Biden says invasion still ‘distinctly possible’
President Biden said yesterday at the White House that a Russian invasion of Ukraine “remains distinctly possible,” but he vowed to give diplomacy “every chance.”
Biden added that U.S. officials had not verified President Vladimir Putin’s claim hours earlier that Russia would “partially pull back troops” from Ukraine’s border.
Jens Stoltenberg, NATO’s secretary general, also said members of the alliance “have not seen any sign of de-escalation.”
In a meeting on Tuesday with Chancellor Olaf Scholz of Germany, Putin said he was seeking a “diplomatic path” to resolving the tense standoff with the West, but he would continue pushing for a rollback of NATO in Eastern Europe and a guarantee that Ukraine would not join the alliance. The Russian Defense Ministry announced that some forces from military districts bordering Ukraine were being sent back to their garrisons.
It was the second straight day that Moscow appeared to swerve away from confrontation over Ukraine, but analysts said it was too early to tell whether the pullback was legitimate.
Quotable: “When we see the withdrawal, we will believe in de-escalation,” Ukraine’s foreign minister said from Kyiv.
Ottawa police chief resigns amid protests
Peter Sloly, the chief of police in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, resigned on Tuesday, a day after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau took the rare step of declaring a national public order emergency. Here are the latest updates.
The police have been criticized for a sluggish response to the trucker protests that have paralyzed downtown Ottawa for almost three weeks. Early on, the police did not prevent the trucks from entering downtown and then took days to install concrete barriers.
Although the main border crossing between Canada and the U.S. has reopened after a weeklong blockade, and protesters have left a crossing in Coutts, Alberta, the protesters in Ottawa largely haven’t budged. The fractious crew includes former law enforcement officers and military veterans.
Much of the trucker convoy’s significant financial support seems to come from wealthy Canadians, though one of the biggest contributions was made in the name of an American tech entrepreneur.
Valieva tested positive for three heart drugs
The 15-year-old Russian figure skater Kamila Valieva had three heart drugs in the blood sample she provided before the Beijing Games, a document shows.
Valieva was cleared to compete in the Beijing Games even though trimetazidine, which is banned by antidoping officials, was found in her system. According to documents filed at her hearing, the sample from December also contained traces of two other heart medications, Hypoxen and L-carnitine. Those drugs are not banned, but the latter has surfaced in an antidoping case in running.
A top official from the International Olympic Committee said that Valieva was defending herself by suggesting that she ingested the banned drug by mistake. But the discovery of several substances was highly unusual, according to a prominent antidoping official.
The news came hours after Valieva skated into first place, even after tumbling out of her opening triple axel in the short program. The final free skate is on Thursday.
In other Olympic news:
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Cellular meat, anyone?
What does lab-grown sautéed chicken breast taste like?
The Times’s Kim Severson visited a food-technology company in California that grows chicken from animal stem cells. The meat, she writes, “had less chew but much more flavor than a typical grocery-store breast.”
Supporters say cell-based meat — which begins with animal stem cells and feeds on a complex broth of nutrients — could lessen the environmental impact of industrial meat production and reduce animal suffering. Meat companies, government agencies and investors like Bill Gates see cell-based meat as a way to expand alternative meat production. Critics caution that the environmental benefits are unproven, and that the scientific process to create the meat could introduce allergens.
Engineered chicken is a long way from hitting the grocery store, though: Only a few hundred people in the world have purchased cellular meat, all of them in Singapore, the first nation to approve it.
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