The war in Ukraine continued to grind on Thursday, with casualties piling up and refugees continuing to flee their homes in search of safety and sanctuary.
- The 40-mile Russian convoy stopped by mud, supply shortages and fierce Ukrainian resistance appears to be breaking up and redeploying. Satellite images appear to show vehicles and artillery pieces moving away from the road into what could be “firing positions,” according to the Associated Press.
- An air strike by Russian planes hit a maternity hospital in the besieged city of Mariupol, killing three people, and leading to accusations of the act being a war crime, according to The New York Times.
- It’s estimated that as many as 2.3 million people – out of a population of 60 million – are refugees, most of them headed for Poland and other adjacent nations. One hundred thousand people have reportedly been evacuated from city’s encircled by Russian forces.
Budget bill, Ukraine aid passed
The U.S. Senate Thursday evening passed a $13.6 billion array of military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine as part of a $1.5 trillion federal spending bill and sent it on to President Joe Biden for signing.
On Wednesday the House of Representatives approved the bill. The Senate vote was by the somewhat bipartisan margin of 68-31. Passage of the bill averted a shutdown of the government and provided billions both for domestic and military spending.
Stripped from the final bill was additional money for COVID research and prevention.
Sports: Finally, it’s “play ball”
Yes, Virginia there is Major League Baseball. The 99-day lockout that threatened to cancel the 2022 season ended on Thursday with a deal between owners and the players union, according to Sports Illustrated and ESPN.
Details of the agreement are still not available except that it will be a 162-game season, with “cancelled” games made up by doubleheaders.
The new collective bargaining agreement also calls for players to receive their full salaries and for spring training to start Friday.
Weather: Warmer and breezy
The forecast for the West Orange County area is for daytime highs in the 70s through the weekend and well into next week. Friday should see a high of 74 (overnight low of 46) under sunny skies, rising to 78 (48) on Saturday. It will be somewhat windy though, with breezes up to 10 miles an hour.
Categories: The Wider World