UKRAINE | Summary of information from the past 48 hours regarding the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine [more]:
- Ukrainian and Russian officials are meeting this morning for talks aimed at ending the Ukraine crisis. The talks will be held on Belarus’ border — an area currently under Russian control.
- The United Nations General Assembly will hold a special emergency session today to discuss the Russian invasion of Ukraine. This will be the first such emergency session of the General Assembly in 40 years.
- The NATO Response Force — a multinational force consisting of land, air, sea and special operations forces from the Alliance’s member states — was activated for the first time over the weekend.
- Russian President Vladimir Putin has placed his nation’s strategic nuclear forces on high alert in response to what he says are increasingly aggressive statements by NATO countries.
- As western financial sanctions take hold, the Russian central bank raised its key interest rate today from 9.5% to 20% and the value of the ruble fell by 30% against the U.S. dollar today.
- European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said yesterday that the EU is closing its airspace to Russian flights, providing $500 million in lethal military aid to Ukrainian forces, and banning some pro-Kremlin media outlets, including RT and Sputnik.
- Separate from the EU lethal aid, Germany announced that it will send weapons and other supplies directly to Ukraine, including 500 Stinger anti-aircraft missiles and 1,000 anti-tank weapons.
- Japan and Israel announced that they will provide hundreds of tons of humanitarian aid to Ukraine.
- The U.S., U.K., and European Union have announced plans to block selected Russian banks from the SWIFT global financial messaging system.
- Multiple countries have announced financial sanctions directly on Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov.
- U.N. officials say more than 500,000 Ukrainians have fled the country for neighboring nations and as many as seven million people have been displaced within Ukraine.
- British energy giant BP has announced plans to sell its nearly 20% stake in Russian-controlled oil company Rosneft.
SUPREME COURT | U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to fill the Supreme Court seat being vacated by retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. If confirmed, Jackson would be the first black woman to serve as a Justice in the court's 232-year history. [more]
NORTH KOREA | North Korean officials said this morning that the Asian nation has conducted a test of cameras intended to be installed on a spy satellite. The announcement came one day after Japanese and South Korean reports of a new ballistic missile test conducted by North Korea. [more]
AUSTRALIA | Major flooding in the area around Brisbane, Australia, over the weekend is responsible for at least eight deaths. Officials say more than 2,000 homes in the region were submerged in floodwaters as of this morning. [more]
SAG AWARDS | The 28th Screen Actors Guild Awards ceremony was held Sunday in Santa Monica, California. Among this year’s winners were the casts of “Ted Lasso” and “Succession” for best comedy and drama series ensembles, respectively, and the cast of “CODA” for best motion picture ensemble. [full list of awardees] [more]
ECONOMY | The Lundberg Survey reports that the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the U.S. has risen 10 cents in the past two weeks to $3.64 per gallon. [more]
CLIMATE | The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear arguments today in a case questioning the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to limit greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants. Plaintiffs in the case, including energy-producing states and coal companies, argue that mandated shifts in energy production policy can only be set by Congress, not a federal agency. [more]
BASEBALL | Negotiations between Major League Baseball owners and players are scheduled to continue today. The League has said that it will begin to cancel some games for this season if an agreement is not reached today. [more]
SOCCER | In response to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, FIFA officials said over the weekend that the Russian flag and national anthem cannot be associated with the team playing as the Football Union of Russia, and that additional measures against the Russian team could be taken, including potential exclusion from competitions, if the situation in Ukraine does not improve rapidly. [more]
COVID-19 | New York Governor Kathy Hochul announced yesterday that the statewide mask mandate for schools will be lifted on March 3, citing declining COVID-19 case rates and new CDC guidance as reasons behind the move. Hochul noted that counties and cities could choose independently to keep their mask mandates in place. [more]
TODAY IN HISTORY | The final episode of the immensely popular television series M*A*S*H aired and was watched by an estimated 106 million viewers on this date in 1983. [more history]