What we’re reading: Putin bows out of nuclear treaty, college football rule changes and more



Russian President Vladimir Putin arrives to deliver his annual state of the nation address in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023. (Ramil Sitdikov, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

By Seth Dowdle, Staff Writer

Putin pulls out of nuclear treaty with the US

Russian President Vladimir Putin said he is pulling out of the New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (START) with the United States, according to CNN.

Putin made the announcement in his annual state of the nation address to Russia’s National Assembly on Tuesday. 

The New START treaty was a bilateral agreement regarding the reduction of nuclear weapons signed by former presidents Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev.

President Barack Obama, left, and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev sign the New START treaty at the Prague Castle in Prague on April 8, 2010.  (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File) (AP)

The decision to bow out of the treaty comes just a day after President Joe Biden met with Ukraine President Voloymyr Zelenskyy to discuss additional U.S. assistance in Ukraine’s fight against the Russian invasion, according to Fox News.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry stated that the decision to pull out of the treaty was “reversible,” according to CNN.

Google lawsuit argued before Supreme Court

Supreme Court Justices were hesitant on Tuesday to side with a family wanting to hold Google liable for the death of their daughter in a 2015 Paris terrorist attack, according to the Associated Press.

Beatriz Gonzalez, right, the mother of 23-year-old Nohemi Gonzalez, a student killed in the Paris terrorist attacks, and stepfather Jose Hernandez, speak outside the Supreme Court,Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, in Washington. A lawsuit against YouTube from the family of Nohemi Gonzalez was argued at the Supreme Court. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon) (AP)

The court is debating over the pivotal case Gonzalez v. Google, which could break the balance set by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, according to CNBC.

The Gonzalez family argues that Google, through YouTube, violated the Anti-Terrorism Act by aiding ISIS through the promotion of the terrorist group’s videos via the platform’s recommendation algorithm, CNBC reports. Lower courts sided with Google.

Justice Elena Kagan argued that Congress, not the court, should make the necessary changes to the law.

“We really don’t know these things. You know, these are not like the nine greatest experts on the internet,” Kagan said.

Conservative Justice Brett Kavanaugh agreed, saying that the burden should be put on Congress in this case.

College football considering new rule changes for 2023

Executives in college football are getting closer to recommending several clock rule changes that are meant to reduce plays for both safety and game length reasons, according to Sports Illustrated.

Two of the proposed changes are reportedly non-controversial, while the other two have received more pushback.

The two non-controversial rule changes include prohibiting consecutive timeouts and no longer extending the first or third quarters with an untimed down if the frame ends with a defensive penalty, according to Sports Illustrated.

Keeping the clock running after a first down, except inside the final two minutes in a half, and keeping it running after an incomplete pass are also rules that are on the table.

According to CBS Sports, keeping the clock running following a first down would result in offenses losing about seven plays per game. Keeping it running following an incomplete pass would remove 18-20 plays from the game.

Mormon church and investment firm to pay fine for failure to disclose

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its investment arm will be forced to pay a $5 million fine for using shell companies to obscure the size of their portfolio, according to the Associated Press.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission says, Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2023, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and its investment arm will pay $5 million in fines. The SEC alleges the church used shell companies to obscure the size of the portfolio under the church’s control.(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File) (AP)

In a press release, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced that the church failed to “file forms that would have disclosed the Church’s equity investments” and instead filed forms for shell companies that “misstated Ensign Peak’s control over the Church’s investment decisions.”

Ensign Peak is the church’s investment division.

The SEC filed charges both against the church for causing the violations as well as Ensign Peak, according to CNN Business.

Ensign Peak settled the charges by agreeing to pay a $4 million fine with the LDS church agreeing to pay $1 million, according to the press release by the SEC.

Ensign Peak violated agency rules and the Securities Exchange Act for over 22 years by not filing paperwork required that disclosed the value of its assets, according to the Associated Press.