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zrodom
Apr 17, 2022
In Global News
Kremlin crackdown silences war protests, from benign to bold: A worker paints over graffiti saying 'Yes to Peace!' on a wall of an apartment building in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 18, 2022. (AP Photo, File) Hundreds of Russians are facing charges for speaking out against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Much of these charges stem from a law passed last month that outlaws disparaging the country’s military. According to human rights groups, at least 23 people have been brought up on criminal charges because of this law while another 500 are facing misdemeanors. One protestor was arrested for standing next to a Kyiv monument in Russia, built to commemorate the city’s stand against Nazi Germany in WW2, while holding a copy of War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy. Mexican president poised to win historic, polarizing referendum on his rule: A NATO flag is seen at the Alliance in Brussels, Belgium on Oct 21, 2021. (Photo: Reuters/Pascal Rossignol) Russia is concerned by increased NATO activity in the arctic, citing fears of unintended incidents occurring in the region. Finland and Sweden, which are considering joining NATO, have held joint military drills with the organization since March. Another large military drill was held recently in northern Norway. Russia has derided these operations because holding them, “does not contribute to the security of the region.” An ally of Putin warned NATO that, if Sweden and Finland join the alliance, Russia will launch nuclear and hypersonic missiles at Europe. In France’s election, a meaty issue unites Jews and Muslims: French Presidential candidate Le Pen has announced that under her all animals would need to be stunned before slaughter. Her opposition argues that this is meant to target minority religious populations. It is opposed by many Jews and Muslims in the country, who believe their ritual slaughters to be more humane. According to Le Pen, “What we want is to truly stop this animal suffering, very intense, that is the consequence of slaughter without stunning.” She is, however, not opposed to other practices considered to be animal cruelty such as bullfighting and hunting. France being a major exporter of kosher meat means that a change in policy will have major consequences for Jewish people across Europe. Sources: Kremlin crackdown silences war protests, from benign to bold | AP News Russia calls increased NATO military activity in the Arctic worrying, warns of "unintended incidents," TASS reports | Reuters In France’s election, a meaty issue unites Jews and Muslims - AP News
Global News Summary: (4/11-4/17) content media
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zrodom
Apr 17, 2022
In Domestic News
Thinking small: Biden scrounges for ways to break through: President Joe Biden walks to speak to reporters before boarding Air Force One at Des Moines International Airport, in Des Moines Iowa, Tuesday, April 12, 2022. (Carolyn Kaster | AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) As US President Biden’s domestic agenda stalls, he and his team look for ways to show the American people that they are still making progress. They are attempting to do this through small, discrete announcements. This was seen last week in his attempts to get more truck drivers on the road, him updating the Affordable Care Act with the support of former President Obama, and signing bipartisan legislation to help fund the US Postal Service. While all of the policies Biden is pushing will impact the lives of Americans, they fall short of the administration’s goals. Home prices are insane, but at least there’s a silver lining on the tax front: Housing prices continue to rise, though there is some good news for homebuyers. According to a recent report by data analytics company Attom, property taxes in 2021 only rose 1.6% despite a 16% increase in the prices of housing. The average tax rate on a single-family home in the U.S. last year rose from $3,719 to $3,785, the smallest increase in five years This is a marked reduction from the 5.4% increase from 2019 to 2020. Location was a major determiner in the changes in tax rates as 74% of the markets which saw increases above the national average were in smaller metro areas while many major markets, such as Pittsburgh and New Orleans, saw decreases in their average property taxes ranging from twenty to 30%. U.S. to resume oil, gas drilling on public land despite Biden campaign pledge: A 3D-printed oil pump jack is placed on dollar banknotes in this illustration picture, April 14, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration On Friday, the Biden Administration announced that it had resumed plans for oil and gas development on federal land, which could break one of the President’s pledges from his campaign. The plan, though calling for steeper royalties on the land and fewer acres being leased, was quickly denounced by environmental groups in the US and praised by the oil industry. This is the latest move to reform the leasing program used in the US as the administration faces pressure to address increasing energy prices. During his presidential campaign, Biden promised several times that he would end federal drilling auctions though that was halted by legal challenges from several Republican-led states. According to Randi Spivak, public lands director for the Center for Biological Diversity, “The Biden administration’s claim that it must hold these lease sales is pure fiction and a reckless failure of climate leadership.” Sources: Thinking small: Biden scrounges for ways to break through Home prices are insane, but at least there's a silver lining on the tax front US to resume oil, gas drilling on public land despite Biden campaign pledge | Reuters
Domestic News Summary: (4/11-4/17) content media
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zrodom
Apr 10, 2022
In Global News
Food prices soar to record levels on Ukraine war disruptions: A private Ukrainian farmer Dmytro Hnatkevitch harvests wheat crop on his farm in the village of Grygorovka, 110 km south of Kiev, in August, 1996. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky) Prices for food commodities such as grains and vegetable oils reached their highest levels ever recorded as of last month. This is largely due to the supply disruptions caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. The Food Price Index by the UN Food and Agriculture Organization, which calculates the international price for a basket of commodities, rose by 12.6 % from February to average 159.3 points. The FAO has blamed the war ongoing in Ukraine for the 17.1% rise in the price of grain. Together Russia and Ukraine account for roughly 20% of all corn exports and 30% of all wheat exports worldwide. It is currently unknown how much of these increases in price are due to the war and how much is due to other factors such as poor weather conditions in the US and China. Whatever their reason, massive food shortages threaten countries in the Middle East, Africa, and parts of Asia where people already have too little too eat. The United States, Canada, France, and other large grain producers are working to ramp up production but face increased fuel and fertilizer costs, drought, and supply chain disruptions. Mexican president poised to win historic, polarizing referendum on his rule: People hold posters to promote the April 10 recall referendum on the presidency of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, in downtown Mexico City, Mexico March 26, 2022. Picture taken March 26, 2022. REUTERS/Luis Cortes Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is expecting a victory in a referendum on his rule which could fortify his authority for the remainder of his term in office. A popular leftist, Lopez Obrador argues this first of its kind vote he called on himself is needed to validate his democratic mandate. The polls show that the people are largely indifferent to this as 52% view the referendum as unnecessary. Between 18% and 27% of the electorate are expected to take part, below the 40% required to make the vote binding, though Lopez Obrador has signaled his intent to respect the vote regardless of turnout. Prominent politicians amongst his opposition have signaled that they consider the referendum a waste of public funds which is best ignored. China’s security deal with Solomons raises alarm in Pacific: The Chinese national flag flies outside the Chinese Embassy in Honiara, Solomon Islands, April 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Charley Piringi, File) China and the Solomon Islands formed a draft of an agreement last week allowing Chinese warships to stop at the Island for replenishment and to deploy troops to, “assist in maintaining social order.” A base on the islands would put China in striking distance of Australia, New Zealand, and US military bases in Guam. China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson claims the agreement is meant to protect people and property from internal violence in the country and has no military aims. Euan Graham, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies based in Singapore, believes this is part of China developing the logistical capability to support a strong presence in the Pacific as part of their long-game to become the major power in the region. The Solomon Island operation is different from others like the one in Djibouti, which officially exists to fend off piracy, in that China lacks commercial interest in the region meaning that it will likely be smaller in scope. Jonathan Pryke, the director of the Pacific Islands Program at the Lowy Institute, an Australian think tank believes that leaders are overreacting to the agreement as it will be some time before it can actually begin to change things on the ground. Sources: Food prices soar to record levels on Ukraine war disruptions - ABC News Mexican president poised to win historic, polarizing referendum on his rule | Reuters China’s security deal with Solomons raises alarm in Pacific - AP News
