The Wider World

War shifting to a new phase?

IS THE WAR between Russia and Ukraine shifting to a new phase? (Shutterstock).

In what might signal an admission that Russian forces are failing in their drive to capture the Ukrainian capitol city of Kyiv, according to The New York Times.

The Russian Defense Ministry said the “first stage of the operation” was “mainly accomplished and that the main effort would now shift to eastern Ukraine. Russian-supported separatist groups have been battling the national Ukrainian army for eight years.

In other developments:

  • A new agreement was announced Friday between the U.S and the European Union to cut Europe’s reliance on natural gas and petroleum from Russia, according to United Press International.
  • The latest count of deaths from a Russian airstrike that hit a theater is now at near 300, according to the AP. It’s estimated that the theater in the coast city of Mariupol was packed with over 1,000 people seeking shelter.
  • Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy called on Russia to negotiate a peace that would end the war but ruled out any ceding of his nation’s territory. He also called for the U.S. to send his country thousands more anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons.

Also in the news …

  • West Virginia Senator Joe Manchin said he would vote with fellow Democrats to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson’s nomination to the Supreme Court. With his support, it’s now considered likely that she will be confirmed on a close party-line vote.

Sports: Bruins fall in Sweet 16

UCLA was defeated 73-66 by North Carolina, as Caleb Love scored 30 points in Sweet 16 contest Friday night.  The Bruins, who finish their season 27-8, led most of the game – including a 10-point edge at one juncture – but could not overcome Love’s barrage of three-point baskets in the closing minutes.

Saint Peter’s and Kansas have advanced to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament with Sweet 16 wins on Friday. The Peacocks defeated Purdue 67-64 and the Jayhawks beat Providence 66-61.

As of this posting, Miami of Florida had 46-41 lead against Iowa State.

Weather: Elevator descending

After a warm and sunny week, temperatures in the West Orange County area will get cooler as we head into the weekend. The forecast for Saturday is for a daytime high of 74 (overnight low of 56) with partly cloudy skies. Sunday will see temps dip to 69 (58) and also partly cloudy. Monday will bring a 96 percent chance of rain and a high of 63 (53).

Business: Modest gains for the week

Buffeted by the impact of events in the news, Wall Street results bounced up and down this week before settling with modest gains Friday.

Two of the three biggest stock indexes finished the Friday in positive territory. The Dow Jones Average was up 0.4 percent and the S&P 500 rose by 0.5 percent. Nasdaq declined by 0.2 percent.

Overall, the S&P 500 was up 1.8 percent for the week, compared to 6.2 percent last week, according to the Associated Press.



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