Tag Archive for: military


Trump’s attorneys move to quash Georgia election fraud report.

Military pilots, ground crew have higher cancer rates.

Confidence in banks shaken worldwide after SVB closure.




Trump’s attorneys move to quash Georgia election fraud report

Over the weekend, former President Trump posted an all-caps rant claiming he was going to be arrested on Tuesday (tomorrow) in connection with a New York criminal probe of his 2016 hush-money payment to porn star Stormy Daniels. Trump called on his supporters to protest his arrest, but so far, the response has been underwhelming

However, Trump’s attorneys filed a motion today to attempt to head off a much more consequential criminal case in Georgia. This was the wide-ranging special grand jury probe that investigated attempts by Trump and his inner circle to interfere with the certification of the results of Georgia’s 2020 Presidential election. Over seven months, the panel heard testimony from about 75 witnesses, including Trump aides and high-ranking Georgia Republicans.

A wide-ranging investigation

Trump himself was not called to testify. However, the panel heard recordings of three phone calls in which Trump pressured high-ranking Georgia officials to overturn the election.

One of these was the infamous Jan. 2, 2021 call in which Trump urged Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger to “find” the 11,000 votes needed to overturn Biden’s Georgia win. Another was a call to Georgia’s Republican House Speaker David Ralston, now deceased, in Dec. 2020. During the call, Trump asked Ralston to call a special House session to appoint a slate of fake pro-Trump electors. In the third call, Trump grilled an investigator in Raffensperger’s office about unfounded allegations of election irregularities. 

Aside from the phone calls and the fake electors scheme, the panel also examined efforts by unauthorized individuals to access voting machines in the state as well as harassment of election workers.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who led the probe, previously said the criminal conduct she was investigating included “solicitation of election fraud, the making of false statements to state and local governmental bodies, conspiracy, racketeering, violation of oath of office and any involvement in violence or threats related to the election’s administration.”

Trump’s team make nothing burger a something burger

The motion Trump’s attorneys filed today calls for any evidence derived from the special grand jury’s final report be “suppressed as unconstitutionally derived and any prosecuting body be prevented from its use”.

Norm Eisen, a legal expert at the Brookings institute, said Trump’s attorneys were “throwing everything at the wall and seeing what sticks”. The filing itself is interesting because previous statements by Trump’s legal team indicated they weren’t especially concerned about the Willis probe. Today’s filing suggests they are, in fact, very concerned.

DA Willis has not yet announced any charges in the case, but says decisions are “imminent”. However, several members of the grand jury have spoken out in the press since the panel concluded its work. Their comments suggest that they recommended indictments against several individuals, though none have said whether Trump is one of them.

CNN is also reporting, citing an anonymous source, that the DA is considering racketeering and conspiracy charges in the case. Trump also recently lauded bills advanced in the Georgia legislature that would create an oversight committee with the power to remove elected district attorneys who commit “willful misconduct” in office, or fail to prosecute certain crimes. Trump’s supporters have attempted to paint Willis’ investigation as a political witch hunt, despite nearly all the witnesses being Republicans.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Military pilots, ground crew have higher cancer rates

A yearlong Pentagon study reveals higher rates of certain cancers among military pilots and ground crew. The study included 900,000 service members who flew or worked on military aircraft between 1992 and 2017. Compared to the general population, air crews had a 24% higher rate of all cancers while ground crews were 3% higher. Because of gaps in the data, cancer rates are likely to be even higher.

Air crews showed an 87% higher rate of melanoma and a 39% higher rate of thyroid cancer. Male air crew had a 16% higher rate of prostate cancer and women had a 16% higher rate of breast cancer. Studies have also found higher rates of melanoma and breast cancer among commercial flight crews. 

Ground crews had a 19% higher rate of brain and nervous system cancers, a 15% higher rate of thyroid cancer and a 9% higher rate of kidney or renal cancers. Women also had a 7% higher rate of breast cancer. 

There was some good news. Military members had higher cancer survival rates than the general population, for which the study credited  regular medical screenings and military fitness requirements. Also, air crews had lower rates of bladder and colon cancers while both ground and air crews had far lower rates of lung cancer than the general population.

