The Wider World

Russian invasion “any day”?

TROOPERS from the 82nd Airborne Division preparing for a 2018 training mission. Some soldiers from the 82nd have arrived in Poland in the midst of the Ukraine crisis (U.S. Army photo by Spc. Hubert D. Delany III)

Russia could invade the neighboring nation of Ukraine “any day,” said White House national security advisor Jake Sullivan on Sunday.

According to the Associated Press, he said that Russia already has about 70 percent of the personnel and arms it would need to invade Ukraine, possibly in the window from mid-February to March.

“If war breaks out, it will come at an enormous human cost to Ukraine, but … it will come at a strategic cost to Russia as well,” he said.

Defense experts estimate that Russia has at least 100,000 troops on the border with Ukraine, once a part of the now-defunct Soviet Union, which was dominated by Communist Russia.

Vladimir Putin, president of the Russian Federation, is demanding that the U.S. and NATO promise to never allow Ukraine to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, formed in 1949 to confront expansion of Soviet Russia.

There are no plans to admit Ukraine to NATO, but the Western allies have refused to rule it out, saying that’s a decision to be made by Ukraine to apply for membership.

In the latest move to underline American and NATO resistance to pressure from Putin, troops and equipment from the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division were seen landing Sunday at an airport in Poland, a neighbor of Ukraine.

Election law reform considered

A BILL to eliminate “ambiguities”in election law is being crafted (Shutterstock).

A bipartisan group of senators is drafting a reform of the 1887 Electoral Count Act in order to clarify ambiguities that supporters of former president Donald Trump sought to use to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election.

The New York Times is reporting that the changes in the law they are planning would specifically state that the vice president – who presides over the counting of Electoral College votes – has no power to overturn the results of the votes submitted by the states.

Additionally, it would specify that state legislatures have no authority to appoint “alternate” electors in an effort to reject the choice of voters.

The proposed law would also provide safeguards to protect election workers and officials from intimidation and threats.

Sports: AFC wins the Pro Bowl

At Sunday’s annual Pro Bowl game on Sunday, the American Football Conference built an early lead and held off a late charge by the National Football Conference to win 41-35 at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas.

The Los Angeles Chargers’ Justin Herbert had a good day for the AFC, throwing for two touchdowns. For the NFC, Arizona’s Kyler Murray had three TD passes.

Missing from the game were players from the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals, who will play in the Super Bowl next Sunday.

Weather:  Hey, is it spring yet?

Technically, this is still winter, and will remain so for more than a month. But we are now living in a more spring-like setting in West Orange County. The forecast calls for daytime highs in the 80s through the whole week ahead with sunny skies. Monday’s high should be 81 (overnight low of 49), followed by 82 on Tuesday and 86 on Wednesday and Thursday.

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