Global News Summary: (4/4-4/10) content media
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zrodom
Apr 10, 2022
In Domestic News
Jackson will join more diverse and conservative high court: Members of the Supreme Court pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington, April 23, 2021. (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool, File) Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson has been confirmed to the US Supreme Court. She became the first ever Black woman confirmed to the body after a vote in the Senate which voted 53-47 in her favor. She will not join the court for several months as Justice Breyer intends to finish his ongoing work on cases set to be settled this summer such as the verdict on whether the Roe v. Wade ruling on abortion will be overturned. This leaves Jackson in the unprecedented situation of being confirmed to the Supreme Court months ahead of taking on case work as a Justice, where others were working within days of their confirmation. She is unlikely to sway many decisions during her time on the court due to its conservative leaning, but she will offer a unique perspective that could ultimately make a difference. Idaho's top court temporarily blocks six-week abortion ban: The Idaho State Capitol building is seen in Boise, Idaho, U.S., October 29, 2021. Picture taken October 29, 2021. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton On Friday, Idaho’s Supreme Court blocked a recently enacted six week abortion ban, modelled after a similar Texas law, from taking effect. The top court of Idaho prevented the law from being implemented until it hears a challenge from Planned Parenthood. Idaho is the first state to model legislation after the abortion law passed in Texas in September which allows citizens to sue anyone who aids a woman in performing an abortion after six weeks of pregnancy. The Idaho law is narrower, allowing only relatives to sue after cardiac activity is detected. Planned Parenthood argues that the law is unconstitutional under the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision by the US Supreme Court. The court, with a 6-3 conservative majority, appeared open during arguments in December to allowing a 15-week abortion ban to stand in Mississippi which would require rolling back or overturning Roe v. Wade. Alabama governor signs law criminalizing some trans youth care: Alabama Governor Kay Ivey speaks during a presentation at the opening of a Mercedes-Benz electric vehicle Battery Factory in Woodstock, Alabama, U.S., March 15, 2022. REUTERS/Elijah Nouvelage On Friday, Alabama Governor Kay Ivey signed passed by the legislature the day prior which will criminalize providing gender affirming medical treatments to transgender youth. It makes it a felony in the state to provide hormone treatment, hormone blockers, gender affirming surgery, and other measures that help a child transition. Governor Ivey has said, regarding her decision that, "We should especially protect our children from these radical, life-altering drugs and surgeries when they are at such a vulnerable stage in life." This is in opposition to the American Academy of Pediatrics, which urges Ivey to veto the measure in hopes of lowering the risk of depression and suicide. The Alabama law is one of several in Republican states to be advancing ahead of the November midterm elections. Ivey also signed a bill on Friday requiring students in public schools use bathrooms aligning with their gender at birth and, through a last minute addition by the legislature, prohibiting classroom discussion on sex and gender in certain grades. Sources: Jackson will join more diverse and conservative high court - AP News Idaho's top court temporarily blocks six-week abortion ban | Reuters Alabama governor signs law criminalizing some trans youth care | Reuters
Domestic News Summary: (4/4-4/10) content media
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zrodom
Apr 03, 2022
In Global News
How China’s TikTok, Facebook influencers push propaganda: Alongside its economic might, China is using the global reach offered by social media to expand its already extensive influence. The country has quietly built a network of social media personalities who parrot the government’s perspective in posts which hundreds of thousands of people see every day. These influencers operate in virtual lockstep with the Chinese Communist Party as they promote its virtues, deflect criticism of its human rights abuses, and advance the country’s talking points on issues such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine. One example of this is Vica Li who calls herself a “life blogger” and “food lover” and has 1.4 million followers across TikTok, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. The lens into China she offers is likely controlled by the Chinese-state run TV network where she has made numerous appearances and is listed as a digital reporter. Another such influencer, Journalist Li Jingjing, has used her channel to broadcast Russian propaganda over the war in Ukraine including claims that Ukraine is committing genocide against the Russian people. Most of China’s influencers use pitches similar to this to attract audiences from across the world. The AP has discovered dozens of these accounts with more than 10 million followers collectively, nearly all of them running ads on Facebook targeting users outside of China. Russia Accused of Committing Warcrimes in Ukraine: Smoke and fire are seen after shelling in Odesa, Ukraine, Sunday, April 3, 2022. Max Pshybyshevsky/AP The Russian military announced that it struck an oil processing plant and fuel depots near the strategic Black Sea port of Odesa. Around this time there were reports of Russian Soldiers executing civilians. An AP crew on Sunday saw the bodies of what appeared to be nine Ukrainian civilians with at least two of having their hands tied behind their backs.The mayor of Ukraine’s capital city of Kyiv, Vitali Klitschko, has accused Russian soldiers of committing "cruel war crimes'' in the town of Bucha northwest of the capital. He has gone on record saying, "what happened in Bucha and other suburbs of Kyiv can only be described as genocide." He and many other Ukrainians are calling on the West to end its gas imports from Russia in response to these crimes. Taliban bans drug cultivation, including lucrative opium: An Afghan man works on a poppy field in Jalalabad province April 17, 2014. REUTERS/ Parwiz Towards the end of the Taliban’s rule in 2000, they banned poppy growing in a bid to gain international legitimacy but abandoned the stance after facing popular backlash. Afghanistan's opium production has increased in recent year to have an estimated worth of $1.4 billion at its height in 2017. The country’s economic situation has prompted residents to grow the illicit crop in hopes it will bring faster returns than legal crops can offer. Taliban sources say that they anticipated tough resistance over their reinstatement of the previous ban and that production of the illicit crop has grown in recent months. One farmer in Helmand who spoke on condition of anonymity said that, but went on to say that he needed to grow poppy to support his family. Sources: How China’s TikTok, Facebook influencers push propaganda - AP News Ukraine: Russian strikes on Odesa, Kyiv mayor says Russia committing genocide : NPR Taliban bans drug cultivation, including lucrative opium | Reuters
Global News Summary: (3/28-4/3) content media
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zrodom
Apr 03, 2022
In Domestic News
