Biden will pressure Russia to prevent the invasion of Ukraine
According to CNN, President Biden has told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Tuesday that the United States is prepared to place strong economic sanctions on the country if they move forward with their plan to invade Ukraine.
The White House has reported that Biden said to Putin that the United States is ready to take actions that they did not take in 2014 when sanctions placed on Russia failed to stop the country from occupying Crimea.
Biden and Putin spoke for approximately two hours over a secure video call early Tuesday. Biden briefed the allies on the call with Putin and the world leaders agreed that Russia needs to reduce tensions and engage in diplomacy.
Officials said that the Biden administration is working closely with European partners to coordinate actions to take if needed.
The administration is considering evacuations of U.S. citizens from Ukraine if Russia invades. Officials have also discussed possibly disconnecting Russia from the SWIFT international payment system used by banks around the world or suspending the Nord Stream 2 pipeline.
State of emergency issued in Hawaii due to winter storm
Gov. David Ige of Hawaii issued a state of emergency that extends to each island due to dangerous weather on Monday night, according to MSN News.
The island is under threats of dangerous flash floods, landslides and falling tree limbs. Strong wind and heavy rain will continue until the storm moves offshore, which is expected to be on Wednesday.
The storm has already brought at least a foot of water and as much as 8 inches of snow on some of the state’s highest peaks. The storm caused power outages for about 4,500 people on Tuesday morning.
In Oahu, four shelters have been opened as roadways flooded up to the headlights on cars.
The storm is known as a Kona low, a seasonal cyclone that can impact the state during the winter season. It has led to unusually low temperatures, with the city of Honolulu seeing a record low of 56 degrees.
Chile legalizes same-sex marriage
Chilean lawmakers legalized same-sex marriage by overwhelming majorities in both chambers on Tuesday, according to the New York Times.
The decision makes Chile the 31st nation to allow gay marriage. President Sebastián Piñera surprised many, due to his past opposition, when he spoke in favor of making same-sex marriage legal in June.
Gay rights activists in Latin America were moved when Argentina legalized same-sex marriages in July 2010. Argentina became the first nation in the region to legalize the union.
In June 2016, the Chilean government agreed to begin the process of legalizing same-sex marriage after many debates and petitions.
“Old prejudices cannot be stronger than love,” said Michelle Bachelet, the past president of Chile who previously disagreed with same-sex marriages but moved forward to introduce the same-sex marriage bill.
Military service members miss COVID-19 vaccination deadlines
Thousands of military service members have missed COVID-19 vaccination deadlines and failed to comply with the Biden administration’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate, according to NBC News.
Members of the Marines, Air Force, Space Force and the Navy numbering up to 27,000 are still considered unvaccinated and about 19,000 Army soldiers have not begun the vaccination protocol with just a week left before their deadline.
The result of missing the deadline could lead to many active-duty service members being forced to leave their positions or the military altogether.
The Marine Corps has openly stated that those who did not receive their vaccination by the deadline will be processed for administrative separation.
The separation or discharge could lead to Marines or other service members not receiving veteran benefits or having to pay back bonuses or education benefits received during their time in service.
Unvaccinated soldiers in leadership positions will be relieved of their position and those who refuse the vaccine will be flagged, get a note of reprimand on their record and could face nonjudicial and judicial punishment.
The horse who won the 2021 Kentucky Derby, only to fail the drug test, dies during a training session
The 3-year-old horse who won the 2021 Kentucky Derby but had the title revoked due to failing a drug test died as he was finishing his workout. The horse collapsed at the finish line in Santa Anita and died instantly, according to NBC News.
“All horses that die within facilities regulated by the California Horse Racing Board undergo postmortem (necropsy) examination at a California Animal Health and Food Safety diagnostic laboratory under the auspices of the University of California, Davis,” the California Horse Racing Board said.
An official cause of death will be determined upon the results of the examination and toxicology reports.
Trainer Bob Baffert, who was penalized with a two-year suspension from Churchill Downs following the controversy at Kentucky Derby, said his “entire barn” is left devastated by the passing of Medina Spirit.
The horse tested positive for betamethasone, a legal medication that is prohibited on race days. The results came in the days following the Derby on May 1.
While Baffert has denied the accusations, it has changed the perception of the famous trainer and horse.