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Large-Scale Cell Phone Outage Hits Users Across US (Maria)

The author writes, “Large swathes of the US were hit by a cellular phone outage early on Thursday, with thousands of users reporting disruptions with the services offered by telecom firms including AT&T, affecting calls and text messages and even emergency service calls in major cities including San Francisco. More than 50,000 incidents were reported around 7 a.m. US Eastern time, according to data from the outage tracking website Users of Verizon, T-Mobile and US Cellular also reported disruptions, though the outage with the services was much smaller than AT&T, according to Downdetector. Cities where most users were affected included San Francisco, Houston and Chicago, the website showed.”

Wife, Protector, and Now Political Heir: Yulia Navalnaya Rallies Russians (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “[On Monday], Yulia Navalnaya faced a camera three days after the Russian government announced that her husband had died in a brutal Arctic maximum-security penal colony. His widow blamed President Vladimir V. Putin for the death and announced that she was taking up her husband’s cause, calling on Russians to join her. ‘In killing Aleksei, Putin killed half of me, half of my heart and half of my soul,’ Ms. Navalnaya said in a short, prerecorded speech posted on social media. ‘But I have another half left — and it is telling me I have no right to give up.’”

Preparing for War, Social Unrest, or a New Pandemic? Chinese Companies Are Raising Militias Like It’s the 1970s (Russ)

From CNN: “Chinese companies are doing something rarely seen since the 1970s: setting up their own volunteer armies. At least 16 major Chinese firms, including a privately-owned dairy giant, have established fighting forces over the past year, according to a CNN analysis of state media reports. These units, known as the People’s Armed Forces Departments, are composed of civilians who retain their regular jobs. They act as a reserve and auxiliary force for China’s military, the world’s largest, and are available for missions ranging from responding to natural disasters and helping maintain “social order” to providing support during wartime.”

The Age of Amorality (Sean)

From Foreign Affairs: “‘How much evil we must do in order to do good,’ the theologian Reinhold Niebuhr wrote in 1946. ‘This, I think, is a very succinct statement of the human situation.’ Niebuhr was writing after one global war had forced the victors to do great evil to prevent the incalculably greater evil of a world ruled by its most aggressive regimes. He was witnessing the onset of another global conflict in which the United States would periodically transgress its own values in order to defend them. But the fundamental question Niebuhr raised — how liberal states can reconcile worthy ends with the unsavory means needed to attain them — is timeless. It is among the most vexing dilemmas facing the United States today.”

The Death of the World’s Best Marathon Runner Is Part of a Troubling Global Trend (Dana)

From Vox: “Kelvin Kiptum, who set a world-record marathon time this past October at the Chicago Marathon and was expected to contend for gold at this summer’s Olympic Games, died Sunday in a car crash in his home country of Kenya, after his car veered off the road and into a ditch. At just 24 years old, he had run three of the seven fastest marathons ever recorded, including his record 2:00:35 run in Chicago. Because of Kiptum’s international celebrity, the tragedy drew headlines around the world. But his death reflects a broader epidemic of preventable car crash deaths in the Global South — a pattern that has intensified in recent years, even as car fatalities in affluent countries have been declining (the US is a notable exception).”

The Midwest Is Experiencing a ‘Lost Winter.’ Here’s What That Means. (Laura)

From The Washington Post: “From the northern Plains to the Great Lakes, February is typically a time for winter revelry, set against a landscape of deep snow and iced-over waterways. But this year, snow is absent, ice is dangerously thin, and many cities are experiencing their warmest winter on record.”

A Colorado Man Is Dead After a Pet Gila Monster Bite (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “A Colorado man has died after being bitten by his pet Gila monster in what would be a rare death by one of the desert lizards if the creature’s venom turns out to have been the cause. Christopher Ward, 34, was taken to a hospital shortly after being bitten by one of his two pet Gila monsters on Feb. 12. He was soon placed on life support and died Friday.”

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