UKRAINE | Recent updates on the Russian invasion of Ukraine: [more]
• The European Union yesterday approved new sanctions against Belarus, including some targeting Belarusian military personnel and state officials, for its involvement in the Russian aggression against Ukraine.
• The mayor of the city of Kherson indicated yesterday that no Ukrainian forces are left in the city, suggesting that Russian forces are now in control of the area. Kherson, with a population of about 300,000 would be the first major city seized by Russian forces, if they are, indeed, in control.
• The International Criminal Court in The Hague announced Wednesday that it has opened an active war crimes investigation regarding the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
• The U.N. General Assembly yesterday approved a resolution condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and calling for the immediate withdrawal of Russian troops. The vote on the resolution, which is not legally binding, was 141-5, with 35 abstentions.
• Reports say the U.S. has provided several hundred Stinger anti-aircraft missiles to Ukrainian forces this week.
• The International Paralympic Committee said today that it is barring Russian and Belarusian athletes from participating in the Winter Paralympics, which are scheduled to begin in Beijing tomorrow. The move is a reversal of an earlier decision under which athletes from the two countries would have been allowed to take part in the event as neutral participants.
• Delegations from Russia and Ukraine are scheduled to hold a second round of talks today in Belarus.
• U.N. officials say more than 1 million people have fled Ukraine to other countries amidst the violence across much of the country.
• The World Bank announced Wednesday that it has stopped all its programs in Russia and Belarus effective immediately.
JANUARY 6 | A court filing by the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol includes a statement suggesting that the panel’s evidence indicates that former President Donald Trump “engaged in a criminal conspiracy to defraud the United States” in his efforts to overturn the outcome of the 2020 presidential election. The committee does not have the power to bring criminal charges, but can refer charges to the Justice Department. [more]
JANUARY 6 | Joshua James, a member of the far-right Oath Keepers group, pleaded guilty in federal court yesterday to charges of seditious conspiracy in connection with his actions surrounding the January 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol. According to the plea agreement, James was aware of the Oath Keepers’ plans to “oppose by force the lawful transfer of presidential power.” [more]
AUSTRALIA | Australian officials have ordered evacuations and other emergency preparedness measures affecting approximately 500,000 residents of Sydney and its suburbs as severe flooding continues to affect large portions of the Australian east coast. [more]
ECONOMY | U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell said yesterday that he intends to propose a quarter-percentage point rate increase at the central bank’s meeting in two weeks. [more]
COVID-19 | The Biden administration has released its new National COVID-19 Preparedness Plan that lays out initiatives and investments aimed at limiting serious illness and deaths from the virus. A key portion of the plan is to provide free antiviral medication at pharmacies across the U.S. to people who test positive for COVID-19. [full plan PDF] [more]
COVID-19 | The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has announced that it is no longer recommending universal contact tracing for COVID-19 infections, and that such investigations should concentrate instead on high-risk settings. [more]
TECHNOLOGY | Apple has announced that it will hold its spring product launch event on March 8. Among products expected to be introduced at the event are a low-cost 5G iPhone and revisions to its iPad Air and Mac Mini products. [more]
MEDICINE | A new study published in the journal Nature provides insights into possible reasons behind findings that women are up to five times more likely than men to develop Alzheimer’s Disease. Researchers say follicle-stimulating hormone, which spikes in women during menopause, appears to be a major pathogenic factor in the development of Alzheimer’s Disease in women. [more]
R.I.P. | Oscar-winning producer and movie studio head Alan Ladd, Jr., died yesterday at the age of 84. Films produced or approved by Ladd, which include “Star Wars,” “Chariots of Fire,” and “Braveheart,” won more than 50 Oscars and garnered 150 Oscar nominations. [more]
BUSINESS | Automaker Ford has announced plans to split its vehicle operations into two separate units: “Ford Blue” for traditional gas- and diesel-powered vehicles, and “Ford Model E” for electric vehicle models. [more]
TODAY IN HISTORY | Scottish-born American inventor and scientist Alexander Graham Bell, known best for the invention of the telephone and the refinement of the phonograph, was born in Edinburgh on this date in 1847. [more]