Biden oil move aims to cut gas prices ‘fairly significantly’: On Thursday, President Joe Biden ordered that 1 million barrels of oil be released from the country’s strategic petroleum reserve each day for the next six months. This is in an attempt to control energy prices which have risen rapidly since the Russian invasion of Ukraine prompted sanctions from the US on its allies. Biden has also ordered Congress to penalize oil and gas companies that lease public lands without producing. He has announced his intention to invoke the Defense Production Act to encourage the mining of minerals needed for batteries in electric vehicles so as to pull the US further away from its reliance on fossil fuels. These actions show the vulnerability oil poses to the US as higher gas prices continue to hurt Biden’s approval rating. Tapping into the US’s stockpile could create the pressure necessary to reduce prices while oil companies increase their production, though the President has already ordered this twice without creating a significant shift in the market. The oil market has reacted well to this latest release, leading crude oil prices to drop by 6% per barrel though it is still up by more than $60 from last year. California reparations plan advances movement, advocates say: Robin Rue Simmons, alderwoman of Evanston's 5th Ward and a fourth generation Black resident poses for a portrait in her home in Evanston, Ill., Friday, April 9, 2021. (AP Photo/Shafkat Anowar, File) SHAFKAT ANOWAR AP California took a major step this week toward being the first US state to provide reparations for the harm caused by slavery and racism. The state’s reparation task force decided in a divisive vote that compensation will be limited to those who can show that they are descended from free and enslaved Black people who were in the US in the 19th Century. Some reparations advocates strongly disagree with what they see as overly-limited eligibility which excludes those suffering from other injustices such as redlining and mass incarceration. When the 13th amendment ended slavery, the Union army offered compensation in the form of land and mules. However, President Andrew Johnson, a Democrat sympathetic to the Southern cause, revoked this offer after taking office. Now in California, the task force is taking the next step by working with economists to determine how much will be offered to its 2 million Black residents to compensate for this. This step could influence other cities and states to take similar measures and perhaps even pressure the federal government to act. Sen. Bernie Sanders Creates Legislation to Remove MLB’s Antitrust Law Exemption: On Tuesday, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders announced legislation challenging Major League Baseball’s antitrust exemption. Sanders explained his creation of the “Save American Baseball Act” as a way to end the lawful monopoly MLB has over the sport. He has accused the owners of prioritizing profits over fans and expressed his belief that both sides of the aisle have a vested interest in looking at this exemption. MLB’s antitrust exemption stems from a Supreme Court decision in 1929 which found that the league playing across the country was not interstate commerce. This protected it from the Sherman Act, which prohibits businesses from suppressing competition. Sanders has described how removing this exemption will foster competition, bringing it more in line with other major sporting leagues such as the NFL which faces competition from the XFL and USFL. Sources: Biden oil move aims to cut gas prices 'fairly significantly' | AP News California reparations plan advances movement, advocates say | Raleigh News & Observer Bernie Sanders introduces legislation to remove MLB's antitrust protections - The Athletic
Domestic News Summary: (3/28-4/3) content media
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zrodom
Mar 27, 2022
In Global News
Putin is demanding gas importers pay Russia in rubles, twisting the West’s sanctions regime against itself: Russian President Vladimir Putin is attempting to force the world to reengage with the Russian economy. On Wednesday, he ordered that gas contracts with "unfriendly" countries, those sanctioning Russia, be settled in rubles rather than in foreign currencies. Russia's central bank and gas suppliers like Gazprom have one week to implement the change. This is a significant change as about 58% of Gazprom's foreign gas sales were in euros and an additional 39% were in U.S. dollars in the third quarter of 2021. This may be intended as a way to put pressure on European countries, which get roughly 40% of their natural gas from Russia. The European Union has not banned Russian oil and gas, though it pledged to reduce Russian gas imports by two-thirds by the end of the year. Vinicius Romano, senior analyst for Rystad Energy, sees this as an attempt by Putin to prop up the ruble by forcing gas buyers to pay into “the previously free-falling currency.” These payments are a lifeline for the increasingly isolated economy, allowing the ruble’s value to increase to 25% below its value before the invasion of Ukraine up from its 40% crash. This may also be an attempt to work around existing sanctions by forcing the West to work with Russian entities if it wants to maintain its imports of Russian energy. It is currently unclear whether or not this ruse will work in Russia’s favor. EU signs US gas deal to curb reliance on Russia: The US and EU have announced a major deal on liquified natural gas. Under this agreement, the US will provide the EU with enough gas this year to equate roughly 10% of what it is currently receiving from Russia. This is part of the bloc’s attempt to cut Russian gas use in response to the country’s invasion of Ukraine. The new deal will involve the US and other countries supplying an extra 15 billion cubic meters of gas on top of last year's 22 billion cubic meters so as to offset the 40% of EU gas currently being supplied by Russia. The total of the US deal will represent around 24% of the gas currently imported from Russia. The targeted 50 billion cubic meters per year will be able to replace roughly one-third of Russian gas currently entering Europe. To fully cut reliance on Russia will also require improvements in energy efficiency and transitioning towards renewable sources of power. EU institutions agree on stricter rules for internet giants: In Brussels, negotiators from the EU states and the European Parliament agreed on a law on digital markets which is meant to limit the market power of Internet giants and ensure fair competition. This should offer consumers more freedom of choice between online offers. The Digital Markets Act (DMA) is part of a large digital package presented by the EU Commission in December 2020. The second part, the Digital Services Act (DSA), deals with social aspects such as hate speech and is still being negotiated by Parliament and EU member countries. Currently, the DMA targets certain companies which serve as a gateway to commercial users. This will affect major companies such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple as it forces them to observe certain rules and regulations going forward. A central aspect of the legislation is that gatekeepers are forbidden from threatening their own products preferentially over those of their competition. This should also allow users to delete preinstalled apps more easily. This will also allow consumers to use a service without having to agree to data bundling across all offers from a gatekeeper. Sources: Putin demands gas payments in rubles in attempt to avoid sanctions | Fortune EU signs US gas deal to curb reliance on Russia - BBC News EU-Institutionen einigen sich auf schärfere Regeln für Internet-Riesen - Politik - SZ.de
Global News Summary: (3/21-3/27) content media
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zrodom
Mar 27, 2022
In Domestic News
Colorado wildfire forces evacuation orders for 19,000 people: Smoke billowed from a wildfire Saturday, March 26, 2022 in Marshall, Colo. a few miles south of Boulder, Colo. (Associated Press) Authorities issued an evacuation order for 19,400 people on Saturday in response to a fast-moving Colorado wildfire in rolling hills south of the college town of Boulder. The blaze started around 2:00 PM and burned protected wildland near the National Center for Atmospheric Research. While still early in the day the fire grew to 122 acres with no containment. Evacuation orders have been given to 8,000 homes and 7,000 other structures with overnight shelters being opened for their use. Winds and temperatures have died down, though authorities expect to be dealing with the fire for several days due to heavy fuels. U.S. Representative Fortenberry, found guilty of lying, to resign: Jeff Fortenberry, (R-NE) speaks during testimony by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at a hearing on the State Department's budget request for 2020 in Washington, U.S. March 27, 2019. REUTERS/Erin Scott/File Photo Republican U.S. Representative Jeff Fortenberry, who has represented his district in Nebraska since 2005, said on Saturday that he will be retiring from Congress. This follows his conviction of lying to FBI investigators about illegal contributions to his 2016 re-election campaign. The jury found Fortenberry guilty of scheming to falsify and conceal material facts, along with two counts of making false statements to federal investigators. Prosecutors had accused Fortenberry of lying to investigators during two interviews in 2019 about $30,000 in campaign contributions he received in 2016 from Nigerian billionaire Gilbert Chagoury. This breaks US Federal law, which prohibits foreign nationals from donating to federal election campaigns. Fortenberry's lawyers said that his memory of the event was faulty due to being caught off guard by the unexpected FBI interview request and that he had no intention of misleading federal agents. The three felony charges each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison. A sentencing hearing is scheduled for June 28 before U.S. District Judge Stanley Blumenfeld in Los Angeles. Ketanji Brown Jackson: Key moments as Biden's Supreme Court pick quizzed: Ketanji Brown Jackson. (Getty Images) In a Senate Panel earlier this week Ketanji Brown Jackson, President Biden’s nomination to the Supreme Court, took questions on her career and record. Several Republicans brought Jackson’s judicial philosophy into question by accusing her of being an “activist judge” imposing her preferred view on the bench to which she responded by saying that, "I am trying in every case to stay in my lane.” Some lawmakers raised concern about her providing “free legal service” to help terrorists get out of Guantanamo Bay, though she was assigned the case as a Public Defender rather than choosing to represent them. Her response to this was that ignoring the protections in the Constitution "would let the terrorists win." Jackson was asked about increasing the number of Justices on the Supreme Court but deflected the question as being a policy question for Congress. When accused by some Republicans as being “soft on crime”, she suggested having family members in law enforcement meant, “Crime and the need for law enforcement are not abstract concepts or political slogans to me.” Sources: Colorado wildfire forces evacuation orders for 19,000 people | Star Tribune US Representative Fortenberry, found guilty of lying, to resign | Reuters Ketanji Brown Jackson: Key moments as Biden's Supreme Court pick quizzed - BBC News
