Russia Invades, New COVID-19 Vaccine, and the Jobfishing Con Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Thursday, Feb. 24, and reports this morning suggest Russia has launched a full-scale offensive in many cities across Ukraine. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].



Russia Invades

Breaking news: Early this morning, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including on the country's capital of Kyiv. The situation is continuing to unfold—see details here.


Ukrainian lawmakers approved a state of emergency yesterday, the latest step in rapidly escalating tensions following Russia's move into breakaway regions in east Ukraine. The measure allows curfews, suspends political rallies, and mobilizes the country's militias. 


Also yesterday, Russia pulled diplomatic staff from its embassy in Ukraine, while Ukrainian officials urged any citizens in Russia to depart the country—developments that foreshadowed today's attack. 


Separately, the US imposed sanctions on the company behind the Nord Stream 2 natural gas pipeline. The project has been criticized as increasing European dependence on Russian energy supplies (see overview). 


See an overview of the Russia-Ukraine conflict here.

Sanofi-GSK Vaccine 

French drugmaker Sanofi and its British counterpart GlaxoSmithKline are seeking regulatory approval for their COVID-19 vaccine to be used as a booster and as a standalone two-dose shot. Data from trials of the vaccine showed it was 100% effective against severe cases of COVID-19 and hospitalization, the companies said yesterday. They plan to publish the results of the studies later this year.


The seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases around the world has declined by more than 45% over the past 30 days, currently at about 1.78 million. The average for new cases per day has also dropped in the US, currently around 84,000. US hospitalizations from the illness have fallen to about 51,000 patients. See current stats here.


To date, 81% of the US population aged 5 and older have received at least one shot, and about 45% of those who are eligible and fully vaccinated have received a booster (see data).

Trial in Louisville

The trial of an officer charged in the police raid that led to the death of Breonna Taylor began yesterday. Former Louisville, Kentucky, police officer Brett Hankison was charged with three counts of wanton endangerment for firing 10 shots into Taylor's apartment, three of which entered a neighboring apartment.


Taylor was killed during a midnight no-knock raid on her apartment. Though her name and residence were on the warrant (case fact-check), she was considered a soft target, with police having located the prime suspect. Taylor was shot multiple times when her boyfriend exchanged gunfire with officers, believing them to be intruders. 


Hankison did not fire the fatal shots that killed Taylor—a probe found he violated procedure by firing blindly into Taylor's apartment from the outside. The three other officers involved were not charged in Taylor's death.

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Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Late comedy legend Jerry Lewis accused of sexual harassment and assault by several actresses and former costars (More)


> Prince Harry files libel lawsuit against Daily Mail publisher reportedly over recently published article about his family's security (More) | The Amazing Johnathan, revered magician and comic, dies at 63 of heart condition (More)


> James Beard Foundation announces 2022 James Beard Awards semifinalists for the nation's best restaurants and chefs (More)

Science & Technology

> MIT Tech Review reveals its annual list for top potential technology breakthroughs for 2022; areas include AI for protein folding, long-lasting batteries for the power grid, and more (More)


> Meta (Facebook) releases Reels, a short-form streaming video feature meant to compete with TikTok; CEO Mark Zuckerberg has expressed concern over TikTok's dominance among younger demographics (More)


> Study suggests some gut microbes produce chemicals that awaken dormant viruses in neighboring bacteria in an effort to kill off competition (More)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets fall again (S&P 500 -1.8%, Dow -1.4%, Nasdaq -2.6%) amid growing Russia-Ukraine tensions; S&P 500 falls further into correction territory (More)


> Retail giant Target drops indoor mask requirements for employees and shoppers, subject to local regulations (More)


> Hertz beats earnings expectations; sees fourth quarter revenues grow 58% over 2020 amid travel recovery (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> At least 2,000 flights canceled as a winter storm moves through the middle of the US; up to half an inch of ice possible in region stretching from North Texas into the Ozarks (More) | See updated flight tracker here (More)


> Federal hate crimes trial of three former Minneapolis police officers present during the killing of George Floyd enters second day of deliberations (More)


> Two New York prosecutors leading an investigation into the Trump Organization's business dealings resign, casting doubt on the probe (More)




BBC | Staff. How an elaborate con tricked dozens of ambitious jobseekers into signing on with a glamorous, but fake, design company. (Read)

The Horrors They Do

Guardian | Ghaith Abdul-Ahad. A view from Mazar-i-Sharif, once one of Afghanistan's most liberal cities, in the first few months of the Taliban's return to power. (Read)



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Historybook: Marbury v. Madison establishes principle of judicial review in the US (1803); HBD Nike cofounder Phil Knight (1938); Steve Jobs born (1955); Fidel Castro retires as president of Cuba (2008); RIP "Hidden Figures" NASA mathematician Katherine Johnson (2020).


"History is one long processional of crazy ideas."

- Phil Knight

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