The pandemic continues to call the shots for the economy. Each wave of the virus has done significant damage, with Omicron now hitting the economy hard. December retail sales slumped as households pulled back on spending, including travel, dining out at restaurants and attending Broadway shows. The airlines continue to struggle with flight cancellations as pilots and other personnel get sick. Unemployment insurance claims are on the rise again, as small businesses, unable to stay open, reduce staff. [Source]
Russia's relentless bombardment of residential areas across Ukraine has so far forced more than one million refugees to flee the country, according to the United Nations, as fierce fighting continues into its second week.
Russia's buildup of troops at Ukraine's borders has persisted, despite Moscow's claims of a drawdown, but the number of Russian forces remains insufficient for an invasion, according to a Ukrainian intelligence report shared exclusively with CNN.