The Wider World

“False flag” video from Russia?

RUSSIAN troops in Crimea, Ukraine in 2014 (VOA).

Russia could be planning a “false flag” event to justify an invasion of Ukraine, U.S, officials said on Friday.

According to The New York Times, State Department spokesman Ned Price spoke of a staged video with phony corpses faked Ukrainian arms, and actors as Russian mourners and victims.

“The production of this propaganda video is one of a number of options the Russian government is developing as a fake pretext to initiate and potentially justify military aggression against Ukraine,” he said.

The source of this information is “classified,” he added.

However, the Associated Press is reporting that Russia is ready for more talks and negotiations with the United States and NATO. Russian President Vladimir Putin is demanding that Ukraine never be admitted to NATO, calling it a threat to his nation’s security. Those demands have been rejected.

Still, as long as talks continue, it’s considered unlikely that Russian forces will cross the line that could lead to a major European war.

Winter storm hammers Northeast

A SNOWSTORM is hitting an area from the Northeast to the Southwest.

Flights are being cancelled, electrical power is out in six states and heavy snow and ice are hammering an area from New England to the Great Plains, with related weather woes in the form of tornados and thunderstrorms in the Deep South.

According to USA Today, roads are closed in some areas and a quarter of a millions customers in Texas, Arkansas, Ohio, West Virginia, Kentucky and Tennessee have lost power. At least one death has been attributed to the storm.

Sports: Aaron Rodgers to the Titans?

Rumors at this point of the NFL season are to be viewed skeptically, but this one sounds intriguing. A sportscaster in Nashville, Tenn., is reporting that Aaron Rodgers has bought land in the suburban city of Franklin and is “in the process of building a home” there. That same source reported that the Green Bay quarterback was “open” to playing for the Tennessee Titans.

We’ll see.

Weather: Sunny, sunny, sunny

Warm weather is coming for the West Orange County for nearly a week. The forecast for Friday calls for a daytime high of 73 (47 overnight), rising to 74 on Saturday and then 79 on Sunday and Monday. The thermometer should peak at 83 on Wednesday.

Business/Finance: Win streak snapped

After four days of gains, Wall Street retreated a bit on Thursday in response to disappointing news about earnings from Meta, the parent company of Facebook.

According to United Press International, Meta reported earnings of $3.67 per share on Wednesday, lower than expected. Shares of the stock fell 26.39 percent and other social media stocks also dropped.

Nasdaq, which trades many technology stocks, was down 3.74 percent. The S&P 500 declined 2.44 percent and the Dow Jones Industrial Average lost 1.45 percent.

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