Tensions are racheting up once again in Ukraine. No sign of pro-Russian forces backing down as they continue to hold government buildings in 10 cities in Eastern Ukraine. Yesterday Ukraine launched a clearing operation that left at least 2 dead, and in response, Russia now says it will conduct "war games," with its huge buildup of forces on the Eastern Ukraine border. Secretary of State John Kerry says new sanctions are ready to go on Russia. Today Standard & Poor's credit agency has downgraded Russia's credit rating to just above junk as investors pull money out of Russia. The Russia Foreign Minister today says the U.S. is trying to control Ukraine.
President Obama is in South Korea today. In a news conference with the South Korean President, Obama says broad sanctions against large sectors of the Russian economy would be put into effect if Russia invades Eastern Ukraine.
The President also expressed America's condolences as South Korea deals with one of the worst accidents in its history. 300 people are dead or missing in the sinking of a ferry off the South Korean coast. Bodies continue to be pulled from the ship.
North Korea also came up today. The President warned an arms race could explode on the Korean peninsula if North Korea continues to pursue and test nuclear weapons. He called North Korea a threat to world peace.
The President departs for Malaysia tonight.
A speech by Hillary Clinton yesterday fueling speculation about her plans to possibly run for President in 2016. Hillary Clinton spoke at a womens' leadership conference in Boston. Clinton said, "If you really want to do something, if you believe you're the right person to do it, if you think that it could make a difference, then you have to be willing to compete, to get into the arena - knowing full well that it's going to be challenging, to say the least." Hmmm.
Huge outbreak of measles this year. We'll talk to a doc about it.
Washington Post reports on the nation's failing infrastructure. It reports 63,000 bridges are structurally deficient.
Oregon is throwing in the towel on running its own health care exchanges. Oregon expected to decide today to drop its disaster of a state-run health care exchange website, and link up with Healthcare.Gov. Officials say fixing the local site would have cost at least 78 million dollars. Oregon fully embraced Obamacare, but it's website has been an unmitigated disaster and has never successfully enrolled a single person.
Former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens says the U.S. should legalize marijuana. The retired justice says marijuana will be seen just like alcohol in the future, and banning marijuana is not worth the cost of law enforcement.
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- Clint Henderson