Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Wake-U Call: U-S Drone Downed After Russian Jet Clips Prop

Daily Mail Graphic (3/15/23)

A Russian fighter jet struck a U.S. drone’s propeller over the Black Sea. The collision around 7 a.m. local time forced the military to bring the Reaper down in international waters. It was one of the first direct military confrontations between the two countries since the war in Ukraine began more than a year ago. Before the hit, two Russian Su-27s dumped fuel on and flew in front of the drone “in a reckless, environmentally unsound and unprofessional manner,” according to the U.S. European Command, which is responsible for U.S. military operations in the region. Russia’s Defense Ministry denied that the jets touched the drone and said the U.S. craft went into an uncontrolled flight as a result of sharp maneuvering.

Russia's ambassador to the U.S., Anatoly Antonov, says they were provoked but denied the Russian Su-27 jets caused the American MQ-9 Reaper drone to crash into the Black Sea on Tuesday. 'What would the be reaction of the United States if you see such a Russian drone very close to, for example, San Francisco or New York?' he asked reporters as he left the State Department in Washington after being summoned to a meeting with US government officials. The US surveillance drone crashed into the sea after a two Russian jets ambushed it, dumped fuel on it, and eventually struck its propeller, the Pentagon said. Pentagon officials said the Russian fighters harassed the drone by dumping fuel on it, before one Su-27 clipped the propeller of the $32 million drone, forcing it down over the Black Sea in a total loss of the unmanned aircraft. The incident happened in international airspace, but not far from the battles raging on the front lines of the war in Ukraine, amid Russia's ongoing invasion of the country.

➤BANK COLLAPSE PROBED: U.S. prosecutors are investigating the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank as scrutiny mounts over the firm's sudden collapse and regulators scramble to contain the fallout. The U.S. Justice Department is probing the sudden demise of the bank, which was shuttered on Friday following a bank run, the source said, declining to be named as the inquiry is not public. The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched a parallel investigation, according to the Wall Street Journal, which first reported the probes.

➤FEDS MISSED RED FLAGS: The Federal Reserve is facing stinging criticism for missing what observers say were clear signs that Silicon Valley Bank was at high risk of collapsing into the second-largest bank failure in U.S. history. Critics point to many red flags surrounding the bank, including its rapid growth since the pandemic, its unusually high level of uninsured deposits and its many investments in long-term government bonds and mortgage-backed securities, which tumbled in value as interest rates rose. “It’s inexplicable how the Federal Reserve supervisors could not see this clear threat to the safety and soundness of banks and to financial stability,” said Dennis Kelleher, chief executive of Better Markets, an advocacy group. Wall Street traders and industry analysts “have been publicly screaming about these very issues for many, many months going back to last fall,” Kelleher added.

➤U-S INFLATION COOLED A BIT LAST MONTH: The consumer-price index, a closely watched inflation gauge, rose 6% in February from a year earlier, compared with a 6.4% increase the month before, according to the Labor Department. It was the smallest annual gain since September 2021. When excluding volatile food and energy costs, prices advanced 5.5%. Economists view so-called core prices as a better indicator of future inflation.

➤TYSON SHUTTERS CHICKEN PLANTS: Tyson Foods Inc.Vplans to shut down two of its poultry plants and lay off nearly 1,700 workers as it tries to improve its chicken operations that produce about one-fifth of the U.S. supply. Tyson notified the nearly 1,000 employees at its Van Buren, Ark., chicken plant on Monday that it would close on May 12, the company said. About 700 workers at Tyson’s plant in Glen Allen, Va., also found out on Monday that its plant would close in May, according to the local United Food and Commercial Workers International Union, which represents employees at the Virginia plant. The Springdale, Ark.-based meat company said production would be shifted to other Tyson plants. The company said the closures were part of a broader plan in its chicken division to improve operations and use full available capacity at each plant.

➤FLORIDA PULLS LIQUOR LICENSE OF MIAMI HOTEL WHICH WAS LOCATION OF DRAG SHOW: A luxury Miami hotel has been stripped of its liquor license Tuesday after putting on a “sexually explicit” Christmas drag performance with children in the audience, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis announced. The Sunshine State’s Department of Business and Professional Regulation had warned the Hyatt Regency Miami against letting children under the age of 16 attend the Dec. 27 “Drag Queen Christmas Show” at its James L. Knight Center. But the venue went ahead with the performance anyway, letting minors attend if accompanied by an adult. “Therefore, the Department is revoking the venue’s license for the sale and consumption of alcoholic beverages,” DeSantis’ office said in a statement. “Sexually explicit content is not appropriate to display to children and doing so violates Florida law.”

