Monday, March 04, 2024 |
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Biden reaffirms support for Ukraine
President Joe Biden marked the start of a second year of war in Europe on Friday by announcing billions of dollars in additional military aid for Ukraine and imposing more sanctions on those helping Russian President Vladimir Putin. The Biden administration announced economic sanctions on more than 200 individuals and entities in Russia and other countries that it says are supporting Moscow’s war. The Pentagon also said Friday that it would spend $2 billion to supply the Ukrainian military with new drones and anti-drone systems, as well as additional ammunition for artillery and long-range rocket systems.
Heavy wind and snow bring blizzard conditions to Southern California
A powerful winter storm lashed Southern California on Friday, blasting the mountains around Los Angeles with high winds and heavy snow, drenching the coasts with heavy rain, shutting down miles of highways and even dusting the Hollywood Hills for the first time in decades. In the higher elevations, forecasters said, the storm was a true blizzard, with warnings in place until Saturday afternoon. The storm on Thursday also walloped Portland, Oregon, with snow and low temperatures that contributed to the death of a child after an ambulance was delayed in its response to a medical call because of ice on the roads, officials said.
12 states sue FDA, seeking removal of special restrictions on abortion pill
The attorneys general of a dozen Democratic-controlled states sued the Food and Drug Administration on Friday, asking a judge to remove special restrictions that the federal agency has long applied to the first of two drugs used in medication abortion. The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington state, comes at a tense moment in the battle over the legal status of abortion pills, which are used in more than half of abortions in the United States. The filing was led by the attorneys general of Washington and Oregon, who were joined by their counterparts in Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont.
In town where train derailed, lawyers are signing up clients in droves
In the three weeks since a freight train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, and released more than 100,000 gallons of toxic chemicals, lawyers have poured into the little town, signing up clients, gathering evidence and already filing more than a dozen lawsuits in federal court on behalf of local residents. Their message overall has been one of warning: It may be months, years or possibly even decades before the derailment’s ultimate effect on people’s health, property values or the soil and water becomes clear. Norfolk Southern, the operator of the train, declined to comment Friday on matters involving litigation.
First at-home test for flu and COVID is OK’d by the FDA
The Food and Drug Administration issued an emergency authorization for the first over-the-counter, at-home combination flu and COVID test on Friday, two days after the company that makes the test announced that it had filed for bankruptcy protection. The single-use test works with a self-collected nasal swab and provides a result in about 30 minutes, according to the FDA. The test is meant to be used by people 14 and older, or by an adult collecting a sample from someone age 2 or older. California-based Lucira Health announced its bankruptcy plan Wednesday, noting that it had expected its emergency-use authorization for the test in August.
Protests and defiance mark a year of Russia’s war on Ukraine
President Volodymyr Zelenskyy of Ukraine marked the anniversary of the Russian invasion on Friday with a show of defiance, as anti-Kremlin protests took place around the world and the United States made a significant commitment of new weaponry to the country. Zelenskyy held a marathon news conference in Kyiv, the capital, to rally international support, declaring that Ukraine and the allies supplying it with weapons and other aid would prevail “if we stay as one strong fist and our partners are united for our victory.” Zelenskyy took care not to say anything that might provoke China, the powerful Russian ally that he hopes will remain largely on the sidelines of the war.
After quake, Turks desperate for normalcy are finding only uncertainty
Despite the flow of international aid into Turkey, the nearly 1.7 million displaced people in the quake zone face the almost impossible challenge of rebuilding their lives in squalid conditions. About 750,000 are sheltering in tents, breathing air thick with pollutants unleashed from tombs of rubble as tectonic plates continue to rumble, reminders that a fresh disaster could strike at any moment. The extensive damage to infrastructure is swiftly turning hard-hit communities into petri dishes for disease, according to health care officials and residents. The Turkish government has been criticized for the slow pace of its recovery effort.
By wire sources
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