Domestic News Summary: (3/21-3/27) content media
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zrodom
Mar 20, 2022
In Global News
Russian military slog in Ukraine a ‘dreadful mess’ for Putin: A Ukrainian Territorial Defense Forces member holds an NLAW anti-tank weapon, in the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, March 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Efrem Lukatsky, File) Russia’s military has proved to be far from ready for the fight it is facing in Ukraine. Russia has lost hundreds of tanks, many left charred or abandoned along the roads, and its death toll is on a pace to outstrip that of the country’s previous military campaigns in recent years. Despite being more than three weeks into the war, with the aim of an easy takeover long gone, Russia’s military is still in a strong position. Military analysts say that the country’s greater might and stockpile of city-flattening munitions will allow forces to fight on for whatever Russian President Putin has planned. Despite the Ukrainian people’s determination, the losses among Russia’s forces, and the errors of Kremlin leaders; there is no sign that the war will soon be over. Even failing to take control, Putin can keep up the attacks on Ukraine’s cities and people. Putin’s invasion is Russia’s largest, most complex combined military campaign since it took Berlin in 1945. Russia’s first apparent plan of attacking military targets while making a run for the capital failed immediately. This led Russian forces to revert to tactics used during its offensives in Syria and Chechnya; namely dropping bombs and firing missiles into cities and towns. Ukrainian President Zelensky said Russia is trying to starve Ukraine’s cities into submission and accused Putin of deliberately creating “a humanitarian catastrophe.” China weighs exit from ‘zero COVID’ and the risks involved: Community workers outside a locked down community chat near a Communist Party flag and trash bags labelled as hazardous waste on Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Ng Han Guan) Even as Chinese authorities are locking down cities, they are looking for an exit from what has been a successful but onerous COVID-19 prevention strategy. Government-affiliated health experts have released messages indicating that China is exploring ways of slowly easing its zero-tolerance approach. Right now, China is facing 15,000 new cases this month from multiple outbreaks across the country. The government is prolonging its policy of lockdowns, repeated mass testing, and a two-week or more quarantine for overseas arrivals in the wake of this high case-load. China’s Center for Disease Control published a paper last week suggesting that mandatory quarantine be reduced to seven days for incoming travelers. “It’s not the same virus as two years ago in Wuhan and elsewhere,” said Jin Dong-yan, a virologist at the University of Hong Kong. “That’s the main message that we need to pass on.” Ukraine war could hit global growth, OECD warns: The war in Ukraine could cut world economic growth by over 1% within the first year of Russia’s invasion, pushing up prices by about 2.5% globally. The Organization for Economic Development (OECD) said that this could also cause a deep recession in Russia if the war is sustained. Although Russia and Ukraine only make up a small percentage of the global economy, they are huge producers of raw materials. The OECD assumes in its new research that oil prices will remain elevated by one-third, gas by 85% and wheat by 90%. Outside of Russia and Ukraine, this will be felt worst in European countries as many of them are reliant on both countries for energy and food. The price shock, however, may be felt more keenly by those in developing countries. Sources: Russian military slog in Ukraine a 'dreadful mess' for Putin China weighs exit from ‘zero COVID’ and the risks involved - AP News Ukraine war could hit global growth, OECD warns - BBC News
Global News Summary: (3/14-3/20) content media
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zrodom
Mar 20, 2022
In Domestic News
Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Guantanamo clients an issue for GOP: Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson represented four Guantanamo Bay detainees when she was working as a public defender. This has led some Republicans say she has a record of “defending terrorists”. She can expect them to raise sharp questions regarding this at the Senate hearings for her nomination to the Supreme Court on Monday. This criticism even comes from prominent Republicans who have previously defended other representatives for Guantanamo detainees. Jackson’s response to this is that “an attorney has a duty to represent her clients zealously,” regardless of their views. Democrats have the votes to confirm her even without GOP support. Despite this, they can expect Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee, which is holding the hearings, to try to paint her as soft on crime and terrorism. She has already been branded as a “radical, left-wing activist” by Republicans. American gunmakers help Ukrainians fight back against Putin: Adrian Kellgren, director of industrial production of KelTec, holds a 9mm SUB2000 rifle, similar to ones being shipped to Ukraine, at their manufacturing facility on Thursday, March 17, 2022, in Cocoa, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack) Former US Navy Pilot Adrian Kellgren’s family-owned gun company in Florida was left holding a $200,000 shipment of semi-automatic rifles after a longtime customer in Ukraine suddenly went silent during Russia’s invasion of the country. Kellgren and his company, KelTec, have put those 400 guns to use by sending them to Ukraine’s nascent resistance movement; helping civilians fight back against the Russian military. Kellgren said the American people, “enjoy our freedoms, we cherish those things. And when we see a group of people out there getting hammered like this, it’s heartbreaking.” This high profile example is emblematic of other similar grassroots efforts to help arm the Ukrainian populace against this invasion. However, many of these efforts are held back by their lack of experience with the many regulations governing the international shipment of military equipment. Kellgren, being more experienced, was able to secure a federal arms export license in just four days with the help of a diplomat in the Ukrainian Embassy. That process can often take months. One New York based group supporting Ukraine has been able to piggyback on KelTec’s license to export 60 long guns they recently collected. RNC launches voter registration initiative at gas stations amid rising prices: © Associated Press/Matt Rourke The Republican National Committee (RNC) has launched a voter registration initiative that will run at gas stations across the country in the upcoming weeks, as fuel prices sharply. The first such event took place in Arizona on Saturday, with volunteers and staff registering Americans to vote from 1 p.m. - 3 p.m. local time. Republicans have blamed President Joe Biden for the record high fuel prices the country faces as it continues its grapple with record inflation. Earlier this month, President Biden signaled that American fuel prices were likely to climb even higher this month when he announced the US’s ban on Russian oil amid its invasion of Ukraine. President Biden has also blamed gas companies for the increase in prices, claiming in a Tweet that they are padding their profits. Sources: Ketanji Brown Jackson's Guantanamo clients an issue for GOP | WTOP News American gunmakers help Ukrainians fight back against Putin - AP News RNC launches voter registration initiative at gas stations amid rising prices | TheHill
Domestic News Summary: (3/14-3/20) content media
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zrodom
Mar 13, 2022
In Global News
