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Why Putin’s long-feared attack on Ukraine will rock America and the world

CNN — Just as diplomats at a last-minute United Nations Security Council meeting were pleading for peace, Russian fire began raining down on Ukraine. On a haunting night, marked by an address from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that felt like a eulogy for a democracy, decades of peace between nations on the European landmass ended with loud blasts in multiple Ukrainian cities. Within hours, livestream video showed a column of military vehicles streaming into the country from Belarus, where Russian troops had been massed. And thunderous explosions soon boomed over the capital Kyiv, as air raid sirens wailed, heralding a dangerous new crisis for a world already rocked by turmoil.
POLITICS
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CNBC

China refuses to call Russian attack on Ukraine an ‘invasion,’ deflects blame to U.S.

BEIJING — China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson refused to categorize Russia's attack as an "invasion" during a news conference Thursday. Russian President Vladimir Putin announced an attack on Ukraine earlier in the day, and explosions in Kyiv and other cities in Ukraine followed. Ukraine's military claimed to be engaged in fighting within its borders, and Ukraine President Volodimyr Zelenskyy described the violence as an invasion to destroy the country.
POLITICS
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Washington Post

Why Ukraine — and Russia’s aggression against it — matters to Americans

As has happened so many times before in European history, an aggressor’s bombs, missiles and tanks are wreaking horror and havoc on a weaker neighbor. The toll of killed and wounded is rising; fleeing civilians are clogging highways. This time, the victim is Ukraine, a member state of the United Nations inhabited by more than 43 million people. The perpetrator is Russia, whose repressive ruler, President Vladimir Putin, insists — contrary to black-letter international law — that Ukraine has no sovereign rights he is bound to respect. Once again, civilized life in this strategically vital continent is being overwhelmed by blood and fire. The conflict may be contained — for the moment — in Europe’s eastern reaches. But Russia’s war could all too easily spread, with destabilizing repercussions worldwide. And once again, the United States is called upon to respond.
FOREIGN POLICY
whitehouse.gov

FACT SHEET: Joined by Allies and Partners, the UnitedStates Imposes Devastating Costs onRussia

Russia to Face Massive Costs from its Isolation from the Global Financial and Trade System and Cutting-Edge Technology. Today, the United States, along with Allies and partners, is imposing severe and immediate economic costs on Russia in response to Putin’s war of choice against Ukraine. Today’s actions include sweeping financial sanctions and stringent export controls that will have profound impact on Russia’s economy, financial system, and access to cutting-edge technology. The sanctions measures impose severe costs on Russia’s largest financial institutions and will further isolate Russia from the global financial system. With today’s financial sanctions, we have now targeted all ten of Russia’s largest financial institutions, including the imposition of full blocking and correspondent and payable-through account sanctions, and debt and equity restrictions, on institutions holding nearly 80% of Russian banking sector assets. The unprecedented export control measures will cut off more than half of Russia’s high-tech imports, restricting Russia’s access to vital technological inputs, atrophying its industrial base, and undercutting Russia’s strategic ambitions to exert influence on the world stage. The impact of these measures will be significantly magnified due to historical multilateral cooperation with a wide range of Allies and partners who are mirroring our actions, inhibiting Putin’s ambition to diversify Russia’s brittle, one-dimensional economy. The scale of Putin’s aggression and the threat it poses to the international order require a resolute response, and we will continue imposing severe costs if he does not change course.
POLITICS
Foreign Policy

The West Is Sleepwalking Into War in Ukraine

With some notable exceptions, opinion and commentary in the West have solidified around a black-and-white view of the situation in Ukraine. The near-total consensus is it’s all Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fault; Russia’s stated grievances have no legitimate basis whatsoever; and the only conceivable Western response is to refuse to make any concessions, stand up to Moscow, send more U.S. troops to Europe (though not to Ukraine itself), and proceed with tough economic sanctions if Russia invades.
POLITICS
justice.gov

United States and United Arab Emirates Sign Bilateral Agreement Enhancing Law Enforcement Cooperation

On Thursday, the United States and United Arab Emirates (UAE) signed a mutual legal assistance treaty (MLAT) enhancing evidence sharing, judicial cooperation and assistance in criminal investigations and prosecutions. U.S. Embassy Abu Dhabi Chargé d’Affaires Sean Murphy and Emirati Minister of Justice Abdullah Sultan Al Nuaimi signed the MLAT on...
LAW ENFORCEMENT
justice.gov

United States Attorney Dena J. King Participates In Youth Discussion About Teen Dating Violence

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – February is National Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month (TDVAPM). U.S. Attorney Dena J. King was joined yesterday by representatives with Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools and Mecklenburg County’s Community Support Services to host a discussion on the topic of youth violence, with a focus on teenage unhealthy and abusive relationships.
CHARLOTTE, NC

Here's what Biden has said about sending US troops to Ukraine

(CNN) — President Joe Biden has warned Americans they will have to pay a price for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Gas prices are likely to rise. The post-World War II world order that has maintained relative peace in Europe is threatened. But Biden has also been very clear on...
POTUS
justice.gov

Three Men Plead Guilty to Conspiring to Provide Material Support to a Plot to Attack Power Grids in the United States

Three men pleaded guilty today to crimes related to a scheme to attack power grids in the United States in furtherance of white supremacist ideology. According to court documents, Christopher Brenner Cook, 20, of Columbus, Ohio; Jonathan Allen Frost, 24, of West Lafayette, Indiana, and of Katy, Texas; and Jackson Matthew Sawall, 22, of Oshkosh, Wisconsin, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to provide material support to terrorists. The charge and plea agreements indicate that the defendants knew and intended that the material support they conspired to provide would be used to prepare for and carry out the federal offense of destroying energy facilities.
COLUMBUS, OH
U.S. Department of State

Sanctioning NS2AG, Matthias Warnig, and NS2AG’s Corporate Officers

The United States applauds Germany’s decision to take administrative steps to halt the certification process for Nord Stream 2, which will prevent the pipeline from becoming operational. After consultations with Germany and the EU, I have terminated the waiver and imposed sanctions on Nord Stream 2 AG (NS2AG), its CEO Matthias Warnig, and NS2AG’s corporate officers. This action is in line with the United States’ longstanding opposition to Nord Stream 2 as a Russian geopolitical project and the President’s commitment that Nord Stream 2 would not move forward following the beginning of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
U.S. POLITICS
Foreign Policy

Putin’s Invasion Could Be a Strategic Opportunity

The impending Russian invasion of Ukraine offers an unexpected opportunity for the United States to deal decisively with Russia in a way that also advances U.S. strategic objectives in Asia. This may seem counterintuitive, given that the crisis has so far pulled U.S. attention away from Asia. But by playing...
POLITICS
Smithonian

Bat Falcon Is Spotted for the First Time in the United States

Birders have been flocking to Texas over the last few months to lay eyes on the country’s first ever recorded bat falcon, a bird that can normally only be seen in Mexico and Central and South America. “It’s got everything going for it. It’s rare. It’s spectacular and it’s...
TEXAS STATE
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