Because this study couldn’t control for things like genetics and lifestyle factors, the results don’t prove a causal link between military aviation and cancer. However, aviation crews have long sought an explanation for high rates of cancer they’d observed among their colleagues. They want the Pentagon to examine environmental factors such as exposure to jet fuels and solvents used in maintenance as well as sensors and radar systems.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Confidence in banks shaken worldwide after SVB closure

Yesterday, the Swiss government brokered a deal to entice Swiss banking giant to buy out its troubled competitor Credit Suisse. Ultimately, UBS purchased Credit Suisse, worth about $8 billion, for just $3 billion. The Swiss central bank further sweetened the deal for UBS by ponying up over $100 billion in insurance. The buyout became necessary to save Credit Suisse when the bank’s plan to borrow $54 billion last week failed to calm depositors and investors.

The historic deal came 10 days after the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank rattled the markets. Markets still remain shaky days after with investors wondering which bank will fold next. Last week, a coalition of big name banks stepped in to shore up First Republic Bank, a regional lender in New York. Banks like Citigroup, JPMorgan, Bank of America, and Morgan Stanley chipped in $30 billion to restore confidence in First Republic.

New reporting has it that the Federal Reserve had concerns about SVB’s finances going back four years before it collapsed. When the Fed embarked on its program of raising interest rates to curb inflation last year, they were well aware that doing so might destabilize the bank.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!


Over half of Mississippians struggling to pay household bills, the most in the nation.

FAA seeks to address string of near-collisions at US airports.

Poland, Slovakia to send Soviet-era jets to Ukraine.



Over half of Mississippians struggling to pay household bills, the most in the nation

A recent Household Pulse Survey by the Census Bureau found that more than half of Mississippians (52.9%) are struggling to pay typical household bills. This is the highest percentage in the nation and the only one over 50%. Mississippi narrowly edges out neighboring Alabama which came in second at 49.7% and far exceeds the national average of 39.7%. 

Over that same period (the week of Feb. 4-13), Mississippi was 5th in the nation at 48.6% among states whose residents fear eviction or foreclosure in the next two months. Mississippians also led in the category of householders that were unable to pay an energy bill in full in the last 12 months with 30.5%.

Median household income is the lowest in the nation at $46,637, far below the national average of $70,784. Recent data shows that Mississippi has the highest poverty rate in the nation with 19.07%.

State Republicans suddenly remember this is an election year

During the pandemic, states received millions in federal dollars to help people get through the economic downturn. Despite the great need, average Mississippians received far less help than people in other states. Instead, the state government decided to use this windfall to push for income tax cuts.

While income tax reduction is popular in the state (62%), the suspension of the state’s 7% grocery tax is far more popular (74%). Mississippi is one of the few states to tax groceries and has the highest rate of any of them. Grocery taxes disproportionately burden the poor while income tax cuts disproportionately benefit the wealthy. But the state’s Republican leadership hasn’t considered using the state’s surplus to cut grocery taxes, despite rising food costs. 

State legislators recently narrowly rejected proposals that would have eliminated income taxes in the state. This means the stalled bills likely won’t move forward in this year’s legislative session. However, House Ways and Means Chairman Trey Lamar said the bills’ failure was “more of a timing issue with some of these representatives as opposed to any real opposition to income tax elimination. Coming off the heels of last year’s income tax bill, and this being an election year, there are a few that would just prefer to wait a little longer before making further cuts”.

Reeves believes life begins at conception, but when does it end?

In a rare win for public welfare in the state, Gov. Reeves has just signed a bill to extend Medicaid coverage to new mothers and babies from 60 days after birth to 12 months.

Mississippi has some of the worst rates of infant mortality and maternal mortality in the country. Until Reeves signed this latest bill, Mississippi was the only state in the nation that had neither extended Medicaid coverage for new mothers nor expanded Medicaid eligibility overall. 

Reeves touted expanding Medicaid coverage for new moms and babies to 12 months as being in line with the state’s pro-life stance. However, Reeves was quick to remind us he still opposes expanding eligibility for Medicaid for low-income families under Obamacare. Maybe Reeves thinks life ends at 12 months?


FAA seeks to address string of near-collisions at US airports

So far in 2023, there have been at least nine near-collisions of commercial airplanes at eight US airports. That number may seems small in light of the fact that there are about 45,000 flights taking off each day. But when you consider the hundreds of lives put at risk each time, even one near-miss is unacceptable.

The circumstances vary in each case, but in some instances, the near-miss was the result of air traffic control clearing two planes to use the same runway. This was the case in the most dramatic near-collision in Austin, TX, in which a FedEx cargo plane came within 100 feet of a Southwest Airlines passenger plane. Controllers had cleared the FedEx plane to land on the same runway where the Southwest Airlines flight was taking off. In this case, it was the quick thinking of the FedEx pilot that averted disaster, rather than any action by air traffic control.  

