UKRAINE | Today is day 21 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates [more]:
- Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said today that Ukrainian neutrality and non-NATO-membership is being seriously discussed with Ukrainian leaders and that an agreement on the matters could be reached in the ongoing negotiations between the two countries.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky today characterized cease-fire negotiations with Russian representatives as becoming "more realistic," but did not specifically note areas in which progress may have been made.
- U.S. President Joe Biden will meet with NATO and European Commission leaders in Brussels next week for talks on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
- The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a non-binding resolution last night calling for international investigations of Russian President Vladimir Putin for war crimes related to Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
- The International Court of Justice is expected to issue a ruling today ordering Russia to halt its invasion of Ukraine. Russia has argued that the ICJ does not have jurisdiction in the matter, while Ukraine has accused Russia of illegally trying to justify the war by falsely claiming genocide in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of eastern Ukraine.
- Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky will address members of the U.S. Congress virtually today. Zelensky is expected to thank the U.S. for its support, ask for additional weapons, and repeat his call for NATO to impose a no-fly zone in Ukraine.
- Russia yesterday announced sanctions on multiple U.S. and Canadian officials, including U.S. President Joe Biden, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken, and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The sanctions bar the named individuals from traveling to Russia.
- Russian officials say the Kremlin has begun formal procedures to end its membership in the Council of Europe, which was founded in 1949 with a mission of upholding human rights and the rule of law.
- Language learning website Duolingo says that, as of last week, the number of people studying Ukrainian on the site has increased 485% globally since the beginning of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. The company's CEO says all advertising revenue from its Ukrainian language courses is being donated to Ukraine relief efforts.
U.S. ECONOMY | The U.S. Federal Reserve is expected to announce a quarter percentage point increase in interest rates today. High U.S. inflation, the impact of the war in Ukraine, and the continuing coronavirus crisis are seen as major factors in the rate increase, which would be the first since 2018. [more]
GLOBAL ECONOMY | German investor sentiment fell to -39.3 this month, down from 54.3 in February, according to a report from the ZEW economic research institute. The report cites the war in Ukraine and economic sanctions on Russia as major factors in the decline of investor sentiment in Europe's largest economy. [more]
HOMELESS KILLINGS | Police in New York City and Washington, DC, say a suspect has been arrested in connection with multiple shootings of homeless men in the two cities. Federal agents arrested Gerald Brevard, 30, and say that no motive for the shootings is yet known. [more]
COVID-19 | Vaccine maker Pfizer and its partner BioNTech yesterday asked the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to authorize an additional COVID-19 vaccine booster dose for people over the age of 65. [more]
MORE COVID-19 | Germany recorded a record-high seven-day incidence rate of COVID-19 infections today, with 1,607 infections per 10,000 people, according to data from the Robert Koch Institute for infectious diseases. [more]
FUEL PRICES | Brent crude oil futures -- the global benchmark for oil prices -- fell 6.5% yesterday, closing below $100 per barrel for the first time this month. The price decrease is seen as being driven by hopes that Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates could boost oil production, and that demand from China could drop due to new coronavirus restrictions in major cities [more]
NEW ZEALAND | New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today that the country’s COVID-19-related ban on tourist visits will end for visitors from most countries in May, instead of the previously announced October date. [more]
NORTH KOREA | Military officials in South Korea say a missile fired from the area around the North Korean capital city of Pyongyang yesterday exploded shortly after liftoff. [more]
BUSINESS | U.S. semiconductor maker Intel has announced the first details of its planned $88 billion expansion in Europe. The company says it will build a new chipmaking facility in Germany, expand its existing factory in Ireland, set up a design and research facility in France, and fund a new packaging and assembly site in Italy. [more]
NBA | Brooklyn Nets star Kyrie Irving scored 60 points in last night's 150-108 Brooklyn win over the Orlando Magic. Irving's 41-point first half was the highest first-half total since 2003. [more]
TODAY IN HISTORY | On this date in 1945, U.S. Marines captured the Japanese island of Iwo Jima during World War II. [more history]