Biden reiterates support for Ukraine
President Joe Biden on Friday announced billions in additional military aid to Ukraine and more sanctions on those helping Russian President Vladimir Putin, marking the start of a second year of the war in Europe. The Biden administration announced economic sanctions against more than 200 individuals and entities in Russia and other countries it said supported Moscow’s war effort. The Pentagon also said Friday it would spend $2 billion to provide the Ukrainian military with new drones and counter-drone systems, as well as additional munitions for artillery and long-range rocket systems.
Heavy winds and snow bring blizzard conditions to Southern California
A powerful winter storm battered Southern California on Friday, sending wind and snow to the mountains around Los Angeles, driving down the coast, closing miles of highways and even dusting the Hollywood Hills with dust for the first time in decades. At high altitudes, the storm is a true blizzard with no warnings until Saturday afternoon, forecasters said. The storm also hit Portland, Ore., on Thursday, where snow and low temperatures killed a child after an ambulance failed to respond to a medical call because of icy roads, officials said.
12 states sue FDA, seeking to remove special restrictions on abortion pills
Attorneys general in more than a dozen Democratic-controlled states sued the Food and Drug Administration on Friday, asking a judge to remove a special longstanding federal restriction on the first of two drugs used in medical abortions. The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Washington state, comes at a tense time in the battle over the legal status of the abortion pill, which is used in more than half of U.S. abortions. The document was led by the attorneys general of Washington and Oregon, with attorneys general from Arizona, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, Rhode Island and Vermont also joined the ranks.
In town where train derailed, lawyers are signing clients in droves
In the three weeks since a freight train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio, releasing more than 100,000 gallons of toxic chemicals, lawyers have flooded the town, contracting with clients, gathering evidence, and more than a dozen cases have been filed in federal court. Litigation on behalf of local residents. Their overarching message is one of warning: The ultimate impact of derailments on people’s health, property values or soil and water may take months, years or even decades to become clear. Train operator Norfolk Southern declined to comment on Friday regarding matters involved in the litigation.
FDA approves first at-home flu and COVID tests
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration urgently authorized the first over-the-counter, at-home flu and COVID combined test on Friday, two days after the company that made the test announced it had filed for bankruptcy protection. The single-use test uses a self-collected nasal swab and provides results in about 30 minutes, according to the FDA. The test is intended for use by persons 14 years of age and older, or by an adult taking a sample from a person 2 years of age or older. California-based Lucira Health announced its bankruptcy plan on Wednesday, noting that it expects to receive emergency use authorization for the test in August.
Protests and revolt mark year of Russia’s war on Ukraine
Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky marked the anniversary of the Russian invasion with a defiant gesture on Friday, as anti-Kremlin protests took place around the world and the United States made a major promise to supply the country with new weapons. Zelensky held a marathon news conference in the capital Kiev to drum up international support, declaring victory for Ukraine and allies that provided it with arms and other aid, “if we keep our fists strong, our Partners unite for our victory.” Zelensky was careful not to say anything that might anger China, a powerful Russian ally he wants to keep largely on the brink of war.
After earthquake, Turks eager for normalcy find only uncertainty
Despite a steady stream of international aid flowing into Turkey, the nearly 1.7 million displaced people in the quake zone face the near-impossible challenge of rebuilding their lives in squalid conditions. Some 750,000 people sheltered in tents, breathing air thick with pollutants released from the ruins as tectonic plates continued to rumble, a reminder that new disasters could strike at any time. The widespread damage to infrastructure is rapidly turning hard-hit communities into petri dishes for disease, according to health care officials and residents. The Turkish government has been criticized for its slow pace of recovery efforts.
via wired source