Ukraine invasion: What to know as Russian forces target Kyiv: A man walks past a TV screen with image of Russia's President Vladimir Putin in Tokyo, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File) Russia has made unsubstantiated claims that the US funded biological labs in Ukraine. The US has been quick to refute this claim which is yet to be supported by any available evidence. Earlier this week, China’s Foreign Ministry stoked the matter by repeating the Russian claim and by calling for an investigation into the matter. American officials have called this an “information war” and say this could lay the groundwork for a false-flag operation. Russia has been found guilty of using chemical weapons in the past despite it, China, and the US all being signatories to international conventions against their use. China has used this conflict to repeat its claim that COVID-19 was created in a US lab. Russia strikes near Ukrainian capital; port city under siege: A view of a destroyed tram damaged by shelling, at a tram depot, in Kharkiv, Ukraine, Saturday, March 12, 2022. Andrew Marienko/Associated Press Russian forces shelled the downtown of the Ukrainian port city of Mariupol on Saturday. Mariupol has endured some of Ukraine’s worst punishment since Russia invaded. Russia’s unceasing barrages have killed more than 1,500 people in the city and thwarted repeated attempts to bring supplies to and help evacuate the remaining 430,000 trapped civilians. The situation in Mariupol has led many within the city to take refuge in the iconic Sultan Suleiman Mosque including 86 Turkish nationals, 34 of which being children. The Ukrainian government said on Saturday that the Mosque was hit, but an unverified Instagram post by a man claiming to be the mosque association’s president said it was spared when a bomb fell just 750 yards away. This situation could turn into a humanitarian catastrophe as electricity, gas, and water supplies in the city have been knocked out. Russia may be taking Mariupol and other ports on the Azov Sea in order to establish a land corridor to Crimea, which it seized from Ukraine in 2014. Russia built an economy like a fortress but the pain is real: Small number of visitors walk inside the GUM department store in Moscow, in Moscow, Russia, Friday, March 4, 2022. (AP Photo, File) Russia’s economy has been dealt a severe blow by Western sanctions. Immediate effects of this include the value of the ruble plunging, prices of goods rising, and foreign businesses fleeing the country. Beyond these short term pains, Russia’s economy will likely see a deepening of its long-fought stagnation. Despite this, the Russian government’s extensive involvement in the economy and the money it is still making from oil and gas exports — even with bans from the US and Britain — will help soften the blow for many workers, pensioners, and government employees. Russia is no stranger to economic turmoil, having endured three serious financial crises in the past three decades. The central bank has taken steps to bolster the ruble and restrict withdrawals in foreign currency as the government announces broader measures to keep foreign investors from leaving. While these restrictions protect against economic collapse, they also close off the economy to potential growth. Sources: China amplifies unsupported Russian claim of Ukraine biolabs - ABC News Russia strikes near Ukrainian capital; port city under siege | PBS NewsHour Weekend Russia built an economy like a fortress but the pain is real - AP News
Global News Summary: (3/7-3/13) content media
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zrodom
Mar 13, 2022
In Domestic News
The 2020 census had big undercounts of Black people, Latinos and Native Americans: A Census Bureau worker waits to gather information from people during a 2020 census promotional event in New York City. Brendan McDermid/Reuters The US Census Bureau issued a report on Thursday showing that the 2020 Census continued the trend of underrepresenting Latinos, Native Americans, and Black people. This is at least partially due to the COVID-19 epidemic causing delays. Census Bureau Director Robert Santos believes that this underrepresentation is due to former President Trump interfering with the polls. Despite these problems, the bureau has said that it believes the results are fit to use. This is significant because Census results are used for allocating congressional seats, redrawing voting districts, and distributing federal money for public services. Liberal US cities change course, now clearing homeless camps: City of Seattle workers remove tents, trash, and personal belongings from a stretch of sidewalk across from City Hall that had been used by people experiencing homelessness, on March 9, 2022, in Seattle. (The Seattle Times via AP) Many cities across the US halted sweeps of homeless camps during the COVID-19 pandemic in accordance with guidelines from federal health experts. The lack of remediation led the situation to worsen, forcing frustrated residents to call for action. Now leaders in liberal cities are removing encampments and pushing for other strict measures in addressing homelessness. Newly elected Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrel, who ran on a platform calling for action on encampment, ended a two and a half week standoff with activists on Wednesday when he cleared out two blocks worth of tents from the city. Portland’s Mayor, Ted Wheeler, has used emergency powers to ban camping along certain roadways and his top advisor, former Portland Mayor Sam Adams, has outlined a plan which would force 3,000 homeless people into shelters staffed by Oregon National Guard members. Some question the legality of this tougher approach on homelessness, citing a 2018 federal court decision which states that cities cannot ban people from sleeping or resting outside without providing sufficient indoor alternatives. Texas judge blocks probes of transgender kids' parents statewide: Judge Amy Clark Meachum addresses the court as a court hearing is held on Texas Governor Greg Abbott's order that parents of transgender children be investigated for child abuse, in Austin, Texas, U.S. March 11, 2022. REUTERS/Sergio Flores On Friday, a Texas judge temporarily blocked the state from investigating parents who provide gender-transitioning medical treatments to their children which Governor Greg Abbott has referred to as "child abuse.” Governor Abbot issued a directive in February calling on doctors, nurses, and teachers to report such treatment or face criminal penalties. District Court Judge Amy Clark Meachum challenged the order on behalf of the family of a 16 year old transgender girl being targeted by the investigation. She was able to impose a temporary junction under the grounds that the probes endangered children and their families and will stay in place until it is settled either by a judgment or other means. The ruling marked a victory for LGBTQ groups opposing moves by conservative politicians in dozens of states to criminalize the provision of gender-transitioning treatments for trans youth. Sources: The 2020 census undercounted Black people, Latinos and Native Americans : NPR Liberal US cities change course, now clearing homeless camps - AP News Texas judge blocks probes of transgender kids' parents statewide | Reuters
Domestic News Summary: (3/7-3/13) content media
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zrodom
Feb 27, 2022
In Global News
Ukraine invasion: What to know as Russian forces target Kyiv: Ukrainian troops inspect the site following a Russian airstrike in Kyiv, Ukraine, Saturday, Feb. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda) Russian forces began closing in on Ukraine’s capital of Kiev on Saturday, following up on a barrage of airstrikes hitting cities and military bases. Ukrainian officials have reported some success in fending off the Russian onslaught though fighting still persists near the capital. Russia has been put under more pressure internationally as countries pledge to help Ukraine in the conflict. One example of this is Germany which pledged on Saturday to quickly send 1,000 anti-tank weapons and 500 “Stinger” surface-to-air missiles to Ukraine. Ukrainian President Zelinskyy was urged by the US government to evacuate Kyiv but he refused the offer saying, “the fight is here.” The United States estimates that more than half of the forces Russia had arranged along the border have entered Ukraine, up from Friday’s estimate of one third. Although Russia claims its assault is focused exclusively on military targets, bridges, schools, and residential neighborhoods have been hit and civilians killed. UN officials say that at least 100,000 individuals have fled Ukraine to Poland, Romania, Hungary and other neighboring countries with that number rapidly increasing. N.Korea resumes missile tests with first launch in a month: North Korea fired what South Korean and Japanese military officials believe to be a ballistic missile on Sunday. If so, this is the first test since the country’s record number of launches in January. Analysts say that the flight data did not match that of previous tests and suggested it may be a medium-range ballistic missile fired on a lofted trajectory. The US has condemned this latest launch and called on North Korea to stop committing acts that might destabilize the region, but said the launch posed no immediate threat. This launch came less than two weeks ahead of South Korea’s presidential election on March 9 and has raised fears that North Korea will push forward its missile program while attention is diverted by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. China is