialists.  The controller contains an adjustable kit that allows gamers to alter the button position to suit their gaming demands.  Sony stated that the controller was truly a labor of love based on 28 years of design experience.[2]

  • Amazon Cuts Jobs To Cut Cost: On Thursday, January 5, 2023, Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, plans to lay off 18,000 workers to save expenses. Personnel affected include those in consumer retail and the human resources sector. According to predictions, employment losses in the computer industry are expected to rise as tens of thousands are laid off. Similar layoffs have happened across the tech industries, and many of them site economic downturns.[3]

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


New Regulations Take Foothold In North America


Photo Source: iStock

  • Florida To Maintain Bathroom Separation: On Friday, December 30, 2022, A federal appeals court affirmed the policy of a Florida high school. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 7-4 that just because the St. Johns County School Board said that students should use toilets that correspond to their biological sex does not imply they violated the United States Constitution or federal civil rights legislation. Drew Adams, a transgender man sued in 2017 after being denied use to the boy's bathroom, started the entire cycle of human rights lawsuits.[1]

  • Immigrants Banned From Purchasing Homes In Canada: on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, Canada began enforcing a two-year prohibition on some foreigners purchasing property in the nation. The ban aims to help one of the world's most expensive property markets. Purchases of residential homes are prohibited for persons who are neither Canadian citizens nor permanent residents. Anyone who violates the prohibition will face a C$10,000 Canadian fine.[2]

  • Biden Names New Energy Regulator Chief: On Wednesday, January 4, 2022, Willie Phillips becomes the new Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's acting chairman (FERC). President Joe Biden appointed him, and Congress confirmed him. Due to the departure of previous Chairman Richard Glick, Phillips' appointment will leave the FERC at 2-2. Glick resigned from FERC because Senator Joe Manchin, a conservative Democrat, did not hold a confirmation hearing.[3]

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

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Our Top Stories for the Week of January 6, 2023

It’s been a busy week, from threats in space to the shifting political landscape in America. 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.


Politics In America

Democrats vs republicans are facing off in a ideological duel on the american flag.

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Kevin McCarthy Becomes Speaker: On Saturday, January 7, 2023, Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, was chosen speaker of the United States House of Representatives on Saturday after making substantial concessions to right-wing hardliners. McCarthy's triumph on the 15th ballot ended the longest legislative dysfunction in over 160 years. According to Republicans, his triumph also ends President Biden's grasp on both houses.[1]

  • Biden Visits Southern Border: On Sunday, January 8, 2023, Joe Biden visited the United States-Mexico border for the first time in his administration, despite widespread criticism from politicians and immigrant rights organizations about his administration's hardline reaction to the escalating humanitarian crisis there. Local leaders, including the Republican Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, greeted Biden at the airport. Biden acknowledged that they require assistance and vowed to obtain it for them.​​​​​​[2]

  • New Rules In The US HOR: On Monday, January 9, 2023, The United States House of Representatives passed a set of internal rules that give rightwing hardliners additional power over Kevin McCarthy, the newly elected Republican speaker of the house. Only one Republican voted against the bill, which passed 220-213. The package will control the House's activities for the next two years.[3]

  • Illinois Prepare For Court Battles Over Firearm Ban: On Thursday, January 12, 2023, following a shooting at an Independence Day celebration in Highland Park last year, the state of Illinois outlawed the sale of certain semiautomatic firearms.  J.B. Pritzker, the Governor of Illinois, signed new legislation prohibiting the sale of numerous weapons that load the next round after a shot, such as semiautomatic rifles and handguns with detachable magazines. This legislation is certain to be challenged in court as more than 2.5 million gun owners would be affected.[4]

Sources: [1] Reuters [2] The Guardian [3] The Guardian [4] Reuters


Worrisome Threats To Humans And Animals

Rhino grazing

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Violence Erupts In Attempt To Arrest El Chapo’s Heir: On Friday, January 6, 2023, Ovidio Guzman-Lopez, the 32-year-old son of El Chapo and former boss of his father's organization, was taken to Mexico City after his apprehension in Culiacan. During his capture, 10 military officials and 19 suspects were slain. Mr. Sandoval disclosed that the United States participated in the six-month surveillance operation to apprehend Mr. Guzman-Lopez.[1]

