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Elizabeth Warren says the Supreme Court 'set a torch' to the last of its legitimacy

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 11:33am
Sen. Elizabeth Warren.
  • Sen. Elizabeth Warren said the Supreme Court has lost all legitimacy following its Roe v. Wade rollback.
  • "They just took the last of it and set a torch to it with the Roe v. Wade opinion," she said on ABC News' "This Week."
  • Warren added that she wants to see more justices appointed to the Supreme Court.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren said the US Supreme Court has lost all legitimacy following the rollback of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark decision that made abortion a constitutional right nationwide.

Speaking on ABC News' "This Week" on Sunday, Warren suggested that Republicans have tried to stack the Supreme Court with justices who would be against abortion. 

"The Republicans have been very overt about trying to get people through the court who didn't have a published record on Roe, but who they knew — wink wink nod nod — were going to be extremist on the issue of Roe v. Wade." Warren said. "And that is exactly what we have ended up with."

"This court has lost legitimacy. They have burned whatever legitimacy they may still have had," Warren continued. "They just took the last of it and set a torch to it with the Roe v. Wade opinion."

The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade sparked protests nationwide. Since the decision was made public, a slew of prominent individuals from musician Jack White to lawmakers such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have blasted the ruling. Attorney General Merrick Garland condemned the court's decision, saying on Friday that it's a "devastating blow to reproductive freedom in the United States."

White is among those who've directly blamed former President Donald Trump for the decision, saying his appointment of three conservative justices within his single-term presidency made it possible to roll back Roe in the first place.  

And at a rally Saturday night, Trump reminded a crowd that while on the presidential campaign trail in 2016, he had promised to appoint judges and justices who "would stand up for the original meaning of the Constitution and who would honestly and faithfully interpret the law as written."

During his single-term presidency, Trump appointed three conservative justices to the bench, all of whom voted in favor of striking down Roe v. Wade this week.

"I believe we need to get some confidence back in our court, and that means we need more justices on the United States Supreme Court," Warren said.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Boris Johnson: Reports about the 'death of democracy' in the US are 'grossly, grossly exaggerated'

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 11:32am
Boris Johnson.
  • Trump and his allies falsely claimed the 2020 election was rigged. 
  • Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. 
  • UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said despite that he doesn't think US democracy is under threat. 

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson says he's not concerned about the state of US democracy after the 2020 election. 

"I think that reports of the death of democracy in the United States are grossly, grossly exaggerated," Johnson told CNN's Jake Tapper on Sunday. 

Former President Donald Trump falsely claimed the 2020 election was rigged. Trump and his team made multiple attempts to overturn the election results, and on January 6, 2021, Trump supporters violently stormed the Capitol as Congress was about to certify the election results. 

—CNN (@CNN) June 26, 2022

Johnson, who was born in New York City, called America a "shining city on a hill," adding that it will continue to be so. 

"The mere fact that Joe Biden has stepped up to the plate in the way that he has shows that instincts of America are very much in the right place," Johnson said. "Look, there were some weird and unattractive scenes... but I don't believe American democracy is under threat."

He added that he still believes that America is the biggest "guarantor of democracy and freedom." 

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Liberal district attorneys in several red states say they will not enforce abortion bans: 'This is a very real conversation where people's lives could be destroyed'

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 11:21am
Participants hold signs during the Women's March at the US Supreme Court.
  • The Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday. 
  • Many GOP states have already said they plan to ban or limit abortions.
  • Several liberal district attorneys in red states have said they won't enforce bans on abortion. 

Liberal district attorneys and other local lawmakers in GOP states that plan to ban abortion say they won't prosecute those who don't abide by them, Pew reported. 

In Austin, Texas, City Council Member Chito Vela, proposed legislation that would protect abortion rights from prosecution in the city. 

"This is not an academic conversation. This is a very real conversation where people's lives could be destroyed by these criminal prosecutions," Vela previously told Politico.

Liberal district attorneys in Arizona, Georgia, Louisiana, Michigan, Tennessee, and Wisconsin have also said they won't prosecute abortions, Pew reported. 

The city council, alongside mayor Regina Romero in Tuscon, Arizona passed a resolution pushing back on a state law criminalizing abortion after 15 weeks. The resolution instructed law enforcement to create policies that "consider the need to protect the physical, psychological, and socioeconomic wellbeing of pregnant people and their care providers."

Anti-abortion legislators have also said they'd work to prevent liberal district attorney's from not prosecuting abortion. In Texas, A GOP lawmaker said he'd introduce legislation next year that would allow district attorneys to prosecute outside their jurisdiction, The Texas Tribune reported. 

However, some abortion advocates have said that despite these promises that abortion won't be prosecuted, providers may still not feel comfortable performing them. 

"Local officials who are willing to stand up and make clear where their values are and make clear that these bans will be harmful is an important step," Andrea Miller, president of the National Institute for Reproductive Health, told Pew. "But I can't say that it would give me enough confidence if I were a provider."

Dr. Jamila Perritt, president and CEO of Physicians for Reproductive Health, told Pew that while she appreciates statements by some DA's not to prosecute, "everything is so unclear at this point that we as physicians don't know what is going to happen when the rubber hits the road and these laws take effect."

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Russia launched a massive missile attack on Ukraine in a 'deliberate' escalation on the first day of a G7 meeting in Germany

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 11:18am
Russia's invasion into Ukraine continues.
  • While Western leaders met at a G7 summit in Germany, Russia launched a missile attack on Kyiv.
  • Search and rescue teams have been looking through rubble to find humans trapped underneath, video shows.
  • President Joe Biden at the G7 summit encouraged Western leaders to stand together to confront Russia.

As the Group of Seven nations met in Germany to discuss strategies to confront Russia on its attacks on Ukraine, President Vladimir Putin's troops orchestrated a missile launch on Kyiv. 

The missile hit a block of apartment buildings, and at least one person died in the attack, CNN reported

In a tweet denouncing the strike, Carl Bildt, co-chair of the European Council on Foreign Relations, said the attack appeared to be a "deliberate" escalation by Russia, considering that it happened on the same day the G7 met.

Video shared by Bildt shows dilapidated buildings in Kiev, with rescue workers walking and sorting through rummage and trying to get hold of loose pets. On the streets, the roads and cars are covered with debris, and there are panicked noises heard in the background, such as what appears to be the sound of a child screaming.

