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Wednesday morning news - February 16, 2022

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WORLD Radio - Wednesday morning news - February 16, 2022

Russia claims troop pullback, gunmaker Remington settles with Sandy Hook families, jury rejects Sarah Palin’s libel case, and mask mandates continue to fall


Russian President Vladimir Putin gestures speaking during a joint news conference with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz following their talks in the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2022. Sergey Guneev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via Associated Press

For WORLD Radio, I'm Kristen Flavin. 

Latest from Ukrainian border » Russia claims it is pulling back some of its troops from the Ukrainian border.

PUTIN: [speaking Russian] Do we want this or not? Of course not. That is exactly why we put forward proposals for a process of negotiations.

Speaking to members of the media after talks with German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, Russian President Vladimir Putin said he does not want war.

On Tuesday, the Russian Defense Ministry released images of military equipment rolling onto railway platforms and across snowy fields. But it did not say where the images were taken or where the vehicles were headed.

SCHOLZ: [speaking German] For us Germans, and for all Europeans, it is clear that lasting security cannot be achieved against Russia, but only with Russia.

Chancellor Scholz said lasting security could not be achieved against Russia, only with it. He said he refused to describe the current situation as hopeless.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he is cautiously optimistic about Russia’s more conciliatory tone.

STOLTENBERG: But so far, we have not seen any sign of deescalation on the ground.

Despite weeks of talks, Russia and Western nations remain divided over key issues, including security measures in Eastern Europe and Ukraine’s interest in joining NATO.

Mask mandates end in California, and Washington, D.C. » Mask mandates are continuing to fall across the country. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown has that story.

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: As of today, vaccinated Californians no longer need to wear masks indoors unless they are in LA County. Officials there are keeping mask mandates in place for at least a few more weeks.

The new rules do not apply to teachers and students. They must continue to wear masks in California classrooms, at least until the end of the month.

In Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser ended proof of vaccination requirements for indoor venues starting Tuesday. Mask mandates in the nation’s capital will end on March 1st.

And major employers are also dropping mask requirements. Workers at Amazon and Walmart, two of the largest private employers in the country, no longer need to mask up on the job.

About half of the states that still had mask mandates have ended them in the last three weeks.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.

Sandy Hook families settle with gunmaker Remington » Families of nine victims of the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School have agreed to settle a lawsuit against gunmaker Remington.

Insurers for the company will pay the families $73 million and allow them to release documents obtained during the lawsuit. Those include filings that show how the company marketed the Bushmaster rifle—the weapon used to kill 20 first graders and six staffers at the Connecticut elementary school.

Josh Koskoff is an attorney for the families.

KOSKOFF: It’s not a firearm. It’s not a modern sporting rifle. It’s not a family Swiss Army knife. It’s a combat weapon.

The families’ civil suit focused on the company’s marketing tactics, claiming it intentionally appealed to young, at-risk men. The company had argued there was no evidence to show its marketing had anything to do with the shooting.

Remington filed for bankruptcy a second time in 2020 and its assets were later sold off to several other companies.

Jury rejects Palin libel lawsuit » A New York jury has rejected former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin’s libel claim against The New York Times.

The jury reached its verdict on Tuesday, one day after the judge in the case said he intended to dismiss it anyway.

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff told the lawyers on Monday he did not think Palin had proven The Times acted maliciously.

Ken Turkel is one of Palin’s lawyers.

TURKEL: We’re going to evaluate all our options for appeal, all of our options for any further practice in court, at the trial level, and take it from there.

The case stemmed from a 2017 editorial about gun violence. It tied Palin’s political action committee to a 2011 shooting in Arizona that left six dead and former U.S. Congresswoman Gabby Giffords severely wounded.

The editor who worked on the piece admitted he made a mistake but said he meant no harm.

Despite the judge’s decision to dismiss the case, he called it “an example of very unfortunate editorializing on the part of The Times.”

I’m Kristen Flavin. For more news, features, and analysis, visit us at wng.org. 


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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