UKRAINE | Today is day 30 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates [more]:
- The U.N. General Assembly voted yesterday to approve a resolution calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities in Ukraine, blaming Russia for the humanitarian crisis caused by the invasion, and demanding the complete withdrawal of Russian military forces from Ukraine. There were 140 votes in favor, five votes against, and 38 nations abstaining. Those nations voting against the resolution were: Russia, North Korea, Syria, Eritrea, and Belarus.
- The U.S. announced yesterday that it will expand sanctions against Russia by targeting members of the country’s parliament and the central bank’s gold reserves. Additionally, the U.S. will welcome 100,000 Ukrainian refugees and provide an additional $1 billion in food, medicine, water and other supplies, according to the White House.
- NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said yesterday that the alliance is “determined to continue to impose costs on Russia to bring about the end of this brutal war.”
- Ukraine and Russia exchanged a total of 50 military and civilian prisoners yesterday, according to Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk.
- NATO members yesterday extended the term of office for Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg by one year to allow for continuity in the alliance’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
- The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said Thursday that more than 1,000 civilians have been killed, and more than 1,650 injured, since the Russian invasion of Ukraine began.
- Russian officials say safe passage will be offered starting today to 67 ships from 15 foreign countries that are stranded in Ukrainian ports.
- Officials in Ukraine say as many as 400,000 Ukrainians have been forcibly taken to Russia since the invasion began. Moscow has confirmed that a similar number of people have relocated to Russia from Ukraine, but says that they did so willingly.
U.S. ECONOMY | The Labor Department reported Thursday that applications for unemployment benefits fell by 28,000 to 187,000 for the week ending March 19 — the lowest level since September of 1969. [more]
ENERGY | U.S. and European Union officials, in a move intended to reduce European reliance on Russian energy, have announced a new agreement under which the U.S. and other nations will increase liquified natural gas exports to Europe by 15 billion cubic meters this year. [more]
SOMALIA | Reports say the Al Qaeda-linked militant group al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for two bombings that killed at least 48 people in Beledweyne, Somalia, on Wednesday. Among those killed in the attack was parliamentary election candidate and prominent government critic Amina Mohamed. [more]
ETHIOPIA | Government officials in Ethiopia yesterday announced the immediate implementation of a truce with rebel Tigrayan forces to allow aid to reach residents of the northern province. According to the United Nations, up to 90% of Tigrayan residents are in need of food aid. [more]
BIG TECH | European Union legislators yesterday passed the Digital Markets Act, which aims to curb potentially anti-competitive activity by large tech companies, including Google, Amazon, Apple, Meta, and Microsoft. Among other provisions, the DMA establishes oversight on all corporate takeovers by the affected companies, bans them from favoring their own services in search results, and limits their use of user data for the purpose of advertising profiling. [more]
FLORIDA | In an effort aimed at curbing violence and unrest during the Spring break season, the city of Miami Beach, Florida, has declared a state of emergency that restricts alcohol sales and takeout orders through next Monday. [more]
TRANSGENDER SPORTS | The legislatures in both Arizona and Oklahoma passed bills yesterday that would ban transgender youth from participating in girls’ sports in the states’ schools. [more]
EDUCATION | The California State University system announced this week that it will drop ACT and SAT testing results from its admissions requirements. [more]
HEALTH | Researchers say they have detected microplastics -- tiny bits of plastics as small as 700 nanometers in size -- in human blood for the first time, according to a study published in the journal Environment International yesterday. Study authors say the health impact of microplastics in the blood is unknown, but note that such particles have been shown to damage human cells in laboratory settings. [more]
COVID-19 | The World Health Organization's weekly COVID-19 update says that as of March 20, 2022, over 468 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and over 6 million related deaths have been reported globally since the pandemic began. [WHO weekly report]
PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS | Former President Donald Trump filed a civil lawsuit in a Florida court yesterday against 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, the Democratic National Committee, and several others, claiming that Clinton and her campaign engaged in a conspiracy to harm him and his reputation by suggesting he had ties to the Russian government. [more]
SOCCER | European champions Italy's bid to qualify for the 2022 World Cup ended yesterday with a 1-0 loss to North Macedonia. This is the second World Cup in a row for which Italy has failed to qualify. [more]
ICE SKATING | Americans Alexa Knierim and Brandon Frazier won the pairs title yesterday at the world figure skating championships in Montpellier, France -- the first pairs championship for a United States duo since 1979. [more]
TODAY IN HISTORY | Robert the Bruce was crowned king of Scotland at Scone on this date in 1306. He went on to free Scotland from English rule, winning the decisive Battle of Bannockburn in 1314 and to confirm Scottish independence in the Treaty of Northampton in 1328. [more history]