—Carl Bildt (@carlbildt) June 26, 2022

At the G7 meeting Sunday, President Joe Biden was in attendance. He encouraged Western leaders to continue to add pressure on Russia. The G7 leaders discussed imports on Russian gold, which would be the latest sanction imposed in a series of devastating blows to Russia

"We've got to make sure we have us all staying together," Biden said at the summit. "You know, we're gonna continue working on economic challenges that we face but I think we get through all this."

Between four to six missiles were launched at the residential block, CNN reported, citing Ukrainian air force spokesman Yurii Ihnat. 

Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said in a Telegram post that search and rescue teams fanned out to assess the impact and provide assistance. 

"There are people are trapped under the rubble. Some residents have been evacuated, with two victims hospitalized. Rescuers are continuing their work," he said.

The Russian invasion, which began on February 24, has forced millions of Ukrainians to flee their homeland. So far, more than 5.2 million Ukrainians have escaped since the beginning of the invasion, according to data from the United Nations Refugee Agency. In the first week alone, more than 1 million Ukrainians left.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Financier Bill Browder: Vladimir Putin has been a 'psychopath' since childhood and lacks normal 'human emotions'

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 10:36am
Bill Browder is known to be Vladimir Putin's nemesis.
  • Bill Browder, Vladimir Putin's nemesis, said the Russian president has been mentally ill. 
  • In a new documentary on Paramount+, Browder said Putin has been ill as a "psychopath."
  • There have been rumors about Putin's health – an oligarch was recorded saying he had blood cancer.

Vladimir Putin's nemesis, investor Bill Browder, says the Russian president has been ill since childhood, but not in the way many think. 

In a new documentary called, "Secrets of the Oligarch Wives," which will stream on Paramount+ starting June 28, Browder said Putin has been ill and is a "psychopath." The wives of Russian billionaires paint a picture of a vengeful Russian leader who saw treachery at every turn, forgave nothing, settled every score and was jealous of their lifestyles. 

Insider viewed the documentary ahead of its streaming debut. It starts with 2010 footage of Putin singing in front of Western celebrities in St Petersburg.

Browder is an international investor who once ran the largest foreign investment fund in Russia. He was barred in 2005 from entering the country, "blacklisted," and named a "threat to national security" after he accused Russian tax officials of corruption and embezzlement.

Browder says in the documentary: "Putin is ill, but not in the way that most people think Putin is ill. Putin is mentally ill, but he has been mentally ill as a psychopath since childhood."

"Putin's illness leads him to lack any empathy, lack any conscience, lack any normal human emotions when it comes to the fate of other people," Browder adds. 

There have been speculations about the Russian president's health. An oligarch secretly was recorded saying Putin had "blood cancer" and Oliver Stone, who made a four-part documentary on Putin, also said he had cancer but had "licked it."

Putin appeared to be limping and sat a blanket over his lap during his public appearance on Victory Day in early May. Videos also emerged showing him tightly gripping a table and appearing to shake uncontrollably.

Browder concluded that being a psychopath "will lead him to all sorts of terrible crimes."

Tatiana Fokina, whose partner Evgeny Chichvarkin was once worth over $1.5 billion, says in the documentary that the rumors of Putin's health are "likely to be true," and if they are "that makes me really frightened."

"A person who is really ill doesn't really care about what happens next," Fokina added.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Previously unseen video appears to show Ukrainian Su-24M attack aircraft that crashed early in war with Russia

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 10:27am
A Ukrainian Su-24 takes off during an exercise at Starokostyantyniv military airbase, October 12, 2018.
  • Footage continues to emerge from Ukraine's battlefields as the war with Russia drags on.
  • One recent video appears to show a Ukrainian Su-24 attack aircraft that crashed early in the war.

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine has progressed, a slew of videos has emerged on social media platforms like Telegram showing the destruction caused by both Russian and Ukrainian strikes on military bases, armored vehicles, and more.

While much of the video footage shared online is somewhat recent and shows the increasingly destructive conflict in the eastern Donbas region, some older clips have come to light showing destroyed aircraft, weapons, and vehicles from earlier in the conflict.

One video shared by military researcher Blue Sauron appears to show a Ukrainian Su-24M attack aircraft that appears to have crashed in the early stages of the war.

Ukraine Weapons Tracker, a popular Twitter account that tracks the use and destruction of weapons in the Russian invasion of Ukraine, claimed that the video likely shows the downed plane in Poltava Oblast.

"#Ukraine: Previously undocumented loss of the Ukrainian Air Force – a Su-24M attack aircraft which crash-landed in the earlier stages of war, presumably in Poltava Oblast. Both pilots survived," the account writes.

What is the Su-24M?A Russian Su-24 taking off from Hmeimim air base in Syria in 2015.

The Su-24m is one of the most powerful long-range, low-level military aircraft developed in the Soviet Union. The plane is often compared to the US General Dynamics F-111 plane, as well as the European Tornado.

The Soviet fighter aircraft features a 2x 2 × Saturn/Lyulka AL-21F-3A turbojets jet engine and has a maximum cruise speed of 1,315 km/h (710 knots). It also has a range of 2,778 kilometers and despite being replaced by more modern planes is considered one of the best fighter jets ever developed by Russia.

Clarence Thomas says he has 'no idea why or how' he got nominated to the Supreme Court: book

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 10:23am
Judge Clarence Thomas is sworn in as the newest member of the Supreme Court on the White House South Lawn on October 18, 1991.
  • Clarence Thomas in a new book says he has "no idea why or how" he was tapped for the Supreme Court.
  • He shared with "Created Equal" co-editor Michael Pack his concerns about rumors of an appointment.
  • Thomas was eventually nominated by George H.W. Bush to replace the retiring Thurgood Marshall.

Clarence Thomas in a newly-released book said that he had "no idea why or how" he was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1991 as he recounted the process that set him up to become one of most consequential conservative voices on the bench.

In the book, "Created Equal: Clarence Thomas in His Own Words," co-edited by Michael Pack and Mark Paoletta, Thomas sat down with Pack for over 30 hours between November 2017 and March 2018, in what became an expanded companion to the 2020 documentary of the same name.