On Wednesday, FAA held an emergency summit this week, its first in 14 years, to discuss the issue. The panel of aviation experts cited low staffing numbers at the FAA and a lack of experience among new hires as a major factor. The staffing issues come at the same time that US demand for air travel is surging, making accidents and near-accidents more likely.

It may also be significant that 8 of the 9 incidents took place after an outage of the FAA’s automated NOTAM (Notice to Air Missions) system which notifies pilots of potential hazards they may encounter during their flights. The NOTAM system went dark late in the night of Jan. 10 and grounded all flights in the US for two hours the following morning. An investigation found that the outage was the result of FAA contractors deleting files.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Poland, Slovakia send Soviet-era jets to Ukraine

After nearly a year of requests from Kiev, Poland yesterday agreed to send about a dozen Soviet-era MiG-29 fighter jets to Ukraine. Today, Slovakia followed suit, promising 13 MiG-29s. At the time of Russia’s invasion last year, Ukraine had several dozen MiG-29s that it had retained following the collapse of the Soviet Union. It’s not clear how many of these remain in service over a year later.

According to Slovakia’s Defense Minister, the European Union is offering Slovakia 200 million euros ($213 million) in compensation for giving the jets to Ukraine. Slovakia will also receive $745 million in unspecified arms from the US, the minister said. There’s no reporting on whether Poland is receiving similar compensation for its pledge. However, Poland’s Defense Minister did mention that they would be replacing their MiGs with South Korean and American-made fighter jets.

The White House says it was informed of Poland’s decision before it was announced. Biden has long been under pressure to give Ukraine F-16s, a request the US has so far steadfastly refused. National Security advisor John Kirby neither endorsed nor condemned Poland and Slovakia’s decision, but said it would have no bearing on the US position on sending F-16s. 

Unlike F-16s, Ukraine’s fighter pilots require no additional training to fly MiG-29s. But maintaining them may pose a problem. Slovakia had previously grounded its MiG-29 fleet due to difficulties obtaining spare parts and the departure of Russian maintenance workers.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!

White House: “No indication” three high-altitude “objects” recently shot down are extraterrestrial.

Georgia judge orders partial release of report on Trump election interference.

Turkey arrest building contractors after deadly quake; toll passes 36,000.



White House: “No indication” three high-altitude “objects” recently shot down are extraterrestrial

White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre clarified to reporters today that there was “no indication of aliens or extraterrestrial activity” connected with three high altitude objects shot down in as many days over Canadian and US airspace.

Last Friday, White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby announced a US jet had shot down an object floating at around 40,000 feet over Alaskan. Kirby said the object was about the size of a small car and had no propulsion and was floating “at the mercy of the wind”. An unidentified source also described that object as “cylindrical and silver-ish gray”.

On Saturday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed that Canadian and US pilots had shot down another object. That object was also described as “cylindrical”, this time by an official source, namely Canadian Defense Minister Anita Anand.

Yesterday, the US Air Force shot down a third object over Lake Huron. Another unnamed US government source described this object as “octagonal” with strings attached but no discernible payload (that is, it didn’t appear to be carrying external equipment).

General’s comments fuel speculation

Jean-Pierre’s comments were likely in response to comments by Air Force General and NORAD commander Glen VanHerck following Sunday’s takedown. At a press conference, reporters also asked VanHerck if an extraterrestrial origin for the objects had been ruled out. “I will let the intel community and the counterintelligence community figure that out,” VanHerck answered. “I haven’t ruled anything out at this point. We continue to assess.”

When asked if the objects were balloons, VanHerck responded, “I’m not going to categorize them as balloons. We’re calling them objects for a reason”. Other comments from VanHerck served to explain why the military is detecting more of these objects than previously. Following the incursion of a Chinese spy balloon that floated across the US a couple of weeks ago, NORAD retuned its radar settings to detect smaller and slower moving objects.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).

Related: China says US balloons have breached Chinese airspace at least 10 times in the past year.


Georgia judge orders partial release of report on Trump election interference

Late last month, Georgia judge Robert McBurney heard a request from several media outlets to publish the findings of a grand jury probe into efforts by Trump and his allies to overturn Biden’s 2020 election win in Georgia. Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis, who led the probe, argued against releasing the report. Willis said that she wanted to protect the integrity of any potential prosecutions in the case. During that hearing, Willis said decisions on indictments were “imminent”.

