Happy Wednesday! Neither of your Morning Dispatchers were alive when the Berlin Wall fell, but we’re feeling old this morning: Apple announced yesterday that, after more than 20 years, it is discontinuing the iPod.
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
The average price of regular gasoline in the United States hit a record-high $4.37 per gallon yesterday, according to AAA data. President Joe Biden described inflation as his “top domestic priority” in a speech on Tuesday, blaming the price increases primarily on the pandemic and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines testified before the Senate on Tuesday, telling lawmakers U.S. intelligence officials believe Russian forces’ pivot to the Donbas region to be “only a temporary shift,” as President Vladimir Putin’s overall “strategic goals” in the region likely remain unchanged. “The next few months could see us moving along a more unpredictable and potentially escalatory trajectory,” Haines said. “At the very least, we believe the dichotomy will usher in a period of more ad hoc decision making in Russia.”
A leaked internal forecast from Russia’s Finance Ministry projected the country’s economy will contract 12 percent this year as it’s pummeled by Western sanctions. The report—which was published by Bloomberg and subsequently denied by the Kremlin—shows the blowback from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would wipe out about 10 years of economic growth by the end of 2022.