The Wider World

Rift in Kremlin over invasion?

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

Despite a promise to scale down its military operations in Ukraine to help peace negotiations, Russian shells and bombs fell Wednesday on the capital city of Kyiv and other areas.

According to Associated Press, there may be rifts in the Kremlin between President Vladimir Putin and his military leadership. Intelligence reports from the Pentagon suggested that Putin was becoming estranged from Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu, once one of his closest allies.

Part of the tension in Moscow may stem from bad advice given to Putin about the invasion of Ukraine, which has descended into a bloody and expensive stalemate, instead of the easy walkover that was expected.

Oil reserve may be tapped

THE RELEASE of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve is being considered (Flickr/Thomas Hawk).

In an effort to reverse rising gasoline prices at the pump, President Joe Biden is reportedly considering the proposal to release one million barrels of oil a day for up to six months from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

In anticipation of the possibility of a big surge in fuel supply, the price of American crude oil dropped about 4 percent on Wednesday, according to The New York Times.

International oil futures also declined, 3.5 percent in that case.

The fighting in Ukraine blamed for much of the pain that consumers feel when buying gasoline.

Sports: An NBA team in Las Vegas?

A developer on Wednesday announced plans to build a $3 billion sports and entertainment district that would include a 20,000-seat arena.

According to Sports Illustrated the project – covering a 25-acre site – will be designed to be “NBA-ready.” Las Vegas is already the home of the NBA’s summer league and the Aces of the WNBA.

NBA Commissioner Adam Silver in October said that Las Vegas was “on the list” of possible expansion locations.

Weather: The skies are not cloudy all day …

Cloudy weather is in the forecast for the West Orange County area through the weekend. On Thursday, expect morning clouds and afternoon sub, with daytime high of 68 (overnight low of 56). Friday is predicted to have partly cloudy skies and a high of 70 (57). Saturday will also be cloudy with a high of 67 (56). Sunday’s outlook is for cloudy skies and a high of 65 (54).

Business: Economic weapons vs. Russia

The aid that the U.S. and allies are sending to Ukraine isn’t limited to weapons and ammunition. According to The New York Times, new sanctions are planned to try to throttle the supply chains that feed Russia’s defense industries, including semiconductors, aircraft components and other tech.


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