The National Weather Service in Buffalo warned that heavy, lake-effect snow would impact areas near Lake Erie on Wednesday, January 26.This footage taken by Denis Kreze on Wednesday morning shows freezing waters and snowy shorelines just across the US border in Fort Erie, Ontario, before showing ice floating down the Niagara River, Kreze said. Credit: Denis Kreze via Storyful
"They (Federal Reserve) were behind the curve and that's why all of a sudden there's somewhat hawkish," said Cardillo.The Federal Reserve on Wednesday signaled it is likely to raise U.S. interest rates in March and reaffirmed plans to end its bond purchases that month before launching a significant reduction in its asset holdings.
"I think the worst of the of the decline is probably behind us. That doesn't mean that we can't, you know, have negative days due to the headlines out of Eastern Europe," said Cardillo.
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department continued its winter tradition of restocking waterways with fish, supplying 1,000 rainbow trout to a pond in eastern Texas on Wednesday, January 26.This footage, posted on the official Facebook page for the city of Mount Pleasant, shows fish being released into a popular three-acre public fishing pond at Heritage Park. The initiative provides residents with ample trout-angling opportunities.The restock, which began on November 24, is expected to end in early March. Credit: Texas Parks and Wildlife Department via Storyful
Pope Francis said Wednesday that parents of children with different sexual orientations should not condemn them, but instead offer them support.The pope spoke in unscripted comments at his weekly audience about difficulties parents can face.POPE FRANCIS (Italian): "...parents who see different sexual orientations in their children and how to handle this, how to accompany their children, and not hide behind an attitude of condemnation."He has previously said that gay people have a right to be accepted by their families as children and siblings.And while he has also said that the Church cannot accept same-sex marriage, he's said it can support civil union laws aimed at giving gay partners some joint rights.Last year, however, the Vatican's doctrinal office issued a document saying that Catholic priests cannot bless same-sex unions, a ruling that greatly disappointed gay Catholics.In some countries, like Germany and the U.S., ministers had begun blessing same-sex unions in lieu of marriage, and there have been calls for bishops to de facto institutionalize these.But conservatives in the 1.3 billion-member Church have said the pope is giving mixed signals on homosexuality, confusing some of the faithful.Last month, a Vatican department apologized "for causing pain to the entire LGBTQ community" for removing a link to resources from a Catholic gay rights advocacy group from its website. The Catholic church teaches that homosexuals should be treated with respect and that, while same-sex acts are sinful, same-sex tendencies are not.
Blinken said the document, handed over in person by U.S. ambassador to Moscow John Sullivan, addressed Russia's concerns and raised those of the United States and its allies.He told reporters the response sets out a serious diplomatic path forward, should Russia choose it, and has a principled and pragmatic evaluation of Moscow's concerns. He added that the United States was open to dialog."Putting things in writing is ... a good way to make sure we're as precise as possible, and the Russians understand our positions, our ideas, as clearly as possible. Right now, the document is with them and the ball is in their court," he said.Washington has made clear that Russian demands for NATO to pull back troops and weapons from eastern Europe and bar Ukraine from ever joining are non-starters, but says it is ready to discuss other topics such as arms control and confidence-building measures.Whether President Vladimir Putin is prepared to accept that limited agenda will determine the next phase of the crisis, in which Moscow has massed around 100,000 troops near the border with Ukraine while denying it plans to invade.
Several people were injured after an explosion at a chemical plant outside Lake Charles, Louisiana, shook the wider area and sent large plumes of dark smoke through the air on Wednesday morning, January 26, local media reported.The explosion occurred at a plant operated by Westlake Chemical at 10:45 am and involved an empty ethylene dichloride tank, according to KPLC, citing plant officials.This footage from Roishetta Sibley Ozane, a Community Organizer for Healthy Gulf, an organization that promotes environmental protection in Louisiana, shows plant workers gathered on roadsides after evacuations were carried out.Westlake Chemical spokesman Joe Andrepont said six people sustained non-life-threatening injuries, KPLC reported.Storyful has reached out to Westlake Chemical for more information. Credit: Roishetta Sibley Ozane via Storyful
Whale watchers enjoyed a close encounter with a beautiful fin whale off the coast of Dana Point, California.This drone video from boat tour agency Capt Dave’s Whale Watching, posted on January 25, shows the whale swimming near their boat.“We love encountering these ‘greyhounds of the sea,’ who are often curious and friendly toward our boats,” wrote Capt Dave’s Whale Watching. “With fin whales, humpbacks, and gray whales all being sighted in the last several days, it’s absolutely a ‘fintastic’ time for whale watching off Dana Point.”Fin whales are the second-largest whale species after blue whales, according to the NOAA, weighing between 40 to 80 tons and measuring from 75 to 85 feet. The species is classified as endangered. Credit: Capt. Dave’s Whale Watching via Storyful
A spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces said on January 26 that the group had regained “entire control” of al-Sina’a prison in Hasakah, days after the facility was attacked by Islamic State.Video released by YPJ Rojava showed what were described as “surrendering” Islamic State members, while separate video, released by the media arm of Kurdish-led YPG forces, showed its troops inside the prison. SDF footage also showed what it described as “the liberation of a number of civilian prisoners.”The update came a day after the SDF said they had regained partial control of the prison.The prison houses thousands of suspected IS members, as well as nearly 700 children, according to aid agencies. Credit: YPG Press Office via Storyful
At least 12 people were injured and 40 vehicles were damaged or crashed on January 23 when a snowplow driving on an inside lane of the Ohio Turnpike sent heavy snow flying over the median into oncoming traffic, local media reported.Dashcam footage circulated by the Ohio State Highway Patrol showed a trooper tending to motorists and inspecting vehicles, including one car stuck in a ditch after being hit by the arc of snow and ice.Still pictures show the damage to some of the vehicles involved in the incident, among them trucks, a van, and several passenger cars. Twelve non-life-threatening injuries were noted by troopers.The driver of the snowplow was identified as Timothy S Rakay. Rakay, who has been placed on administrative leave, was not injured and is cooperating with authorities. The investigation is ongoing and charges are pending a review by the Erie County Prosecutor, the highway patrol said. Credit: Ohio State Highway Patrol via Storyful
Japan's beloved Umaibo snack is going up in pricefor the first time in 43 yearsIn 1979, the corn puff snack was priced at 10 yenfrom April it will cost 12 yen, or $0.11The Umaibo snack, meaning 'delicious stick'had defined Japan's low growth for decadesby keeping its price unchangedNow, Japanese companies are being squeezedas the weak yen drives up import costsand raw material costs increase 63-YEAR-OLD STOCK CLERK AT SNACK SHOP KAWAHARA SHOTEN, TAKESHI NEMOTO, SAYING:"There's nothing we can do. From a producer's point of view, they cannot secure profit anymore unless they raise the price. This will also create problems for cheap snacks in the future because I think they will find it hard to survive as an attractive cheap product."(SOUNDBITE) (Japanese) 51-YEAR-OLD HOUSEWIFE, NAOMI HOSAKA, SAYING:"I never imagined an impact on cheap snacks, something that kids can easily buy, so I'm a bit sad and surprised."
These leafy greens are part of one of the biggest ever deals in the indoor farming business.Retail giant Walmart announced it is investing in indoor vertical farm Plentyas part of a $400 million funding round and will be buying leafy greens from them for its stores in California.Plenty CEO Arama Kukutai said the company was able to increase yield by 700% in two yearsin its leafy green growing rooms.Walmart said this path to yield is absolutely critical,having chosen Plenty over nearly a dozen other indoor farms, and sees this as an environmentally sustainable way of farming.The fact that Plenty also has a path to growing strawberries and cherry tomatoes at scale, and not just leafy greens, is another advantage.Plenty isn't alone in raising big funds in recent months.In May New York-based indoor vertical farming startup Bowery Farming raised $300 million.Still, others have struggled. AeroFarms said in October its deal to list on the stock market through a blank check company was terminated.
As Russia amassed over 100,000 troops near the Ukrainian border on Tuesday, civilians and pro-Russian separatist fighters in Ukraine’s Luhansk region said they feared what might lay ahead.A Russian military build-up within the reach of Ukraine and a barrage of threatening rhetoric have rattled the West in recent weeks, sparking fears Moscow may use military force to stop Ukraine from moving any closer to the West and NATO.Emergencies Ministry employee and Luhansk resident Rostislav, who did not provide his surname, describes living on the front line."We live so badly! There is no water. Thanks to the military, they gave me some wood. Do you see how we live here? // You are on the front line now. No one knows what happens at night. They will smash us and that's all. Where should we go? We live here. We were born here."Alexander, former chef turned-separatist fighter, hoped future generations in Luhansk would not experience conflict."First of all, for me, it means people will breathe out and live a normal life as well as their children. I am young. I don't want the students who are studying now to take my place. I understand what it means (the war) , and I don't want people to see it."Russia's ruling United Russia party will ask the country's leadership to deliver unspecified military supplies to two pro-Moscow separatist regions in eastern Ukraine, senior lawmaker Vladimir Vasilyev said on Wednesday (January 26).The statement came amid global tensions over a Russian troop buildup near its ex-Soviet neighbor. Vasilyev said the move was needed to ensure the safety of Russians living in the regions.
