Emirates of Exchange: “While the Emiratis remain a close partner, their newfound military muscle has emboldened them to send troops into Yemen and Libya, inflaming civil wars in both countries. Meanwhile, in Washington, Congress and human rights groups have become more critical of the UAE, including for its decision this month to band with Russia and other members of the OPEC Plus cartel to curtail global oil production. In addition, the Justice Department has scrutinized the country’s leaders for interfering in U.S. elections and politics.” WaPo (Gift Article): UAE Relied on Expertise of Retired US Troops to Beef Up Its Military. This is part of a series. If you missed yesterday’s gift link, here it is: Retired u.s. Generals, Admirals Take Top Jobs With Saudi Crown Prince. (It’s almost as if we’re being played for chumps because of our love of money above all else…)

+ Annex Post Facto: “Russian President Vladimir Putin doubled down Wednesday on his faltering invasion by declaring martial law in four illegally annexed Ukrainian regions and setting the stage for draconian new restrictions and crackdowns throughout Russia. The drastic escalation appeared to be prompted by the threat of more stinging battlefield defeats, sabotage and troubles with his troop mobilization.”

+ Nix Degrees of Separation: Employment experts Ryan Roslansky and Byron Auguste argue that it’s time for employers to stop caring so much about college degrees. “The old set of indicators – the right degree from the right school, the right network to endorse you and the right past employers on your resume – are weak predictors of what actually matters: a candidate’s ability to do the job.”

+ Sharing is Erring: Netflix finally turned the corner on its streak of losing customers. But that’s not the only reason the stock is up. The password-sharing crackdown is coming.

+ Just Screw It: For years, Nike has featured athletes like Megan Rapinoe and Colin Kaepernick to create progressive street cred and move product. The company’s political donations suggest they definitely don’t have two left feet. Judd Legum: Nike just did it.