The Wider World

Russians eyeing annexations

PRO-RUSSIAN rally in eastern Ukraine in 2014 (Wikipedia).

It started out –  claimed Russian President Vladimir Putin – as an effort to prevent Ukraine from joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.  With the invasion of Ukraine stalled and other European nations lining up to join NATO, a new priority may be emerging.

The New York Times is reporting that Russia now plans on annexing areas of southwest Ukraine, following a long but ultimately successful siege of the port city of Mariupol.

Eastern areas of Ukraine have a majority of Russian-speaking citizens and low-level warfare has raged for years with Moscow-backed separatists.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said he was unwilling to trade that area for a peace settlement with Russia and the U.S. has said it would not accept the status of land “taken by force.”

Oklahoma passes abortion ban bill

A bill prohibiting nearly all abortions has been passed by Oklahoma state legislature and awaits the signature of the governor to become law.

According to The Associated Press, the bill’s approval is in anticipation of the U.S. Supreme Court overturning the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision that created a national abortion right.

The Oklahoma bill allows abortions to save the life of the mother, or in rape or incest that has been reported to law enforcement.

Sports: A day off for the locals

The red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers and quite-cold Los Angeles Angels had today (Thursday) off as a travel day. The Dodgers (25-12, first in the National League West) will visit the Philadelphia Phillies on Friday for the start of a two-game set.

The Angels (24-16, second in the American League West) will be in Anaheim Friday starting a three-game home stand against the Oakland A’s.

Weather:  Slowly warming

If you’ve got some patience, you can see an end to all this partly cloudy weather for the West Orange County area. While the forecast calls for a daytime high of 67 on Friday (overnight low of 60), things will slowly get more toasty. Saturday’s high is projected to be 71 (58) with afternoon sun.

Sunday’s high should be 72, followed by 74 on Monday. Tuesday is forecast for 76 (60) and those elusive sunny skies.

Business: Stocks still tumbling

For the second consecutive day, Wall Street on Thursday was in retreat, approaching what’s called a “bear market.” That, according to The New York Times, defines a 20 percent decline from a recent high.

The S&P 500, for example, has now fallen 18.7 percent, reported USA Today. On Thursday, that index fell 22.89 points to 3,900.79. The Dow Jones declined 236.94 points and 31,253.13 and Nasdaq was down 29.66 to 11,388.50.

Worries about inflation and disappointing earnings reports are blamed for the falling market.


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