All’s quiet on the Canadian front. All border blockades have ended, and CNN reports that the protests may end soon as Ottawa police consider no-go zones.
After the Canadian government gave banks the go-ahead to freeze protestors’ bank accounts, there was speculation that it could cause a bank run. We haven’t seen evidence of that, but Canada’s five major banks experienced major outages on Wednesday. Don’t read too much into it, but we’ll keep our eyes on it. If you’re in Canada, let us know if you’ve had bank trouble or are considering taking money out of the bank.
What the hell is happening to Canada’s banks right now? pic.twitter.com/NRjPWlG0GE
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) February 16, 2022
Meanwhile, the American protest convoy, which did not happen during the Super Bowl, may still become a reality. Maureen Steele of the “People’s Convoy” has been appearing on right-wing media to promote a convoy of supposedly 1,000 truckers that will begin February 23rd in Barstow, California, and is set to arrive in Washington, DC in March.
COVID-19: More regions are dropping mandates and vaccine passports. The latest in the US are Boulder County, Colorado and King County, Washington. Germany and Austria are lifting restrictions by spring, Singapore is lifting most travel restrictions, the Netherlands is going “back to normal closing times” but still recommends social distancing and mask-wearing, and the Israeli health ministry is recommending lifting travel restrictions. The CDC is set to loosen mask guidance next week.
Dr. Anthony Fauci is now saying it’s time to start “inching” toward normalcy without being reckless. “The fact that the world and the United States and particularly certain parts of the United States are just up to here with COVID – they just really need to somehow get their life back,” Fauci said. However, Denmark has already seen an increase in cases after lifting restrictions. We found an excellent Instagram slideshow that shows how to stay safe while mask policies change.
COVID-19 is blamed for killing more than 900,000 Americans, but we’ve suffered a total of 1 million “excess deaths” during the pandemic from conditions that arose or worsened as a result of infection, unreported COVID deaths, an uptick in car crashes, undetected medical conditions, and a shortage of donated blood.
Putin and Ukraine: Wednesday clearly wasn’t invasion day, but it may have been the start of the false flags the Biden administration has warned of. Either Russia or Ukraine blew up a kindergarten, but we’re not sure which. Russia blames Ukraine, Ukraine blames Russia.
Annnnd now we have pro-Russian and pro-Ukrainian social media accounts each accusing the other side of shelling a kindergarten pic.twitter.com/B9qnotks3J
— Steve Lookner (@lookner) February 17, 2022
The US government claims that Russia is lying about de-escalating and is actually sending more troops to the Ukrainian border. It’s also claiming that Russian hackers have already infiltrated Ukraine’s networks, with Ukraine experiencing its biggest cyberattack ever on Tuesday. In the meantime, the Russian parliament has asked Putin to recognize Russia-aligned regions of eastern Ukraine as independent states. Why is all of this happening? Vox explains why Putin may invade Ukraine.
If you’re an American citizen in Ukraine, you need to leave. Biden has made it very clear: if you’re an American abroad and in trouble, the US isn’t coming to save you.
Speaking of Biden, he gave a speech warning Americans that if Russia invades Ukraine, they’ll feel it at the pump, and he won’t “pretend this will be painless.”
The Russian Foreign Ministry is in full-on troll mode, asking western media outlets to publish a full list of dates that Russia will invade Ukraine so they can plan their vacations:
The Russian Foreign Ministry has called on Western media outlets to publish a full list of dates on which Russia will invade Ukraine for the year ahead, so Russian diplomats can schedule their vacations accordingly.
This is not satire. They did this
— Murad Gazdiev (@MuradGazdiev) February 16, 2022
Climate: A study published Monday in the journal Nature Climate Change says the megadrought in the western United States is the worst one in 1,200 years. The study shows that although the West would have still experienced a drought without human-induced climate change, its severity would have been about 60% less than what it is today if humans weren’t contributing to heating the planet.
Scientific American warns that we’re no more serious about the climate than we were before the pandemic. Corn-based ethanol is proven to be worse for the climate than gasoline.
Other News: A Quinnipiac poll shows that inflation is the top issue Americans are concerned with, followed by immigration, Covid, and the climate crisis. The Fed is considering a rate hike soon to pump the brakes on inflation, though that may have other consequences.
New @QuinnipiacPoll on what voters say is the most urgent issue facing America today:
Climate change (9%)
Election laws (8%)
Racial inequality (7%)
Health care (6%)
Foreign policy (4%)
Supreme Court (1%)
— Julia Jester (@JulesJester) February 16, 2022
Google is taking steps to prevent apps from tracking you on its Android mobile platform. But you’ll have to wait two years. On the other hand, facial recognition company Clearview AI is looking to expand beyond law enforcement.
The FBI is forming a new unit dedicated to addressing cryptocurrencies exploitation.
Did you know the US government stores 1.4 billion pounds of cheese in caves? We already knew that cheese is the perfect apocalypse prep, so no surprise there. You now have a new bug-out location. You’re welcome 😎
Wolves are being put back on the endangered species list, a reversal from Trump-era policy.
Scientists may have cured HIV in a woman for the first time, using a cutting-edge stem cell transplant method.
Animals may be able to warn you about disasters before they happen.