NYC Set to Break Weather Records 

New York City is known for many things and now is breaking some weather records.

Dubbed the city that never sleeps or the big apple, New York has broken a 50-year record — set on January 29, 1973 — for its latest-ever measurable winter snowfall.

Snow is highly unlikely Monday with temperatures expected to reach 10.5 degrees Celsius with mostly sunny conditions expected.

A few days later, the city could also break another record — 332 days without measurable snow, a record set on December 15, 2020.

The fallout from climate change? Probably.

But the snow may come yet. February is a notoriously unpredictable weather month and like the American musician Prince’s well known song goes… sometimes it snows in April.

Відбір директора НАБУ: 22 учасники переходять до фінішних етапів конкурсу

Як повідомив голова комісії Микола Кучерявенко, 30 січня завершили етапи тестування і переходять до перевірки доброчесності кандидатів та співбесід

TikTok CEO to Testify Before U.S. Congress Over Security Concerns

TikTok Chief Executive Shou Zi Chew will appear before the U.S. Energy and Commerce Committee in March, as lawmakers scrutinize the Chinese-owned video-sharing app.

Chew will testify before the committee on March 23, which will be his first appearance before a congressional committee, said Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the Republican chair of the panel, in a statement on Monday.

The news comes as the House Foreign Affairs Committee plans to hold a vote next month on a bill aimed at blocking the use of TikTok in the United States over national security concerns.

“ByteDance-owned TikTok has knowingly allowed the ability for the Chinese Communist Party to access American user data,” McMorris Rodgers said, adding that Americans deserve to know how these actions impact their privacy and data security.

TikTok confirmed on Monday Chew will testify.

TikTok said on Friday “calls for total bans of TikTok take a piecemeal approach to national security and a piecemeal approach to broad industry issues like data security, privacy, and online harms”.

McMorris Rodgers and other Republican lawmakers have demanded more information from TikTok. They want to know its impact on young people amid concerns about harmful content, and they want additional details on potential sexual exploitation of minors on the platform, the statement said.

For three years, TikTok – which has more than 100 million U.S. users – has been seeking to assure Washington that the personal data of U.S. citizens cannot be accessed and its content cannot be manipulated by China’s Communist Party or anyone else under Beijing’s influence.

The U.S. government’s Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), a powerful national security body, in 2020 ordered ByteDance to divest TikTok because of fears that U.S. user data could be passed onto China’s government.

CFIUS and TikTok have been in talks for more than two years aiming to reach a national security agreement to protect the data of U.S. TikTok users.

U.S. House panel to vote next month on possible TikTok ban

Генсек НАТО підтвердив, що Північна Корея постачала ракети «ПВК Вагнера»

За словами Єнса Столтенберґа, немає жодних ознак того, що президент Путін змінив свою загальну мету вторгнення

Ракетний удар по Дніпру: у лікарнях залишаються десять поранених, серед них є 9-річна дитина

Серед тих, хто лікується в стаціонарі, – семеро жінок і двоє чоловіків, а також дитина

Boris Johnson Says Putin Threatened Missile Strike in Call 

In a new BBC documentary, former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson says Russian President Vladimir Putin threatened Britain with a missile strike. Johnson says the conversation took place during a phone call in the run up to Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine in February of last year.

Johnson recalled the Russian leader saying, “It would only take a minute… Jolly.”

Johnson, however, said he did not take the threat seriously in their “extraordinary” call. “He was just playing along with my attempts to get him to negotiate,” Johnson said of Putin.

“It’s a lie,” a Kremlin spokesman told reporters about Johnson’s interpretation of the telephone conversation. “There were no threats of missiles.”

Johnson also told the BBC he tried to dissuade Putin from war, telling him Ukraine would not be joining NATO for the “foreseeable future.” Johnson also said he told the Russian leader that an invasion of Ukraine would lead to Western sanctions.

Johnson, who stepped down last year in the wake of a series of scandals, sought to position London as Ukraine’s top ally in the West.

While in office he visited Kyiv several times and called Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy frequently.

Philadelphia Eagles, Kansas City Chiefs to Meet in Super Bowl 57

The Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs will meet in the upcoming U.S. National Football League’s Super Bowl championship game.

The Eagles trounced the visiting San Francisco 49ers 31-7 Sunday in the National Football Conference title game. San Francisco’s offense suffered a key injury early in the game when rookie quarterback Brock Purdy suffered a serious elbow injury. Backup Josh Johnson filled in for Purdy until he was forced out in the third quarter when he suffered a concussion. With the 49ers out of quarterbacks, Purdy, who spent most of the season as the team’s third-string quarterback, returned to the game but was unable to throw deep passes.

Philadelphia quarterback Jalen Hurts, the favorite for the league’s Most Valuable Player award, ended the game with 121 passing yards and one of the Eagles’ four running touchdowns. The Eagles are heading back to the Super Bowl five years after beating the New England Patriots and their then-star quarterback Tom Brady.

