Monday, Feb. 26, 2024 |
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Newsom wants Fox News viewers to hear him out in debate with DeSantis
Despite a scant history of tough debates, California Gov. Gavin Newsom is unusually prepared for his nationally televised faceoff Thursday with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis: Over the past few months, Newsom has lived through something of a debate boot camp in two lively interviews with Sean Hannity, who will moderate the debate Thursday. Newsom will be sparring at 9 p.m. Eastern on Fox News with DeSantis for 90 minutes in a studio in Alpharetta, Georgia, with no audience. DeSantis’ candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination has appeared to fade in recent weeks, and Newsom has positioned himself for a potential White House run in 2028.
Wife of Gilgo beach suspect gets a documentary deal
After Rex Heuermann was arrested in July and accused of slaughtering women found bound in burlap and buried along a desolate stretch of Gilgo Beach on Long Island’s South Shore in New York, his family was left reeling and destitute. With their dilapidated Massapequa Park ranch house turned inside out by investigators, Heuermann’s wife, Asa Ellerup, and their two grown children were left to sleep on mats and cook on a grill in the front yard. But media companies saw pay dirt. Peacock, the streaming service owned by NBCUniversal, is paying the family to participate in a documentary series covering the family through Heuermann’s trial, which is likely to begin next year.
Could a drug give your pet more dog years?
Biotech company Loyal on Tuesday announced that it had moved one step closer to bringing to market a drug that could extend the lives of dogs. The drug, which Loyal declined to identify for proprietary reasons, has met a requirement for “expanded conditional approval,” a fast-tracked authorization for animal drugs that fulfill unmet health needs and require difficult clinical trials. The drug is not available to pet owners yet, and the Food and Drug Administration must review the company’s safety and manufacturing data. But conditional approval, which Loyal hopes to receive in 2026, would allow the company to begin marketing the drug for canine life extension.
Fed officials hint that rate increases are over, and investors celebrate
Federal Reserve officials appear to be dialing back the chances of future interest rate increases, after months of keeping the possibility of further policy changes alive for fear inflation would prove stubborn. Several Fed officials hinted Tuesday that the central bank is making progress on inflation and may be done or close to done raising borrowing costs. Economic growth is cooling, reducing the urgency for additional moves. Interest rates are already set to a range of 5.25% to 5.5%. The Fed’s next meeting will take place Dec. 12-13, and investors are betting the central bank will hold rates steady, as policymakers did at their last two meetings.
Make sure your Google accounts are active, or they might be deleted
If you have not used one of your Google accounts for a long time, you might want to this week. Inactive accounts will start vanishing Friday. Google announced in May that it would start deleting accounts that had been idle for two years and said the policy would begin in December. That means that anything stored in Gmail or other Google products could be deleted. Accounts are considered active if a user signs in and performs any one of a number of actions, including reading or sending an email, watching a YouTube video or using Google’s search. The company cited security concerns when it announced the policy.
NATO leaders try to pin down U.S. on Ukraine aid as Republicans waver
With Republicans in Congress stalling on granting Ukraine more military aid, NATO’s top diplomat warned Tuesday that it would be “dangerous” to curtail such support. Member countries tried to pin down the United States on its commitments to Ukraine as the conflict in the Gaza Strip saps Washington’s attention. As foreign ministers gathered at the military alliance’s headquarters, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg insisted that Ukraine would remain a top priority. He predicted that U.S. assistance would continue — not only to protect U.S. security interests but also because it’s “what we have agreed.”
Wife of Ukraine’s spy chief was poisoned, officials say
The wife of Ukraine’s military intelligence chief has been poisoned and is recovering in a hospital, Ukrainian intelligence officials said Tuesday, an incident that has led to speculation that Russia was increasing efforts to target Ukraine’s senior leadership. Andriy Chernyak, an official from the Ukrainian military intelligence agency, said Marianna Budanova had been poisoned and was receiving treatment. Her husband, Kyrylo Budanov, leads the agency known as GUR and is one of the country’s most senior military leaders. Chernyak declined to speculate on the perpetrator or the type of poison used, citing an ongoing investigation.
Finland to close the last border crossing with Russia for 2 weeks
Finland said Tuesday it was temporarily closing its only remaining open border crossing with Russia to stem an influx of asylum-seekers that it accuses Moscow of orchestrating in retaliation for Finland’s decision to join NATO. Finnish authorities have been raising alarms for weeks over an increased number of migrants crossing into the country to seek asylum, describing it as a Russian bid to sow discord. They had closed seven of the eight crossings along Finland’s vast frontier with Russia, leaving just the Raja-Jooseppi checkpoint in hard-to-reach northern Lapland, north of the Arctic Circle, open to travelers. Finland’s prime minister said that crossing would close, and asylum applications will be restricted to airports and seaports.
Saudi Arabia to host World Expo 2030, in victory for crown prince
Saudi Arabia won the bid to host World Expo 2030 in a landslide Tuesday, delivering a triumph to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, as he seeks to reshape the authoritarian country’s international image — and his own. The vote was held by the Bureau International des Expositions in Paris, which has 182 member countries, and the 165 delegates who were present cast secret ballots. Saudi Arabia won 119 of the 165 votes, beating South Korea and Italy. The win gives Saudi Arabia the chance to bask in the global spotlight in the year that the crown prince’s plan to diversify the kingdom’s oil-dependent economy, “Vision 2030,” is to conclude.
France to ban smoking in forests, on beaches and near schools
France will ban smoking on beaches, near public buildings such as schools and in public parks and forests next year, the French government said Tuesday, as it unveiled plans to curb the habit by making it slightly more expensive and far less attractive, especially to younger people. Aurélien Rousseau, France’s health minister, said at a news conference in Paris that the smoking rate for 17-year-olds dropped to 16% in 2022 — from 25% in 2017 — adding that “tobacco remains a major public health scourge.” The ban is part of an ambitious effort to produce the first “no-tobacco generation” by 2032.
By wire sources
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