While speaking with Pack, Thomas revealed he was surprised when he heard that Associate Justice Thurgood Marshall, a revered civil-rights trailblazer and the first Black jurist on the high court, was stepping down from his post.

"I have no idea why or how I got nominated. All I know is that Justice Marshall retired, and that was a shock," Thomas said. "My reaction was, 'Oh no, this is going to be bad. People will go on a rumor that I'm one of the nominees.'"

Thomas — who had served as chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and at the time was a judge on the influential United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit — then spoke of the lead-up to his eventual nomination by then-President George H.W. Bush.

"I get a call from [White House Counsel C.] Boyden Gray the very afternoon Justice Marshall retired, saying, 'Are you ready for another walk around the park?'" Thomas said.

He continued: "He sent Mark Paoletta over to take me to the situation room at the Justice Department, and Mark parked across the street from the DC Circuit, across from where my wife worked, at the Labor Department. And we drove to the Justice Department. And that's where it started. They wanted to know who I thought my views and approach were closest to on the Court. And I said, 'Justice Scalia' and that was mostly because of his opinion in the Olson case."

In Morrison v. Olson, which was argued in 1988, the court ruled 7-1 that the Independent Counsel Act was constitutional.

In his dissent, Antonin Scalia — an adherent of originalism when he served on the court — wrote that the law should be stuck down because criminal prosecution "is an exercise of purely executive power."

Thomas then recalled how he ran into then-first lady Barbara Bush on the family's property in Kennebunkport, Maine, after being flown to the locale to speak to the president. It was soon thereafter when he found out about his nomination.

"We were walking along to the Bush's residence, and we ran into Mrs. Bush. And she said, 'Congratulations,' and then my heart sank," he said in the interview. "And she said, 'Oh I guess I let the cat out of the bag.'"

The president shortly thereafter proceeded to ask Thomas two questions about taking on the role as an Associate Justice.

"He said, 'If you get on the Supreme Court, can you call them as you see them?' I said, 'That's the only way I know how to do it,'" Thomas recalled.

He continued: "The other was, 'Can you and your family get through confirmation?' I said, 'I've been through four, and I think I can get through one more.' And then he said, 'If you go on the Court, I will never publicly criticize any opinion of yours.' And he repeated that, and then said, 'At two o'clock, I'm going to nominate you to the Supreme Court. Let's go have lunch.'"

After a contentious confirmation hearing, Thomas was eventually confirmed by the Senate later that year — and after the death of Scalia in 2016, he has become a pillar of the court's conservative wing.

Read the original article on Business Insider

An abortion clinic in North Dakota has raised more than $500,000 in two days to fund its move to Minnesota

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 10:22am
Activists march along Constitution Avenue to the US Supreme Court on May 14, 2022.
  • North Dakota's only abortion clinic has been collecting funds to move to Minnesota after Roe v. Wade was overturned.
  • In two days, the Red River Women's Clinic raised more than $550,000.
  • Moving out of North Dakota, however, means there will no longer be an operating abortion clinic in the state.

An abortion clinic based in North Dakota has raised more than $550,000 to fund its move in the two days since the Supreme Court's decision to roll back Roe v. Wade

The Red River Women's Clinic of Fargo, North Dakota, set up a GoFundMe to assist with a planned move to Moorhead, Minnesota. North Dakota is one of the at least 13 states that has a "trigger" law, which immediately bans abortions following the overturn of Roe v. Wade. 

The move to Minnesota has been in the works since reports that overturning the case was a possibility, Tammi Kromenaker, clinic director for Red River Women's Clinic, previously told Insider.

But moving out of North Dakota means there will no longer be an operating abortion clinic in the state. 

"RRWC has served as North Dakota's only abortion clinic for over 20 years," the GoFundMe page reads. "As a state with a trigger-ban in place, North Dakota would ban abortion in 30 days if Roe v Wade is overturned."

The move is part of a contingency plan to continue to provide reproductive health services to patients, the GoFundMe says. Moorhead, Minnesota, is located just a few miles away from the Red River, which could help those in North Dakota still have access to an abortion clinic, per the GoFundMe. 

The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade sparked protests nationwide. Since the decision was made public, a slew of prominent individuals from musician Jack White to lawmakers such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have blasted the ruling. Attorney General Merrick Garlan condemned the court's decision, saying on Friday that it's a "devastating blow to reproductive freedom in the United States."

By overturning Roe, the Supreme Court has put the question of the legality of abortion in the hands of individual state legislatures and has essentially made it illegal in at least 22 states to obtain an abortion. There are expected to be added restrictions in several others.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A record low 25 percent of Americans have confidence in the Supreme Court: poll

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 10:20am
The US Supreme Court is seen behind fences in Washington, DC, on May 11, 2022.
  • In a recently-released Gallup poll, only 25% of respondents had confidence in the US Supreme Court.
  • While 13% of Democrats had confidence in the court in June, Republican confidence sat at 39%.
  • The court last week overturned Roe v. Wade in one of the most important decisions in decades.

A record low number of Americans in a new Gallup poll say they have confidence in the US Supreme Court.

Only 25 percent of respondents in the survey expressed "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in the Supreme Court, compared to 40 percent of respondents in 2020 and 36 percent just last year.

Among Democrats, only 13 percent of respondents said they have confidence in the court — and that was before the blockbuster ruling which struck down Roe, the landmark 1973 decision that legalized abortion in the United States and afforded a constitutional right to the procedure.

The survey was conducted from June 1-20 and was completed before the court issued major rulings. The poll was released a day before Roe v. Wade was overturned.

While many progressives in the party have called on President Joe Biden to back expanding the size of the court, he has expressed opposition to such a proposal.

Activists and liberal lawmakers alike were deeply frustrated by former President Donald Trump's ability to appoint Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, especially given then-Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's decision to block Merrick Garland's 2016 nomination to the high court and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's 2016 election loss to Trump. (Garland is now the US Attorney General.)

Independents also remain largely unimpressed with the conservative-dominated panel, with only 25 percent of survey respondents expressing confidence in the court, down from 40 percent in 2021.

And despite the rightward shift in recent years, only 39 percent of Republicans expressed confidence in the high court this year, up slightly from 37 percent in 2021 but down significantly from 53 percent in 2020.

