Immigration/foreign aid deal stalled: And it's Ukraine that stands to lose.
Ukrainian military officials told The New York Times that on the eastern front, in places like Avdiivka, "the ratio of Russian to Ukrainian artillery fire is five to one," which means Ukrainian soldiers are being forced to conserve and put their own lives in danger when smaller groups of Russian forces approach. Russia, meanwhile, is being supplied by North Korea, Iran, and China.
It's an example of how American congressional haggling has a direct impact on the Zelenskyy-Putin showdown in Ukraine. Currently, America supplies about half of Ukraine's total foreign aid, to the tune of nearly $50 billion. But now, a deal that would have cracked down on the U.S.-Mexico border while supplying aid to Israel and Ukraine has collapsed in the Senate. To some, the stalled aid package is evidence that America is beginning to quench her thirst for foreign entanglements; to others, it's a gloomy sign that Ukraine may fall without continued U.S. assistance.
"Ukraine has found itself outgunned before," reports the Times. "In the first days, the military handed rifles from the backs of trucks to all willing to take them in Kyiv, as Russian troops advanced through the city's suburbs. Eventually, new American weaponry arrived, such as the High Mobility Artillery Rocket System, known as HIMARS, and Patriot air defense missiles. Now, Ukraine is once again seeking ways to adapt and improvise by expanding domestic armaments manufacturing and relying more heavily on drones built from commercially available, off-the-shelf parts."
Ukraine has also self-sabotaged via its own internal corruption scandals, including one involving top defense officials allegedly embezzling some $40 million meant to buy more arms.
Milei takes some heat: Yesterday, news broke that the party of Argentine President Javier Milei, La Libertad Avanza, has introduced a bill to parliament that would ban abortion in the country.
Abortion would be criminalized for women who seek it as well as for their doctors, a repeal of the Voluntary Interruption of Pregnancy Law, which currently legalizes abortion up to 14 weeks in Argentina (and forces taxpayers to pay for it so the government may provide it to anyone who wants it, free of charge).
La Libertad Avanza's bill calls for judges to have a great deal of discretion when deciding criminal penalties for abortion-seekers. Judges should consider "the reasons that prompted her to commit the crime, her subsequent attitude, and the nature of the fact" and prison terms should range from one to three years.
Javier Milei's swift action intended to transform Argentina's floundering economy provoked the country's biggest labor union to call tens of thousands to protest in Buenos Aires against his libertarian agenda. pic.twitter.com/WJn6ySB4UV
— reason (@reason) January 31, 2024
Scenes from Berlin:
A Spielplatz (playground) in Berlin that's only for 6- to 12-year-olds. No parents allowed, no rules, no babies. A perfect free-range/free-play environment. (Reminds me of The Yard, New York's only adventure playground, on Governor's Island.) The kids had made a massive bonfire, which is part terrifying, part awesome. Can't wait to go back and visit again when my son is older.
- "Those who argue that the tax code shouldn't favor parenthood treat children as a lifestyle choice or a consumption good, like a Tesla," writes Tim Carney in The Wall Street Journal. "The tax code shouldn't be pro-Tesla, but it should be pro-human, especially amid our baby bust."
- Socialized healthcare isn't what people think:
All these dumb Americans who think socialized healthcare is the only metric that matters should go visit a cancer-stricken relative as they lay dying in an NHS hospital in Britain. I done that, friend, and it ain't whatever you think it is. It's not happiness and salvation.
— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) February 8, 2024
- "Former Barclays Plc Chief Executive Officer Jes Staley has long maintained that he cut off his friendship with Jeffrey Epstein once he became boss of the UK bank," reports Bloomberg. "Legal documents seen by Bloomberg News claim that he had indirect contact with the late pedophile financier for years after that" via an intermediary.
- Sweet Marianne, gone but not forgotten. She will live on in our hearts.
I wish these people spent as much time investigating the rampant fraud and corruption of our public servants as they do "exposing" the identity of anonymous fintwit meme accounts https://t.co/8S7X458c6B
— Mike Solana (@micsolana) February 8, 2024
- Very normal, healthy behavior: "Pakistan has suspended mobile calls and data services as millions head to the polls to vote in a new government," reports the BBC.
- The regulators are coming for your paella. "A Spanish rice variety traditionally used to make paella is under threat from a fungus after the European Union banned a pesticide farmers said they relied upon, in another example of how the bloc's environmental rules are angering growers," reports Reuters.
These ghouls always use the word "resurfaced" like it's a dead body that floated to the top of a lake. No. You searched for them, like gravediggers, picking the bones of the dead. pic.twitter.com/5beftNUUT8
— Bridget Phetasy (@BridgetPhetasy) February 7, 2024
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