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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy told independent Russian journalists that his government would consider a peace pact declaring neutrality and offering security guarantees to the Kremlin.
Ukraine would also remain nuclear free under such a pact, but the country’s neutral status would rely on assurances from third parties and a referendum vote by Ukrainian citizens within a few months after Russian troop withdrawal, Zelenskyy said.
Roskomnadzor, the Russian federal agency regulating communications for Moscow, banned Zelenskyy’s remarks from being published Sunday and warned the Russian media outlets that took part, including “those that are foreign media outlets acting as foreign agents,” could face consequences.
Ukrainian forces continue to hold most major cities, but the mayor of port city Mariupol in the south called Monday for the evacuation of the remaining 160,000 residents amid heavy bombardment from Russian forces.
Biden’s ‘moral outrage’ at Putin: The US president said Monday he is not “walking back” his earlier comments that Russian President Vladimir Putin “cannot remain in power.” Biden added he was expressing a “moral outrage that I feel.“
It’s Chelsea with today’s top stories out of Washington.
Biden calls for income tax on wealthiest Americans
President Joe Biden proposed to new tax on billionaires as part of a $5.8 trillion spending plan he sent to Congress for the upcoming fiscal year.
The spending plan, which also proposes a 9.8% increase in military spending, will become a starting point for negotiations between Congress and the White House toward an official budget.
Biden suggests a minimum tax of 20% on households worth more than $100 million. Currently, the nation’s wealthiest individuals pay a lower tax rate than many middle-income households. Over half the revenue from the tax would come from billionaires.
The proposal also includes $773 billion in military spending to help defend Ukraine against Russia and strengthen global deterrence efforts; $30 billion in mandatory spending to support law enforcement, crime prevention and community violence intervention and an additional $1.7 billion to expand gun-tracking strike forces.
The Biden administration also said deficit spending is projected to drop by more than $1 trillion over the next decade.
Real quick: stories you’ll want to read
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Who is Ginni Thomas?
The spotlight is on Virginia “Ginni” Thomas after text messages were released last week between her and former White House chief of staff Mark Meadows that appeared to show her pressing Meadows to reverse the results of the 2020 presidential election.
The wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, Ginni Thomas is a regular in conservative political circles and attended the Jan. 6 rally held by former President Donald Trump at the Ellipse before a riot broke out at the Capitol.
But her proximity to her husband’s work on the Supreme Court, which is meant to be nonpartisan, has invited scrutiny of Justice Thomas’s neutrality. He was the only justice to dissent in a decision to allow the release of Trump administration documents to the Jan. 6 panel.
The woman who would become Ginni Thomas was born Virginia Lamp to a politically conservative family in Omaha, Nebraska. She met her husband Clarence in 1986 at a conference on affirmative action in New York.
Thomas is a special correspondent for the right-wing media outlet the Daily Caller and started the nonprofit lobbying group Liberty Central during the Obama administration to combat the “leftist tyranny” of the former president and congressional Democrats. She also served as a senior executive at the conservative think tank the Heritage Foundation.
Thomas released from hospital after extended stay: The Supreme Court justice was released Friday after being admitted a week earlier for flu-like symptoms.
Sunday’s Oscar’s ceremony put the spotlight on alopecia, a medical condition that causes hair loss. Discover more about the condition here. — Chelsea
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism