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Colonial Pipeline back online, but gas might not be back until the weekend

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After almost a week since Colonial Pipeline shut down for the very first time in its history, President Joe Biden announced Thursday that the pipeline was back to full capacity. But, that doesn’t mean gas stations that were emptied over the last six days will be immediately replenished.

“But I want to be clear, we will not feel the effects at the pump immediately,” Biden said during a press conference. “This is not like flicking on a light switch.”

The pipeline is over 5,500 miles long. So Biden adjusted everyone’s expectations during the presser. “We expect to see a region by region return to normalcy beginning this weekend,” he said.

Yet Colonial Pipeline’s own statement was even more vague about the timeline. “Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal,” their statement read.

However, when asked if Colonial Pipeline paid Ransomware, the group of hackers who initially attacked the pipeline’s cybersecurity apparatus, Biden refused to answer. From the beginning, the Biden administration has been clear that it is not the government’s decision to make. On Monday, Anne Neuberger, Deputy National Security Adviser for Cyber and Emerging Technology said it would be a “private sector decision” whether the ransom would be paid or not.

Sources involved in the transaction reportedly confirmed to Bloomberg News that a $5 million ransom was paid.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism

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Trump: Tanks to Ukraine could escalate to use of ‘NUKES’

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Former President Donald Trump stated bluntly on Truth Social,  “FIRST COME THE TANKS, THEN COME THE NUKES. Get this crazy war ended, NOW. So easy to do!”

Trump was referring to the escalation of war in Ukraine. He, like many other commentators and lawmakers, are warning that the decision to continue sending weapons – and now tanks – could potentially lead to the use of “nuclear weapons.”

It’s mission creep and it’s dangerous, they say.

Why? Because Russian President Valdimir Putin has indicated in two different speeches that he would use nuclear weapons to defend Russia, if needed. Those warnings are not just bluster but a very real possibility.

And the escalation of war is visible.

Russia launched 55 missiles strikes across Ukraine Thursday, leaving 11 dead. The strikes come one day after the United States and Germany agreed to send tanks to Ukraine in an effort to aide the country. 47 of the 55 missiles were shot down according to Ukraine’s Air Force command.

Eleven lives were lost and another 11 were injured additionally leaving 35 buildings damaged in the wake of the attacks. According to The New York Times, Denys Shmyhal, said in a post on Telegram. “The main goal is energy facilities, providing Ukrainians with light and heat,” he said.

Ukraine is now demanding that they need F-16 fighter jets. In a post on twitter Ukrainian lawmaker, Oleksiy Goncharenko said, “Missiles again over Ukraine. We need F16.”

The US has abstained from sending advanced jets in the chances that a volatile decision could foster more dangerous attacks like former President Trump’s post on Truth referred to. If the US did authorize the decision to lend Ukraine the F-16 jets Netherlands’ foreign minister, Wopke Hoekstra, would be willing to supply them. According to The New York Times, Hoekstra told Dutch lawmakers, “We are open-minded… There are no taboos.”

F-16 fighter jets are complex to work on, they are not the average aircraft that can be learned in a matter of weeks. It can take months for pilots to learn how to fly these birds. European and US officials have the concern that Ukrainian forces could potentially use the jets to fly into Russian airspace and launch attacks on Russian soil.

Western allies are trying to avoid such a provocation, because that could lead to nuclear warfare in reference to what Putin has said he would do to defend his country.

 

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