If Russia has in fact taken control of Soledar, it would be a hollow victory as it has little military or tactical benefit and it will not improve Russia's prospects elsewhere. Whatever happens in this isolated incident, Ukraine will win the wider war.
Russia's liberation of Soledar is extremely significant as it paves the way for Russian encirclement of Bakhmut, as well as further advances in the Donetsk region which it will soon completely control.
There is a 2% chance that Ukraine will officially recognize a former Ukrainian territory (Luhansk, Donetsk or Crimea) as independent before 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
With over 29K commercial flights across the US each day, the safety record has been almost flawless and is demonstrated by the rarity of major or serious incidents. The US regulatory system has ensured that flight and aircraft safety is the best in the world, which is a direct result of the regulations established by the FAA. If anything, the US shouldn't become complacent as it has come to expect safety and efficiency as the norm.
The FAA's overbearing and overwhelming regulations are directly linked to air travel challenges for passengers. A significant percentage of delays and cancellations are due to FAA traffic management initiatives. These overreaching rules not only frustrate passengers and bog down the system, but they also burn pilot hours each month that impacts staff availability to ensure safe and timely flights.
To secure the speakership, Kevin McCarthy granted concessions to the House GOP's most militant and conservative faction. While conservative activists have cheered the outcome and insist that a more right-leaning agenda is necessary, the historically Republican voters from well-educated suburbs are distancing themselves from this side of the culture war, which could devastate the party in 2024.
Biden's corruption was a well-known Washington secret long before Donald Trump ran for office, and these so-called far-right Republicans pushed McCarthy for concessions. The GOP faction understands not only that it's Congress's duty to keep the executive branch in check but also that American voters from all sides are eager to learn what their leaders have been doing behind closed doors.
The start of the newest session of Congress highlights the pain of what happens when parties fail to collaborate as Republicans and Democrats become increasingly at odds. With the speaker technically not required to be a House member, per the Constitution, it may be best to pursue a third-party neutral figure next time to help calm the growing chaos in Washington.
There's a 71% chance that Republicans will keep control of the US House of Representatives in 2024, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Since the severe Ebola outbreaks of 2013 and 2016, African health authorities have stressed the importance of being prepared for the next outbreak. Uganda did an excellent job coordinating its containment measures to make sure the results of this outbreak weren’t worse, and it was able to keep the virus from spreading beyond the country’s borders.
Generally, Uganda was fairly well prepared and did its best to contain this outbreak. But health authorities couldn't circulate a vaccine before transmission of the virus was stopped, opening the door for future outbreaks. A well-managed stockpile of unlicensed vaccines would make it possible to start a trial and, eventually, prevent future outbreaks.
Pell was a champion for orthodox Catholicism in an age of liberalism and survived the painful story of being cleared of crimes he was found to have never committed. The victim of outrageous injustice, Pell's spiritual poise and strength throughout his legal ordeals show his true character. While abuse found within the Church should be rightly exposed, Pell's conviction was a miscarriage of justice.
After Pell's name was mired with accusations and charges, it's difficult to judge the truth surrounding allegations about him. However, at best, the Cardinal failed to uncover some of the worst cases of child sexual abuse in the Catholic Church's history — a controversy that will taint his legacy, regardless of any good he achieved.
Not only is Bridgen's comparison deeply offensive, but it's also dangerously wrong and highly irresponsible as COVID vaccines have saved millions of lives — and could have avoided some 600K deaths if a World Health Organization target of vaccinating 40% of the global population before 2022 had been met. Ideological beliefs should play no role in scientific debates as the safety and efficacy of vaccines are tested rigorously in clinical trials.
While Bridgen's comment was undoubtedly tone-deaf, his punishment for sharing the views of a cardiologist is disproportionate to his so-called crime. Although rare, there has been evidence of vaccine side effects, and individuals should be free to question the establishment, regardless of their political role. The MP has deleted the tweet, and it's now time to focus on his alleged violation of parliamentary rules.
There's a 3% chance that pediatric cases of hepatitis with unknown origin will be conclusively linked to COVID vaccination, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
Finally, Trump’s cronies are closer to being charged for their role in an attempted coup to overthrow American democracy. Trump’s lawyers, most notably Giuliani, added fuel to the fire by giving wildly inaccurate advice and filing frivolous lawsuits with the explicit goal of obstructing the peaceful transfer of power. Everyone involved must be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Between the sham Jan. 6 House committee and the biased Special Counsel appointed by Biden’s DOJ, the American people cannot trust justice to be fairly served. Jack Smith has demonstrated a clear political bias, as he was involved in the IRS targeting of conservative nonprofits, and now he’s heading up the latest phase of the witch hunt against Trump and his lawyers.
The entire FTX saga has shown the corrupt and volatile nature of Sam Bankman-Fried, the crypto industry at large, and its regulators. As the company scrambles to find assets for paybacks, the crypto market is tanking. Entities like the federal Southern District of New York are probing how wide-ranging potential offenses are — with bribery, fraud, and campaign finance violations all in play.
Despite the myriad problems exposed by the FTX fiasco, cryptocurrency can't be counted out as a viable investment. With wages slowing and the service sector contracting in the US, it's possible that the Fed will ease up on interest rate hikes — something very positive for the crypto market. A market rebound may be on the way.
At a time when ambulance staff across the UK are refusing to attend even severe emergencies — such as heart attacks and strokes — Labour leader Kier Starmer's decision to stand against this legislation may turn out to be a mistake. Sunak is not trying to take away the right to strike, however, Starmer may be setting himself up to be portrayed as the friend of militant unions at an electoral cost.
These draconian anti-strike laws are undemocratic and, ironically, un-conservative. A key tenet of Thatcherism was battling against the unions, but the right to industrial action is key to libertarianism and free markets. The clear thinking of previous union reforms is conspicuously absent here — evidence that this is an ill-considered and rash response to current disputes rather than a carefully constructed piece of legislation guided by ideological principles.
There is a 22% chance that the Conservative party will form the first government after the next UK general election, according to the Metaculus prediction community.
The West's role in the influx of weapons in the conflict— and by extension, its role in the country's crisis — can't be overlooked. As it hypocritically denounces Iran's suspected supply of weapons, Western countries themselves continue to heavily arm Saudi Arabia in the hopes of cozying up with the oil-rich nation, and innocent civilians are paying the price.
The West's involvement in the conflict goes far beyond Saudi Arabia's worth as an ally; it's a response to the Iran-backed Houthis, who are a terrorist organization. Even though the Saudis have met some of the Houthis’ demands, the rebels won’t let up, leaving the Saudis with no choice but to continue their efforts.