The Wider World

Biden sending 3,000 troops

PRESIDENT JOE BIDEN has ordered sending 3000 more troops to central and eastern Europe (White House photo).

In an effort to influence Russia to not invade Ukraine, President Joe Biden has ordered about 3,000 troops to three European nations allied with the U.S. or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

According to United Press International, they will be posted to Romania, Poland and Germany.

“The current situation demands that we reinforce the deterrent and defensive posture on NATO’s eastern flank,” said Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby. These are in addition to the 8,500 other U.S. troops called to alert status in January.

Russia has deployed about 100,000 troops along its borders with Ukraine, a number that Moscow says is not accurate.

Russian President Vladimir Putin denies any plans to invade Ukraine, but is insisting that the Western allies commit to never allow Ukraine to join NATO, a demand that has been refused.

Discharges coming for vaccine resisters

About 3,300 solders in the U.S. Army will be discharged from the service for refusing to be vaccinated against the coronavirus.

The Army made that announcement on Wednesday. The other major branches – Air Force, Marine Corps and Navy – have already discharged their troops who have refused the shots.

So far, according to the Associated Press, about 97 percent of Army soldiers have received at least one inoculation. Those who continue to resist and who do not obtain an exemption will be discharged for “misconduct.”

Sports: It’s now the Washington Commanders

As predicted a few days ago, the new name for the Washington Football Team is now the Washington Commanders. The new name and logo – a stylized “W” – were announced Tuesday by the team management.

Known for decades as the Redskins, that name came under increasing criticism for alleged racial connotations. Some newspapers even refused to use that nickname in articles and headlines.

After a year as the “Washington Football Team,” the new name is intended to reflect the location of the team in the nation’s capital. The familiar maroon and gold color scheme remains.

This is the second team to change names because of concerns related to stereotypes. The Cleveland Indians are ditching that name in favor of the new team name, Guardians. They’ll play their first season under that moniker in 2022, if a collective bargaining agreement is reached.

Weather: Warmer weather on Thursday

The rising temperatures we were promised this week are a little bit late in arriving, but should show up by Thursday. According to forecasts, tomorrow should bring sunny skies and a daytime high of 68 to the West Orange County area (47 overnight). That’s expected to warm up to 73 on Friday and 74 on Saturday, with Sunday rising all the way to 79.

Business/Finance: All markets up; jobs down

Wednesday was a good day for Wall Street, as all three major stock indexes showed gains at closing time.

The Dow Jones 30 Industrials rose by 0.63 percent (224.09 points). Nasdaq was up by 0.5 percent (120.6 points) and the S&P 500 grew by 0.94 percent (42.84 points).

  • Omicron apparently took a big bite out of the job market in January. Private payrolls slipped by 301,000, much below the forecast of 207,000 more jobs. The decline is blamed on record-high infections fired by the Omicron variant of the coronavirus and concerns about inflation.

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