Happy Thursday! Opening Day is here; hope springs eternal!
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
In response to alleged atrocities in Bucha, the Biden administration on Wednesday announced a new package of sanctions targeting Russia. The United States will prohibit Americans from making new investments in Russia, implement full blocking sanctions (with carveouts for energy) on two of Russia’s largest financial institutions (Sberbank and Alfa Bank), restrict Russia from making debt payments “with funds subject to U.S. jurisdiction,” and sanction Vladimir Putin’s children, Sergei Lavrov’s wife and daughter, and members of Russia’s Security Council.
The Justice Department announced Wednesday it had charged Russian oligarch Konstantin Malofeyev with violating U.S. sanctions put in place after Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014. FBI Director Christopher Wray added that U.S. law enforcement detected and disrupted a global botnet controlled by the Russian military intelligence agency, removing malware from thousands of devices “before it could do any harm.”
President Joe Biden announced Wednesday his administration would extend the pause on federal student loan repayments—first put in place by the Trump administration in March 2020—until August 31. Biden had already prolonged the moratorium in August 2021 (which he claimed at the time would be the final extension) and in December 2021. The Department of Education said yesterday it would also allow those with paused loans to receive a “fresh start” on repayment by “eliminating the impact of delinquency and default and allowing them to reenter repayment in good standing.”