In recent years, legal experts have debated the issue of Supreme Court term limits.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released in April 2021 revealed that 63 percent of Americans supported term limits for high court justices.

In the coming days, cases involving everything from climate change regulations to immigration will be decided, in what has been the most consequential Supreme Court session in decades.

At the conclusion of the current term, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer will retire from the high court after 28 years on the bench, to be replaced by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson this summer.

The Gallup poll surveyed 1,015 adults from June 1 through June 20 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Meet Stephanie McMahon, who just took over as CEO of WWE after her father Vince stepped back amid misconduct allegations

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 10:18am
  • Stephanie McMahon, WWE's chief brand officer, was named the company's interim CEO last week.
  • Her father, Vince McMahon, stepped away from the role amid an investigation into alleged misconduct.
  • Before being named interim CEO, she had stepped back from her brand chief duties to focus on family.
Stephanie McMahon, 45, is the daughter of Vince McMahon and Linda McMahon, who have both served as the CEO of WWE at various points. Linda exited WWE to serve as the head of the Small Business Administration under former President Trump.Linda and Vince McMahon.Stephanie McMcahon has been married to Paul Levesque since 2003. Levesque is a retired WWE wrestler who went by the name Triple H, and is currently the company's executive in charge of global talent strategy.McMahon and Levesque.Like other members of her family, McMahon has appeared in the ring during WWE events through various iterations, including as a power couple with Triple H called "The Authority" from 2013 to 2016.WE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon (L) and husband/WWE Wrestler Triple H attend the 'Scooby Doo! WrestleMania Mystery' New York Premiere at Tribeca Cinemas on March 22, 2014 in New York City. Her in-ring career took off in the late 1990s, when WWE was still WWF (World Wrestling Federation), in a storyline with now-retired wrestler The Undertaker.World Wrestling Entertainment star The Undertaker makes his way to the ring during a match at the World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) Super Showdown event in the Saudi Red Sea port city of Jeddah late on January 7, 2019.Her final match was in 2018 at WrestleMania 34 with Triple H against Ronda Rousey and Kurt Angle. It was Rousey's much-anticipated WWE debut.Since then, she's focused on her role as an executive. She had been chief brand officer since 2013. Prior to that, she broke into WWE (then WWF) as a model and then branched into smaller business roles before becoming a senior VP and then an EVP.WE Chief Brand Officer Stephanie McMahon attends the Make-A-Wish celebration event for John Cena's 500th Wish Granting Milestone at Dave & Buster's Time Square on August 21, 2015 in New York City.In May 2022, McMahon announced that she was stepping away from her brand chief duties to focus on her family. Insider reported that her father, Vince, was looking to shake up leadership to boost sponsorships, and she could be replaced.But she was named interim CEO and chairwoman of WWE this month, after Vince voluntarily stepped away after WWE announced the board was investigating alleged misconduct.

Next, read about the career rise of her father, billionaire Vince McMahon.

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I tried the menu at the new McDonald's in Russia and it tastes pretty much the same as before

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 10:08am
Insider put the menu at the rebranded McDonald's in Russia to the test.
  • McDonald's in Russia has been rebranded as "Tasty and that's it" after a Russian bought it
  • Big Macs, Happy Meals and McFlurrys are gone but cheeseburgers, nuggets and fries are still on sale
  • The new packaging is now mostly plain white, with a pop of color – but no logos 

There is one restaurant in Moscow that every single Muscovite seems to know and have visited: the flagship McDonald's on Pushkinskaya Square, where thousands lined up for hours for a taste of the West when it first opened in 1990. 

In March, following Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, McDonald's suspended operations in Russia and the legendary restaurant closed its doors. 

But the venue was so symbolic that when a Russian investor reopened it earlier this month, promising to serve food that was "the same, but better," people lined up again. 

The flagship store for the rebranded McDonald's on Pushkin Square in Moscow

McDonald's is called Vkusno i Tochka, which means "tasty and that's it". The place that had represented Russia's openness to the West now underscored its sudden isolation. 

So it seemed strangely fitting that just a few hours before moving out of the country, after five years as a Moscow correspondent, I made this one of my last meals in Russia.

The place was packed on Friday afternoon. I placed my order on a greasy touchscreen, as usual. The menu was largely the same, with a few notable exceptions: gone are the Happy Meals, the Big Mac and the McFlurry.

The flagship store of the rebranded McDonald's in Moscow was packed when I visited.The cheeseburger

I am not a regular at McDonald's, but I have very vivid childhood memories of their food. I decided to recreate my standard order from back in the day and started with my go-to fast food essential, the cheeseburger.

The cheeseburger at Tasty and that's it, the rebranded McDonald's in Russia.

The bun and cheese are clearly identical to the original version - McDonald's was using 85% locally produced ingredients - but the meat patty seems slightly less salty, making that first bite a little less exciting. I also noticed the absence of the pickle slice, which I liked.

The cheeseburger came wrapped in a white and orange paper sheet. One of the most notable changes is the packaging of all products, which is now plain white, or white with just a pop of color and the product's name. No logos, thanks very much. 

The Filet-o-F… sorry, the fish burgerThe fish burger at Tasty & that's it, the rebranded McDonald's in Russia.

Moving on to the replacement for the Filet-o-Fish, I was pleasantly surprised. The fish burger may now lack its iconic McDonald's name, but otherwise it hasn't changed a bit. The bun, the fish, everything's the same, even down to the slightly mysterious white sauce.

The fish burger box at Tasty and that's it.

The box the fish burger came in does look a bit awkward, however, with its plain text and a band of color, as if it was a prop for kids playing at their make-believe restaurant. 

The friesThe fries at the rebranded McDonald's in Russia come in plain white packaging with no logo.

The fries to me seemed a bit sadder, less salty and crispy than I was expecting. I couldn't quite tell whether that was actually the case, or it was just the depressing white box they were served in. 

My cup of Coke was equally plain and white. They were out of regular Coke and now only had Diet Coke. But it was still Coke. As Coca-Cola also pulls out of Russia, the chain seems to be using up their stocks before switching to a different, probably Russian, brand. 

Chicken nuggetsThe chicken nuggets at Tasty and that's it in Russia.

The chicken nuggets are high up on my list of comfort foods from childhood.

