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A pause on student loan payments is extended to May 1.

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Pipes bound for a natural gas pipeline in Germany. It is very unlikely that the giant Nord Stream 2 pipeline from Russia to Germany will open this winter and bring relief.Credit…Jens Buettner/DPA, via Associated PressEurope’s energy crunch shows little sign of easing. Natural gas markets, the root of the problem, remain on edge because supplies are tight, and traders doubt whether the continent has enough of the fuel stored to last a cold winter without disruption.The buildup of Russian troops on the border of Ukraine, through which Russian gas flows to the West, also has added to concerns about whether gas will run out. Already, low volumes of gas from Russia, Europe’s main source of imports of the fuel, have helped raise prices in recent months.“There is a risk of supply shortages that could erode economic growth and trigger public discord,” said Henning Gloystein, a director for energy and climate at Eurasia Group, a political risk firm, adding that blackouts are possible in a worst-case scenario. Mr. Gloystein said that should the situation worsen, governments might order factories cut their gas use to ensure that households have enough to keep warm.On Tuesday, gas on the TTF trading hub in the Netherlands hit a record level of about $60 per million British th …

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