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At least four people have been killed in Texas over the past three days as the state has been hit by a series of storms. The Houston Chronicle described Wednesday what it called a region “on weather steroids.” In Mexico, at least 13 people were also killed as a tornado struck the border town of Ciudad Acuna.

In Houston, the largest city in Texas, 9.8 inches (25 cm) of rain fell in just a few hours, forcing some 2,000 residents out of their homes. Texas Governor Greg Abbott said the flash flooding had “tsunami-type power,” and expanded Tuesday the emergency disaster zone to at least 40 counties.

More than 100,000 gallons of wastewater also spilled out in the area because of the flooding, the Houston Chroniclereports. Electrical and mechanical systems were damaged at a treatment plant in the southwest of the city.

The death toll is expected to rise as many people are still missing after the storm. Hundreds of homes were destroyed and thousands of cars abandoned.

ABOUT THE SOURCE: The Houston Chronicleis the largest daily in Texas and Houston’s primary newspaper. It won the 2015 Pulitzer prize for Commentary.

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In The News

War In Ukraine, Day 224: Russia Says U.S. Is Now "A Participant Of The Conflict"

The warning comes after Washington's latest military aid package to Ukraine.

In Stavropol, Russia

Anna Akage, Sophia Constantino, Jeff Israely and Bertrand Hauger

Washington’s new $625 military aid package to Kyiv has increased the likelihood of a direct military clash between the Russia and the West, warned Anatoly Antonov, Moscow’s ambassador to the U.S.

"We perceive this as an immediate threat to the strategic interests of our country," Antonov said early Wednesday via a post on Telegram. "The supply of military products by the U.S. and its allies not only entails protracted bloodshed and new casualties, but also increases the danger of a direct military clash between Russia and Western countries.” Antonov said the U.S. is now considered a “participant of the conflict.”

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The United States announced this week that it is sending $625 million to Ukraine in additional weaponry, including High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) launchers.

U.S. President Joe Biden spoke Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky on Tuesday, emphasizing Washington’s continued support for Kyiv “as it defends itself from Russian aggression for as long as it takes,” a statement from the White House said.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

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