Clashes broke out at Ukraine’s parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, in Kyiv on Tuesday, January 25, as crowds rallied in favor of protections for small businesses.Police said 18 officers and 3 protesters were injured as a number of demonstrators tried to break through police lines and enter the Verkhovna Rada, prompting officers to push back.Sixty-three people were detained, police said.The protest was organized by SaveFOP, an organization that “argues planned tax reforms would hurt small businesses,” according to Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the US-funded news organization that shot this footage. FOP is an abbreviation of the Ukrainian term for an individual entrepreneur, and is akin to “sole proprietorship” in the United States or “sole trader” in the United Kingdom, according to Ukrainian legal professionals.Additionally, Kyiv police released security-camera video to dispel rumors that one demonstrator had died, after SaveFOP organizers posted two videos on Facebook showing a man receiving medical care on a street and wrote that he was “allegedly murdered and taken away by police.”In response, police said: “This information is untrue and refuted after watching CCTV cameras. The man, who lost consciousness, was given first aid by police and the National Guard, after which he and a friend left the scene on their own.”Demonstrators returned to the Verkhovna Rada, on Wednesday, though in smaller numbers and with no reports of violence. Credit: Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty via Storyful
Disney’s Princesses are coming back home to Mattel. The toymaker said Wednesday it has snatched back the rights to make toys based on Disney’s Princess lineup and “Frozen” franchise from archrival Hasbro. It did not disclose financial terms of the agreement. Licensing deals are crucial for toymakers, especially amid the health crisis. Demand for dolls and action figures soared to record highs as parents spent more on toys to keep children entertained at home. It was seven years ago that Mattel lost the license to Hasbro. Mattel refocused by refurbishing its Barbie brand, launching dolls with different skin tones and a range of gender-neutral dolls. Hasbro, for its part, said it has renewed its licensing deal with Disney’s Lucasfilm for “Star Wars” and would restart making products based on “Indiana Jones.” Shares of Mattel jumped 8% at the market open Wednesday. Hasbro fell.
The last thing they need: Lebanon is witnessing harsh snow storms this winteramid an economic meltdown that has pushed many people into poverty, and left them unable to afford diesel oil to warm their homes.Here in Kfarshouba, a remote village in southern Lebanon, Miled Nohra has had to rely on the local forest, because his earnings are in a badly devalued local currency."This winter I'm using wood, because I can't afford the cost of diesel oil. A diesel oil barrel is very expensive, it costs $145, and they only accept dollars, while I earn in Lebanese pounds."Residents say the storms have blocked roads, making it hard to get food and medicines from larger towns.The head of the municipality, Hachem al-Kadiri, says people are struggling."The situation was already bad even before the snow arrived, with the coronavirus, the rise in prices, a lack of diesel oil, the rise in the exchange rate and decrease of citizens' purchasing power. Then snow came in addition to all of this and people and the municipality are suffering from a fuel crisis. People need at least a barrel a month to keep warm in this very cold weather."The World Bank ranks Lebanon's crisis as one of the worst the world has seen since the mid-19th century.It began in 2019, the result of a poorly managed spending binge and squabbling leaders.Foreign lenders are reluctant to bail the country out unless it reforms.About 80% of the population is now considered poor.
Weapons sent by the United States arrived at Ukraine’s Boryspil International Airport on January 25, RFE/RL reported.The shipment weighed approximately 80 tons, according to the Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov.US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken said, “Our delivery of defensive security assistance to Ukraine today will bolster Ukraine’s defenses in the face of Russian aggression.”This footage was published by RFE/RL, and includes comments from the acting US ambassador to the Ukraine, Kristina Kvien, and Ukrainian Deputy Defense Minister Rostyslav Zamlynskiy. Kvien said, “If President Putin decides to make this reckless choice, we will provide additional defensive material to the Ukrainians above and beyond what we have already sent.”Zamlynskiy thanked the United States for its “support in our fight to defend our sovereignty and independence.” Credit: RFE/RL via Storyful
An adorable rescued ocelot tried to swipe some grass from outside her enclosure at a Bolivian wildlife sanctuary.Footage posted to YouTube by Natalia Cara de Medeiros shows the curious ocelot, which she said was rescued from the black market, poking out her paw to try take hold of the grass just beyond her reach at La Senda Verde, a wildlife refuge in Yolosa.“The grass is always greener on the other side,” she captioned the video.De Medeiros said in the video’s description that the ocelot seen in the clip lives with another ocelot, and usually spends her time exploring their enclosure, but that she will sometimes come over to the “switch area” to interact with her caretakers. Credit: Natalia Cara de Medeiros via Storyful
This is how the Berlinale bears are madeFine art foundry Hermann Noack has produced the bronze castfor the prestigious bear awards ever since 1951The original design was by German sculptress Renée SintenisEighteen films will compete for the coveted Golden Bearat this year’s Berlin Film Festivalwhich is returning as a slimmed-down in-person eventLOCATION: Berlin, GermanyThe festival, also known as the 'Berlinale', begins on Feb. 10and culminates in an awards ceremony on Feb. 16
