The Wider World

Kremlin cuts natural gas exports

NATURAL GAS extraction gear (Flickr).

Using what may be its most powerful economic weapon, Russia on Wednesday cut off natural gas to NATO members Poland and Bulgaria.

According to the Associated Press, Russia is major source of natural gas to Europe, and made this move in retaliation for Poland and Bulgaria’s support for Ukraine, which Russia invaded over two months ago. Another factor a large increase in military assistance from the U.S and its allies.

Russia followed up those actions with a threat to extend the ban to other European nations where it is a major energy supplier.

The governments of the nations affected called the move “blackmail.”

Poland and Bulgaria were once part of the Cold War era Warsaw Pact, created to oppose NATO. The Soviet Union – dominated by Russia – held power over nearly a dozen Eastern European nations until the USSR collapsed in 1991.

Minneapolis police accused of bias

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights released a report on Wednesday alleging biases against Black people, including the use of bigoted language, by many members of the Minneapolis Police Department.

According to The New York Times, the report alleges the MPD has a “culture that is averse to oversight and accountability.”

The investigation was begun after the death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer who was later convicted of murder.

Sports: Canadians ban Russian players

Ice hockey players from Russia and its ally Belarus will not be eligible for the July 1 import draft held by the Canadian Hockey League. According to Associated Press, the CHL is the umbrella organization for the three major junior hockey leagues, which are major feeders to the National Hockey League.

Weather: Bringing the heat

The partly cloudy weather that’s cooled the air in the West Orange County area recently will continue through Thursday, with a daytime high of 70 (overnight low of 52). However, the forecast calls for sunny weather Friday through Sunday with temperatures reaching to 78 and remaining in the mid-70s for a week.

Business: Chinese firms retreating from Russia

The Chinese government has expressed some support for Russia in its invasion of Ukraine. Some Chinese businesses aren’t so sure.

According to Newsweek, five major companies have pulled out of doing business in and with Russia. The latest is DJI, a maker of drones. This week it announced it would halt sales in Russia and Ukraine on the basis that its civilian drones were being using for military purposes.

Also balking are UnionPay, a credit card company, and Huawei, which manufactures telephones.



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