➤SANDERS SIGNS ARKANSAS TRANS CARE MALPRACTICE BILL INTO LAW: Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders has signed legislation making it easier to sue providers of gender-affirming care for children, a move that could effectively reinstate a blocked ban on such care. Sanders on Monday signed the new law, which won't take effect until this summer. It would allow anyone who received gender-affirming care as a minor to file a malpractice lawsuit against their doctor for up to 15 years after they turn 18. Under current Arkansas law, medical malpractice claims must be filed within two years of an injury.
➤NASA WEBB TELESCOPE CAPTURES STAR ON CUSP OF DEATH: The Webb Space Telescope has captured the rare and fleeting phase of a star on the cusp of death. NASA released the picture Tuesday at the South by Southwest conference in Austin, Texas. Its infrared eyes observed all the gas and dust flung into space by a huge, hot star 15,000 light-years away. A light-year is about 5.8 trillion miles. Shimmering in purple like a cherry blossom, the cast-off material once comprised the star's outer layer. The Hubble Space Telescope snapped a shot of the same transitioning star a few decades ago, but it appeared more like a fireball without the delicate details.
➤UNBELIEVABLE?: GOP Rep. George Santos filed paperwork indicating he would run for re-election on Tuesday, despite criminal probes, ethics investigations and a lengthy wrap sheet of lies he told on the campaign tail. The statement of candidacy filed with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) signals but does not guarantee the first term Republican who represents parts of Long Island and Queens will run next year. It does allow him to keep raising money and spend it on campaign-related expenses, such as paying back the $705,000 he lent his campaign and paying any possible legal fees related to the investigations he is facing. 

➤TIME TO DO 'THE RIGHT THING': San Francisco's Board of Supervisors on Tuesday held its first hearing to listen to the public's views on a plan for reparations - which would see the struggling city hand out cash to black residents. Sgt Yulanda Williams, the president of the police association Officers for Justice, told them: 'My dad always taught me never to beg. And I am not begging you today. It is time for you to do the right thing and provide us with reparations: make us whole.' Aaron Peskin (top left), the chair of the Board of Supervisors, has previously said the $5m idea from the African American Reparations Advisory Committee chaired by Eric McDonnell is unworkable. 'But that should not truncate a conversation about ways that this society and its government should address past ills.'

🏈PANTHERS, ANDY DALTON AGREE ON 2-YEAR, $10 DEAL: The Carolina Panthers and veteran free agent quarterback Andy Dalton are expected to reach an agreement on a two-year, $10 million deal that includes $8 million fully guaranteed. The maximum value of the contract is $17 million. Dalton will give Carolina the veteran it has been seeking to help bring along the quarterback it selects with the No. 1 overall pick in the upcoming draft. The Panthers are focused on Ohio State's C.J. Stroud and Alabama's Bryce Young with the first pick.

🏈EAGLES TO ADD RASHAAD PENNY AS MILES SANDERS SAYS GOODBYE: The Eagles have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with running back Rashaad Penny. Miles Sanders has been the lead back in Philadelphia for the past four seasons, posting 3,708 rushing yards and 20 touchdowns over that stretch. Sanders is a free agent and is considered one of the top available players at his position this offseason. Sanders signaled his time with the Eagles could be coming to an end, tweeting Tuesday afternoon: "To the city of Philadelphia: thank you from the bottom of my heart."

🏈JETS, WR ALLEN LAZARD AGREE TO 4-YEAR, $44M DEAL: The New York Jets and free agent wide receiver Allen Lazard agreed to a four-year, $44 million contract, according to multiple reports. Lazard played the first five years of his career with the Packers and with Rodgers as his quarterback. Lazard has 169 career receptions for 2,236 yards and 20 touchdowns.

🏈COLTS TRADING CB STEPHON GILMORE TO COWBOYS: The Dallas Cowboys answered one of their bigger offseason questions by acquiring cornerback Stephon Gilmore from the Indianapolis Colts for a fifth-round draft pick. The Cowboys gave up pick No. 176, one of the two fifth-round compensatory picks they earned last week, to the Colts in exchange for Gilmore, who is entering the final year of his contract and has a base salary of $7.9 million.

⚾VENEZUELA'S EDUARDO RODRIGUEZ DONE FOR WBC DUE TO TIGERS MANDATE: Eduardo Rodriguez pitched the first two innings of Venezuela's 4-1 victory over Nicaragua in Tuesday's pool-play game, and that will probably be the last time he pitches for his home country during the World Baseball Classic. Venezuela's manager, Omar Lopez, said after the game that Rodriguez won't be available for any of the next two rounds, as part of a pre-tournament agreement with his major league team, the Detroit Tigers.

MLB (World Baseball Classic):
  • Venezuela 3 Nicaragua 1
  • Canada 5 vs Colombia 0
  • Dominican Republic 10 Israel 0
  • Mexico 2 Great Britain 1 

➤NOR'EASTER BURIES NEW ENGLAND: The storm is the first nor'easter of the season, and has seen millions placed under winter storm warnings. Affected states include New York, Maine, Massachusetts, Vermont and New Hampshire. A nor'easter is a type of storm that travels along the Eastern Seaboard, bringing with it cold winds that hang over the Northern Atlantic and roll in from the northeast. Making its way through those states Monday, the tempest mostly spared the Big Apple - but bombarded communities further north in places such as the Hudson Valley, where heavy rain and winds will continue into Wednesday. As of Wednesday morning, more than 240,000 customers across the region remain without electricity. The weather has also caused disruptions for air travelers, with more than 1,100 flights already canceled. Set to wrap later Wednesday morning, the storm has already wrought extensive damage - piling on trees and power lines - with more snow expected in the early morning hours.

➤WHEN CALI GETS SOGGY: Another atmospheric river engulfed California on Tuesday, worsening pressures faced by residents still trying to recover from weeks of relentless storms. The latest storm put nearly 27,000 people under evacuation orders due to flooding and landslide risks and caused 16 major rivers in the state to overflow. On the Pajaro River a broken levee caused by a similar storm on Friday was again overwhelmed, flooding farms, roads and submerging the entire town of Pajaro and forcing thousands of residents to flee.

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