  • Gun Men Kidnap 32 People In Nigeria: On Sunday, January 8, 2023, More than thirty individuals were kidnapped from a train station in Nigeria's southern Edo state on Sunday, according to the governor's office. Armed herders assaulted the railway station at 4 p.m. local time while passengers were waiting for a train to Warri, according to a police statement. Chris Osa, the information commissioner for the state of Edo, stated that 32 persons had been kidnapped, but one had escaped.​​​​​​[2]

  • Age Of Extinction Looms In Madagascar: On Tuesday, January 19, 2023, according to current extinction reports, about three million years are required to battle the amount of extinction that has happened within the previous two thousand five hundred years of human settlement. Numerous native species of the region, like the ring-tailed lemur, are considered pristine since they are found nowhere else on Earth. More than 120 of the 219 animal species on the island are close to extinction.[3]

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


Efforts To Preserve Life And Existence

International space station on orbit of the Earth planet

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Ozone Layer Repairs: On Tuesday, January 10, 2023, new reports from the United Nations showed that human efforts to rebuild the ozone layer have been effective, and the layer may recover within a few decades. The ozone layer is a thin layer of the Earth's atmosphere that absorbs most of the Sun's ultraviolet radiation. The ozone layer began to erode in the 1970s. If the current progress continues, the ozone layer will be restored to 1980 levels, according to the latest analysis.[1]

  • Uganda Declared Ebola-Free: On Wednesday, January 11, 2023, After nearly four months, Uganda declared the Ebola outbreak to be over. Despite not having a particular vaccination against the viral strain illness, they could swiftly bring it under control.  According to figures compiled by the ministry of health since September, 55 out of 143 afflicted individuals died in the most recent outbreak.  In a statement, the director-general of the World Health Organization (WHO), Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said, "Uganda has demonstrated that Ebola can be eradicated when the entire system works together."​​​​​​[2]

  • Russian Moves To Rescue Astronaut Abord ISS: On Wednesday, January 11, 2023, Russia announced that they are set to dispatch a rescue ship to the International Space Station to retrieve three crew members whose initial capsule was destroyed by a meteorite. MS-23 was meant to transport three additional crew members to the International Space Station but will now serve as a rescue vessel. When a replacement is launched into orbit, the damaged MS-22 capsule will return empty.[3]

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

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Our Top Stories for the Week of January 13, 2023

It’s been a busy week, from important deaths to technological advances. 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.


US Battles Laws, Violence, And Disasters

US violence

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Trump Organization Fined Millions Of Dollars: On Friday, January 13, 2023, A New York judge fined the Trump Organization $1.6 million for allegedly operating a decade-long tax fraud scheme; it is the only criminal justice that has come close to former President Donald Trump.  In this instance, Trump and his family were not indicted. Still, prosecutors used Trump's name multiple times during the trial in relation to his link to the untaxed advantages given to specific executives.[1]

  • Storm Intervention Arrives At Affected States: On Sunday, January 15, 2023, President Joe Biden authorized an emergency declaration for California, citing storms that have killed more than a dozen people and caused floods, power outages, mudslides, road closures, and evacuations since December 26. The President also made the same declaration for Alabama in response to tornadoes that killed at least nine people, wrecked houses, and knocked out power to tens of thousands in the south-eastern United States.[2]

  • Six People Killed In Domestic Shooting: On Monday, January 16, 2023, Authorities reported that six people were killed in a shooting at a residence in Goshen, California on Monday, including a 17-year-old mother and a 6-month-old infant. Authorities labeled the incident a "horrific slaughter" and described it as targeted. Sheriff Mike Boudreaux stated that they believed the incident was not random. Some victims were discovered on the street, while others were discovered inside the house.[3]

  • New York Gun Restriction Stands In Supreme Court: On Wednesday, January 18, 2023, the effort to stop the legislations that placed gun safety standards on merchants was dismissed by the Justices of the SCOTUS. New York officials have stated that the latest gun restrictions are necessary to safeguard public safety, even though they face several challenges in lower courts. Nevertheless, three landmark decisions by the supreme court since 2008 have expanded gun rights.[4]