I grew up in an Italian family that is quite serious about food, so going to McDonald's was a big concession made to unappreciative children. Somehow, an exception was made for the Chicken McNuggets.

These Russian nuggets didn't disappoint: They are crispy, the chicken is tender, and they have the same weird shape as always. 

The McDonald's logos on the sauces had been erased with a marker pen.

I decided to pair them with two sauces: barbecue and sweet-and-sour. I noticed a strange little black dot on the package: these were still McDonald's sauces, and somebody had just manually covered up the golden arches logo with a marker. 

The ice cream sundaeThe sundae at Tasty and that's it in Moscow.

This was a disappointing finale. The ice cream now comes in smaller cups than it used to.

The ice cream itself was creamy and delicious but was partially melted, with the strawberry sauce pooled toward the bottom. I ate a few spoonfuls while watching people lounge in the sun on the busy Pushkin square.

My verdict? The new Russian McDonald's tastes pretty much the same as before. It's as if – almost – nothing had happened.

Read the original article on Business Insider

I rent out homes during Wimbledon. We charge up to $18,400 a week and have hosted stars like Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and the Williams sisters.

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 10:00am
Joanna Doniger's clients have included journalists, sponsors, and players like Rafael Nadal (right).
  • Joanna Doniger rents homes to players, sponsors, and TV networks during Wimbledon.
  • Her clients have included Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and the Williams sisters.
  • She's renting 150 homes for this year's tournament. Here's her story, as told to Claire Turrell.

This as-told-to essay is based on a conversation with Joanna Doniger, the owner of Tennis London, which rents out homes for those attending the Wimbledon tennis tournament. It has been edited for length and clarity.

Wimbledon Village comes alive during The Championships. From June 27 to July 10, shop windows will be filled with tennis-ball decorations made out of flowers — purple, green, and white flags hanging in the doorways — and tennis players can be spotted in the cafes.

But each year I persuade 150 homeowners to leave so I can rent out their properties to players, sponsors, and media networks.

I've rented private homes to Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and the Williams sisters for the Grand Slam.

As I run my own company, it is hard work. But with clients like this, it's definitely not a drudge.

You have to think fast and solve problems, and I'm good at that.

The homeowners usually take a two-week vacation while I rent out their home for up to £15,000 (about $18,400) a week for two weeks. As I have been running the company since 1993, I've been letting out some owners' homes for the past 20 to 25 years.

I start work letting private homes in Wimbledon Village near the All England Club for the tournament each January. Media are generally the first to book, because they know they will be coming, but players may not book until the end of May, as they might not know until the last minute if they have a place in the tournament.

Tennis players are very superstitious, and if they have done well in the tournament, they will want to rent the same house as they did the previous year, as they think it's lucky. But if they haven't done very well, they don't want to see those four walls again.

I rent out modern-looking homes, as the tennis players are young

They don't want to be staying in their grandmother's house cramped with chintzy antiques. They're looking for modern bathrooms, a big comfortable bed with a large TV set, and good WiFi.

What they choose to rent depends on who they are traveling with. If they are a top player with a big team that comprises a manager, a masseur, and a coach, they will want a six-bedroom detached house with a garden on roads very close to the tournament.

Corporate clients, who want to wine and dine their guests in the grounds, will also want to be there. Players who don't have such a large entourage will choose a smaller private house on Newstead Way or Somerset Road in the Wimbledon Village.

A one-bedroom flat in the Wimbledon Village will rent for up to £1,880 a week, while a six-bedroom house within a 10-minute walk to the tournament is going to rent for up to £10,000 a week. The homeowner will pay me a 15% commission on the gross rent.

There are properties that can rent for £15,000 a week, but players rarely choose these. These houses will be booked out by corporate clients.

The busiest time for me is the week before the tournament starts and players begin to arrive

I will start work in Wimbledon Village at 7 a.m. I need to be there to greet players who have arrived on early flights.

My two assistants and I leapfrog from house to house. If the player hasn't stayed in the house before, we will run through how things work and make sure they have the WiFi password and know how to work the TV. We will then leave them to it. If there is a problem, they will call me.

We have a pop-up office for the tournament, which is my Mini Cooper car. We don't have time to travel back to our office in Chelsea. Lunch is on the run, and if flights are delayed, we need to wait for them.

Our day tends to finish around 10 p.m. This goes on from Monday until 7 p.m. on the following Sunday, the day before the tournament, when every player, sponsor, or TV company should have arrived.

Even with the best-laid plans, things can still go wrong, so I have a contact book full of emergency telephone numbers for electricians, plumbers, carpet cleaners — you name it. You have to be on the ball.

If a player gets injured before the tournament, such as in the French Open, and has to cancel, we have cancellation clauses. But we will do our best to get someone into that house and mitigate their loss.

Once the tournament has finished, we have mountains of paperwork to do, as we need to return everyone's deposits

The players are very well behaved, but there have been a couple of issues in the past where young juniors have taken ice baths in the house and water has gone everywhere — but now the All England Club provides ice baths, so that doesn't happen anymore.

We also had one player who was rushing to the airport and left the hot shower running by accident, and the owner returned to find the bathroom full of steam and mold. The owner was livid. But things happen.

The past two years have been the most difficult. In 2020 the tournament was canceled, and in 2021 it went ahead but the players had to stay in a hotel near Westminster and be bused into the All England Club. I was able to rent out 60 houses to TV networks and other media, but it was strictly controlled.

Now it's back to normal. We are renting 150 properties this year. It's been two years of hell, but now we are going gangbusters.

I still won't get to see the tournament live, though, as we will be so busy, but I will make sure I see it on TV.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Trump congratulated his conservative Supreme Court justice picks for their 'courage' amid the overturn of Roe v. Wade

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 9:54am
Former President Donald Trump.
  • At an Illinois rally Saturday night, former President Donald Trump praised the rollback of Roe v. Wade.
  • He thanked the three conservative justices — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett — he appointed to the court. 
  • "Thanks to the courage found within the United States Supreme Court," he said.

Former President Donald Trump on Saturday thanked his three conservative justice picks on the Supreme Court, all of whom voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that made abortion a constitutional right nationwide. 

"Yesterday the court handed down a victory for the Constitution, a victory for the rule of law, and above all, a victory for life," Trump said during a rally in Mendon, Illinois. 

