The Wider World

U.S. seeking to stop Russia?

UKRAINIAN PRESIDENT Volodymyr Zekenskyy (Flickr/Ukrainian Govt.)

Uncle Sam is getting ready to take down Vladimir Putin’s power to invade Ukraine or other Eastern European nations once under the influence of the now-defunct Soviet Union.

The New York Times is reporting that the U.S. is shifting toward a policy of not just blunting Russia’s invasion, but to push against that nation’s ability to wage war.

On Sunday, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin visited the Ukrainian capitol of Kyiv to meet with leaders of that nation, including President  Although details of the Kyiv meeting were not revealed, The Times reported that the U.S. and its allies are sending a wide array of advanced weaponry, including artillery, anti-aircraft systems, drones, personnel carriers and tanks.

On Monday, President Joe Biden announced his pick – Bridget Brink – to fill the vacant post of U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine.

High court mulling religion and schools

UNITED STATES Supreme Court building (Flickr/Geoff Livingston).

The U.S Supreme Court began hearing arguments on Monday in the case of a high school football coach from Washington state who sought to kneel and pray on the field after games.

According to the Associated Press, at issue is the dividing line between freedom of religion and separation of church and state, both of which are enshrined in the Bill of Rights. Also in field of discussion is political speech that might occur at a school function and the extent to which students and others might feel pressured to participate.

The coach, Joe Kennedy, lost his job after refusing to stop the practice.

Sports: Lakers, Clippers missing awards

The NBA has begun announcing its award-winners for the 2021-22 regular season and the Los Angeles-area teams are noticeably absent. Some winners have been revealed. Scottie Barnes of the Toronto Raptors is Rookie of the Year. Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics is Defensive Player of the Year. Ja Morant of the Memphis Grizzlies is Most Improved Player.

Still to be announced are winners of Coach of the Year, Sixth Man of the Year and Most Valuable Player honors.

None of the finalists played for a California team, let alone one who played at Staples Center.

Weather: Mercury will drop soon

The thermometer recorded temperatures as high as 89 today (Monday) in the West Orange County area, but the heat should start to recede by Tuesday. The forecast is for a daytime high of 81 (low of 57 overnight) under partly cloudy skies. Wednesday will see a sharp drop to 70 in the day (56 overnight). The temps will bottom out on Thursday at 69, but sunny and warmer days (73) will be back on Friday.

Business: Elon Musk buying Twitter

ELON MUSK (Flickr/Steve Jurevtson).

Elon Musk, reputed by some to be the world’s richest man, is going to spend $44 billion to purchase Twitter, the social media platform that’s had such a major role in politics in recent years.

The announcement was made today (Monday) by Musk, 50, who promised to improve the service and uphold “freedom of speech.”

In addition to his pending acquisition of Twitter, Musk is also the founder and CEO of electronic car maker Tesla and the spacecraft company SpaceX.

 

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