10 things you need to know today: June 5, 2023

Russia says it thwarted a big Ukrainian offensive in Donetsk, fighter jets chase a plane out of restricted D.C. airspace, and more

Ukrainian soldiers on the frontline near Donetsk
Russia claims it blocked a major Ukrainian offensive in the Donetsk region
(Image credit: Muhammed Enes Yıldırım/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

1. Russia says it thwarted a Ukrainian offensive in Donetsk

Russia said Monday it blocked a major Ukrainian offensive in Ukraine's Donetsk region. The Russian defense ministry said its forces killed 250 Ukrainian fighters and destroyed armored vehicles, releasing video showing military vehicles taking heavy fire in the countryside. Kyiv, which is believed to be close to launching a long-awaited counteroffensive, did not immediately comment on Russia's claims. In Russia's Belgorod region on the Ukraine border, Gov. Vyacheslav Gladkov called for thousands of residents to evacuate towns that have been shelled in recent days. Several people have been killed. Gladkov said the Chebekino and Volokonovski districts were hit again overnight. The shelling caused "a lot of damage" but no new casualties, he said.

BBC News Euronews

2. Fighter jets chase plane that entered D.C. restricted airspace

The U.S. military on Sunday scrambled fighter jets to pursue a light aircraft that violated restricted Washington, D.C., airspace. The small plane, a Cessna Citation, crashed into a mountainous area in southwest Virginia after the jet fighters rushed to catch up to it, prompting a sonic boom over the capital. It wasn't immediately clear how many people were on board the plane, but authorities said there were no survivors. U.S. officials did not say what caused the Cessna to crash. A source told Reuters that the Cessna didn't respond to directions from federal authorities, and appeared to have been flying on autopilot. The plane took off from Tennessee and was flying to New York when it turned around and headed to Washington.

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3. Saudi Arabia says it will slash oil production

Saudi Arabia said Sunday it would cut its oil production by a million barrels per day to boost prices. Saudi Arabia made the announcement after meeting with fellow members of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries and Russia-led oil-rich allies, who agreed to stick with current output targets through the end of 2023. The 23 countries participating in the meeting account for nearly half of the world's oil supply. The push for production cuts to prop up prices came amid concerns that global economic troubles could reduce demand for crude oil. Saudi Arabia had pushed other countries to cut output but producers in Africa and other regions resisted.

The Wall Street Journal

4. Chinese warship nearly hits U.S. destroyer in Taiwan Strait

A Chinese warship cruised past a U.S. destroyer in "an unsafe manner" in the Taiwan Strait over the weekend, U.S. military officials said. The Chinese vessel reportedly got within 150 yards of the U.S. ship, the guided-missile destroyer Chung-Hoon, which had to reduce its speed to avoid slamming into it, the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command said. The incident in the waters separating mainland China from the island of Taiwan, which Beijing considers a rogue province, was the latest in a series of confrontations between China and the U.S. and its allies in the region. China's military accused the United States and Canada of "deliberately provoking risk" because they were participating in a rare joint sailing through the contested waters.


5. 3 Israeli soldiers killed on Egypt border

A gunman killed three Israeli soldiers over the weekend in a rare outburst of violence on Israel's border with Egypt. Two of the soldiers were killed at a remote guard post hours after Israeli soldiers disrupted a drug-smuggling operation. The alleged gunman was killed in a shootout that left the third Israeli soldier dead. "Our assumption is that this was connected to the drug-smuggling attempt, but we can't be sure yet," Lt. Col. Richard Hecht said. Egypt and Israel said the suspected killer was a member of the Egypt's security forces. Egypt described the incident as an "accident," The Washington Post reported. Israel called it a "serious attack." Israel's military said it was investigating in cooperation with Egyptian officials.

The Washington Post

6. Ruling party candidate wins governor's race in Mexico opposition stronghold

Preliminary election results on Sunday showed that the candidate of President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador's party appeared to have won the gubernatorial race in the State of Mexico, an opposition bastion surrounding Mexico City. Delfina Gomez of Lopez Obrador's leftist National Regeneration Movement (MORENA) was on track to win 52.1% to 54.2% of the vote. Alejandra del Moral, a member of the centrist Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) and the candidate of an opposition coalition, was forecast to receive 43% to 45.2%. Gomez's victory would end 100 years of PRI rule in the country's most populous region, and show that MORENA is in a strong position ahead of next year's presidential election.

ABC News Reuters

7. Massive protest against Poland's government

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators marched Poland's capital, Warsaw, on Sunday to protest the policies of the ruling nationalist Law and Justice party (PiS) led by Jaroslaw Kaczynski. The protesters, who included former Prime Minister Donald Tusk and former President Lech Walesa, criticized the government over the rising cost of living and its record on women's and LGBTQ rights. Demonstrators also criticized a new law to create a commission to investigate Russian influence, with the power to ban people from politics for 10 years, that the opposition says is a scheme to attack political rivals ahead of elections later this year. The PiS called the demonstration a "march of hate."

The Washington Post BBC News

8. Senegal cuts off mobile data after police clash with opposition supporters

Senegal's government said Sunday it was temporarily cutting off mobile phone data to prevent the distribution of "subversive messages in a context of public disorder in certain localities." The move came after days of clashes in the West African nation between police and supporters of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko that have left 19 people dead, including two members of security forces. The violence erupted after Sonko was convicted on charges of corrupting young people and sentenced to two years in prison, although he was acquitted on charges of raping and making death threats against a woman who worked at a massage parlor. Sonko is popular among young voters, and placed third in a 2019 presidential election.

The Associated Press

9. 1st death confirmed in Iowa apartment building collapse

Authorities in Davenport, Iowa, on Sunday confirmed the first death from the partial collapse of a six-story apartment building a week earlier. A city spokesperson identified the victim as Branden Colvin, 42. Two other residents — 51-year-old Ryan Hitchcock and 60-year-old Daniel Prien — remained unaccounted for. The disaster left at least nine other people injured and displaced dozens of residents and businesses. Crews found Colvin's body a day after officials announced that they had completed the search for survivors. Workers are focused on buttressing what remains of the structure so that recovery efforts can continue safely.

CBS News

10. 'Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse' has blockbuster opening

"Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse" brought in $120.5 million in domestic ticket sales over the weekend in the second biggest movie debut of 2023 after "The Super Mario Bros. Movie." The opening exceeded expectations, beating out "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3," which made $118.4 million in its debut weekend, in the biggest opening of the summer so far. "Across the Spider-Verse" far exceeded its predecessor's opening, as "Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse" debuted to just $35 million in 2018. "Into the Spider-Verse" went on to win the Oscar for best animated film and has often been called the greatest superhero movie of all time, including by "Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3" director James Gunn.


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Harold Maass

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at TheWeek.com. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 launch of the U.S. print edition. Harold has worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, Fox News, and ABC News. For several years, he wrote a daily round-up of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and two sons.