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US orders 8,500 troops on heightened alert amid fears Russia will invade Ukraine
The Pentagon ordered 8,500 troops on higher alert Monday to potentially deploy to Europe as part of a NATO "response force" amid growing concerns that Russia could soon make a military move on Ukraine. Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said the possible deployment would not be to Ukraine but to NATO territory in Eastern Europe. The move suggests diminishing hope that Russian President Vladimir Putin will back away from what President Joe Biden himself has said looks like a threat to invade neighboring Ukraine. At stake, beyond the future of Ukraine, is the credibility of a NATO alliance that is central to U.S. defense strategy but that Putin views as a Cold War relic and a threat to Russian security. For Biden, the crisis represents a major test of his ability to forge a united allied stance against Putin. Russia denies it is planning an invasion and says Western accusations are merely a cover for NATO’s own planned provocations.
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Baseball Hall of Fame class to be announced
Baseball’s 2022 Hall of Fame class – or lack thereof – will be revealed on Tuesday. Based on past precedent and current vote totals, seven-time MVP Barry Bonds and seven-time Cy Young Award winner Roger Clemens will miss induction in their 10th and final year on the ballot due to accusations they used performance-enhancing drugs. Meanwhile, first-time candidate David Ortiz will find out if his star turn as Boston Red Sox DH will be enough to get him in – or if questions over a reported positive test for a banned substance will at least temporarily land him in Bonds-Clemens limbo. Other first-time candidates include Alex Rodriguez, who sits fourth on the all-time home runs list, and Tim Lincecum, who has three World Series rings and two Cy Young awards.
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Crews work to reduce size of fire near Big Sur
Crews are still working to contain a wildfire near California's picturesque Big Sur coastline Tuesday. The blaze, named the Colorado Fire for its origin in the Palo Colorado Canyon, was 40% contained on Monday evening, fire officials said. The fire's estimated size was reduced to about 700 acres on Sunday through improved mapping, down from an original estimation of 1,050 acres, according to the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection. It initially made a fast approach toward the state's coastline on Friday night, pushed by wind gusts up to 50 mph. There's no precipitation in the forecast through early next week, according to AccuWeather, though high air pressure over the next few days should calm winds. The cause of the wildfire remains under investigation.
At least 2 dead after two earthquakes shake Haiti
Relief efforts will resume Tuesday in Haiti following two earthquakes that shook its southwest region, killing two people, injuring dozes and damaging hundreds of homes. The magnitude 5.3 quake and magnitude 5.1 quake on Monday were centered on Haiti's southern peninsula, west of the capital, Port-au-Prince, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. Haiti's civil protection agency said at least two people died and dozens of schoolchildren were injured, adding that 50 people between the ages of 15 and 23 were in a state of shock and taken to the hospital. Officials said 191 homes were destroyed and 591 were damaged in one region. A magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck southwest Haiti on Aug. 14 last year, killing more than 2,200 people and damaging or destroying some 137,500 homes.
Three Baltimore firefighters dead, one in critical condition after building collapse
Three firefighters died and another remains in critical condition after part of a vacant home in which they were battling a blaze early Monday collapsed, the city's fire chief said. Baltimore City Fire Department Chief Niles R. Ford said on Twitter that firefighters were responding to a burning three-story rowhouse when a partial collapse trapped four members inside. Baltimore Mayor Brandon M. Scott later confirmed that three of the firefighters — Lt. Paul Butrim; firefighter/paramedic Kelsey Sadler; and EMT/firefighter Kenny Lacayo — had died. He said the fourth EMT/firefighter, John McMaster, remains at the hospital in critical but stable condition. "Today, Baltimore has lost three of the bravest among us," Scott said Monday. "Baltimore owes them the deepest gratitude and respect that we can offer anybody."
Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Russia-Ukraine crisis, Baseball Hall of Fame: 5 things you need to know Tuesday