By Alexandra Meeks, CNN
When it comes to managing your finances, you may use an app on your phone or your computer to help rein in overspending. But personal finance experts say that even the most budget-conscious consumers are still falling for common money traps like sale items, subscription services and extended warranties.
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As part of the second phase of its invasion, Russian officials say they are actively trying to secure all of Ukraine’s eastern regions. Russian President Vladimir Putin warned yesterday that any country interfering in Ukraine would be met with a “lightning-fast” response from Moscow. This comes as Ukrainian officials said that almost the entire territory of the Luhansk region suffered shelling over the past 24 hours. In Kherson, there had been reports that the Russians would organize some form of a referendum on whether the southern region should become an independent republic, but a Russian-appointed official said its return to Ukrainian control is “impossible” and has ruled out a referendum to decide its future. Separately, Canadian lawmakers yesterday voted unanimously to recognize “acts of genocide” being committed by Russia in Ukraine. The Kremlin, however, continues to deny any involvement in the mass killings of Ukrainian civilians.
The US is in a “transition phase” of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci told CNN yesterday. The nation’s leading infectious disease expert noted that, in fact, Covid-19 cases are trending up again, though it’s not anywhere near the rise we saw over the winter with the Omicron wave. While new cases and hospitalizations are ticking back up in most states, fewer people are dying of Covid-19 now than during most of the pandemic. Fauci said that although the coronavirus won’t be eradicated, the level of virus in society could be kept very low if people are intermittently vaccinated, possibly every year. In Washington, DC, a White House official also confirmed yesterday that Vice President Kamala Harris does not have Covid-19 symptoms a day after testing positive. Harris completed her two-dose regimen of the Moderna Covid-19 vaccine in January 2021 and has received two booster doses.
Disney’s self-governing special district, the Reedy Creek Improvement District, says that Florida’s move to dissolve the district next year is not legal unless the state pays off the district’s extensive debts. Reedy Creek is a special purpose district created by state law in May 1967 that gives The Walt Disney Company governmental control over the land in and around its central Florida theme parks. With that power, Disney took over responsibility for providing municipal services like power, water, roads and fire protection — but were also freed from paying taxes for services that benefited the broader public. Reedy Creek currently has about $1 billion in outstanding bond debt, according to the credit rating agency Fitch Ratings. Due to that pledge, Reedy Creek said it expects to continue business as usual.
4. Capitol riot
Rudy Giuliani, a central figure in former President Donald Trump’s failed bid to overturn the 2020 election, is expected to appear next month before the House select committee investigating the January 6, 2021, insurrection, according to sources familiar with the matter. The expected appearance comes after months of negotiations between lawmakers and the former mayor of New York, who served as Trump’s personal attorney for much of his presidency. Giuliani’s upcoming appearance will occur while he faces legal jeopardy on several fronts. It also comes as several high-profile individuals from Trump’s inner orbit have recently spoken with the committee voluntarily.
Southern Californians were told yesterday to reduce outdoor watering in an “unprecedented” order amid a historic drought. Officials are specifically demanding businesses and residents in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura, and San Bernardino counties cut outdoor watering to one day a week because they “don’t have enough water to meet normal demands for the 6 million people living in the State Water Project dependent areas,” a spokesman for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California said. Metropolitan is calling on residents in its region to cut their water consumption by 35% to avoid a full ban on watering later in the summer. The move comes as California faces persistent climate crisis-fueled dry conditions that have led to major water shortages, despite record snow in early winter.
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That’s the value of the military equipment the US left behind in Afghanistan after its 2021 withdrawal from the country, a Pentagon report says. The equipment is now in the hands of the Taliban — the very enemy the US was trying to drive out over the past two decades. The Defense Department has no plans to return to Afghanistan to “retrieve or destroy” the equipment, according to the report provided to Congress.
“You don’t get these Americans released for free. There’s always a price, but for this, it was worth it.”
— Bill Richardson, former US ambassador to the United Nations, on Russia releasing Trevor Reed in a prisoner swap yesterday. Reed, an American and former US Marine, had been detained in Russia since 2019. Following months of negotiations, President Biden authorized the prisoner swap yesterday and released Russian citizen Konstantin Yaroshenko, a smuggler convicted of conspiring to import cocaine into the US. According to a senior US administration official, the Russian government had long expressed interest in getting Yaroshenko back from the US, but it is unclear if he is explicitly tied to the Kremlin.
It’s National Superhero Day
Any Marvel fans out there? This epic superhero battle scene from “Captain America: Civil War” was one for the ages. (Click here to view)
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