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  • Russia could end up borrowing US$6.8 billion (500 billion Russian rubles) less than planned this year as rising oil prices help its key oil revenues to rise. The rally in oil prices, which have risen by around 30 percent this year, also coincides with Russia’s economy emerging from the slump during the pandemic. Last year, Russia’s economy was suffering the consequences of the oil price crash it helped create with... Read more »
  • The entity delivering power to most of Texas has decided to fire its CEO, as it faces criticism for failing to prepare the power grid for last month’s winter storm and leaving millions without heat for days. The board of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has given a 60-day notice to President and CEO Bill Magness, the non-profit company said in a statement after a meeting on Wednesday... Read more »
  • A bomb disposal squad has been deployed to Indian national treasure, the Taj Mahal after a phone tip. The police say they are “99 percent” sure it was merely a prank call, but had to act as a precaution. Tourists were evacuated from the world-famous palace in Agra on Thursday morning following the anonymous bomb tip. A search operation was launched. #Agra: Taj Mahal premises cleared for search operations by... Read more »
  • US President Joe Biden said he would be “happy” to field live questions at the tail-end of a virtual event, but was swiftly cut off when the White House inexplicably dropped the video feed, leaving some viewers bewildered. “I'd be happy to take questions if that's what I'm supposed to do, Nance. Whatever you want me to do,” Biden said to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as the Democratic “Virtual Issues... Read more »
  • A middle school in Purvis, Mississippi is under fire after students were asked to pen a letter from the perspective of a plantation slave, with the assignment condemned as “hurtful” and “tone deaf” by local activists. As part of a class project, eighth graders at Purvis Middle School were told to “pretend like you are a slave working on a Mississippi plantation” and to imagine their day-to-day lives, their journey... Read more »
  • A Ferguson, Missouri activist group and Michael Brown Sr. are demanding that Black Lives Matter shell out $20 million to local organizers, accusing the org of abandoning “freedom fighters” while it basks in the public spotlight. Tory Russell, who co-founded Ferguson’s International Black Freedom Alliance, appeared in a video alongside the father of the late Michael Brown on Tuesday, calling on BLM’s national leadership to send a cool $20 million... Read more »
  • The Guardian accidentally confirmed the suspicions of a whole lot of conspiracy theorists with an article suggesting a “global lockdown every two years” was needed to meet Paris climate goals. The title was quickly changed. If carbon dioxide emissions don’t drop by the equivalent of a worldwide lockdown “roughly every two years” for the next decade, the earth will heat to apocalyptic levels, a team of researchers at the University... Read more »
  • The US House of Representatives won’t be in session on Thursday, after Capitol Police, the FBI, and Homeland Security said extremists were discussing possible threats to Congress. The Senate is not changing its schedule, however. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-California) moved to Wednesday evening the vote on a police reform bill that was scheduled for Thursday. Multiple media outlets reported that the March 4 session of the lower... Read more »
  • New York has launched a new Covid-19 ‘passport’ program at major event venues, with spectators asked to use a phone app to prove they’ve been vaccinated, as mandated under state guidelines, or else be barred entry. The “Excelsior Pass” was tested for a second time at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday during a New York Rangers game, functioning like a mobile boarding pass that conveys attendees’ vaccine and testing status.... Read more »
  • Though the 18-year, $787 million US “gender equality” effort hasn’t so much as created a word in Afghan languages for the concept, a new report is likely to be used by Washington to justify keeping troops in Afghanistan forever. “Support for gender equality: Lessons from the US experience in Afghanistan” was among the flurry of reports produced for the new administration and presented at the end of February by John... Read more »
  • SpaceX’s SN10 Starship prototype has made a largely successful test flight, soaring some 10km high and performing a shaky upright landing, though a small fire was seen upon touchdown before the craft erupted in a fiery explosion. While the flight initially appeared to be successful, seeing the Starship soar some 10 kilometers high and make a flip maneuver before touching down softly – it was visibly leaning upon landing and a small fire... Read more »
  • President Joe Biden voiced his disapproval of states like Texas and Mississippi lifting mask mandates and other Covid-19 restrictions, calling it a “mistake” and “Neanderthal thinking,” a term that ruffled a few feathers. "I think it's a big mistake. Look, I hope everybody's realized by now, these masks make a difference,” Biden said when directly asked about the two states.  Despite a promise that vaccines will be available for every... Read more »
  • The head of eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt, Reiner Haseloff, has called on Berlin to consider using Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine to accelerate the domestic vaccination campaign, adding he would gladly take the jab himself. "We should do everything possible to accelerate vaccination in Germany," Haseloff, who is a member of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party, told the German Funke media group. The incumbent head of the... Read more »
  • Governor Andrew Cuomo directly addressed multiple allegations of sexual harassment on Wednesday, saying he never meant to “offend” or “hurt” anyone but dismissing calls for him to resign. During a Wednesday press conference, Cuomo turned from talking about vaccine distribution in New York to addressing the allegations of unwanted touching and harassment from multiple women that have led some to say he should step down from the governorship. “I now... Read more »
  • The Israeli government has said Iran is behind a recent oil spill off Israel’s coast which caused huge ecological damage and has been described as one of the worst such pollution incidents in Israel’s history. Israel's Environment Protection Minister Gila Gamliel said on Wednesday that Israeli officials had identified a Libyan-owned oil tanker, called Emerald and allegedly carrying pirated cargo, which had sailed from Iran out of the Persian Gulf... Read more »
  • The latest high-altitude test flight of a SpaceX Starship prototype has been canceled at the extreme last moment before launch, with the engines’ fiery ignition suddenly extinguished just as the countdown clock hit zero. The test vehicle, Starship serial number 10 (SN10), was set to lift off when the computer aborted the launch. SN10 has been left on the launch pad at Cameron County, Texas, as the SpaceX team evaluates whether... Read more »
  • US Secretary of State Antony Blinken outlined the urgent priorities of US foreign policy, arguing that American prosperity at home depends on global leadership, promotion of democracy and protecting the world order from China. In a speech on Wednesday – the first since he took office five weeks ago – Blinken listed the eight most pressing issues the State Department plans to address, noting that they are linked to domestic... Read more »
  • NFL outfit the Washington Football Team, which has faced allegations of sexual harassment including reported claims from former team dancers, has copped a muddled reaction after axing cheerleaders for the first time in 50 seasons. Petra Pope, the team's new senior adviser, has revealed that the team will introduce a mixed-gender dance squad for gameday entertainment from now on, with the aim of "honing in" on a "skillset of being super... Read more »
  • Alana Mamaeva has denied reports of her attempted suicide, calling messages she sent saying she "wanted to die" after finding her husband, ex-convict footballer Pavel Mamaev, cheating with a Spanish mistress, a 'prank'. On Wednesday it was reported on Telegram channel Baza that Mamaeva had been found unresponsive in her room by friends in Moscow, after which she was hospitalised. Reports then surfaced that included texts Alana had attempted suicide by ingesting 40 sleeping tablets,... Read more »
  • The UK government has announced that it will extend waivers on goods entering Northern Ireland as part of the Brexit deal without seeking EU approval, risking a new flashpoint in its already-fractious relationship with Brussels. Northern Ireland Secretary Brandon Lewis said on Wednesday that the government would give supermarkets more time to adapt to the stringent new rules, which require checks on live animals and products made from animals or... Read more »
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