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US military drone collides with Russian fighter jet over Black Sea
A U.S. MQ-9 Reaper drone collided with a Russian Su-27 fighter plane over the Black Sea on Tuesday, resulting in the loss of the drone. The drone was flying in international airspace conducting routine operations when it was hit by the Russian fighter, according to a statement from U.S. European Command and U.S. Air Forces in Europe-Air Forces Africa. The statement also criticised the Russian military for its "pattern of dangerous actions" in international airspace. The Russian fighter was one of two flying in tandem at the time of the collision.
On our radar
Silicon Valley Bank (SVB) was granted a special exemption from rules aimed at preventing deposit-taking banks from engaging in risky investments and financial speculation by federal regulators in the lead up to its collapse. The move coincided with SVB continuing to invest in high-risk venture capital in the years before its failure, which is the second-largest bank failure in US history. The Federal Reserve created significant carve-outs to the so-called Volcker Rule, named after former Fed chairman Paul Volcker, which was supposed to prevent federally insured banks from owning or investing in private equity or hedge funds. SVB was an outlier in terms of its high exposure to venture capital funds.
A US drone was downed by a Russian fighter jet over the Black Sea, resulting in a warning from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer to Russian President Vladimir Putin to stop "risky" actions to prevent unintended escalation. US-Russia relations have been strained since the US backed Kyiv and issued sanctions against Moscow after Russia's Ukraine invasion in February 2022. While the incident may not greatly impact US-Russia relations, it serves as a reminder of the potential for small-scale incidents to heighten tensions and trigger unintended escalation. Swift diplomacy and crisis communication are needed to prevent further conflict.
ASSOCIATED PRESS — U.S. inflation eases but stays high, putting Fed in tough spot
US consumer prices increased by 0.4% in February, slightly below January’s rise of 0.5%, but still above the Federal Reserve’s 2% annual inflation target. However, while prices are rising faster than the Fed desires, some analysts believe the central bank will suspend its year-long streak of interest rate hikes at its next meeting in order to focus on boosting confidence in the financial system. This would be a sharp shift from just a week ago when Fed chair Jerome Powell had suggested that the central bank could raise its benchmark interest rate by a substantial half-point if inflation did not cool.
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