3 Things To Know Today

Vintage movie countdown, illustration

Photo: Science Photo Library RF

1 US Ambassador To Russia Delivered Undisclosed Message To Russian FM

A U.S. State Department official says an undisclosed message was given to the Russian Foreign Ministry by the U.S. Ambassador to Russia. While details weren’t released, it has been confirmed that John Sullivan visited the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Moscow yesterday to discuss bilateral issues. Specific details weren’t released, but officials say the meeting was previously planned – not something requested by the Russians. According to reports, the meeting lasted around 20 minutes – and that’s considered a “normal amount of time for meetings” between officials from the U.S. and Russia. Meanwhile, Ukraine is offering Russia a prisoner exchange: Russian POWs for the evacuating injured Ukrainian soldiers from Mariupol’s besieged Azovstal steel plant. “As of now, it is impossible to unblock Azovstal by military means,” says Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk. “Defenders of Azovstal do not want to surrender. This is worthy of respect. Russians do not agree on ‘extraction.’ This is reality, but it's not surprising from the Russians… We are not looking for an ideal option, but a working one.”

2 Surfside Condo Survivors And Families Reveal $997M Settlement

The relatives of the victims of the 2021 Surfside condo collapse have reached a settlement in their wrongful death lawsuits. The survivors and victims’ families agreed to a $997-million settlement after the collapse killed almost 100 people last June. The families had sued several businesses including Champlain Towers South's insurers and an engineering firm who warned the building had structural issues before it collapsed. Earlier this year, those who sued for property damage were awarded $83-million. Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Michael Hanzman expressed his pride for the lawyers involved in the case and called the settlement “beyond extraordinary.” “There is no grief which time does not lessen and soften,” Hanzman offered, quoting Cicero.“I am not going to say up here that this resolution allows them to move on and heal because that’s something that’s just not true. The Bar rose to the occasion. We have done the best we can in a judicial forum.”

3 COVID Cases Rise, Americans Not Worried

COVID-19 cases may be on the rise in the US, but Americans aren’t too upset by it. That's the word from a new Gallup poll which reports less than one in three American adults are "very" or "somewhat worried" about getting coronavirus. In fact., the worry level for U.S. adults is the lowest Gallup has recorded since last July. While almost two in three Americans believe the COVID-19 situation is "getting better,” 21% of U.S. adults believe the situation is staying the same, while 12% say it's getting worse. Meanwhile, the European Union no longer recommends wearing masks on airplanes and in airports. The EU Aviation Safety Agency and European Center for Disease Prevention and Control said in a joint statement this is "a big step forward in the normalization of air travel." The agencies said they came to the decision after consulting vaccination rates and naturally acquired immunity.

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