Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Wake-Up Call: Victory Day Holiday A Bust For Putin

Ukraine's Zellenskyy, Russia's Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin celebrated Victory Day on Monday, his country's biggest patriotic holiday that marks the Soviet Union's role in defeating Nazi Germany, overseeing a military parade in Moscow's Red Square and delivering remarks. But while many Western analysts had expected he would use the occasion to either declare some kind of victory in Ukraine, most likely in the city of Mariupol, over which Russian forces have almost total control, or announce an escalation, in which he'd declare the "special military operation" in Ukraine an actual war and order a nationwide mobilization to call up military reserves, he did neither. Instead, he once again sought to justify the invasion as a necessary response to what he portrayed as a hostile Ukraine, saying, "The danger was rising by the day. Russia has given a preemptive response to aggression. It was forced, timely, and the only correct decision."

Meanwhile, intense fighting continued in eastern Ukraine, and the southern Black Sea port city of Odesa was struck by seven missiles, according to the Ukrainian military, which said a shopping center and a warehouse were hit, killing one person. AP cited a senior U.S. official as saying the overall Russian effort in the eastern Donbas region hasn't made any significant progress in recent days, and continues to face strong resistance from Ukrainian forces.

Biden Signs Lend-Lease Bill: President Biden signed "lend-lease" legislation yesterday, a revival of a World War Two-era program that will allow being able to more quickly send military equipment to Ukraine. The bipartisan measure passed unanimously in the Senate, and only 10 lawmakers, all Republicans, voted against it in the House.

Casey White
An Alabama inmate who's been on the run since late April with a former jail official who was accused of helping him escape was finally caught yesterday in Evansville, Indiana, while the jail official, 56-year-old Vicky White, fatally shot herself as U.S. Marshals crashed into their vehicle. The inmate, 36-year-old Casey White -- no relation to Vicky White -- surrendered. Vicky White, the assistant director of corrections for the Lauderdale County jail, allegedly helped orchestra Casey White's escape, who was awaiting trial in a capital murder case, telling co-workers she was taking him for a mental health evaluation at the courthouse. There was no scheduled evaluation and the two fled, with authorities later saying they'd found the two had a "special relationship." Authorities found them after they were spotted in Indiana. When officers arrived, they took off in their vehicle and led police on a chase that ended when the U.S. Marshals collided with them to end the pursuit.

➤MARCOS JR., SON OF LATE PHILIPPINE DICTATOR, ELECTED PRESIDENT: Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos, appears to have been elected president of the Philippines in a landslide victory. Marcos Jr. has more than 30.8 million votes in unofficial results as of Tuesday afternoon with more than 97 percent of the vote in, which his nearest competitor having just 14.7 million votes in Monday's election. Marcos' father was ousted in a 1986 pro-democracy revolt, but the 64-year-old Marcos Jr. has defended his father's legacy. He is a former provincial governor, congressman and senator.

➤BIDEN ANNOUNCES DISCOUNTED INTERNET SERVICE FOR LOW-INCOME PEOPLE: President Biden announced Monday that 20 internet companies have agreed to provide discounted service to people with low incomes, which AP says could effectively make tens of millions of households eligible for free service through an already existing federal subsidy. The Affordable Connectivity Program provides $30 monthly subsidies on internet service for millions of lower-income households. With the newly announced commitment from the internet providers, some 48 million households will be eligible for $30 monthly plans for higher speed, service, making internet service fully paid for if they sign up with one of the providers participating in the program. Biden said, "High speed internet is not a luxury any longer. It’s a necessity."

📰STUDY: OLDER ADULTS MORE LIKELY THAN YOUNG TO BE FOOLED BY ‘FAKE NEWS’ : The very oldest adults are more likely to fall for fake news, finds a new study. University of Florida researchers found adults ages 61 to 70 had a similar level of ability to detect fake news as their younger counterparts, but that adults older than age 70 were less likely to spot fake news, though it’s likely because they didn’t look as closely at information or pay attention to details according to study authors. People of all ages were less likely to identify fake news about COVID-19 than news not related to the pandemic—researchers say this could be due to low familiarity with COVID-related information in the early months of the pandemic. Researchers note that it’s only in very old age—when declines in thinking abilities can no longer be offset by life experience and world knowledge—that people may become especially vulnerable to fake news and other misinformation.