"Thanks to the courage found within the United States Supreme Court, this long divisive issue will be decided by the states and by the American people," he added.

Trump prefaced the rally by saying the court's decision 'was the answer to the prayers for millions and millions of people — and these prayers have gone on for decades and decades." 

"Your boundless love, sacrifice, and devotion has finally been awarded in full," he told the cheering crowd. 

The decision to overturn Roe v. Wade sparked protests nationwide. Since the decision was made public, a slew of prominent individuals from musician Jack White to lawmakers such as Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez have blasted the ruling. Attorney General Merrick Garlan condemned the court's decision, saying on Friday that it's a "devastating blow to reproductive freedom in the United States."

White is among those who've directly credited Trump for the decision, saying his appointment of three conservative justices within his single-term presidency made it possible to roll back Roe in the first place.  

At the rally Saturday night, Trump reminded the crowd that while on the presidential campaign trail in 2016, he had promised to appoint judges and justices who "would stand up for the original meaning of the Constitution and who would honestly and faithfully interpret the law as written."

He congratulated his three picks — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett — and praised the decision.

The Republican party, he said, believes that "every precious child is born and unborn as the sacred gift from God."

Since May, abortion-rights advocates have feared that the Supreme Court would strike down Roe v. Wade. The fears began when Politico published a leaked draft opinion in which Associate Justice Samuel Alito called the decision "egregiously wrong from the start."

Abortion, however, remained legal in the United States until the court handed down the final verdict. But the draft itself was enough to put reproductive rights activists and doctors who perform abortions on edge.

By overturning Roe, the Supreme Court has put the question of the legality of abortion in the hands of individual state legislatures and has essentially made it illegal in at least 22 states to obtain an abortion. There are expected to be added restrictions in several others.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A security breach of Fitness app Strava allowed unidentified operatives to spy on Israeli military's movements, report says

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 9:40am
In this photo illustration, the Strava logo is seen displayed on a smartphone.
  • An alleged Strava security breach allowed unidentified operatives to spy on Israeli military members, according to a watchdog group.
  • The operatives set up fake "segments" in top-secret military establishments across Israel, the group said.
  •  The operatives could track a user moving across bases and to a foreign country with the segments.

An alleged security breach on Strava, the fitness-tracking app for runners and cyclists, allowed unidentified operatives to spy on members of Israel's military, according to an Israeli watchdog group.

FakeReporter, which leverages crowdsourcing to report malicious activity, said in a press release that Strava's security breach was used to identify Israeli security personnel in top-secret locations.

FakeReporter was alerted to the security breach and was consequently able to identify at least 100 individuals using Strava while exercising in at least six top-secret military facilities in Israel, the press release said.

The Guardian reported that one user who went for a run on a top-secret base, thought to have links to the clandestine Israeli nuclear program, could be tracked moving across other military bases and to a foreign country.

The unidentified operatives were able to mine information from Israeli military members even with the most robust possible account privacy settings, The Guardian said. 

The operation, which has not yet been attributed to a specific actor or group, involved tracking information by creating fake running "segments" inside military bases, the newspaper reported.

Strava's tracking tools allow anyone to create and compete in segments — short sections of a run or bike ride that can be used to race. Anyone can define a segment, despite not having been there, meaning that some segments are clearly artificially generated, The Guardian reported.

In this instance, the newspaper said that the operatives, posing as an anonymous Strava user in Boston, Massachusetts, set up a series of fake segments in military establishments to track the movements of those based there.

With this information, per the press release, they could locate the movements, family members, colleagues, and addresses of specific users associated with Israeli intelligence agencies and the air force.

Israeli soldiers.

In a statement sent to Insider, the executive director of FakeReporter, Achiya Schatz, said that the watchdog group alerted Israeli security forces as soon as they became aware of the security breach.

"In the past, Strava's privacy settings have been tied to incidents of exposure of sensitive information. In 2018, the newly introduced "Heatmap" feature was shown to reveal American military sites," Schatz said.

Schatz continued, "Despite past revelations, it does not appear that Israeli security agencies have caught up. Although Strava made significant updates to its privacy settings, confused users might still be exposed publicly, even if their profiles were set to 'private.'"

FakeReporter's executive director added that this finding has chilling consequences. "By exploiting the capability to upload engineered files, revealing the details of users anywhere in the world, hostile elements have taken one alarming step closer to exploiting a popular app in order to harm the security of citizens and countries alike," Schatz said.

Strava did not immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

AOC recalls thanking God she had the choice to get an abortion when she took a pregnancy test after being raped

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 9:40am
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) speaks during a news conference at the US Capitol December 8, 2021, in Washington, DC.
  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said she feels grateful she could have had an abortion after being raped.
  • The New York lawmaker told the story of her sexual assault at a New York City protest Friday.
  • "Thank god I have, at least, a choice," she recalled thinking during a pregnancy test.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Friday shared a personal sexual assault story during a pro-abortion rights rally, saying she felt grateful she had the freedom to obtain an abortion if she needed one in that moment. 

"I myself, when I was about 22 or 23 years old, was raped while I was living here in New York City," she told a crowd in New York's City Union Square Park. "I was completely alone. I felt completely alone. In fact, I felt so alone that I had to take a pregnancy test in a public bathroom in midtown Manhattan."

"When I sat there waiting for what the result would be, all I could think was thank God I have, at least, a choice," she continued. "Thank God I could, at least, have the freedom to choose my destiny."

She added, "I didn't know then, as I was waiting, that it would come up negative."

"But it doesn't matter. It doesn't matter and that this is for all of us. This is not a women's rights issue. This is an issue for all of us."


—Jenna Amatulli (@ohheyjenna) June 25, 2022

Ocasio-Cortez gave the remarks the same day the Supreme Court voted 5-4 to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 landmark Supreme Court decision that made abortion a constitutional right nationwide. 

The decision has led to backlash and the eruption of protests nationwide. In the hours since the decision was made public, a slew of prominent individuals from musician Jack White to lawmakers, such as Ocasio-Cortez, have blasted the decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. The Justice Department condemned it, saying on Friday that it's a "devastating blow to reproductive freedom in the United States."

