Wednesday, December 7

5 things to know Thursday


Russian gas giant says it has cut gas supplies to Poland, Bulgaria

Russia’s state-controlled natural gas giant Gazprom says it has cut gas supplies to Poland and Bulgaria after they refused Russian President Vladimir Putin’s order to pay for the shipments in rubles. Gazprom said in a statement it hasn’t received any payments since April 1 from Poland and Bulgaria and was suspending deliveries to them starting Wednesday. Energy Minister Alexander Nikolov said Wednesday that Bulgaria can meet the needs of users for at least one month and added that gas was still flowing. European Union officials are holding emergency gas talks following Russia’s decision. European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said the announcement by Gazprom “is yet another attempt by Russia to use gas as an instrument of blackmail.” If deliveries are halted to other countries, it could cause economic pain in Europe, driving natural gas prices up — but it would also deal a blow to Russia’s own economy.

Madeleine Albright memorialized at funeral; Biden to deliver eulogy

Funeral services will be held Wednesday for Madeleine Albrightthe first female US secretary of state, who died of cancer last month at 84. President Joe Biden is slated to eulogize the trailblazing diplomat during the service held at Washington National Cathedral. Other speakers include former President Bill Clinton — under whom Albright served as secretary of state and ambassador to the United Nations — and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Musical performances from Herbie Hancock, Judy Collins and Chris Botti are also planned. Praised by admirers as a champion of democracy and human rights, Albright’s diplomatic career de ella saw her push for NATO expansion and the use of US military intervention abroad. A livestream of Albright’s funeral will begin at 11 am ET.

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UK diplomat: Britain must ‘double down’ on Ukraine support

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss is calling for Britain to increase defense spending and provide more heavy weapons to Ukraine as the West seeks to counter Russian aggression. In a speech to be delivered Wednesday night, Truss will say that a “generation of under investment” in the military led to the invasion of Ukraine, according to excerpts from the Daily Telegraph. She will add that Britain must “double down” on support for Ukraine. Truss’ speech will come a day after a meeting of defense nations officials from more than three dozen nations Tuesday helped unify the West’s efforts to help Ukraine “win today and build strength for tomorrow,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said. “Countries all around the world have been stepping up to meet Ukraine’s urgent needs,” Austin said following the meeting in Germany, during which the US urged for more weapons for Ukraine. “We’ve got to move at the speed of war,” he added.

House members to look at high court ethics changes after Ginni Thomas’ texts

A House panel will hold at hearing Wednesday on whether to change ethics requirements at the Supreme Court, a month after reports revealed Justice Clarence Thomas’ wife, Ginni Thomas, texted to Trump administration official in early 2021 and urged him to overturn the 2020 election. Ginni Thomas’ texts, along with her admission she attended former President Donald Trump’s Jan. 6 speech before the violence erupted, renewed debate over ethics standards on the nation’s highest court because Justice Thomas sided with Trump in a case where the former president was seeking to keep insurrection-related communication secret. The development once again sparked uproar about when Supreme Court justices should recuse themselves. The bills likely to come up at the hearing of the Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property, and the Internet, would require justices to follow a binding code of ethics. The high court does not regard itself as legally bound to the code other federal judges follow.

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