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Vladimir Putin delivers a speech at the Vostochny cosmodrome north of Blagoveschensk, Russia on April 12.
Vladimir Putin delivers a speech at the Vostochny cosmodrome north of Blagoveschensk, Russia on April 12.Yevgeny Biyatov / Sputnik/AFP via Getty Images, file

Friday’s Mini-Report, 4.15.22

Today’s edition of quick hits.


Today’s edition of quick hits:

* If Moscow’s line on this were true, why is Putin vowing to retaliate in response to the sinking of the Moskva? “Russia’s defense ministry acknowledged that the warship Moskva had sunk Thursday, but said the ship had been damaged by a fire and had eventually gone down while being towed in ‘stormy sea’ conditions. Ukrainian officials claimed they had hit the ship with a missile attack.”

* On a related note: “While Russia and Ukraine differed on the exact cause of the major explosion that sank a Russian battleship in the Black Sea on Thursday, the incident was a massive blow to the Kremlin’s pride and looked set to undermine the country’s naval operations in the region.”

* Evidently, Putin expects us not to provide support for our allies in the midst of a brutal and unprovoked attack: “As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine entered its eighth week, it was revealed that earlier this week Russia sent a formal diplomatic note to the United States warning that American and NATO shipments of the ‘most sensitive’ weapons systems to Ukraine could bring ‘unpredictable consequences’ and were ‘adding fuel’ to the volatile conflict.”

* Keep an eye on this one: “Federal prosecutors have charged a high-ranking Putin-aligned Russian legislator and two of his staff members with operating a foreign influence and disinformation network in the U.S. that included attempts to sway members of Congress.”

* The Republican governor appears to be hurting the people of his own state: “Texans will start seeing empty shelves at grocery stores this weekend due to delays caused by Gov. Greg Abbott’s increased border inspections of commercial trucks entering from Mexico. Roughly $150 million worth of fruit and vegetables were stalled south of the U.S.-Mexico border, the Texas International Produce Association reported Thursday.”

* Even the editorial board of The Wall Street Journal is unimpressed with the governor’s indefensible agenda: “Texas Gov. Greg Abbott on Wednesday sent a bus load of undocumented immigrants to Washington, D.C, to protest President Biden’s border policies. Fine if he wants to poke lawmakers to control illegal migration, but why is he also punishing Americans by obstructing legal commerce?”

* The latest on Musk’s unfortunate gambit: “Twitter moved Friday to block tech baron Elon Musk’s proposed takeover of the social media company, adopting a strategy known as a ‘poison pill’ that’s often used to intercept hostile corporate bids. The Twitter board of directors voted unanimously to adopt the strategy, which is formally known as a shareholder rights plan, the company said in a statement posted online.”

* Jan. 6 investigation: “The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol spent roughly eight hours on Thursday questioning Stephen Miller, a top White House adviser to former President Donald J. Trump, in an at times contentious exchange that included queries about Mr. Trump’s speech before a crowd the morning of the riot, according to two people familiar with the session.”

* Following up on a story from yesterday: “Sen. Dianne Feinstein defended her service representing California in the Senate in the wake of reporting by The Chronicle that colleagues are concerned about her ability to continue serving, and she said she does not plan to step down before the end of her term, which runs through 2024.”

* Nunes’ latest legal setback: “A divided New York federal appeals court rejected on Thursday a defamation lawsuit that former U.S. Rep. Devin Nunes brought against CNN. In a 2-to-1 ruling, the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan upheld a lower-court judge’s decision last year to toss out the lawsuit.” (The dissenting judge, incidentally, was a Trump appointee.)

Have a safe weekend.