Since May, abortion-rights advocates have feared that the Supreme Court would strike down Roe v. Wade. The fears began when Politico published a leaked draft opinion in which Associate Justice Samuel Alito called the decision "egregiously wrong from the start."

Abortion, however, remained legal in the United States until the court handed down the final verdict. But the draft itself was enough to put reproductive rights activists and doctors who perform abortions on edge.

By overturning Roe, the Supreme Court has put the question of the legality of abortion in the hands of individual state legislatures and has essentially made it illegal in at least 22 states to obtain an abortion. There are expected to be added restrictions in several others.

"We must start right now to be relentless to restore and guarantee all of our rights here in the United States of America," Ocasio-Cortez urged the crowd during her Friday speech.


Read the original article on Business Insider

Hotels are offering guests $12,000 stem cell therapies, chewing lessons, and IV drips in luxury wellness kick

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 9:19am
The Four Seasons Maui in Hawaii.
  • Luxury hotels charging up to $20,000 a night are introducing several wellness treatments, per WSJ.
  • Treatments include IV drips, chewing lessons, stem-cell therapies, IV drips and MRIs.
  • The FDA has placed several warnings on regenerative medicines including stem cell therapies.

Hotels in exclusive tourist destinations are offering stem cell therapies, lessons in chewing, and IV drips as demand for medispas and wellness retreats soars, a report says.

The Wall Street Journal reported that New York's Peninsula hotel, German medispa Lanserhof, and Four Seasons Resort Maui in Hawaii were among hotels diving into bizarre wellness courses to attract wealthy, increasingly health-conscious guests. 

The report said a cornerstone of Lanserhof's program was the Mayr Cure, which involves a multiday fast, lessons in proper chewing - with more than 30 chews per mouthful recommended - and abdominal massages. The hotel is expected to introduce MRI machines and CT scanners for preventive diagnostic sessions. If that isn't enough to satisfy guests, there's also an on-site psychologist.

Lanserhof is not alone in offering an array of expensive alternative treatments, according to the WSJ. 

The Four Seasons in Wailea, Hawaii, where rooms can cost $20,000 a night, offers guests a selection of intravenous (IV) Drips and Ozone Therapy alongside Los Angeles–based preventive and diagnostic health care center Next Health. The hotel also offers guests 60-minute stem cell therapy sessions, costing $12,000 each. 

"According to research, [stem cells] can help orchestrate and improve cell communication, optimizing the efficiency of a variety of bodily processes, which may improve overall vitality,"  Next Health president and co-founder Kevin Peake told the WSJ.  

But the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released warnings about regenerative medicine therapies including stem cells in the past. It had received reports of blindness, tumor formation, and infections due to the use of unapproved products. 

High net worth individuals are spending more on alternative treatments, according to a report by the Global Wellness Institute.

The report found the global wellness economy was worth $4.4 trillion in 2021, with wellness tourism accounting for $436 billion. The study expected wellness tourism to grow by more than 20% per year between 2020 and 2025 after a pandemic-induced slowdown last year.

Alex Glasscock, CEO and co-founder of Ranch, told the WSJ that bookings at the group's Rome-based spa, where guests engage in four-hour hikes and deep tissue treatment, were starting to fill up six months in advance in a sign of resurgent demand.    

The hotels and medispas mentioned in the article didn't immediately respond to Insider's request for comment.

Read the original article on Business Insider

A Ukrainian commander says that 80% of his elite unit of marines have been killed or injured in Donbas fighting

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 9:09am
A Ukrainian soldier takes cover during heavy fighting at the front line in Severodonetsk, Luhansk region, Ukraine, Wednesday, June 8, 2022.
  • A Ukrainian military commander has told Sky News that 80% of his original troops have been killed or injured. 
  • The battle-hardened, elite unit had fought together since 2018, he told Sky News.
  • If he could sustain these losses for much longer, he said, "It's hard but we have no choice."

A Ukrainian military commander has told Sky News that 80% of troops have been killed or injured in his elite marines unit. 

The commander, Oleksandr, told the news site that his unit was "100% made up of professional soldiers who have a lot of experience. Now, 80% are incapacitated from serious injuries or death."

He told Sky News that his team has been fighting together since 2018. 

Oleksander spoke near the city of Severodonetsk where a bloody battle between Russian and Ukrainian forces lasted several weeks.

The city has now been seized by Russian forces. 

A man rides a bicycle among debris in Lysychansk, near Severodonetsk, on June 21, 2022,

Asked if he's able to sustain these losses for much longer, he said "It's hard. It's hard but we have no choice."

Zelenskyy has recently sounded the alarm that Ukraine is losing up to 100 soldiers a day. 

It is reported that Russia is also losing large numbers of troops, with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson saying that the invasion is losing its "forward momentum."

"Our defense intelligence service believes, however, that in the next few months, Russia could come to a point at which there is no longer any forward momentum because it has exhausted its resources," he said.

Speaking anonymously to The Washington Post, a senior Western official said that "There will come a time when the tiny advances Russia is making become unsustainable in light of the costs and they will need a significant pause to regenerate capability." 



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Elon Musk wants SpaceX's biggest rocket ready to launch in July, but experts say he may not get his wish

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 9:00am
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is hoping to get the Starship spacecraft ready to fly in July.
  • Elon Musk might not be ready to launch SpaceX's Starship rocket in July, space industry experts say.
  • SpaceX has to carry out the FAA's 75 actions by then, but two experts said they were fairly minor.
  • Musk always has very optimistic timelines, one expert told Insider. 

Elon Musk aims to get SpaceX's massive Starship rocket into orbit for the first time next month in a launch he hopes will revolutionize the space industry.

After the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last week concluded its environmental review into SpaceX's Texas launch site plans, the billionaire said his company will have Starship ready to fly next month.

Starship is a fully reusable rocket that SpaceX wants to send to the Earth's orbit and outer space. Launching the 120-meter vehicle would take NASA a step closer to returning to the Moon and allow Musk to achieve his dream of building a colony on Mars.

Even though the FAA found no significant environmental impact with SpaceX's launch site in Boca Chica, the company still has to take more than 75 actions listed in the agency's 43-page review. With July just days away, experts in the space industry aren't convinced Starship will be ready to launch by then. 

Greg Autry, a commercial space industry expert, told Insider that many of the FAA's 75 terms are "very trivial, non-engineering requirements" that can be completed at the same time as others. 

