US orders 8,500 troops on alert amid fears Russia will invade Ukraine
The Pentagon on Monday ordered 8,500 troops on higher alert to potentially deploy in Europe as part of a NATO “response force,” amid growing concerns that Russia could soon take military action on Ukraine. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the possible deployment would not be to Ukraine, but to NATO territory in Eastern Europe. The move suggests waning hopes that Russian President Vladimir Putin will back away from what President Joe Biden himself has said as a threat to invade neighboring Ukraine. At stake, beyond Ukraine’s future, is the credibility of a NATO alliance that is central to US defense strategy, but which Putin views as a Cold War holdover and a threat to Russian security. For Biden, the crisis represents a major test of his ability to forge a united allied stance against Putin. Russia denies planning an invasion, saying Western accusations are just a cover for NATO’s own planned provocations.
Baseball Hall of Fame Class To Be Announced
Baseball’s 2022 Hall of Fame class — or lack thereof — will be unveiled Tuesday. Based on past precedents and current vote totals, seven-time MVP Barry Bonds and seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens will miss the introduction in their 10th and final year on the ballot over allegations of taking performance-enhancing drugs. Meanwhile, lead candidate David Ortiz will find out if his star as Boston Red Sox DH will be enough to land him — or if questions about a reported positive test for a banned substance will at least temporarily land him in Bonds-Clemens Limbo. . Other new contenders include Alex Rodriguez, who is fourth on the all-time home run list, and Tim Lincecum, who has three World Series rings and two Cy Young awards.
Crews work to reduce fire size near Big Sur
Crews are still working on Tuesday to contain a wildfire near California’s picturesque Big Sur shoreline. The blaze, dubbed the Colorado Fire because of its origin in the Palo Colorado Canyon, was 40% under control Monday night, fire officials said. Improved maps reduced the estimated size of the fire to about 700 acres Sunday, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, compared to an original estimate of 1,050 acres. It initially made a rapid approach toward the state’s shoreline on Friday evening, propelled by gusts of up to 80 km/h. According to AccuWeather, there is no precipitation in the forecast until early next week, although the high air pressure should calm the winds over the next few days. The cause of the wildfire is still under investigation.
At least 2 dead after two earthquakes in Haiti
Relief efforts in Haiti resume on Tuesday after two earthquakes shook the southwest, killing two people, dozing and damaging hundreds of homes. The 5.3 magnitude quake and a 5.1 magnitude quake on Monday centered on Haiti’s southern peninsula, west of the capital Port-au-Prince, according to the US Geological Survey. The Haitian Civil Protection Agency said at least two people were killed and dozens of schoolchildren injured, adding that 50 people between the ages of 15 and 23 were in shock and taken to hospital. Officials said 191 homes were destroyed and 591 damaged in one region. An earthquake measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale struck southwestern Haiti on August 14 last year, killing more than 2,200 people and damaging or destroying some 137,500 homes.
Three Baltimore firefighters dead, one in critical condition after building collapse
Three firefighters have died and another remains in critical condition after part of an abandoned house they were battling a fire in collapsed on Monday, the city’s fire chief said. Baltimore City Fire Chief Niles R. Ford said on Twitter that firefighters responded to a burning three-story row house when a partial collapse trapped four members inside. Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott later confirmed that three of the firefighters: Lieutenant Paul Butrim; firefighter/paramedic Kelsey Sadler; and EMT/firefighter Kenny Lacayo – had died. He said the fourth EMT/firefighter, John McMaster, remains in hospital in a critical but stable condition. “Today Baltimore lost three of the bravest among us,” Scott said Monday. “Baltimore owes them the deepest gratitude and respect we can offer to everyone.”