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


Chinese Policies

Chinese policies

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • China Appoints New Liaison Chief For Hong Kong: On Saturday, January 14, 2023, China confirmed Zheng Yanciong as its new Liaison Chief for Hong Kong. Zheng, 59, who took over as head of Beijing's senior representative office in Hong Kong from 68-year-old Luo Huining, is one of the Chinese people sanctioned by the US government during the pro-democracy rally in Hong Kong in 2019.  Zheng rose to prominence after being named director of the Office for Safeguarding National Security in July 2020, following a crackdown on land rights protests in a Chinese town in the south.[1]

  • Death Surge As China Relaxes Covid Policies: On Saturday, January 14, 2023, the Health Chief in China announced the death of close to 60,000 people since the relaxation of the Zero-Covid policy by President Xi in December 2022. Most of those who died are reported to be over 65 years with co-morbidities, while some others died of respiratory distress. Experts warn of a possible increase in the surge as travels continue to increase in China for the upcoming holidays.[2]

Sources: [1] Reuters [2] The Guardian


Around The World

Around the world

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Russia Claims Major Victory: On Friday, January 13, 2023, after a long battle, Russia's military confirmed that it now controls the salt-mine town of Soledar. According to a military spokesman, after their triumph, Russia could move its troops to the adjacent city of Bakhmut. Since July 2022, the Russian side has yet to take a single town in Ukraine.[1]

  • Italian Mafia Boss Arrested After 30 Years: On Monday, January 16, 2023, Matteo Messina Denaro, Italy's most wanted mafia boss, was apprehended after 30 years on the run. He was held in a facility in Palermo, Sicily's capital, where he was claimed to be undergoing cancer treatment. He's been on the run since 1993, and it's thought he's still sending commands to his followers from various hidden places.[2]

  • Alternative To Palm Oil: On Tuesday, January 17, 2023, researchers announced that a decade-long plan to decrease deforestation has resulted in the successful creation of a yeast-grown substitute for palm oil.  Palm oil is a popular cash crop due to its high productivity, accounting for more than 40% of global vegetable oils. The laboratory-derived product is created after a yeast strain is allowed to feed on sugarcane for 7 days.[3]

  • Oldest Living Nun Dies At 118: On Tuesday, January 17, 2023, the world's oldest person, a French nun named Sister Andre, died at the age of 118 in the southern city of Toulon. After the death of Kane Tanaka, a Japanese lady who had previously been recognized as the world's oldest person, she was dubbed the world's oldest person. She lived through the reigns of 16 French Presidents and 10 Popes of the Catholic Church.[4]

  • Jacinda Ardern Resigns: On Thursday, January 19, 2023, Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand's Prime Minister, announced her decision to step down after the notification of a general election in October. She made the news during this year's first caucus meeting, saying she no longer had what it takes to do the position.  Ardern became the world's youngest female head of government when she was elected at the age of 37 in 2017.[5]

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

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Our Top Stories for the Week of January 20, 2023

It’s been a busy week, from repeated gun violence in the U.S. to bizarre weather conditions in Eastern Asia. 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, Laws, And Violence

Gun violence

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Better Women’s Right In Sierra Leone: On Friday, January 20, 2023, Sierra Leone approved legislation to strengthen women's rights. Sierra Leone's president, Julius Masada, apologized to the women for their treatment over the last year. The law requires that 30% of public and private sector positions be earmarked for women. Though no final decision has been made, the government has stated that the rule would apply to any firm with more than 25 employees.[1]

  • Kidnap Victims Freed In Burkina Faso: On Saturday, January 21, 2023, 66 women and children who armed gunmen kidnaped in the northern region of Burkina Faso were released.  Armed men kidnapped the women and children on January 12 and 14, just outside the Arbinda neighborhood.  The security forces initiated a rescue operation, and 27 adult women and 39 newborns, children, and young girls were discovered in the northern province.[2]

  • Lunar Festival Ends Violently: On Sunday, January 22, 2023, A shooter opened fire in a ballroom dancing studio, killing ten people and injuring ten more.  The shooting occurred in a city near Los Angeles. The shooting, one of the bloodiest in California recently, occurred near a lunar year event.  President Joe Biden has been briefed on the shooting by US Homeland Security, In a statement by White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre.[3]