Russia’s best hope to blunt sanctions, but wary: Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin talk to each other during their meeting in Beijing, Feb. 4, 2022. (Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP, File) China is the only friend Russia has that might help blunt the economic sanctions Russia is facing over its invasion of Ukraine. Despite this, China has given no sign that it would be willing to do so and thereby risk its own access to US and European markets. Even if China is willing to support Russia, there is still a limit to the support that it can viably offer. Relations between the two countries have warmed since 2012, when Xi Jinping became Chinese President. This is also in part because of Russian President Putin attempting to divert exports to the Far East to reduce reliance on European markets. While their relations are at their highest levels in history, Putin’s skepticism of the growing economic presence China has in Central Asia and Russia’s far East. Now, China is the only major government to have not condemned Russia’s invasion. China announced earlier this week that it will allow imports of wheat from all parts of Russia for the first time, which can help buoy the incomes of Russian farmers. The amount of support Russia receives from China will likely be crucial in determining how well it can weather the long term consequences. Sources: Ukraine invasion: What to know as Russian forces target Kyiv - AP News N.Korea resumes missile tests with first launch in a month | Reuters China is Russia’s best hope to blunt sanctions, but wary - AP News
Global News Summary: (2/21-2/27) content media
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zrodom
Feb 27, 2022
In Domestic News
Biden picks Ketanji Brown Jackson as historic U.S. Supreme Court nominee: Ketanji Brown Jackson, nominated to be a U.S. Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit, testifies before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending judicial nominations on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S., April 28, 2021. Tom Williams/Pool via REUTERS/File Photo President Joe Biden nominated federal appellate judge Ketanji Brown Jackson on Friday to the Supreme Court. This fulfills President Biden’s two year old campaign promise to appoint a black woman to the court. The appointment will likely lead to a confirmation battle in the closely contested senate. If this happens, then Democrats can use the Vice President’s tie breaking vote to push through the nomination with zero Republican support. If she makes it through confirmation, then Jackson will join the Supreme Court as one of three liberal justices of the nine total. She served representing the district of Columbia on the US Court of Appeals. This nomination gives Biden an opportunity to shore up support ahead of midterm elections. White House asks Congress for $6.4 billion for Ukraine crisis: On Friday the White House asked Congress to approve $6.4 billion in aid addressing the humanitarian and security crisis in Ukraine following Russia’s invasion. The request included $2.9 billion in security and humanitarian assistance and $3.5 billion for the Department of Defense. Congressional aides have said that Congress would consider the funding for the State Department and USAID to be an emergency bill. This money would also cover the implementation of sanctions punishing Russia for its invasion. The newly requested funds would augment the $650 million in security assistance and $52 million in humanitarian assistance the United States has already committed to Ukraine in the last year. In a depart from recent party divisions, both Republicans and Democrats have expressed strong support for increasing military and humanitarian aid in Ukraine. Home prices skyrocketed last year. Two regions saw the biggest increases: Home prices rose 18.8% in 2021, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller US National Home Price Index, the largest increase in 34 years of data and substantially higher than 2020's 10.4% gain. Price gains were seen in every region of the country but were strongest in the South and South East which were up over 25%, According to Craig J. Lazzara, managing director at S&P Dow Jones Indices, home prices have been rising at high but decelerating rates over the past several months. The US National Index, which covers all nine U.S. Census divisions, showed home prices increase by 1.3% in December from November after seasonal adjustment. The strength of the market has in part been driven by Americans who decided to move during the pandemic. This high demand for homes led to the increase in prices, though rising mortgage rates could quench some of that demand. Mortgage rates began to abruptly climb in December and have since risen to nearly 4% for a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. Sources: Biden picks Ketanji Brown Jackson as historic US Supreme Court nominee | Reuters White House asks Congress for $6.4 billion for Ukraine crisis | Reuters Home prices skyrocketed by nearly 19% last year - CNN
Domestic News Summary: (2/21-2/27) content media
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zrodom
Feb 20, 2022
In Global News
Ukraine crisis: Russia does not want war, Putin says after meeting Scholz: Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz attend a press conference following their meeting on Ukraine and security in Moscow, February 15, 2022. -Copyright MIKHAIL KLIMENTYEV / SPUTNIK / AFP Russian President Vladimir Putin and Germany's Chancellor Olaf Scholz met recently in Moscow. Shortly after this, Russia said that it has begun the withdrawal of its troops from the Ukrainian border and that it does not want a war around Ukraine. Putin says that he is ready for talks with the US and NATO regarding military transparency and missile deployments, though Russia has yet to receive positive answers to its security demands. Western leaders are skeptical as NATO’s chief says there have been no signs of de-escalation of Russia’s military on the ground. Though hesitant, the US and NATO have agreed to discuss some of the security measures that Russia proposed prior. Though the West has been accommodating, German Chancellor Scholz has made it clear that if Russia encroaches on Ukraine, “we are in a position any day to take the necessary decisions.” Australia accuses China of 'act of intimidation' after laser aimed at aircraft: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media at Melbourne Commonwealth Parliament Office, in Melbourne, Australia February 11, 2022. Darrian Traynor/Pool via REUTERS Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison accused China of an ‘act of intimidation’ after a Chinese vessel pointed a laser toward an Australian aircraft. On Thursday, a Chinese ship was sailing East with another ship from the People’s Liberation Army. A laser from one of the vessels illuminated a P-8A Poseidon maritime patrol aircraft. The defence department said that this could have endangered the lives of the crew, leading Morrison to demand answers from the Chinese government. He referred to the incident as an unprovoked and unwarranted, “act of intimidation,” that Australians will never accept. Chinese actions have been in response to souring trade relations between the two countries. Centre issues order to ban 54 Chinese apps: India’s Union government recently deemed over 54 Chinese apps to be a threat to privacy and security of Indians. A number of these belong to major Chinese technology firms and are rebrandings of apps which have been previously banned. Top app stores in the country have also been directed to block these applications to prevent Indians’ sensitive data from transferring to foreign countries. The government has banned a total of 224 Chinese apps since June 2020 including popular ones such as TikTok, WeChat, and UC News. There have been attempts to hide the ownership of these apps by having them change hands and hosting them out of countries such as Singapore. According to the government, major reasons for the ban are "sovereignty and integrity of India, defence of India, security of state and public order.” Sources: Ukraine crisis: Russia does not want war, Putin says after meeting Scholz | Euronews Australia accuses China of 'act of intimidation' after laser aimed at aircraft | Reuters Centre issues order to ban 54 Chinese apps - The Economic Times
Global News Summary: (2/14-2/20) content media
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zrodom
Feb 20, 2022
In Domestic News