But he said Musk assumes everyone doing the job is a clone of himself, or someone who is "a genius that basically never stops working. I would bet late July is technically possible, but I'd put my own money on August or September."

Musk's timelines are always too optimistic, Autry added, something which the SpaceX CEO has admitted himself in the past.

SpaceX and Musk have predicted various dates for the Starship launch. These included July and November last year, as well as January 2022. Musk's latest prediction was made in February when he said he was confident that Starship would get into orbit this year.

For Olivier de Weck, professor of engineering systems at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it all comes down to two questions: can all the technical work be done before July, and does SpaceX have the launch permit?

Like Autry, de Weck also said most of the FAA's 75 actions are relatively small, such as collecting rocket debris that falls and donating $5,000 to organizations that protect endangered birds of prey and ocelots.

"My guess is that SpaceX is going to work on these [terms] in parallel because they have motivated, knowledgeable staff that work 80 hours a week," he said. "One week at SpaceX is like a month at a normal company."

De Weck said he wasn't sure if SpaceX could complete all the work in July. 

"If it's not July, it's going to be this summer — maybe August, September," de Weck said, adding there's a 75% to 80% probability that the first Starship launch will happen this summer.

Adam Baker, co-founder of UK Launch Services and an expert in rocket systems, picked up on the fact that Musk tweeted SpaceX will be ready to launch Starship to orbit in July, but not that it would actually do so.

It first requires a launch license, he said, but the FAA was not likely to issue one until all 75 actions have been met.

"Starship has the potential to change the way we do space travel, and that won't come without some environmental consequences, so there is a weighing up needed," Baker added.

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Russian oligarchs' wives say it would be 'suicide' to go back to Russia in new documentary

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 9:00am
Evgeny Chichvarkin with his wife Tatiana Fokina and Alexandra Tolstoy (right).
  • Wives of Russian oligarchs have been interviewed about Vladimir Putin's regime in a new documentary.
  • The 90-minute program "Secrets of the oligarch wives" will stream on Paramount+ from June 28.
  • One of the women said it would be "suicide" for her to go back to Russia now.

The wives of Russian oligarchs have spoken out about Vladimir Putin's regime in a new TV documentary.

Insider has previewed "Secrets of the Oligarch Wives", in which the women tell of corruption, betrayal, and suspected murder while painting an image of a vindictive Russian President who sees treachery at every turn, forgives nothing, settles every score, and is jealous of the oligarchs' lifestyles.

"Whenever you make a contract with the devil, there will be consequences … if you deal with the dark side, it will come to haunt you later," says Tatiana Fokina, the wife of Evgeny Chichvarkin. He founded Euroset, one of Russia's largest mobile phone retailers, and was once worth more than $1.5 billion.

"Going to Russia now would be suicide for me," Fokina said, adding that her comments would get her jailed if she did so. 

Alexandra Tolstoy, whose partner is Sergei Pugachev, once estimated to be worth $2 billion, said: "Putin would much prefer to have been an oligarch than to have been president."

Oligarchs gained their wealth in the 1990s by buying large stakes in state-owned industries after the Soviet Union collapsed. The wealth allowed them to buy superyachts, luxury properties, private jets and lead lavish lifestyles. 

However, since the invasion of Ukraine, Western countries have targeted these wealthy individuals and seized their assets in a bid to put pressure on Putin. 

In the new documentary, the women have decided to speak even though it may make them targets and prevent them from ever returning to Russia. 

Bill Browder, a campaigner and critic of Vladimir Putin, says in the documentary: "There is no difference between Russian organized crime and the Russian government. The Russian government is effectively an organized crime organization and Vladimir Putin is the mafia boss." 

Browder once ran the largest foreign investment fund in Russia. He said in April that sanctioning oligarchs. before the invasion of Ukraine, would have had a "much greater effect" on Putin's actions. 

The 90-minute documentary, produced by See It Now Studios and Blink Films, is available on Paramount+ from June 28.

Read the original article on Business Insider

Oil prices could slump to $75 a barrel in a recession — or jump to $150 if European sanctions slam Russian supplies, BofA says

Sun, 06/26/2022 - 8:30am
  • Analysts at Bank of America laid out three scenarios for the outlook on Brent crude oil prices.
  • The international oil benchmark should average $102 per barrel in 2022 and 2023, BofA said.
  • But it could drop to $75 in a recession or spike to $150 if European sanctions hit Russian supplies.

Oil prices could surge higher or plunge lower depending on what happens next in global markets, according to Bank of America.

Mounting fears of a recession have sent crude prices to their second consecutive weekly decline, but they remain above $100 per barrel amid still-high demand and constrained supply, while inflation, hawkish central banks and war still loom.

"Surging inflationary pressures from food to energy to services, coupled with fast paced interest rate hikes, suggest oil demand will struggle to fully recover to pre-pandemic levels until next year," analysts wrote in a recent note.

The various crosscurrents and risks left BofA with a wide range of possibilities. For now, analysts don't see a recession and still expect Brent crude to average $102 per barrel in 2022 and 2023, after averaging about $104 for the year to date.

On Friday, Brent oil rose 2.6% to nearly $113 per barrel, but is down from a high of $133 reached in March.

A recession, however, would trigger a pullback in fuel consumption, and oil prices could crash more than 30% from current levels, according to BofA's estimates.

If growth does go south, any easing in monetary policy from central banks would support oil prices somewhat. So even in the event of a recession in 2023, BofA sees crude averaging more than $75 a barrel.

Then there is Russia's war on Ukraine, and the sanctions that Western governments have imposed to punish Moscow.

As the EU's Russian oil embargo phase in over the rest of the year, more and more barrels could disappear from global markets, hitting Russia's output and sending prices skyrocketing.

If European sanctions push Russian oil production below 9 million barrels per day, then oil prices could spike to $150, BofA warned. Indeed, the long-term consequences of such supply disruptions have not been fully appreciated, it added.

"Yet the market does not seem to be pricing in a decade-long Russian supply crisis, as long dated oil prices have stayed firmly anchored in our long term oil price band of $60 to $80/bbl," analysts said. "Thus, extended sanctions on Russian energy could act as a price floor even if near-dated spot oil price downside risks grow."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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