The Wider World

Attacks endangering civilians

THE MILITARY SITUATION in Ukraine as of early Monday (Wikipedia),

As the war in Ukraine rages on, Russian attacks are led by missile and artillery assaults.

According to The New York Times, such weapons are causing rising civilian casualties and making the evacuation of non-combatants increasingly difficult and dangerous.
Russia has reportedly offered to evacuate hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians to Russia and its ally, Belarus. The offer was rejected; most refugees are headed to Poland, a NATO member.

Other developments include:

  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky appeared in a video on Monday, rebutting claims by Russian media that he was hiding or had fled the capital city of Kyiv.
  • Ukraine claims it has shot down two more Russian jet fighters. There’s been no confirmation by Western sources.

High court rejects GOP maps

The Supreme Court on Monday rejected efforts by Republican lawmakers in North Carolina and Pennsylvania to replace court-ordered Congressional maps with versions created by the state legislature.

Lower courts had ruled that the plans submitted by the lawmakers were drawn to increase a partisan advantage for Republicans. Monday’s action to refuse the appeal from theThe maps drawn by the courts could help Democrats retain control of the House of Representatives in the fall elections.

Sports: U.S. will offer help to Brittney Griner

Seven-time WNBA all-star Brittney Griner is being held in Russia on drug charges that may turn out to be a means of creating a ”high value hostage” in the faceoff between Russia and the U.S. over the invasion of Ukraine.

She was arrested at a Moscow area airport where a search of her luggage allegedly turned up vape cartridges containing hashish oil. Secretary of State Antony Blinken promised the U.S. would “provide every possible assistance” to her.

Weather: Starting to get cooler

Monday’s near-perfect weather will start to descend from sunny and warm to cooler and a bit cloudy. The forecast for the West Orange County area for Tuesday calls for a high of 71 (overnight low of 47), dropping to 66 (51) on Wednesday, with clouds starting to move in on Thursday.

Business: Ukraine war slams stocks, ruble

Worries that the Russian invasion of Ukraine will lead to a cutoff of oil from Russia and thereby spike fuel prices sent Wall Street into a tailspin on Monday.

CNN reports that energy stocks rose – anticipating increases in the price of petroleum and related fuels – as did defense stocks.

However, travel and tech stocks plummeting for the worst day of the year for the Dow Industrial Average and the S&P 500.

Russia continued to take a financial hit as well, with the value of the ruble dropping to a new low against the dollar. One U.S. dollar is now worth 155 rubles, compared to a range of 70 to 80 rubles per dollar, meaning that Russian currency has lost 90 percent of its value.

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