3.14.2022

Russia Pushes West, March Madness, and the Year's Best Memes (So Far) Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, March 14, and we're covering the expansion of Russian attacks in Ukraine, March Madness, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

NEED TO KNOW

 

Russian Attacks Expand

At least 35 people were killed and more than 130 injured yesterday after a series of Russian missile strikes on a military training center in western Ukraine. Less than 15 miles from the nearest border crossing point between Ukraine and Poland, it marks the deadliest westward attack during the two-week war (see map updates).

 

UN officials report at least 579 civilian deaths have been confirmed as of Friday, including 42 children, since the start of the war. The true death toll is expected to be significantly higher. Assessments of Russian military deaths vary, ranging from 500 to up to 6,000. 

 

The difficulty in assessing casualties is highlighted by the siege of the southern city of Mariupol, where local officials say close to 2,200 people were killed in 24-hours following intense shelling. In the capital of Kyiv, a swell of Russian ground forces has reportedly advanced to within 15 miles of the city center. 

 

Finally, western intelligence suggests Russia may be considering the use of chemical weapons—an act generally considered a war crime under the Geneva Conventions. 

 

See recent photos from the ground here.

March Madness 

The 68-team field for the 2022 NCAA men's college basketball tournament was revealed yesterday, with the Gonzaga Bulldogs (26-3) claiming the top overall seed for the second year in a row. The Zags will be joined by Arizona (31-3), Kansas (28-6), and Baylor (26-6) as the three other No. 1 seeds. Gonzaga fell to Baylor in last year's championship game—the first-ever title for the Bears' program. 

 

The first four teams left out of the tournament were Dayton, Oklahoma, SMU, and Texas A&M. Games begin tomorrow with the play-in round featuring Nos. 16 Texas A&M-Corpus Christi vs. Texas Southern, and Nos. 12 Indiana vs. Wyoming. Get your printable bracket here,

 

On the women's side, reigning champs Stanford (28-3), South Carolina (29-2), Louisville (25-4), and NC State (29-3) notched No. 1 seeds. Play begins Wednesday—see the whole field here.

China Locks Down

Tens of millions of residents across China were under lockdown over the weekend as the country grapples with its worst reported COVID-19 outbreak since the beginning of the pandemic. Officials recorded almost 3,400 new cases Sunday, double the previous day, with the virus spreading in 18 provinces.

 

The tech hub of Shenzhen, home to 17 million residents, was among the largest cities to be placed under strict stay-at-home orders, restrictions that will remain in effect until March 20. Some have argued the country's zero-tolerance approach and reliance on viral vector vaccines (see more)—has left it vulnerable to the more transmissible omicron variant.  

 

Meanwhile, cases in the US have fallen to around 36,000 per day (see data), while hospitalizations sit just above 20,000 total patients, down more than 85% from the height of the omicron surge.  

 

Finally, here's what researchers know about the omicron BA.2 subvariant, which they say is unlikely to spur a new surge in infections. 

In partnership with The Farmer's Dog

A FRESH START TO SPRING

 

Spring’s here (or at least close, we hope), so it’s out with the old, in with the new. While we sort through the junk on our shelves and in our garage—shoutout to our mismatched Tupperware and old paint cans—it's time to take a closer look at that big bag of kibble. Those highly processed mystery pellets are about as fresh as they look.

Maybe it’s time to throw those burnt brown balls to the curb (along with the expired quart of off-off-off-white paint) and freshen up your dog’s diet with The Farmer's Dog's real, human-grade food. Their vet-developed, pre-portioned recipes are made with gently steamed meat and veggies, delivered right to your door. 

Treat your dog, treat yourself, and get rid of that unsavory kibble. Get 50% off your first box of The Farmer's Dog and free delivery today

Please support our sponsors!

IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Brent Renaud, award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist, killed in Ukraine by Russian forces (More) | Oscar-winning actor William Hurt dies at 71 (More)

 

> Tom Brady unretires, announces he's returning to Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his 23rd season (More) | San Antonio Spurs' Gregg Popovich passes Don Nelson to become NBA's all-time winningest coach with 1,336 victories (More)

 

> "Dune" hauls in five wins at 2022 BAFTA Film Awards while "The Power of the Dog" wins Best Film (More) | Jane Campion wins top prize at Directors Guild of America Awards for "The Power of the Dog" (More)

Science & Technology

> Engineered red blood cells capable of delivering viral agents stimulating an immune system response against the coronavirus; method represents a new route to vaccination (More)

 

> Nuclear researchers hit milestone; demonstrate plasma temperatures above 100 million degrees in a small-scale fusion reactor (More)

 

> Some supermassive black holes, which sit at the center of many galaxies, may have formed in the early universe through the accumulation of dark matter particles, new theory suggests (More) | What is dark matter? (Watch)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets fall Friday (S&P 500 -1.3%, Dow -0.7%, Nasdaq -2.2%); Dow declines for fifth consecutive week (More)

 

> CVS fires several employees after investigation into the handling of sexual harassment claims (More)

 

> Uber adds fuel surcharge to rides and deliveries as gas prices reach new US all-time highs (More)

From our partners: Can you guess the top 0% intro APR cards? 2022 is here, and the experts at The Ascent have sorted through hundreds of credit cards. These are among the best to help you avoid interest charges until 2023.

Politics & World Affairs

> Iran missile strike lands near the unoccupied US consulate in Irbil, Iraq, no deaths were reported; Iran claims attack was retaliation for a strike in Syria that killed two Revolutionary Guard officers (More)

 

> A 73-vehicle pileup reported in central Pennsylvania, as winter storm brings ice and snow stretching from the mid-Atlantic through the Northeast (More)

 

> Saudi Arabia carries out mass execution of 81 people; officials say prisoners had been convicted of various crimes ranging from kidnapping to terrorism (More)

SWITCH IN REAL FOOD

 

In partnership with The Farmer's Dog

For this year’s spring cleaning, you should take a closer look at your dog’s food. Maybe it’s time to throw those highly processed mystery pellets to the curb and start fresh with The Farmer’s Dog’s real, human-grade food. Fresh meat and veggies, gently steamed, and delivered right to your door. 

That’s all there is to it. Real (not “wet” or “dry”) food, human-grade, and hassle-free. Take 50% off your first box of The Farmer’s Dog today.

Please support our sponsors!

ETCETERA

 

Happy Pi Day!

 

The best memes of 2022 (so far).

 

Grumpy about daylight saving time? You're not alone

 

A tool to let you compare the size of different countries. (Editor's note: Read more on why the Mercator projection, used for many maps, may be confusing)

 

The world's top CEO-producing universities

 

Here's what it costs to snag the world's largest rental yacht.

 

The White House is now briefing TikTok stars.

 

Restaurants battle lobster-flation.

 

The perfect shot of excited dogs.

 

Clickbait: There was an attempt ... to smuggle 52 reptiles across the border.

 

Historybook: Eli Whitney patents cotton gin (1794); HBD Albert Einstein (1879); HBD Stephen Curry (1988); HBD seven-time Olympic medalist Simone Biles (1997); RIP Stephen Hawking (2018). 

 

"Make sure you always have fun. If you're having fun, that's when the best memories are built."

- Simone Biles

Why 1440? The printing press was invented in the year 1440, spreading knowledge to the masses and changing the course of history. Guess what else? There are 1,440 minutes in a day and every one is precious. That’s why we scour hundreds of sources every day to provide a concise, comprehensive, and objective view of what's happening in the world. Reader feedback is a gift—shoot us a note at [email protected].

Interested in advertising to smart readers like you? Apply here!

Join a community of over 3.6 million intellectually curious individuals.

100% free. Unsubscribe anytime.

Don't miss out on the daily email read by over 3.6 million intellectually curious readers.