Today, Judge McBurney ruled that due to overwhelming legitimate public interest, three sections of the report should be made public this week, regardless of DA Willis’ timeline. Included in the release will be the report’s introduction and conclusion and a section in which the grand jury “discusses its concern that some witnesses may have lied under oath during their testimony”. McBurney ordered Willis to release those three sections this Thursday.

During months of closed door hearings, the grand jury called several prominent Trump allies to testify, including Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC). The grand jury also heard from Georgians involved in the plot to set up a fake slate of pro-Trump electors. Trump himself was not called to testify.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Turkey arrest building contractors after deadly quake; toll passes 36,000

Turkish officials have issued arrest warrants for about 130 major building contractors whose buildings toppled during the 7.8 and 7.5 magnitude earthquakes last Monday. It’s not clear how many of these contractors have actually been arrested as many of them likely fled the country in the past week.

One contractor, Mehmet Yaşar Coşkun, was nabbed at one of Istanbul’s major airports as he was about to catch a flight out of the country. Coşkun’s brother and business partner, Hüseyin Yalçin Coşkun, was last known to be in Montenegro and has gone off the grid. The Coşkun brothers’ “earthquake-proof” luxury building in Antakya toppled over and entombed many of its occupants. Days after the quake, rescuers using thermal imaging could see that many of the trapped occupants were still alive, but dying of injuries, as well as cold, hunger and thirst. The building’s construction makes it all but impossible to save them since rescuers do not have the right heavy equipment. 

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has a long history of granting “amnesties” to contractors who buildings were not up to code. These amnesties were preferentially granted to contractors with ties to Erdogan’s nationalist AKP party. The arrest warrants are a bit of political sleight of hand on Erdogan’s part. Anger has been growing in Turkey over the government’s response to the quake. Opposition figures are also reminding the public of the culture of corruption, negligence and nepotism in Erdogan’s government that allowed so many shoddily built constructions. 

The death toll in Turkey and Syria is now over 36,000. However, Martin Griffiths, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs, expects that the toll could eventually top 50,000.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).



Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!

 Tyre Nichols: 7 Memphis PD officers probed; More concerning revelations about MPD Chief Davis.

Biden to deliver State of the Union tonight with lackluster poll numbers.

Turkey-Syria earthquake: Death toll nears 8,000; conditions hamper rescue efforts.



Tyre Nichols: 7 Memphis PD officers probed; More concerning revelations about MPD Chief Davis

Memphis city attorney Jennifer Sink announced at a city council meeting that 7 MPD officers are currently under investigation in the death of Tyre Nichols last month. That brings the total number of officers fired or disciplined by the department to 13. Five officers have already been fired and charged with second-degree murder. A sixth officer, Preston Hemphill, was also recently fired. Hemphill’s violations related to his personal conduct, his truthfulness and his non-regulation use of his Taser. In the police bodycam footage of Nichols’ initial stop, Hemphill could be heard saying “I hope they stomp his ass”. The department also revealed that a 7th unnamed officer had been placed on administrative leave.

The investigation of the 7 police officers Ms. Sink referred to is apparently an internal MPD investigation to determine whether they violated department protocols. There’s no indication yet that any of them are facing a possibility of criminal charges.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice has opened an investigation of the MPD. Specifically, the DOJ is reviewing the department’s use of force policies and its use of special enforcement units. All five officers indicted in Nichols’ death were members of the now disbanded SCORPION unit.

More concerning revelations about MPD Chief Davis

There have already been concerns about MPD Chief Cerelyn Davis’ initial reluctance to disband SCORPION despite many violations, and her time leading a similarly infamous and brutal squad in Atlanta. Davis was fired from the Atlanta PD in 2008 for attempting to halt an underage sex crimes investigation into the husband of one of her colleagues. But Davis appealed her dismissal and the Atlanta PD rehired her three months later.

It now comes to light that after rejoining the APD, Davis helped establish an exchange program with the Israel National Police. When she later became police chief in Durham, NC, Davis’ prior involvement with this program alarmed local activists who successfully lobbied the city council to ban such exchanges for Durham officers.

Advocates for police reform say that these exchanges contribute to the over-militarization of US policing. Eran Efrati of the group Jewish Voice for Peace says that “what takes place during US-Israel police exchanges does nothing to keep our communities safe”. Instead, Efrati says, “participants witness real-life examples of repressive violence” against Palestinians by Israeli security officers.

Police reform advocate Alex Vitale says the training US police receive in Israel “encourages a warrior mindset” and “exposes them to practices that would be unconstitutional in the US”.

