The Wider World

More Russian troops now?

RUSSIAN TROOPS in Victory Day parade in 2015 (Wikipedia).

A purported withdrawal Tuesday of Russian troops from the border with Ukraine was replaced Wednesday in the news with the claim by Western allies that Moscow had actually sent 7,000 more soldiers to the area.

According to The New York Times, there were reports from British military officials that they had spotted Russian military vehicles moving toward the border.

U.S. Secretary of State Anthony Blinken supported that claim, saying that the vehicles were moving “toward the border, not away from the border.”

In the Ukraine, throngs of people gathered in observance Wednesday for the National Unity Day, pledging to resist an incursion, attack or invasion from their eastern neighbor.

Mask mandate to ease soon?


The easing of mask-wearing requirements may be coming soon, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study data showing declines in infections, deaths and hospitalization tied the coronavirus.

“We want to give people a break from things like mask wearing when these metrics are better,” said CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky on Wednesday.

An announcement on that issue is expected soon, reports USA Today.

Sports: Bengals’ season saved Zac Taylor


Not many NFL coaches with a 16-32-1 record get a four-year contract extension, but the Cincinnati Bengals’ Zac Taylor did, the team announced on Wednesday.

The Bengals’ narrow loss to the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl and the emergence of Joe Burrow as a top tier quarterback did a lot to erase the agony of 2-14 and 4-11-1 seasons.

They won the AFC North Division with a 10-7 mark, a half-game ahead of the Pittsburgh Steelers, then won three straight playoff games before falling 23-20 to the Rams in the closing minutes of the game.

Weather: Everyone knows it’s windy

A wind advisory is in effect for the West Orange County area and all along the South Coast of California on Thursday. The forecast for Thursday is a daytime high of 75 (overnight low of 46) under sunny skies with wind up to 15 miles an hour. Friday should be similar with a high of 75 (46) with mostly sunny skies and winds of 8 miles an hour.

Business: Spending is taking off

Retail sales in the United States rose by 3.8 percent from December to January, according to the Commerce Department on Wednesday.  The Associated Press reports that the increase was higher than expected and that most of the gains reflected more purchasers by consumers and not just inflation.

Influences are said to be rising wages and salaries and more savings. It was the biggest jump since March 2021.




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