Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 |
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US poised to approve Patriot missile battery for Ukraine
U.S. officials say the Biden administration is poised to approve sending a Patriot missile battery to Ukraine, finally agreeing to an urgent request from Ukrainian leaders desperate for more robust weapons to shoot down incoming Russian missiles. The officials said the approval is likely to come later this week and could be announced as early as Thursday. Three officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the decision is not final and has not been made public. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pressed Western leaders as recently as Monday to provide more advanced weapons to help his country in its war with Russia. The Patriot would be the most advanced surface-to-air missile system the West has provided to Ukraine.
Oregon governor commutes all 17 of state’s death sentences
Oregon Gov. Kate Brown has announced she is commuting the sentences of all of the state’s 17 inmates awaiting execution. She said Tuesday that their death sentences will be changed to life in prison without the possiblity of parole. With less than a month to go in office, Brown said she is using her executive clemency powers to commute the sentences. Oregon has not held an execution since 1997. In her first news conference after becoming governor in 2015, the Democrat announced she would continue the moratorium on the death penalty imposed by her predecessor, former Gov. John Kitzhaber.
Massive US storm
to South, blizzard threat
A massive storm blowing across the country has spawned tornadoes, wrecked homes and injured a handful of people in parts of Oklahoma and Texas, including the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Much of the central United States braced Tuesday for blizzard-like conditions, from the Rocky Mountains to the Midwest. Some tornado damage was reported in Oklahoma, and forecasters warned that Louisiana, Arkansas and Mississippi could also see flash flooding and tornadoes from the same weather system. Authorities in South Dakota and Nebraska shut down interstates due to freezing rain, drifting snow and high winds.
DeSantis seeks grand
of COVID-19 vaccines
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis is asking the state’s Supreme Court to convene a grand jury to investigate “any and all wrongdoing” with respect to the COVID-19 vaccines. The Republican governor gave no specifics on what wrongdoing the panel would investigate. But he said it was illegal in Florida to misrepresent the efficacy of a drug, and that the panel would aim to jog loose data about the vaccines. COVID-19 vaccine studies funded by the pharmaceutical companies that developed them have been published in peer-reviewed journals. Government panels reviewed data on the safety and effectiveness of the shots before approving them for use.
Most small SUVs flunk updated insurance industry crash tests
Most small SUVs flunked the latest frontal crash tests done by the insurance industry, but oddly enough, they’re just as safe as they were before. That’s because the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety updated the test so it places more emphasis on keeping back-seat passengers safe. Only the Ford Escape and Volvo XC40 got the top “good” rating in this year’s testing released Tuesday. The Toyota RAV4 was rated “acceptable,” while Audi’s Q3, the Nissan Rogue and the Subaru Forester were “marginal.” The Buick Encore, Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V and HR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass and Renegade, Mazda CX-5 and Mitsubishi Eclipse Cross got the bottom rating of “poor.”
Colorado River water
users convening amid
Living with less water in the U.S. Southwest is the focus this week for a conference in Las Vegas about the drought-stricken and overpromised Colorado River. This year’s Colorado River Water Users Association meetings are addressing crisis concerns after more than two decades of record drought attributed to climate change. As one top federal water manager said in a recent webinar: “The Colorado River system is in a very dire condition.” The Bureau of Reclamation is collecting ideas about possible actions through Dec. 20. That has officials from Arizona, California, Colorado, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming focusing this week on how to use at least 15% less water next year, or have restrictions imposed on them.
By wire sources
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