Russia, Masks on Planes, and Chipotle’s New Chicken 1440 Weekend Edition

Good morning. It's Saturday, March 12, and in this weekend edition, we're covering Russia's trade status, extended mask mandates in airplanes, and much more. Have feedback? We'd love to hear it. Let us know at [email protected]

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PS—Remember to set your clocks ahead tonight for daylight saving time, which begins Sunday!



Russia's Trade Status  

The US is moving to join the European Union and other allies to revoke normal trade relations with Russia, allowing for new tariffs to be imposed on the country in response to its invasion of Ukraine. Doing so would mean stripping Russia's status as a "most favored nation"—a designation within the World Trade Organization that allows for few barriers to trade (see 101). But first, congress will need to pass legislation to officially remove Russia's most favored nation status. 

The US is also banning imports of vodka, seafood, and diamonds from Russia, President Joe Biden announced yesterday. It follows the US ban on Russian oil, natural gas, and coal imports as well as sanctions on banks, oligarchs, and businesses. Russia's economy has seen signs of a slowdown, with the value of its currency slashed in half since the start of the year, and sanctions on its central bank make it difficult for Russia to access foreign currency reserves it has built up. The International Monetary Fund said the country may face a deep recession this year.

Russia expanded its offensive Friday, striking airports in the western Ukrainian cities of Ivano-Frankivsk and Lutsk, and hitting the eastern industrial city of Dnipro. 


Meanwhile, the UN Security Council met yesterday in an emergency meeting to discuss Russia's claims of an alleged manufacture of biological weapons in Ukraine.

Separately, the mayor of Warsaw, Poland is asking for international aid as the city has become a key destination for Ukrainian refugees. As of yesterday, more than 1.5 million refugees have entered Poland, with about 230,000 staying in Warsaw. 


Catch up on the latest developments here.



US extends mask mandate for public transit.

Public transportation travelers, including on planes and through airports, will need to continue wearing masks through April 18. The requirement was originally set to expire next Friday.


China locks down a city of 9 million residents.

The city of Changchun has been shut down after two COVID-19 cases surfaced on Friday and 98 cases were found in the province the city is located in. China has a zero-tolerance approach to COVID-19 cases.


Chile's youngest president takes office. 

Gabriel Boric, 36, was sworn in Friday to lead the South American country. His agenda includes tax reform and stronger environmental regulations. 

TikTok nears deal with Oracle over US security concerns.

The video-focused social media app is looking to store its US user information with Oracle, without its Chinese owner ByteDance and the Chinese government being able to access it. 


New DNA tests ordered in criminal case featured in "Serial" podcast.

The prosecutors and defense for Adnan Syed, a Maryland man who was convicted in 2000 of killing his ex-girlfriend Hae Min Lee, requested new forensic testing that wasn't previously available. His story was publicized in 2014 in the true-crime podcast "Serial." 


"Sesame Street" actor Emilio Delgado dies at 81.

Delgado played “Fix-It-Shop” owner Luis Rodriguez on the children's television series for more than 40 years. He died of blood cancer.



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> $145M: The cost of a planned cable-car system in Paris that will transport passengers from the suburbs to the city. It's the first of its kind in the City of Love, following other French cities that have built similar active cable-car systems.


> ~$2M: The amount of money raised for Ukraine by funneling money through Airbnb bookings in the country. 


> ~$250,000: The amount of funds a group of friends crowdsourced to buy a Caribbean island. They plan to establish the world's newest micronation and are looking for citizens. 


> $171,831: The total selling price for 74 original NASA photographs from the Apollo missions. The photos were sold at an auction in Copenhagen and included the famous snap of Buzz Aldrin on the moon, which sold for $7,700.


> 52: The number of reptiles an American hid in his clothing as he tried to pass Border Patrol agents in California. Agents seized nine snakes and 43 horned lizards concealed in the 30-year-old's jacket and pants. 

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> Baby receives world's first combination heart transplant with thymus gland issue. (More


> A 28-year-old Texas bakery owner donates proceeds to help Ukraine. (More)


> California teenager's nonprofit gifts self-care kits to girls in need. (More


> Football player gives clothes from his bag to a homeless woman outside an NFL combine center. (More)


> Florida company gifts family a new specialty van for son with cerebral palsy after their previous vehicle crashed. (More)




> Chipotle is debuting a new limited-time asado chicken option.

The price of a tall latte at Starbucks around the world.



> How iconic artist Bob Ross changed the world, one soft-spoken word at a time.

> Babysitting: What goes on while the parents are away.


> Volodymyr Zelenskyy's rise from TV star to president of Ukraine.

> How do at-home COVID-19 tests work?

What six Batmobile stunts looked like behind the scenes.


Long Read 

Photographer captures modern people with 19th century photography.

> How the deaths of Biggie Smalls and 2Pac impacted the rap media industry.


Best of the Week: Giant invasive spiders to spread across Georgia.

Historybook: Writer and author of "On the Road" Jack Kerouac born (1922); Mahatma Gandhi begins 200-mile protest march against British salt tax (1930); HBD actress and singer Liza Minnelli (1946); RIP jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker (1955); Streaming service Hulu launched to US public (2008).


"Dream on it. Let your mind take you to places you would like to go, and then think about it and plan it and celebrate the possibilities. And don't listen to anyone who doesn't know how to dream."

- Liza Minnelli

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