California adopts nation’s 1st ‘endemic’ virus policy: Gov. Gavin Newsom, right, walks through rows of boxed Personal protective equipment, PPE, with dignitaries and elected officials. (Watchara Phomicinda/The Orange County Register/SCNG via AP) California Governor Gavin Newson announced on Thursday that his state will be the first US state to formally recognize the coronavirus as an endemic. A disease being endemic means that it is still present in the population, but is made manageable by building immunity. The state is planning to shift towards a more normal existence by setting plans in place which emphasize prevention and quick reaction to potential outbreaks. Republicans have been critical of this with State GOP Chairwoman Jessica Millan Patterson calling this move “an extra-large helping of word salad,” though Newsom’s plan does have specific goals set. The plan calls for a stockpiling of 75 million masks and establishing the infrastructure to provide 200,000 vaccines, 500,000 COVID-19 tests per day, and an additional 3,000 medical workers in areas where the virus is surging. This combined with plans to better monitor the virus and keep the public informed regarding ever-evolving precautions will cost the state billions of dollars while being a slow and arduous process. 'People's Convoy' of Truckers Reportedly Heading to DC for Mandate Protest: American truckers are planning cross-country convoy heading to Washington D.C., with a message: "Government has forgotten its place." (GETTY IMAGES) Recent COVID-19 protests in Canada have inspired American truck drivers. An American truckers’ protest dubbing itself the “People’s Convoy” is set to depart later this month with an estimated 1,000 US truck drivers. They will be heading toward the capital in response to what they believe to be unconstitutional COVID-19 mandates. Leaders of the protest say they are gathering for an American issue and that they are not far-right or far-left. One of the organizers, Brian Brase, said their purpose is, “...standing up to end the Emergency Powers Act, which ultimately would end the mandates." They want to end the mask and vaccine mandates due to believing that they deprive people of their fundamental rights. The group’s organizers are planning to make updates and release the final route for the protest in coming days. What John Durham's Court Filing Alleges: Special Counsel John Durham alleged in a court-filing last week that a Democrat lawyer, Michael Sussmann, shared false data with a federal agency. Sussman claimed that Trump and other officials had used rare Russian-made phones near the White House. The Special Counsel's Office found no support for these allegations. Durham also accused Sussmann of lying to the FBI in 2016 about not working "for any client" while giving purported evidence linking the Trump Organization to a Russian bank. Despite this, the investigation found Sussman to be working for at least two clients. One client is a technology executive at an unnamed internet company and the other is the Clinton campaign. Former President Donald Trump has used this to purport that Clinton’s campaign spied on him, though Durham’s filing did not accuse the campaign of any wrongdoing. Sources: California adopts nation’s 1st ‘endemic’ virus policy - AP News 'People's Convoy' of Truckers Reportedly Heading to DC for Mandate Protest - Newsweek What John Durham's Court Filing Alleges - Newsweek
Domestic News Summary: (2/14-2/20) content media
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zrodom
Feb 13, 2022
In Global News
Canada trucker protest: Ottawa declares emergency: Police keep a watchful eye on protesters in Ottawa on Sunday. REUTERS Canadian truckers have been protesting against COVID-19 restrictions for over a week. The Mayor of Canada’s capital, Ottawa, has declared a state of emergency in response. The “Freedom Convoy” initially formed in response to a new rule which required that truckers must be vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to cross the US-Canada border. They have since morphed into broader challenges against Covid-related health restrictions. The protesters are gathered in central Ottawa near Parliament Hill and are now demanding the end of such mandates nation-wide. Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson has said that the protesters are becoming increasingly insensitive. Police said on Sunday that they will step up enforcement, which may include arrests of those who supply the protesters with basic necessities such as food. Ottawa residents have objected to the demonstrations with complaints ranging from obstruction of traffic to fears of potential violence. Thousands march in Kyiv to show unity against Russian threat: People take part in the Unity March, which is a procession to demonstrate Ukrainians' patriotic spirit amid growing tensions with Russia, in Independence Square in Kyiv, Ukraine February 12, 2022. REUTERS/Valentyn Ogirenko Several thousand Ukranians rallied in Kiev on Saturday in a show of unity against the threat of a potential Russian incursion, as Ukraine’s leader told people not to panic. Ukrainians, carrying Ukrainian flags and banners, filed as a column through the center of Kyiv chanting, “Glory to Ukraine.” Russia’s buildup of over 100,000 troops along the Ukrainian border has led to escalating tensions with the US saying on Friday that an invasion could begin at any moment. Numerous western governments are urging their citizens to leave Ukraine, the US being a prime example as it withdraws most of its embassy staff in Kyiv. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has pushed back against excessive information about a looming war which only serves to incite panic without helping the country. High energy prices send Europe’s businesses, homes reeling: People set on fire their electricity bills during a protest in Ankara, Turkey, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Burhan Ozbilici) Spikes in energy prices are resulting in higher utility bills everywhere from the United Kingdom to Poland. This is felt especially strongly in Turkey, where inflation has soared to nearly 50% and protests are occurring over exorbitant energy bills and fears about keeping small businesses afloat. The protests over electricity price hikes broke out across Turkey this week, with some being dispersed by police fired teargas. The increased prices of energy sources across Europe are the result of gas reserves being sapped by a cold winter, there being a lack of renewable energy generated over the Summer, and Russia selling lower than usual levels of gas to Europe. This has led to a cost-of-living crisis as people are hit by higher bills at home and rising prices from businesses. Sources: Canada trucker protest: Ottawa declares emergency - BBC News Thousands march in Kyiv to show unity against Russian threat | Reuters High Energy Prices Send Europe's Homes Reeling - AP News
Global News Summaries: (2/7-2/13) content media
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zrodom
Feb 13, 2022
In Domestic News
2022 Super Bowl: Americans will bet an estimated $8B on Rams vs. Bengals: Americans in line to wager bets (Getty Images) Americans are estimated to bet $8 billion on this year’s Super Bowl between the Rams and Bengals, according to the American Gaming Association. This would nearly double the current record set by Superbowl LV at $4.3 billion. This $8 billion figure encompasses bets made online and in person and even includes both legal and illegal betting. According to CBS, this massive increase is largely a byproduct of increased legalization of gambling across the states. A total of 19 states have legalized sports betting since a 2018 Supreme Court decision decriminalized it at the federal level. The residents of New York state, which legalized sports betting in January, have already wagered over $1.6 billion, according to the state’s gaming commission. New Yorkers alone are expected to place $160 million on the outcome of Super Bowl LVI, which is still $15 million shy of Nevada’s $175 million. In total, according to the American Gaming Association, over 31 million Americans plan to place wagers on the game. As states plan to lift school mask mandates, CDC remains vague on updating its guidance: Many US states are seeing declines in their daily COVID-19 case numbers and hospitalizations. Due to this, some states have moved to lift mask mandates in schools. This goes against the guidance that the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has given, but the agency has yet to comment on this. The Democratic Governors of Connecticut, Delaware, and New Jersey announced on Monday that they will lift the mask requirements in schools in coming weeks. All three referenced declines in case count, transmission, and hospitalization as motivating factors behind their decision. In contrast to this, there are some states such as Kentucky, with high case counts, which have no plan to change their school mask policy. Also on Monday, California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that the state’s indoor mask mandate will expire on February 15th for vaccinated individuals. The White House continues to recommend universal mask-wearing in schools. Republican rift exposes choice: With Trump or against him: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell of Ky., arrives to speak to reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, Tuesday, Feb. 8, 2022. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) A major rift was exposed within the Republican party following a symbolic move by the Republican National Committee to censure former President Donald Trump’s two largest critics within the party, Liz Cheney of Wyoming and Adam Kinzinger of Illinois. Both sit on a Democrat-led House committee which is aggressively investing the January 6th incident at the US capitol. The RNC resolution accused them of, ““persecution of ordinary citizens engaged in legitimate political discourse”.” Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell called out the RNC for singling out party members with minority opinions and overstepping their role in the process. Trump responded by saying that McConnell does not represent Republican voters and accusing him of bailing out the radical left and RINOs. This burst of infighting comes as Republican leaders are urging party unity to defeat Democrats in the upcoming midterms. This fight is merely a proxy for the larger battle over who will control the Republican party moving forward. Sources: Super Bowl 2022 odds, expert picks, live stream: Best bets, predictions, player props for Rams vs. Bengals - CBSSports.com As states plan to lift school mask mandates, CDC remains vague on updating its guidance - CNN Republican Rift Exposes Choice - AP News
