March 31, 2022


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UKRAINE | Today is day 36 of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Here are your updates [more]:

  • A report from the humanitarian group Human Rights Watch says that Russian forces are using internationally banned land mines in Ukraine. [more]
  • Russian officials yesterday announced a temporary cease-fire in the southern port city of Mariupol to allow residents to leave the area. Reports say the International Committee of the Red Cross is assisting in the evacuation today. [more]
  • Ukrainian officials say Russian shelling in and around Kyiv and Chernihiv continues despite Russia's recent statement that it would drastically reduce its military assaults on the cities. [more]
  • In a phone call yesterday, U.S. President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky that the U.S. will provide an additional $500 million in aid to the Ukrainian people. [more]

U.S. POLITICS | The U.S. Federal Election Commission says it has fined the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s 2016 presidential campaign a combined $113,000 in a settlement over charges that they did not properly disclose funds spent on opposition research that produced the so-called Steele dossier. [more]

COVID-19 | The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week that the highly transmissible BA.2 subvariant of omicron is now the dominant COVID-19 strain in the United States. [more]

U.S. ECONOMY | A report from payroll provider ADP says that private sector employment in the U.S. grew by 455,000 jobs from February to March — higher than the 444,000 forecasted. The largest gains were in the leisure and hospitality industries, according to the report. [more]

MORE U.S. ECONOMY | Reports say President Joe Biden is expected to announce as early as today that up to one million barrels of oil per day will be released from the U.S. strategic petroleum reserve in a move aimed at mitigating high gas prices. [more]

AFGHANISTAN | The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs has launched an international appeal for $4.4 billion in humanitarian aid for Afghanistan. The appeal is the U.N. aid office’s largest-ever appeal for funds for a single country. [more]

IMMIGRATION | Reports say the Biden administration intends to end pandemic-related restrictions on immigration along the U.S.-Mexico border later this month. [more]

CYBERSECURITY | A new report from Google’s Threat Analysis Group says a number of government-backed groups from Russia, China, and North Korea have increased levels of cyber attacks against government and military organizations in Ukraine and other eastern European nations since the war in Ukraine began. [more]

AUSTRIA | Amidst concerns that Russia will cut its oil supplies to Europe, Austria yesterday activated the first phase of an existing gas emergency plan, meaning that the country's existing gas surveillance and monitoring system will heighten its activity. A similar step was taken in Germany earlier this week. [more]

ARIZONA | Gov. Doug Ducey signed several controversial bills into law yesterday, including measures that outlaw abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy, prohibit gender confirmation surgery for minors, and ban transgender girls from playing on girls and women’s sports teams. [more]

GENDER IDENTITY | The U.S. State Department announced yesterday that it will allow Americans applying for a U.S. passport to identify with the gender designation "X" beginning April 11, saying the designation indicates “unspecified or another gender identity.” [more]

TRANSGENDER SPORTS | Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt yesterday signed into law a state bill banning transgender women and girls from competing on sports teams that align with their gender identities at public schools, public charter schools, and public colleges in the state [more]

SOCCER | The U.S. men’s national soccer team has qualified for this year’s World Cup, despite losing to Costa Rica, 2-0, in the team’s final qualification match last night. The draw for the Qatar 2022 World Cup is scheduled to take place tomorrow.  [more]

HOLLYWOOD | Actor Bruce Willis will step away from his acting career after being diagnosed with aphasia, a neurological condition that affects the ability to speak and communicate, according to a statement from Willis’ family. [more]

TODAY IN HISTORY | The 984-foot (300-meter) Eiffel Tower, a wrought iron technological masterpiece created by Gustave Eiffel to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution, was officially inaugurated in Paris on this date in 1889. [more history]

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