The Morning Dispatch: Nord Stream Explosions Heighten EU Energy Concerns

Happy Wednesday! McDonald’s announced yesterday it’s partnering with streetwear brand Cactus Plant Flea Market to offer limited-edition Happy Meals for adults, complete with a collectible figurine inside every box. At last, a chance for adults to be happy too!

Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories

  • Russian-installed officials in four partly-occupied regions of Ukraine reported that residents had voted—in staged referendums conducted under the threat of violence—in favor of joining Russia. Meanwhile, nearly 100,000 Russians have crossed into Kazakhstan since Russian President Vladimir Putin announced partial mobilization to recruit new troops for the war in Ukraine. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov on Monday acknowledged compliance problems with the mobilization, as Russians have burned recruitment offices and one man shot a draft officer.

  • The Nord Stream 1 and 2 natural gas pipelines connecting Russia and Europe are leaking into the Baltic Sea in three places after a series of explosions earlier this week that some European officials claimed were “sabotage,” likely by Russia. The pipelines weren’t currently shipping fuel to Europe for reasons related to Russia’s war in Ukraine, but now they may not be able to even if geopolitical circumstances change. 

  • Hurricane Ian strengthened to a Category 3 storm Tuesday and is forecast to reach Category 4 as it nears Florida today after causing a total power outage in Cuba. Gov. Ron DeSantis estimated 2.5 million Floridians were under evacuation orders Tuesday, and the storm’s outer bands spawned tornadoes along Florida’s east coast last night.

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