Domestic News Summary: (2/7-2/13) content media
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zrodom
Feb 06, 2022
In Global News
Russian forces at 70% of level needed for full Ukraine invasion, U.S. officials say: Military vehicles are seen during the joint exercises of the armed forces of Russia and Belarus at a firing range in the Brest Region, Belarus February 3, 2022. Vadim Yakubyonok/BelTA/Handout via REUTERS Russia has 70% of the forces in place that would be necessary for a full scale invasion of Ukraine and is actively sending more battalions to the border. The ground is expected to reach peak freeze by February 15, allowing for Russia to freely move its military units offroad. The combination of these two factors suggest that the chance to diplomatically settle this is nearing its end. While massing more than 100,000 troops along its Ukrainian border, Russia has said it has no plans for an invasion but may act if its security demands are not met. Though US executives have said that a full scale invasion of Ukraine is unlikely, Russia is putting forces in place capable of taking the Ukrainian capital in only a couple of days. According to US estimates, an invasion now could cost between 5,000 to 25,000 Ukrainian troop casualties and between 3,000 and 10,000 Russian troop casualties. This could also cost civilian lives in the range from 25,000 to 50,000 while displacing millions of refugees across Europe. Thousands stage peaceful protest in Ottawa against Canada's vaccine mandates: The leader of the Islamic State group blew up himself and his family members on Thursday as American forces raided his Syrian hideout. This is the second time in the last three years that the US has taken out the violent group’s leader. Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurayshi, a secretive man who kept out of the public eye, took control of the organization soon after the death of his predecessor. The IS controlled more than 40,000 square miles stretching from Syria to Iraq and ruled over 8 million people at the height of its power. The raid targeted al-Qurayshi. Witnesses say that around 50 U.S. special operations forces landed near the house in a rebel-controlled region in Syria and fought against gunmen for around 2 hours. According to Gen. Frank McKenzie, head of U.S. Central Command and the commander of the operation, the goal of the mission had been to capture al-Qurayshi. EXPLAINER: Why India won’t send diplomat to China Olympics: Army officers of India and China hold a meeting at Pangong lake region in Ladakh on the India-China border on Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2021. (Indian Army via AP, File) AP India refuses to send its top diplomat at the Beijing embassy to the Winter Olympic Games in Beijing after a Chinese soldier wounded in a deadly border clash two years ago was given the honor of carrying the Olympic torch. India had previously considered sending the diplomat to the games even as other countries such as the U.S., Australia, Britain and Canada displayed their intentions to have a diplomatic boycott over China’s human rights violations. India’s boycott stems from a disputed border, called the Line of Actual Control, that separates Chinese- and Indian-held territories from one another. The dispute resulted in an armed conflict in 1962 that ended with a fragile truce whereby both sides agreed not to attack each other with firearms. In June 2020, the deadliest encounter in decades occurred there as the troops fought with rocks, clubs and their fists in an encounter that killed at least 20 Indian troops and four Chinese. This has dramatically altered the relationship between the two. Both rivals are now stationing tens of thousands of soldiers backed by artillery, tanks, and fighter jets along the border. It is likely that India’s boycott and China’s giving spotlight to a soldier with the title “hero regiment commander for defending the border” will only serve to raise tensions between the two. Sources: https://www.reuters.com/world/europe/russian-forces-70-level-needed-full-ukraine-invasion-us-officials-2022-02-05/ https://romesentinel.com/stories/is-leader-blows-up-self-family-as-us-attacks-syria-hideout,128805 https://apnews.com/article/winter-olympics-india-diplomatic-boycott-19114dd70774842c58caa8b9b1371dc3
Global News Summary: (1/31-2/6) content media
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zrodom
Feb 06, 2022
In Domestic News
House Democrats push through massive manufacturing, tech bill aimed at competing with China: Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo is taking a lead role in courting Republicans to get the legislation through Congress. (Demetrius Freeman/The Washington Post) On Friday, a large bill set to strengthen U.S. tech and advanced manufacturing to ensure competitiveness with China passed the U.S. House. The America COMPETES Act The $350 billion legislative package includes a wide range of provisions such as $45 billion being used for addressing supply chain issues, looking into human rights abuses in China, and issuing directives to U.S. officials to secure further commitments from China on combating illicit fentanyl trafficking. It barely made it through the lower chamber with a party line vote of 222-210. It is likely that they can reconcile their version with the Senate’s, which has bipartisan support. Their version is roughly $200 billion and aims to establish programs for the commercialization of artificial intelligence and advanced computers while protecting domestic research. It is likely that the Senate version is a better representation of the final bill as Democrats will need Republican support to get it through. U.S. winter storm leaves hundreds of thousands without power: A car is abandoned overnight after it crashed during a snowstorm in Toledo, Ohio, U.S., February 3, 2022. REUTERS/Gaelen Morse Hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses went without power on Friday after a winter storm dumped sleet and heavy snow on much of the central United States this week. According to Poweroutage.us, over 370,000 households went without power in areas ranging all the way from Texas to New York. Airlines canceled nearly 3,000 flights on Friday after being forced to scrap 5,000 of them on Thursday. Windchill warnings remain in effect in Texas and the Great Plains as morning lows range from below 0°F to single digits. Winter storm warnings remain in effect from Tennessee to New England where a mixture of sleet and snow is expected to make travel difficult. Strained US hospitals seek foreign nurses amid visa windfall: Faith Akinmade, an ICU nurse at the University of Louisville Hospital in Louisville, Ky., who is originally from Nigeria, poses for a photo in front of the hospital (Tom Round/University of Louisville Hospital via AP) Faced with a drastic shortage of nurses, many hospitals are beginning to look abroad for healthcare workers. Hospitals are struggling with many retiring nurses and with handling the COVID-19 pandemic. A recent report by the University of California, San Francisco shows that there is a shortage of 40,000 nurses in California alone, which make up 14% of the workforce. There is currently double the normal number of green cards available for foreign professionals as few were issued during the height of the pandemic. Many hospitals are attempting to fill in the gaps with traveling nurses, but this can be expensive and still fails to bring in the number of nurses needed. The Biden Administration has taken steps to help foreign health care workers enter the country so that they can help battle current infections. Despite the demand, there’s no guarantee hospitals will get the needed visas. Greg Siskind, an immigration attorney, said U.S. consular offices are hampered by limits on remote work and video interviews and are not required to issue available visas. On top of this, most employment-based green cards tend to go to professionals already in the United States, not overseas, though the process can at least be sped up. Sources: https://www.post-gazette.com/news/politics-nation/2022/02/06/House-Democrats-manufacturing-tech-bill-competing-China-America-COMPETES-Act/stories/202202040094?utm_source=ground.news&utm_medium=referral https://www.reuters.com/world/us/us-winter-storm-leaves-hundreds-thousands-without-power-2022-02-04/ https://apnews.com/article/coronavirus-pandemic-immigration-travel-business-health-525b951967525e75ba40a0a03433c3bf?user_email=4d40293692b533b5645f17945a825c5fa6ae090847ecc301f3e2a0d4746133f3&utm_source=Sailthru&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=MorningWire_Feb3&utm_content=A&utm_term=Morning%20Wire%20Subscribers
Domestic News Summary: (1/31-2/6) content media
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