Since Davis became Memphis Police Chief in 2021, and particularly since the death of Tyre Nichols, community leaders have expressed skepticism about Davis’ commitment to police reform. Earle Fisher, a Memphis pastor and campaigner against police brutality, said of Davis, “She’s presented herself as very polished and diplomatic in her presentation; but that doesn’t change the substance of the philosophy that she uses”. 

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).

Biden to deliver State of the Union tonight with lackluster poll numbers

President Biden will deliver his State of the Union address tonight at 9pm ET/8pm CT. Many expect that he will use this opportunity to make the case for his ambition to serve a second term. Biden hasn’t officially announced whether he will seek a second term, but most believe such an announcement is inevitable. Going into the speech, Biden has been buoyed by some encouraging economic news. Unemployment remains very low and inflation, while still high, is showing signs of slowing. However, Biden is not exactly riding high in the most recent polls.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll has Biden’s approval at just 41%. This is not the lowest of his presidency; the same poll had him at just 36% approval in May and June of 2022. An ABC News/Washington Post poll shows that 4 in 10 Americans say they are worse off financially than when Biden took office. This is likely tied to inflation and may improve over the next two years. But perhaps most discouraging for Biden’s 2024 prospects is an AP-Norc poll that found just 37% of Democrats want Biden to seek a second term. Unlike the other polls, this figure is heading in the wrong direction for Biden. Before the midterms, 52% of Democrats wanted him to run again.

Names and faces to put to Biden’s policies

Tonight is Biden’s big chance to make his case for the American people. Several people have been invited tonight to help Biden make his points about what he hopes to accomplish. RowVaughn and Rodney Wells, the mother and stepfather of Tyre Nichols, will lend support to Biden’s police reform agenda. Brandon Tsay, who disarmed the Monterey Park mass shooter last month, will be the guest of First Lady Jill Biden. Tsay’s presence is likely to bolster Biden’s case for gun reform. 

Others who will be in attendance have a stake in some of Biden’s key policies on infrastructure, immigration, abortion, cancer and other medical research, climate change, technological advancement and manufacturing. Also in attendance will be the Ukrainian Ambassador to the US.

Biden is also expected to offer an olive branch to skeptical Republicans while also advocating for a more equitable tax system.



Turkey-Syria earthquake: Death toll nears 8,000; conditions hamper rescue efforts

We’re learning more today about the sheer scale of death and destruction from the earthquake in Turkey yesterday morning. Tonight, the death toll in in Turkey stands at 5,894 people with around 32,000 injured. Across the border in Syria, the death toll is at 1,932. The World Health Organization has estimated that the death toll may rise to around 20,000. There also remain thousands of people still alive trapped under rubble, some contacting loved ones with their cell phones.

Despite the tireless efforts of local professional and volunteer rescuers, as well as teams arriving from dozens of countries, work is progressing slowly. Rescue efforts are being hampered by bitterly cold and inclement weather, a lack of equipment, shortages of supplies including food and fuel, and strong incessant aftershocks. About every 20 minutes on average, strong aftershocks are occurring somewhere within the area. This makes debris unstable and rescue efforts more perilous.

Additionally, the strong earthquakes yesterday damaged critical infrastructure like roads and airport runways. This has made it more difficult to bring in people and equipment. In Syria, the ongoing civil war has also made it more difficult for rescuers and equipment to enter rebel-held areas. Workers in the rebel-held areas say the Assad government is blocking supplies from entering. 

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!


Savannah police, FBI search for toddler, missing 5 days. Pentagon struggles to address rising suicide rates. Russia strikes Kyiv in retaliation for Crimea bridge explosion.



Savannah police, FBI searching for toddler, missing 5 days

Quinton Simon, 20-months-old, was last seen in his playpen by his mother’s boyfriend, Daniel Youngkin, around 6am on Wednesday morning. Quinton’s mother, Leilani Simon, 20, reported him missing a little after 9:40am that day, shortly after she awoke. A call from the dispatcher to local police said Leilani believed her son could not have opened the door on his own and that someone must have come in and taken him. Police have since exhaustively searched the home and the surrounding area, including a swimming pool and nearby pond and woods.

Because police could not rule out the possibility of an abduction, the FBI has joined the investigation. Police have said they don’t suspect foul play at this time and have not named any suspects or persons of interest in the case. Quinton’s biological father was not in the area at the time of his disappearance, and police do not suspect a custody dispute. The boy’s parents, the mother’s boyfriend, and the child’s grandmother are all cooperating with detectives.

