Ukraine is the latest, student loans canceled and electric vehicles take the south

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Here are the headlines you need to know for Friday, February 18, 2022:


The Ukraine crisis is evolving by the hour, but President Joe Biden said Thursday the threat of invasion was still “very high.” The warning came as shelling intensified between Ukraine and Russian-backed separatists in the east of the country, which some say could serve as a pretext for an invasion. Russia, meanwhile, doubled down on its claim that it would not invade, but could take ‘military-technical’ action if the United States did not meet its demand to reduce the NATO presence. in Eastern Europe. Other regional leaders backed Russia up. “There will be no invasion tomorrow,” Belarusian leader Aleksandr G. Lukashenko said. NY TIMES


Uncertainty around the Ukraine crisis helped push the stock market down on Thursday. Major indexes fell and the market volatility index soared. In addition to the threat of war in Europe, which has produced a steady stream of ominous headlines to spook investors, markets continue to digest signals of a possible Federal Reserve rate hike in March. The Dow Jones had its worst day of the year so far with a drop of 622 points. The Nasdaq fell almost 3% and 85% of S&P 500 companies fell. Welcome to the post-pandemic economy. CNN

We can relate to the meltdowns


Omicron was the most infectious variant of COVID-19 to date, and as a result many more people got sick from it. Today, an influential model estimates that 73% of Americans are currently immune to omicron. This does not mean that future outbreaks are not possible, but it could mean that hospitalizations and deaths will continue to decline in the short term. However, public health experts insist on not letting our guard down, as COVID still kills more than 2,000 people a day. PA


The US Department of Education is writing off $415 million worth of student loan debt for a number of for-profit college borrowers. The action offers relief to 16,000 borrowers who attended private colleges such as DeVry University, which the agency said misled students about the likelihood of getting jobs with their degrees. The cancellation marks a victory for those calling on the Biden administration to write off student loan debt, but it falls far short of the more ambitious plans offered by lawyers and Biden himself during his campaign. CNBC

Finally something worth undoing


Automakers are building their electric vehicle manufacturing facilities, and the US South is quickly becoming a major hub. Ford Motor Co. said Thursday it would create 5,000 full-time jobs at an electric pickup truck plant and battery manufacturing plant in Tennessee. Nissan Motor Co. also broke big news by announcing that it plans to invest $500 million in overhauling its Mississippi assembly plant to build electric vehicles.


President Joe Biden plans to issue a long-awaited executive order next week that will ask federal agencies to come up with a cryptocurrency regulatory strategy. The order will address burning issues such as privacy, consumer protection and financial stability. Many agencies are already looking into crypto issues, but the order is expected to coordinate efforts across government and even between countries, which could give the nascent crypto industry a clearer picture of what to expect. to expect from the Biden administration. YAHOO FINANCE


Amazon and Visa grind their beef. The two global commerce giants have reached an agreement to allow customers to use Visa credit cards on the online retailer’s websites and stores. The row dates back to November, when Amazon stopped accepting UK-issued Visa cards due to high fees. These interchange fees are a problem for all retailers, from bodegas to big box stores to e-commerce giants, but few have the market power of Amazon. WSJ

Wellness story of the year


Thus, Tesla is again under the microscope of regulators. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched an investigation into complaints that Tesla cars brake unexpectedly. The ghost brakes issue is just the latest instance of the electric vehicle maker coming under scrutiny from regulators – and CEO Elon Musk is starting to feel harassed. The billionaire’s lawyer sent a letter to a federal judge on Thursday saying the Securities and Exchange Commission was waging a “campaign of harassment” against him. The SEC sued Musk in 2018 over a tweet it said constituted fraud, and he’s been feuding with the agency ever since. THE EDGE

hard brake


When omicron first came to the United States, it was widely believed that a 53,000-person anime convention in New York was a very popular event. However, a new CDC study found that a combination of vaccination, masking, and good air filtration spared many participants from spreading the highly infectious variant around the world. Early reports from the event criticized the costumed and bewigged fans, some of whom appear to be flouting the rules, but the agency confirmed there were only 16 documented cases of omicron at the convention. NY TIMES

In all honesty, they all wore anime masks


If you’ve ever found yourself blinded by a pair of too-bright headlights, now there’s hope that a fix is ​​coming to the United States. Federal safety regulators are giving the green light to a technology called “adaptive high beams,” which dims high beams when there is oncoming traffic. Apparently Europe has been using these special LED lights for years. In this case, the rule change came well before the deadline set in the bipartisan infrastructure package passed last year, but in the past the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has struggled to meet rollout deadlines. new regulations. CHEDDAR

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