The Wider World

A Ukrainian victory is claimed

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT Vladimir Putin was reportedly promised by military leaders that the invasion and conquest of Ukraine would be quick. At left is Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu (

Ukrainian forces are claiming an important victory, as they have reportedly recaptured the strategic town of Makrariv, located west of the capital city of Kyiv.

The New York Times reports that defenders have launched counteroffensives to push back the Russians, and that the important port city of Mariupol remains in Ukrainian hands.

In that city, however, an estimated 100,000 civilians remain with little access to food, water and electricity.

In other developments:

  • President Joe Biden will attend a North Atlantic Treaty Organization summit meeting on Thursday at which member nations are expected to address the possibility that Russia might turn to chemical or biological weapons as Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly becomes increasingly frustrated over the lack of progress in what military leaders told him would be a short war, according to Los Angeles Times.
  • Ukrainian President Volodmyr Zelensky has invited Pope Francis to come to Kyiv, according to United Press International. The pope has offered to mediate a peace deal to end the invasion. Zelensky – via teleconference – spoke with the pontiff and addressed the Italian parliament asking that nation to freeze assets in Italy held by Russian oligarchs who support Putin.

Tornadoes batter Texas, Oklahoma

TORNADO in Oklahoma in 1999 (Wikipedia)

Texas and Oklahoma struck hard as tornadoes moved through those states Tuesday. According to the Associated Press, at least one person has died and dozens injured. Homes, a school and businesses were damaged.

The storm system that hit those states has now moved south into Louisiana and Mississippi. Estimates of the number of homes and businesses in those states left without power are over 90,000. Rains have made some roads impassable and dangerous.

Tornadoes with winds of up to 75 miles an hour are forecast for the area, including Alabama.

Sports: Mayfield looking to land

BAKER MAYFIELD may land in Pittsburgh or Carolina or … (Matt Stark/Browns).

It wasn’t long ago that Baker Mayfield was the toast of Cleveland, leading the Browns to a playoff berth in 2020 and starring in a series of clever TV commercials.

But the team traded for Houston Texas QB Deshaun Watson, leaving the former Oklahoma star a quarterback without a team.

Now, news reports are surfacing that at least three NFL franchises – Pittsburgh, Seattle and Carolina – have expressed interest in Mayfield.

He’s still on the Cleveland payroll and any team wanting to sign him would have to offer at least a first round draft pick, according to

Weather: Sunny and warm

The West Orange County area will continue to enjoy summer-ish weather right into the weekend. The forecast is for a daytime high of 87 (overnight low of 55) on Wednesday and 82 (55) on Thursday, both with plenty of sun. Partly cloudy conditions will move in on Friday and Saturday, with daytime highs slipping to 83 and 77, respectively.

Money: Wall Street likes higher rates

The likelihood of the Federal Reserve raising interest rates got plenty of applause Tuesday from investors. According to, that was the push behind the Dow Jones Industrial Average leaping 254.87 points and the S&P 500 climbing by 50.63 points.

A rate increase is one tool used by the central bank to combat inflation by dampening demand. Treasury bond yields also increased in response to the expected change.

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