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Come for Morning Wire’s Afternoon Update’s straight news, but stay for the rapid reaction. The following five stories, and more, can be heard on today’s Morning Wire Afternoon Update podcast. Click here to listen.
1. Russia Pulls Out Of Ukraine Grain Deal
This morning, Russia announced that it would not be renewing the grain deal that allowed Ukraine to export its grain around the world as the two countries fight a war.
That agreement, which first began in July 2022, was set to expire Monday evening at 5:00 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The move could harm supply chains, lead to food shortages, cause grocery prices to surge, and further escalate the conflict. Ukraine has historically been known as “the bread basket of the world.”
Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba had a blunt message for Russia Monday morning: “Stop playing hunger games with the people around the world.”
Rapid Reaction: This war could be over if the U.S. pushed for a peace deal. Under President Joe Biden, we aren’t. So, the rest of the West will have to deal with its consequences. For now, those consequences aren’t resulting in the death of Americans, but they are making life more difficult. Experts have previously predicted that food prices will skyrocket — even higher than they already have been — without this deal in place.
2. Ukraine Attacks Crimean Peninsula
Ukraine also took responsibility Monday morning for an attack on a key bridge that connects Russia to the Crimean Peninsula. As CNN reports, the bridge holds both logistics and symbolic importance for Russia after the country annexed Crimea in 2014 — the last time it invaded Ukraine. According to reports, a husband and wife were killed in the explosions.
Rapid Reaction: Again, why is the Biden adminsitration’s policy to support Ukraine for “as long as it takes?”
3. Flashfloods Kill Five, Two Missing In Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania authorities have been searching for a missing 9-month-old and his 2-year-old sister in the Philadelphia area after the duo was presumably swept away in flash floods that hit the region Saturday evening. That weather emergency killed five individuals in Upper Makefield Township in Bucks County.
Rapid Reaction: What else can you do but pray for the families?
4. Train Derailment
Also near Philly on early Monday morning, a 40-car CSX freight train derailed in Montgomery County, Pennsylvania, forcing residents nearby to be evacuated from their homes and offices. Officials said one train car was transporting hazardous material, but insisted there was “no indication of any leaks or spills.” Nor have there been any injuries reported as of press time.
Rapid Reaction: Don’t worry, the Biden administration’s Transportation Department will get to the bottom of this right after it stops ramming equity into every crevice of American life …
5. $900 Million Powerball
And, Monday night’s Powerball jackpot is expected to be a whopping $900 million. If taken as a lump sum, the estimated cash payout would be about $465.1 million.
Rapid Reaction: To quote Creed Bratton, a character from “The Office,” “I already won the lottery. I was born in the US of A, baby.”
I already won the lottery, I was born in the U.S of A. pic.twitter.com/zXPhizHsFs
— Creed Bratton *Parody (@Creed_Thoughts2) July 4, 2020
But, if there’s no Rundown on Tuesday, you can take it as a sign that I won the actual lottery.