World leaders scramble after Putin orders forces into separatist regions of Ukraine
World leaders scrambled Tuesday to condemn Russian President Vladimir Putin — and to signal possible sanctions — after he ordered his forces into separatist regions of eastern Ukraine. Didier Reynders, a top European Union official, said that Russia’s recognition of Luhansk and Donetsk as independent states and sending troops into the territories was an “act of war”. He said the EU is ready to implement sanctions against Russia. President Joe Biden signed an executive order Monday to sanction any Americans who invest in Donetsk and Luhansk, according to White House press secretary Jen Psaki. The move comes after Putin signed decrees recognizing the two breakaway areas as independent, further inflaming tensions with the West amid fears of a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Kremlin said Putin also ordered Russian forces to “maintain peace” in eastern Ukraine. Quickly after Putin signed the decree, convoys of armored vehicles were seen rolling across the separatist-controlled territories. It wasn’t immediately clear if they were Russian. Biden’s order will bar Americans from new investment, trade and financing to, from or in the regions, according to the statement.
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Arctic cold front to bring bitter temperatures, heavy snow to parts of US
After much of the nation enjoyed a mild weekend, frigid weather is on the way for a large chunk of the country this week, forecasters said, warning of “dangerously cold wind chills” over portions of the central USA. Over the next few days, temperatures will be 20 to 30 degrees below average across the nation’s northern tier, the National Weather Service said. Several locations could see record-breaking cold. Across Nebraska, wind chills Tuesday will dip as low as 40 degrees below zero, which can cause frostbite to exposed skin “in as little as 10 minutes,” the weather service said. Heavy snow is expected from the Dakotas into the Upper Great Lakes, and the southern USA faces threats of possible flooding and tornadoes from the severe weather.
End of 3G service: AT&T will shut down its 3G network. How will it affect you?
AT&T will shut down its 3G network on Tuesday, which means multiple older smartphones and countless other devices will no longer work. Verizon was the first to launch a 3G network in the U.S. in 2002, during a time when the BlackBerry was the top smartphone to own and we were five years away from the arrival of the iPhone. If you own a 3G phone or a phone that doesn’t support HD Voice calls, then it will no longer make or receive calls or text messages, or use any services requiring wireless data. And those devices can’t dial 911. The Federal Communications Commission advises visiting your wireless carrier to determine whether your phone is affected.
New Jersey residents will find out if their drinking water is coming through lead pipes
More than 180,000 residents across New Jersey will be notified by Tuesday that drinking water is coming into their homes through lead pipes, state officials said. The properties with known lead service lines are scattered throughout hundreds of water systems throughout the state, but they tend to be in older communities where lead was often used before its toxic properties were fully known. Water utility providers are required to send notification via certified mail by Feb. 22 as part of a bill package signed into law last year by Gov. Phil Murphy. The law also forces providers to replace all lead pipes that stretch from water mains into a home within the next decade. “There is no safe level of lead in drinking water or elsewhere,” Shawn LaTourette, the state environmental commissioner, said last week. “We have to eliminate it where we find it, period.”
It’s ‘Twosday!’ No matter where you are in the world, today’s palindrome date is the same
The deuces are wild today as one of the grandest palindromes of 2022 arrives on Tuesday, the day unofficially known as “Twosday.” Feb. 22, 2022, written out numerically is 2/22/22. Not only is it a palindrome because it reads the same forward and backward, but what makes it special is the date has all twos. It will also be the same no matter what part of the world you’re in, regardless if your country uses the day-month-year or year-month-day format. The date is so rare the National Weather Service says a “Twosday” won’t happen again for another 400 years in 2422. The ultimate palindrome will occur at 2:22 a.m. or p.m., or at 22:22 military time. “Twosday” is just one of several palindrome dates going on this week. Beginning on Monday, each day for the rest of the month is a palindrome, using the United States’ date notation.
Contributing: The Associated Press