The Wider World

Trying to scare off Mr. Putin

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN and Russian President Vladimir Putin (White House photo).

If Russia’s menacing attitude toward Ukraine turns into a full-scale military invasion of its neighbor, how will the United States and its allies respond?

The New York Times is reporting that the Biden administration is preparing a list of sanctions and actions intended to deter Russian President Vladimir Putin from going to war.

Ukraine is not part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and has no mutual defense arrangements with NATO nations, including the U.S. But, according to The Times, an invasion would be met by some or all of these measures:

  • blocking Russian banks from global transactions
  • imposing an embargo on technology made or designed in America crucial for defense and consumer needs
  • arm insurgents in Ukraine to fight a guerilla war to resist the invaders.

Hoping not to have to resort to those, the U.S, and other Western diplomats are meeting with their Russian counterparts starting on Monday to try to find an negotiated settlement.

Ukraine was once part of the Moscow-dominated Soviet Union. In 2014, Russian “volunteers” seized control of the Crimea area from the Ukrainians. There are presently an estimated 95,000 Russian troops on the border.

Sports: Chiefs, Cowboys prevail

A couple of rare Saturday NFL games saw the favorites win their games. The Kansas City Chiefs (12-5) defeated the Denver Broncos (7-10) by the score of 28-14. The key play was Nick Bolton’s 86-yard return of a fumble for a touchdown in this final game of the regular season.

The Dallas Cowboys (12-5) beat the Philadelphia Eagles (9-8) 51-26 as Dak Prescott threw for 295 yards and five touchdowns. The Eagles’ Gardner Minshew passed for 186 yards and two scores.

On Sunday, the Los Angeles Rams (12-4) can nail down the NFC West title with a win over the San Francisco 49ers (9-7). If they win, or if they lose and the Arizona Cardinals (11-5) lose to the Seattle Seahawks (6-10), they’re the divisional champs. But if both the Rams and the Cards finish 12-5, Arizona will be the NFC West winner based on record against the division.

Also on Sunday, the Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) play the Las Vegas Raiders (9-7). The winner advances to the post-season; the loser does not.

Weather: A warm whiff of winter

The calendar may say January, but the thermometer says summer. The forecast for the West Orange County area for the next four days calls for temperatures in the mid-70s. Sunday is expected to have a high of 74 under mostly sunny skies, with an overnight low of 50. Monday will be similar at 73/51, but with more clouds. Tuesday should be warmer at 76/52 with mostly sunny skies. Wednesday is predicted to have a high of 74 with a low of 53 with partly cloudy conditions.


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