The Wider World

Harsh words on Ukraine crisis

TENSIONS between the U.S. and Russia remain over the Ukraine crisis (Shutterstock).

There’s no shooting war in Ukraine yet, but the war of words between the United States and Russia is heating up.

At a meeting Monday of the United Nations Security Council in New York City, the two nations exchanged harsh words over the situation in Eastern Europe, with over 100,000 Russian troops on their border with its neighbor to the west.

According to The Associated Press, Russian Ambassador Vassily Nebenzia accused the U.S. of interfering with his country’s internal affairs and deliberately “whipping up tensions.”

America’s Ambassador, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, countered that Russia was trying to “create a pretext for attack.”
Meanwhile, reports The New York Times, there are behind scenes efforts to head off the possibility of warfare. Russia is demanding that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization promise never to admit Ukraine to its membership and pull forces back from other Eastern European NATO members. The U.S. and NATO have flatly rejected those demands.

Ukraine has no security treaties with the U.S. or NATO and would likely be unable to repel a Russian invasion. But the Western allies have vowed to impose severe economic sanctions on Russia that could cause great damage to its economy.

Vaccines for children coming?

CHILDREN UNDER 5 years of age may be able to receive a coronavirus vaccine by the end of February (Shutterstock).

Pfizer and BioNTech is asking the Food and Drug Administration approval of a coronavirus vaccine to be administered in two doses to children under the age of 5 years old.

If approved, the shots could be given to pre-schoolers by the end of February. Each dose would be one-tenth of the strength of what’s given to adults. The urgency to grant emergency authorization is driven by a sharp rise in COVID-19 infections among youngsters

So far only about one-fourth of children ages 5 to 11 have been vaccinated, according to the FDA.

Sports: Rams favored over the Bengals

SUPER BOWL LVI (2022) will be at SoFi Stadium.

Now that the lineup is set for Super Bowl LVI, the odds have been set, or started. The Rams are four-point favorites as of this posting, quite an improvement over the long-shot odds of 18-1 given them back in December.

Odds are determined in part by people who – supposedly – know a lot about football, but even more so by how much money is bet on a given team. If a ton of cash comes down on the Bengals’ side, the odds will shorten, regardless of any new insights or changes.

Weather: A chilly start to new month

February will welcome the West Orange County area with some jacket weather. The forecast for Tuesday is for a daytime high of 64 (46 overnight) with clouds in the morning and sun in the afternoon.

Wednesday and Thursday will see the return of the sun, with daytime highs of 67 each day (46 and 45 at night).

Business/Finance: Good Monday for Wall Street

The week got off to a good start for investors as all three major stock indexes showed gains at closing time.

The Dow Jones Average was up 1.17 percent to 35,131.86, a gain of 406.39 points. Nasdaq climbed 1.89 percent to 14,930.05 (475.44 points) and the S&P 500 rose by 1.89 percent (83.70 points) to 4,515.55.

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