Second suicide bombing attack in Volgograd in two days

Volgograd suffered its second terrorist attack in so many days on the morning of December 30th, with 14 dead and 28 wounded from a suicide bomber on a trolley bus. Several of the survivors remain under medical care, and it is feared that the death toll will continue to climb.

The attack is suspected to be connected with Sunday’s suicide bombing at a Volgograd railway station that killed 16 people. The two bombs used in the attacks were “identical” according to Vladimir Markin, a spokesman for the Russian Investigative Committee.

The attacks have hit the spirit of Volgograd’s population hard during the holiday season and city residents are choosing to traverse on foot rather than risk public transportation. The region has declared a period of mourning for the victims of the two bombings.

With the Sochi Olympics on the horizon, concerns have been raised regarding security at the event given the recent bombings. Russian Olympic Committee President Alexander Zhukov seemed confident, stating that “everything necessary has been done.” The White House released a statement saying that the US and Russia were working together on security measures leading up to the game.

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Fitch Puts U.S. On Review for Possible Downgrade

Fitch Ratings has issued a warning to the U.S. for a possible credit rating downgrade from AAA. In a press release issued on Tuesday, they expect to conclude a review within the next six month under a “rating watch negative.”

Fitch believes that the debt ceiling will be raised; however, the “political brinkmanship and reduced financing flexibility could increase the risk of a U.S. default.”

According to reports, the US must raise it’s $16.7tn debt limit by Thursday or risk default. Fitch said the government would have only limited capacity to make payments on the $16.7 trillion national debt after Treasury Department’s emergency measures run out Thursday.

“The announcement reflects the urgency with which Congress should act to remove the threat of default hanging over the economy,” the Treasury Department said in response.

A scheduled House Rules Committee hearing on the GOP leadership’s plan to end a partial government shutdown was postponed on Tuesday.

The Dow Jones industrial average fell 133 points after rising a day earlier.

Fitch is one of three leading U.S. credit ratings agencies including Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.