3.15.2022

Zelenskyy Address, East Coast Search, and Where Postgrads Head Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Tuesday, March 15, and we are covering an expected briefing by the Ukrainian president, a serial shooter on the East Coast, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

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NEED TO KNOW

 

Zelenskyy to Brief Congress

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy will speak virtually in a joint address to the US Congress tomorrow, congressional leaders announced. The address comes on the heels of almost $14B in aid from the US to Ukraine and a move to halt Russian oil imports. Zelenskyy, who has remained on the ground in the capital of Kyiv, is expected to reiterate the need for a Western-backed no-fly zone across Ukraine. 

 

The announcement came as US and Chinese officials met in Rome, amid rumors China was considering military assistance to Russia. Beijing denied the reports. 

 

Separately, Russian officials alleged 23 civilians (paywall, Reuters) were killed and 28 injured in the eastern separatist city of Donetsk by a Ukrainian missile. Observers said the claims had not been verified. 

 

More than 2.8 million refugees have fled the country. Neighboring Poland, whose population is roughly 38 million, has taken in an estimated 1.7 million Ukrainians. See a map of refugee flows here.

 

See map updates and photos from the ground here.

Protests in Corsica

The French government is calling for a return to calm after protests broke out on the island of Corsica over an attack on a jailed nationalist figure. Yvan Colonna, 61, was strangled by a fellow detainee earlier this month and left in a coma. Thousands of people took to the streets, some ransacking a bank and storming into a justice building. Police deployed tear gas and water cannons. At least 67 people have been injured. 

 

Colonna has been serving a life sentence on mainland France for assassinating Police Chief Claude Érignac in 1998. Colonna, who has claimed innocence, was arrested in 2003 after a five-year search and convicted in 2007. Colonna's supporters have demanded his transfer to Corsica, which authorities have rejected. French Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said he plans to visit Corsica Wednesday to talk with local officials.

 

Colonna’s assailant, Franck Elong Abe, was indicted with attempted murder in association with a terror group.

East Coast Serial Shooter

Officials from New York City and Washington, DC, are coordinating a search for a suspect believed to be involved in the shootings of five people across both cities over the past two weeks. Police say the suspect has targeted the homeless population late at night. Two people have died, one in each city.

 

The attacks began in Washington, where two victims suffered nonfatal gunshot wounds March 3 and March 8. Police responded to a tent fire March 9, finding a deceased victim with multiple stab and gunshot wounds. Officials believe the suspect traveled north to New York City, where two additional victims were shot—one fatally—in the early hours of March 12 in lower Manhattan. 

 

In New York City, it marks the latest serial attack against the homeless population. Four people were killed in a 2019 attack in Manhattan, and two others were killed during a 2021 stabbing spree in the city's subway system. 

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> Fox News journalist Benjamin Hall, who is Fox's State Department correspondent,  injured while covering Ukraine invasion (More) | WWE Hall of Fame pro wrestler Scott Hall dies at 63 after complications from surgery (More)

 

> Men's NCAA basketball tournament kicks off tonight with the First Four from Dayton, Ohio (More) | See full men's bracket (More) | Women's tourney kicks off tomorrow (More)

 

> HBO Max and Discovery Plus to be combined into single streaming platform (More) | Dolly Parton removes herself from consideration for 2022 class of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame (More)

Science & Technology

> Russia dismisses reports, commits to allowing US astronaut aboard the International Space Station to return to Earth; Mark Vande Hei will depart aboard a Russian capsule March 30 (More)

 

> Researchers pinpoint the difference in immune cell types linked to infant lymphoma; discovery may provide a route to treatment that has evaded doctors for decades (More)

 

> Astronomers discover 40-trillion-mile-long beams of matter and antimatter emanating from a distant pulsar; behavior may help explain the abundance of positrons in the universe (More) | What are pulsars? (Watch)

Business & Markets

In partnership with The Ascent

> US stock markets fall (S&P 500 -0.7%, Dow 0.0%, Nasdaq -2.0%); oil prices drop below $100 per barrel (More) | Chinese stock markets fall near double-digits, largest drop since 2008 (More)

 

> Former Disney CEO Bob Iger joins the board of metaverse startup Genies after investing in company (More) | NFT company behind Bored Ape Yacht Club acquired the CryptoPunks collection; Yuga Labs now holds NFTs worth a total of over $5B in market cap (More)

 

> Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) signals opposition to Sarah Bloom Raskin’s nomination to the Federal Reserve, potentially sinking her candidacy (More)

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Politics & World Affairs

> British high court declines WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's request for appeal to halt extradition to the US on espionage charges (More)

 

> Hong Kong's COVID-19 death rate nears 38 per 1 million people amid delayed omicron surge, close to four times the US peak during the winter of 2020-21 (More)

 

> Australia and the Netherlands begin international legal action over the 2014 downing of flight MH17; passenger flight was shot down over Ukraine during the Russian annexation of Crimea (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

What Social Media Doesn't Tell Us

Platformer | Casey Newton. CrowdTangle cofounder Brandon Silverman opens up about the role of social networks in war coverage and beyond, as well as how these public spaces can thrive with more data transparency and fact-checking programs. (Read)

Succulents Under Siege 

Nat Geo | Dina Fine Maron. Rare succulents in South Africa are at the center of a fight between police and poachers who raid farmlands for the coveted tiny plant. (Read, paywall)

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ETCETERA

 

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The countries Americans rate favorably

 

Your Bitcoin can live on—even if you don't.

 

A detailed snap of the International Space Station crossing the moon.

 

Fishermen dredge up 12,000-year-old woolly mammoth tooth.

 

A rare glimpse of a double-spot octopus

 

A ranking of the 25 best "Batman" villains.

 

The highest of high tea parties.

 

Clickbait: When balancing a lawnmower on your chin pays off. (w/ video)

 

Historybook: The Ides of March: Julius Caesar assassinated by Brutus (44 BCE); President Andrew Jackson born (1767); Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg born (1933); Terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand, kills 51 (2019).

 

"My mother told me to be a lady. And for her, that meant to be your own person, be independent."

- Ruth Bader Ginsburg

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