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Friday’s Mini-Report, 1.6.23

Today’s edition of quick hits.


Today’s edition of quick hits.

* It’s not like Putin is a credible figure who’s earned anyone’s trust: “Russian President Vladimir Putin played the Russian Orthodox Christmas card Thursday and ordered his military to observe a 36-hour cease-fire in Ukraine this weekend, when believers from that faith celebrate the holiday. He also called on Kyiv to do the same. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said no way.”

* In related news: “The White House announced Friday a new $3.75 billion military assistance package to help Ukraine and its neighbors on NATO’s eastern flank as Russia’s invasion of Ukraine grinds on. The latest tranche of assistance will include for the first time Bradley armored vehicles for Ukraine. The armored carrier is used to transport troops to combat and is known as a ‘tank-killer’ because of the anti-tank missile it can fire.”

* An unsettling story out of New Mexico: “The homes or offices of five elected Democratic officials in New Mexico, including the new attorney general, have been buffeted by gunfire over the past month, and authorities are working to determine if the attacks are connected. Nobody was injured in the shootings, which are being investigated by local and federal authorities, said Albuquerque Police Chief Harold Medina. He called the investigation a top priority.”

* Inflation has fallen: “No, that’s not a prediction; it’s a fact. With one month remaining in 2022 (in terms of available data), inflation in the second half of the year has run vastly lower than in the first half. In fact — and this is astonishing — it’s almost back down to the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. Even more astonishing, hardly anyone seems to have noticed.”

* On a related note: “U.S. stocks advanced Friday after the December jobs report and an economic activity survey showed signs that inflation may be cooling, signaling that the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes are having their intended effect.”

* Oh my: “A Russian hacking team known as Cold River targeted three nuclear research laboratories in the United States this past summer, according to internet records reviewed by Reuters and five cyber security experts.”

* Fingers crossed: “The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved an Alzheimer’s drug shown in clinical trials to slow cognitive decline in patients in the early stages of the illness. The approval offers patients renewed hope after repeated failures to find effective treatments, even though there have been reports of side effects with the new drug, experts say.”

* Good: “President Joe Biden on Thursday signed into law a bill aimed at easing the cost for prisoners to call family and friends. The legislation clarifies that the Federal Communications Commission, which regulates interstate and international communications through cable, radio, television, satellite and wire, can set limits for fees on audio and video calls inside corrections facilities.”

* Given the great work she’s done during difficult circumstances, Cheryl Johnson, the highest-profile House clerk ever, deserves all the praise she’s received: “Amid the historically dysfunctional House Speaker election, the clerk’s exceptional leadership is the one thing lawmakers have agreed on.”

* All is not well at Twitter: “Former national security adviser Michael Flynn had his Twitter account reinstated on Friday as the United States marked the two-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 insurrection.”

Have a safe weekend.