February 22, 2022


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UKRAINE | The U.N. Security Council held a rare nighttime emergency meeting last night after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered Russian troops into separatist regions of eastern Ukraine. The order for the Russian troop movements came hours after Putin signed decrees recognizing the Donetsk and Luhansk separatist regions’ independence from Ukraine. In response, U.S. President Joe Biden issued an executive order that prohibits U.S. investment and trade in the separatist regions, while noting that these sanctions are independent of the stronger sanctions planned in the event of a full Russian invasion of Ukraine. [more]

COVID-19 | U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced plans yesterday to end all coronavirus-related restrictions in England and an intention to rely increasingly on vaccines and booster doses as the country’s primary tools to fight COVID infections. England’s legal requirement for self-isolation upon COVID infection will end on February 24, and most free  COVID testing will end on April 1. [more]

R.I.P. | Renowned U.S. physician, humanitarian and author Dr. Paul Farmer, who co-founded the global non-profit Partners in Health, died yesterday at the age of 62 in Rwanda, where he had been teaching at a medical school he helped to found. [more]

COVID-19 | Officials in Hong Kong announced plans today to test the city’s entire population for COVID-19 in March. The move comes as the region is experiencing its worst coronavirus outbreak since the start of the pandemic. [more]

COLUMBIA | Columbia became the latest Latin American country to liberalized abortion access yesterday when the nation’s Constitutional Court voted to decriminalize abortion up to 24 weeks of gestation. [more]

CANADA | The Canadian House of Commons voted yesterday to extend emergency powers invoked by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau last week that gave police additional powers in efforts to prevent blockading of roads and border crossings by groups protesting COVID-19 vaccine mandates. [more]

OIL PRICES | Amidst escalating tensions in Ukraine, oil prices are surging to record highs. Brent crude oil prices were up 3.5% today to as high as $99.50 per barrel — the highest level since 2014. [more]

TV | The PBS children’s show “Arthur” aired the final episode of its 25-year run yesterday, marking the end of the longest-running children’s animated series ever. [more]

IRAN | Iranian state television reported yesterday that the country has returned more than 800,000 doses of coronavirus vaccines donated to the country by Poland because the vaccines were manufactured in the United States. [more]

TONGA | Internet service was restored to the Pacific island nation of Tonga today, nearly five weeks after the eruption of an undersea volcano cut stretches of cable that carried internet traffic. [more]

SOCCER | The U.S. Soccer Federation and players from the U.S. women's national team announced this morning that they have settled the class-action equal pay lawsuit between the two parties. Under the settlement, players will receive a lump sum payment of $22 million and an additional $2 million will be placed in a fund to further players’ post-career goals and charitable efforts. [more]

ITALY | A significant eruption yesterday of Mount Etna — one of Europe’s most active volcanoes — resulted in a 12-kilometer-high cloud of volcanic ash over eastern Sicily. Warnings for aircraft flying in the area were issued, but there were no immediate reports of injuries related to the eruption. [more]

CALIFORNIA | Beaches around Newport Beach in Southern California, are closed today to swimming, surfing and diving following a sewage spill of up to 50,000 gallons caused by a sewer line blockage. [more]

AFRICA | Authorities in Burkina Faso say at least 59 people were killed and more than 100 injured Monday when an explosion occurred at a gold mining site near the village of Gbomblora.  [more]

HORSE RACING | The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission announced yesterday that the 2021 Kentucky Derby title has been stripped from the winning horse, Medina Spirit, following a positive drug test. The official winner is now the second-place horse, Mandaloun. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1997, a team of British scientists working under the direction of Ian Wilmut at the Roslin Institute near Edinburgh, Scotland, announced the birth of Dolly the sheep, the first clone of an adult mammal. [more]

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