Disturbing details

There are several oddities in the case that have garnered media attention and rampant speculation on social media. Quinton, his 3-year-old brother Zayne, his mother and his mother’s boyfriend all apparently live with Leilani’s mother, Billie Jo Howell. Howell and her husband now have custody of both Quinton and Zayne. Court records show that in September, Howell had attempted to have her daughter and her daughter’s boyfriend evicted from the home. Last week, Howell said of her daughter, “I don’t know if I can trust her or I don’t. I just know I’m hurting and I want this baby home. He’s my baby”.

Quinton and Zayne’s babysitter Diana McCarta normally watches the boys at her home during the day and told reporters she was supposed to watch the boys that day. However, McCarta told reporters she’d received a text at 5:29 am Wednesday morning stating that she wouldn’t be babysitting that day. This was “kind of odd,” McCarta said, “because I have them even when [Leilani] doesn’t work”.

Although, Howell usually keeps the boys, Leiliani had been caring for them while Howell was away on a business trip. While Leilani was taking care of the boys, McCarta said, “I started seeing things that weren’t quite right”. McCarta claims, for example, that she’d seen the boys outside unsupervised while in their mother’s care.

Despite these ominous circumstances, police say they don’t yet have any reason to believe Quinton is dead and remain hopeful of finding him alive.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Pentagon struggles to address rising suicide rates

Since 9/11, four times as many veterans and active-duty military personnel have died by suicide as have died in combat, according to a 2021 study by the Cost of War Project. Between 2015 and 2020, suicides among active-duty service members have increased by 40%. In some postings, the number nearly doubled. 

The Cost of War study attributed the high suicide rates to service members’ “high exposure to trauma — mental, physical, moral, and sexual — stress and burnout, the influence of the military’s hegemonic masculine culture, continued access to guns, and the difficulty of reintegrating into civilian life”. In recent years, active service members are also increasingly contending with added stressors such as food insecurity and housing insecurity.

Although Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has acknowledged the problem and issued directives for mental health resources and quality of life improvements, service members still face many barriers when trying to get the help they need. The culture of self-sufficiency in the military means that service members fear stigma and consequences for their career if they seek help for their mental health. Even when they do request help, resources are stretched thin, and service members may have to wait weeks for their first appointment.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).

If you’re experiencing depression or thoughts suicide, help is available by calling or texting 988. You can also access an online chat at 988lifeline.org.



Russia retaliates for Crimea bridge explosion with missile launches missiles at Kyiv, other Ukrainian cities

On Saturday, an explosion destroyed part of the Kerch bridge which connects the Crimean Peninsula with Russia. Russia illegally annexed Crimea in 2014, and the Kerch bridge served as both a physical and symbolic reunification of Crimea with the Russian motherland. President Vladimir Putin personally attended its dedication. Since the invasion begin, the bridge has also been a major military supply artery for the Russian military.

It’s not clear as yet what caused the explosion. Russian authorities have blamed a truck bomb, but independent analysts have disputed the evidence for this. Some have speculated the Ukrainians may have used a special “drone boat” to attack the bridge. Whatever the case, Putin has branded the attack on the bridge an “act of terror” by Ukraine, and ordered today’s wide-ranging missile campaign across the country in retaliation.

Part of this relation included several missile strikes against the capital in Kyiv, the first in several months. In the early days of the invasion, Russia tried and failed to occupy Kyiv. For four hours, air raid sirens rang out in every region of Ukraine, apart from Crimea. Dozens of missile strikes targeted civilian and energy infrastructure in various cities, possibly signaling a major escalation in hostilities.

Click here for the full story (opens in new tab).


Please share any thoughts, comments or questions in the Comments section below!

Two Memphis men died in a traffic accident on I-22 west of New Albany shortly after 8 a.m. Friday while trying to help a stranded motorist.

Medical Examiner-Investigator Pam Boman said the accident is under investigation by the Mississippi Highway Patrol but could provide some preliminary information.

Antavius Shye, 20, and Keon Williams, 21, both of Memphis, were traveling east toward Tupelo when they saw a woman with a flat tire on the side of the road. They turned around and came back to help, parking their vehicle in front of the disabled car.

After moving the woman safely away from the road, they were attempting to help and standing near the edge of the road when both were struck by a passing pickup truck. Both died at the scene.

Boman said they were attached to the 658th Quartermaster Company in Tupelo and were on the way there for their weekend duty.

The truck driver immediately returned to the scene and neither the driver nor the woman were reported injured.

It will be up to results of the investigation as to whether charges are warranted.