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Sweden and Finland apply for membership to NATO
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg shakes hands with Sweden's Ambassador to NATO Axel Wernhoff during a ceremony to mark Sweden's and Finland's application for membership in Brussels on Wednesday, May 18.Johanna Geron / POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 5.18.22

Today’s edition of quick hits.


Today’s edition of quick hits:

* Fresh evidence of Putin’s strategic failure: “Finland and Sweden formally submitted their membership applications in Brussels on Wednesday morning, ending long-held neutral stances that for Stockholm stretches back 200 years to the time of Napoleon.”

* Guilty plea: “A Russian soldier on trial for war crimes has pleaded guilty to the murder of a Ukrainian civilian during the early days of the invasion. It’s the first such trial since the war began, and takes place amid mounting allegations of atrocities committed by Russian forces.”

* The George Floyd case: “A former Minneapolis police officer pleaded guilty Wednesday to manslaughter in the death of George Floyd, a Black man whose police killing prompted worldwide protests against systemic racism.”

* The pandemic isn’t over: “COVID-19 cases are increasing in the United States — and could get even worse over the coming months, federal health officials warned Wednesday in urging areas hardest hit to consider reissuing calls for indoor masking.”

* Any chance Republicans will blame inflation in the U.K. on Biden, too? “Britain’s annual inflation rate jumped to 9 percent last month, the highest in 40 years, the Office for National Statistics said on Wednesday.”

* A reminder for everyone who thinks a border wall would prevent illegal border crossings: Tunnels exist. “U.S. authorities on Monday announced the discovery of a major drug smuggling tunnel — running about the length of a six football fields — from Mexico to a warehouse in an industrial area in the U.S. The secret passage from Tijuana to San Diego featured rail and ventilation systems, electricity and reinforced walls, authorities said.”

* Tom Barrack is back in the news: “Thomas Barrack, a longtime friend of former President Donald Trump and the chair of his 2017 inaugural committee, sought hundreds of millions of dollars in investments from the United Arab Emirates at the same time he was illegally lobbying the Trump administration on behalf of the UAE, according to a superseding indictment filed Tuesday in federal court in New York.”

* Pay equity matters: “After a yearslong fight for equal pay, U.S. Soccer and the women’s and men’s national teams have announced a historic collective bargaining agreement to close the gender pay gap and assure every player, man or woman, is paid equally.”

See you tomorrow.