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Billionaire philanthropist George Soros penned an op-ed in The Guardian Tuesday in which he argued that anti-EU forces in the U.K., Germany, Italy and elsewhere are driving the European bloc toward the same fate suffered by the Soviet Union in 1991.

"Most of us assume the future will more or less resemble the present, but this is not necessarily so. In a long and eventful life, I have witnessed many periods of what I call radical disequilibrium. We are living in such a period today."

The big picture: Soros argues that European parliamentary elections in May will be "an inflection point,"with nationalist, Eurosceptic parties projected to win at least one-third of seats, according to the European Council on Foreign Affairs. As kingmakers, these parties could use their vote share to block consensus and limit actions on the rule of law or civil liberties.

Soros highlights the precarious situations in Germany, the U.K., Italy and Hungary as those most threatening to the long-term health of the EU.

  • In Germany, the far-right Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) has become the largest opposition party in the federal government — and has the establishment parties, and Chancellor Angela Merkel, in retreat.
  • In the U.K., where Brexit will be "the defining event for the country for decades to come," both the Conservative and Labour parties are bitterly divided.
  • In Italy, support for EU membership rests at just 44%, as the country's far-right, populist coalition continues to rail against globalism.
  • And in Hungary, Prime Minister Viktor Orban has transformed the country into an "illiberal democracy," while the center-right European coalition to which his party belongs — the European People's Party — sits idly by.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

Former Blizzard CEO says he "failed” women at the studio

Image: Neville Elder / Getty Images

Mike Morhaime, who co-founded and worked at video game studio Blizzard for 28 years, has apologized publicly for toxic work conditions at his former studio, which is now the subject of a discrimination and harassment lawsuit by the state of California.

Why it matters: Morhaime is no longer at Blizzard, but was its leader for most of its existence and therefore was in charge when much of what is alleged in California’s suit would have occurred.

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NFL to fine unvaccinated players $14K for violating COVID-19 protocols

Patrick Mahomes of the Kansas City Chiefs wears a facemask while preparing for the start of Super Bowl LV. Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The NFL will fine unvaccinated players $14,650 if they violate COVID-19 protocols this season, ESPN reports.

The big picture: The rule change comes two days after the NFL announced that postponed games due to coronavirus outbreaks among unvaccinated players or staffers will not be rescheduled and teams responsible for delays will automatically forfeit.