Hours later, the Chiefs edged the visiting Cincinnati Bengals 23-20 to win the American Football Conference championship. Kansas City placekicker Harrison Butker made a 3-point field goal with just seconds left in regulation to send the franchise to its third Super Bowl appearance in four years. The Chiefs won the 2020 game 31-20 over the 49ers, but sustained a 31-9 rout one year later to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, led by none other than Tom Brady.

The Bengals were trying to beat the Chiefs in the AFC Championship Game for the second consecutive season.

The 57th edition of the Super Bowl will be held on February 12 in Glendale, Arizona, home of the NFL’s Arizona Cardinals franchise. The game started as a matchup between the old National Football League and its rival American Football League. The two leagues merged in 1970 under the NFL banner, and the Super Bowl has since become one of the sports world’s biggest championship events.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters and Agence France-Presse.

US Defense Officials Not Losing Sight of China, North Korea

Less than a week after helping secure billions of dollars in additional military assistance for Ukraine in its fight against Russia, including U.S.- and German-made battle tanks, top U.S. defense officials are shifting their focus to the Indo-Pacific and growing threats from China and North Korea. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is making his sixth official visit to the region, starting late Monday with high-level meetings in Seoul, followed by a visit to the Philippines to meet with recently elected President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. and his new national security leadership team. 

“The security environment in the Indo-Pacific is growing more complex, which we see day to day,” said a senior U.S. defense official, citing ever more aggressive behavior by both China and North Korea.   

Specifically, the official, who briefed reporters on the condition of anonymity under ground rules set by the Pentagon, cited a “a sharp uptick in destabilizing PRC [People’s Republic of China] operational behavior,” including what was described as “dangerous air-to-air intercepts” and Beijing’s use of “swarms of maritime militia vessels” in the South China Sea. 

U.S. defense officials also emphasized their concern about North Korea’s growing nuclear arsenal and its ongoing ballistic missile tests, calling the number of test launches unprecedented. 

Pyongyang’s bellicose behavior has stoked growing fears in South Korea, where President Yoon Suk Yeol earlier this month suggested that Washington might need to redeploy nuclear weapons to the peninsula or that Seoul could begin developing its own nuclear arsenal. 

Austin will use meetings Tuesday with Yoon and South Korean Defense Minister Lee Jong-sup to highlight Washington’s “ironclad extended deterrence commitment,” a second senior U.S. defense official said. 

But the official cautioned the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons to South Korea will not be on the table. 

“We are committed to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” the official said. “Our focus is emphasizing the importance of extended deterrence … that includes the full range of U.S. capabilities, including certainly our nuclear abilities, our conventional capabilities, as well as our missile defense.” 

  

It also includes increased cooperation and additional training, including a resumption later this year of U.S.-South Korean joint live-fire exercises on the peninsula following a hiatus of several years. 

“We are committed to doing more,” the official added.   

U.S. defense officials also expect to discuss Seoul’s support for Ukraine and ways the U.S. can deepen its cooperation with South Korea’s defense industry, which the officials praised as a world leader in advanced weaponry. 

Following his meetings in South Korea. Austin will fly to the Philippines, where he will meet with U.S. troops working with their Philippine counterparts in Zamboanga before looking to further cement ties with Manila over shared concerns about China.   

“We’ll be actively talking about what we can do together to address what has been a pretty notable period of harassment and coercion recently in the South China Sea,” said a third senior U.S. defense official, who like the others spoke on the condition of anonymity.   

After several years of tense discourse between Manila and Washington, the official said the Pentagon is seeing “a very positive upswing in the trajectory of the relationship.”   

According to U.S. officials, the Pentagon sees the Philippines as a crucial part of a growing alliance of countries across the Indo-Pacific aimed at pushing back against Beijing, both with and without U.S. help.   

And at the Pentagon, there is hope Austin’s visit will enable both countries to build upon previous defense agreements, including 2014’s Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement, and help Manila modernize its forces and pivot from its ongoing counterterrorism mission so it can better confront Beijing.   

“[Austin] will reiterate publicly what we have been very clear about, which is that our treaty commitments do apply in the South China Sea and that an armed attack on Philippine forces or vessels or aircraft in the South China Sea would be relevant to the defense treaty commitments that we have,” the official said.   

Already, the Philippines is one of a handful of countries that gets critical maritime information and intelligence through a new U.S. initiative. And U.S. officials are also hoping to expand cooperation in Manila in the areas of space and cyberspace. 

Уряд опублікував постанову, якою визначаються підстави для виїзду чиновників за кордон

У постанові визначені категорії посадовців, які можуть перетинати кордон на підставі рішень про службові відрядження. Також визначаються винятки для виїзду