5 min read

⏳ Friday Fix: Biden's Blunders

⏳ Friday Fix: Biden's Blunders

Morning all,

Minor incursions, aircraft piracy, a failure to act, mandatory vaccinations and a postponed Adele residency - there's a lot going on.

Until tomorrow,

Your Fixers


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Just as we published, Sky News and RTÉ News sent out alerts saying the singer and actor Meat Loaf has died at the age of 74.


President Biden made an embarrassing and damaging gaffe this week, when he suggested there might be a less severe response from the west if Russia were to make a "minor incursion" into Ukraine.

The White House was quick to clear it up by saying any invasion or attack would be met with sweeping sanctions, but it became the headline nonetheless.

Ukraine's President Zelensky published a defiant tweet, saying "there are no minor incursions".

The cartoon below by Peter Brookes was widely circulated online on Thursday.

Source: Peter Brookes The Times

Meanwhile, CNN published an interesting article this week, looking back at Biden's biggest gaffes in the first year of his presidency.

"Biden's imaginary or embellished stories about his own history were the most memorable falsehoods of his first year in office. They were not, however, the only ones.The President also made multiple false claims about important policy matters, notably including three subjects that occupied much of his time: the US withdrawal from Afghanistan, the economy and the Covid-19 pandemic." - CNN analysis


US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will meet his Russian counterpart, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, for talks in Geneva today.

Blinken has spent much of this week meeting European allies as concerns mount that Russian could "move in" on Ukraine, as President Biden suggested.

"The stakes for these talks are huge but there is little expectation they will produce a breakthrough to defuse the stand-off. The Americans want to talk about avoiding war in Ukraine. The Russians want to talk about their demands for Nato to step back and allow Moscow to establish a new sphere of influence across Eastern Europe." - BBC Diplomatic correspondent, James Landale

The US has charged four Belarusian officials with "aircraft piracy" over the diversion of a Ryanair flight last May.

Remember: Back in May, a Ryanair flight crossing Belarusian airspace was told to make an emergency landing in Minsk, with officials citing a false bomb threat. Instead, when the flight landed an activist and journalist called Roman Protasevich - who had expressed opposition to President Lukashenko - was taken off the flight and arrested. He is now under house arrest.

The incident was widely condemned, and led to sanctions against Belarus. Ryanair boss Michael O'Leary described it at the time as "state-sponsored hijacking".

Not familiar with Belarus? Read our piece - Belarus: Europe's Last Dictatorship.

Actor Alec Baldwin is being sued for $25 million by the family of a soldier who died in Afghanistan in August, a family Baldwin donated money to in the wake of the soldier's death.

Lance Corporal Rylee McCollum was killed during a suicide bombing attack in Afghanistan in August. Following his death, a GoFundMe was set up for his pregnant widow. Baldwin saw the fundraiser and sent $5,000, describing it as a "tribute to a fallen soldier".

Okay, so why are they suing him? Because Baldwin responded to a photo McCollum's sister uploaded to Instagram earlier this month, ahead of the first anniversary of the January 6 breach of the Capitol. While McCollum's sister attended the Capitol that day, she was never arrested or charged with a crime, and said "protesting is perfectly legal".

Baldwin went on to post about it to his 2.4 million followers. McCollum's family said this resulted in a series of death threats.

Pope Benedict "failed to act" on four cases related to child abuse by priests, while he was archbishop in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

An external law firm that carried out the study said they believe the pope emeritus "can be accused of misconduct" in the cases.

Remember: Pope Benedict is often referred to as "the pope emeritus" because he abdicated in 2013, and Pope Francis took over.

Worth noting: The Times reported both Catholic and Protestant churches in Germany are losing "about 400,000 members a year".



The man had been suspicious of his wife, who was spending lots of money on holidays etc, and had access to a pensioner's bank details.



Why? The singer's Vegas residency was supposed to begin today. However, an emotional Adele announced it had to be postponed due to "production problems and the toll of Covid-19".

"I'm so sorry, but my show ain't ready... we've been absolutely destroyed by delivery delays and Covid... it's been impossible to finish the show... I'm gutted, I'm gutted. I'm sorry it is so last minute, we've been awake for over 30 hours now trying to figure it out." - Adele



This reporter, who got hit by a car while live on TV, and handled it with such class.


Dream team.