➤WARHOL'S MARILYN MONROE PORTRAIT SELLS FOR $195 MILLION: Andy Warhol's iconic Marilyn Monroe portrait, "Shot Sage Blue Marilyn," sold for $195 million last night, setting a new record for the highest price any American artwork has ever brought at auction. It's also the most expensive 20th century artwork ever auctioned. The 1964 silk-screen portrait, which has been displayed at museums around the world, was sold to an unknown bidder in the Christie's auction in New York.

➤SCIENTISTS REVEAL THE TOP SIGNS YOU’RE ADDICTED TO TIKTOK:  TikTok is one of the most popular social media platforms, and a new study looks at who is most-likely to become addicted to the app. University of Trinidad and Tobago researchers analyzed 173 TikTok users and found 6.4 percent were at risk of being addicted to the app. Those individuals tended to score higher on measures of loneliness and extraversion, and females were more likely to be addicted than males. They found the top signs of addiction were being restless, irritable, or anxious when being prohibited from using the app, and having strong feelings of sadness if they could not use the app. Study leader Troy Smith says, “Although most users appear to use TikTok in a non-problematic manner, the study demonstrates that the risk of overuse and possible problematic use exists and is associated with addiction-like behaviors that can potentially negatively impact the daily lives of sufferers.” Researchers also say there are different signs of addiction when it comes to other social media platforms, such as Facebook.

🏀NBA PLAYOFFS: Results from second-round games yesterday:
  • Boston Celtics 116, Milwaukee Bucks 108 - Series tied 2-2
  • Golden State Warriors 101, Memphis Grizzlies 98 - Golden State leads series 3-1

🏒NHL PLAYOFFS: Results from first-round games yesterday:
  • Colorado Avalanche 5, Nashville Predators 3 - Colorado wins series 4-0
  • Calgary Flames 4, Dallas Stars 1 - Series tied 2-2
  • Pittsburgh Penguins 7, New York Rangers 2 - Pittsburgh leads series 3-1
  • Carolina Panthers 3, Washington Capitals 2 (OT) - Series tied 2-2

🏒AVALANCHE SWEEP PREDATORS, FIRST TO ADVANCE TO SECOND ROUND: The Colorado Avalanche beat Nashville 5-3 last night to sweep the Predators 4-0 in the first round of the NHL playoffs and become the first team to advance to the second round. They will play the winner of the St. Louis Blues-Minnesota Wild series, which is tied at 2-2.

🏀WARRIORS WIN WITHOUT COACH KERR, WHO TESTS POSITIVE FOR COVID: The Golden State Warriors beat the Memphis Grizzlies 101-98 last night to take a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series, and they had to do it without head coach Steve Kerr, who tested positive for Covid-19 less than two hours before the game. Filling in was associate head coach Mike Brown, who is leaving to become head coach of the Sacramento Kings, but is staying with Golden State through the team's postseason run. It's unclear if Kerr will travel with the Warriors to Memphis today for Game 5 on Wednesday.

🏒REPORTS: JOKIC VOTED NBA MVP FOR SECOND STRAIGHT YEAR: Denver Nuggets center Nikola Jokic has been voted the NBA’s Most Valuable Player for a second consecutive season, according to media reports yesterday, with ESPN first breaking the news. A formal announcement is expected later this week. Jokic beat out the Philadephia 76ers' Joel Embiid and the Milwaukee Bucks' Giannis Antetokounmpo for the MVP, becoming just the 13th player in NBA history to win back-to-back MVP awards and 14th player to win multiple MVPs.

🏀SUNS' WILLIAMS WINS NBA COACH OF THE YEAR: The Phoenix Suns' Monty Williams won the NBA Coach of the Year award Monday after leading the Suns to a franchise-record 64 wins during the regular season, eight more than any other team. Williams had 81 of 100 first-place votes from a global panel of 100 sportswriters and broadcasters, with the Memphis Grizzlies' Taylor Jenkins coming in second with 17 first-place votes.

🏒ISLANDERS FIRE HEAD COACH TROTZ: The New York Islanders fired head coach Barry Trotz Monday, the decision coming after the team missed the playoffs, the first time in Trotz's four seasons with the team that they didn't make the postseason. However president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said the decision, quote, "was not primarily made on this season," stating that the team needs a "new voice."

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