  • Illinois Statewide Ban On Guns Blocked By Court: On Monday, January 23, 2023, A court in Illinois temporarily halted new legislation approved by lawmakers in response to an event in which a shooter murdered seven people and injured others with an AR-15-type weapon near Chicago. After passing through the legislature earlier this month, Governor J.B. Pritzker, a Democrat, quickly signed the restriction into law. According to the Illinois State Rifle Association director, the restriction would affect over 2.5 million weapons owners in the state.[4]

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


Russian Hostility

Russia Ukraine

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Russian To Expel Estonian Ambassador: On Monday, January 23, 2023, After accusing Estonia of Russophobia, Russia requested that the Estonian ambassador leave the country by February 7. Estonia requested that the Russian ambassador leave by the same date. Estonia recently ordered the reduction of the number of Russian embassies in Tallinn, which prompted Russia's action against Mr. Laidre.[1]

  • Ukraine Gets Tanks: On Tuesday, January 24, 2023, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz agreed to send Leopard 2 tanks to Ukraine to assist them in their fight against Russia. On Wednesday morning, the German parliament will have a discussion on the subject. Ukraine can defend itself better against Russia's attack thanks to the Leopard 2 tanks delivered by Germany. Despite intense pressure, Germany has refused to transfer some of the tanks to Ukraine.[2]

Sources: [1] BBC [2] CNN 


Giant Leaps in Big Tech

Big tech

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • Microsoft Invest Billions In Openai: On Tuesday, January 24, 2023, Microsoft announced an expansion of its Artificial Intelligence investment. Microsoft has already invested $1 billion in Elon Musk and Sam Altman's startup. Microsoft said it would continue to support OpenAI on its Azure cloud computing platform. Microsoft was said to be planning an additional $10 billion investment in OpenAI, but the company's announcement did not mention the amount.[1]

  • Meta Lifts Ban On Trumps Social Handles: On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, Meta announced that former President Donald Trump's accounts on Facebook and Instagram would be reinstated just over two years after they were suspended. This comes when Elon Musk reinstated Twitter by a public vote in November 2022. According to Meta officials, Donald Trump poses a "minimal risk to online safety," but further infractions of platform standards might result in a 2-year suspension.[2]

Sources: [1] BBC [2] CNN


In Other News

Other news

Photo Source: Getty Images

  • U.S. Hits Debt Ceiling: On Friday, January 20, 2023, The United States began experiencing a fiscal crisis as it approached its $31.4 trillion borrowing limit. This comes amid a stalemate in the House of Representatives between Republicans and President Joe Biden's Democrats. Republicans, on the other hand, are attempting to exploit the debt ceiling and their House majority to slash funding for federal services, arguing that the Treasury might avoid default during a stalemate by prioritizing debt payments.[1]

  • New Zealand Gets A New Prime Minister: On Sunday, January 22, 2023, New Zealand’s Labor Party overwhelmingly backed the Minister of Education, Chris Hipkins, as the Prime Minister of the country. The endorsement was only a formality, given that Hipkins was the sole candidate for the post. The decision to name Hipkins Prime Minister is not official since Ardern has yet to resign to New Zealand's Governor General.[2]

  • Five-Day Lockdown Declared In North Korea: On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, North Korean officials in Pyongyang declared a five-day state of emergency due to increased instances of an unnamed respiratory disease. The letter did not specify whether or not it was Covid-19, but people must remain at home until the end of Sunday and submit temperature checks many times each day. According to official media, anti-pandemic mechanisms have been implemented to combat the respiratory symptoms.[3]

  • Frozen Winds Rising In East Asia: On Wednesday, January 25, 2023, Deadly cold weather was documented in various Asian nations, including Japan, China, and the Korean peninsula, with experts predicting that the trend will become the new norm. Due to heavy snow and strong gusts that made visibility impossible, hundreds of domestic flights in Japan were canceled. Mohe, China's northernmost city, temperatures fell to -53°C, the coldest ever recorded.[4]

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

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