At his private farm, Uganda's President Yoweri Museveni is admiring his herd.And it's cattle that forms part of how he wants the East African country to grow as it recovers from the global health crisis.He says he wants to expand the meat, dairy and leather trade and add value to other agricultural exports such as coffee."We don't import milk, we don't import beef. We have now built a leather industry for the shoes. So, it's really a big form of wealth."The East African nation, which imposed some of the continent's toughest lockdown restrictions, began lifting measures - including opening schools - at the start of the year.But now international programs designed to offer relief to indebted countries are starting to expire.That's also against the backdrop of several years of reduced Chinese lending to the continent."Uganda can do much better without borrowing, in my opinion."Museveni - who has been widely accused by opposition critics and rights campaigners of using security forces to suppress opposition to his rule - says Uganda want to reduce its borrowing.Total public debt was $19.5 billion by June 2021 - up 27.4% from $15.3 billion a year before. Around $12.4 billion of that is external debt."I do not think it is good Christianity, or even good economics to impoverish your customer." Museveni reiterated that he would like richer nations to cancel debts from African countries who are economically recovering."By canceling this debt to these people, that money will be spent here, the money we are paying them now, and once the Ugandans have money in their pocket, they will buy more products. Some of the products are from those countries."Museveni said the economy has been growing by roughly 4% - and that's without areas like tourism amid the health crisis.He said now that elements like transport and hotels are opening up, he expects the economy will resume "fast growth".
The Australian government said on Wednesday it will provide an additional A$2 million ($1.43 million) in humanitarian funding to Tonga, bringing Australia's commitment to date to $3 million.It also said that Australia is widening its support, including through the restoration of power and communications, and the storage and delivery of relief supplies.An Australian warship arrived to coronavirus-free Tonga on Wednesday evening, delivering aid without human contact after about two dozen cases of COVID-19 have been recorded among the crew.The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano eruption triggered a tsunami that destroyed villages and resorts and knocked out communications for the nation of about 105,000 people. Three people have been reported killed, authorities said.
Apple has become the top-selling smartphone vendor in China for the first time in six years.That's according a report by industry experts on Wednesday (January 26).Counterpoint Research said two key factors helped Apple in the fourth quarter: the impact of U.S. sanctions on major competitor Huawei, and a lower starting price in China.Year-on-year, Huawei saw a drop of 68% in its unit sales, while Apple's jumped by nearly a half. The U.S. giant's success coincided with the release of the iPhone 13.The new model helped Apple reach a record smartphone market share of 23%.Its unit sales volume grew almost a third even as total smartphone sales fell in China.The last time Apple was China's top-selling smartphone brand was in late 2015 - just after it launched its iPhone 6. Over last year as a whole, Apple smartphone sales in China ranked behind only local brands Vivo and Oppo.
One person was injured and several buildings were extensively damaged by the explosion that led to a fire, officials and witnesses said.Video was shared by an eyewitness, Eleni Varvitsioti, who described being woken in her apartment a block away from the explosion after the glass in her windows shattered.At least 18 firefighters used seven engines to battle a blaze at one buildings and have nearly brought it under control, the fire brigade said. It was not immediately clear what triggered the blast or the fire, officials said.
Intel has won its appeal against a $1.2 billion EU fine. The penalty was first handed down 12 years ago. Back then Brussels said Intel was guilty of using its power to stifle rivals. It said the chipmaker gave rebates to PC firms like Dell and Lenovo to stop them buying chips from rival AMD. Regulators generally don't like rebates, especially when used by dominant firms, fearing they may be anti-competitive. But on Wednesday (January 26) the EU's second-highest judicial body annulled the decision to fine Intel. The Luxembourg-based General Court said the penalty was based on incomplete analysis. It said Brussels failed to prove that the rebates were or could become anticompetitive. That's a big setback for the bloc's competition watchdogs, though they can still appeal. It will also be encouraging for Google, which is fighting a trio of hefty EU fines.
Small Mammal House keepers reported for duty Jan. 4 and discovered Beatrix had given birth overnight, the Smithsonian's National Zoo media website reported.The porcupette - as baby porcupines are known, is seen with mom Beatrix is in all of the visuals released by the zoo. Dad Quillbur is in a different habitat, for now, to allow mom and porcupette to bond.The now nearly three-week-old porcupette looks cosy with mom and is nursing well and gaining weight. The zoo team is looking forward to learning if the newborn will take after Beatrix, who is relaxed and easy-going, or be more active and curious like dad Quillbur.These sharpy little beauties look anatomically similar until they reach 6 months of age. Smithsonian Zoo keepers sent quill samples to scientists at the Zoo's Center for Conservation Genomics for DNA analysis and hope to reveal their porcupette's sex and its name in a few weeks.