3.2.2022

Ukraine Shelled, Felicity Ace Sinks, and America's Most Sinful Cities Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Wednesday, March 2, and we're covering an escalation of attacks in Ukraine, an end to the flaming Felicity Ace, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

NEED TO KNOW

 

Russia Ramps Up Attacks

Russia intensified its shelling of major Ukrainian cities yesterday as its invasion of its western neighbor stretched into day six. After attempts to swiftly overrun Ukrainian forces faltered, officials worry Russia may pivot to a brute force approach likely to increase civilian casualties. See updates here.

 

Kharkiv, Ukraine's second-largest city, took the brunt of the attack yesterday. At least 10 were killed people as missiles struck the city's central Freedom Square (see video, warning—sensitive content) and surrounding neighborhoods. The city, along with Kherson and Mariupol in the south, has been encircled by Russian troops.

 

Much focus has been on a 40-mile-long convoy of armored vehicles advancing toward the capital of Kyiv. As of yesterday, the line was about 18 miles from the city but had reportedly stalled due to food and fuel shortages—reflective of persistent logistical issues that have plagued Russia in recent days.

 

Still, Russian officials called on Kyiv residents to flee the city, saying they would begin targeting communications and intelligence facilities. The warnings suggest intense fighting is likely in the coming days.

 

See maps of Russia's advance here.

Felicity Ace Sinks

A large cargo ship carrying nearly 4,000 Volkswagen Group luxury cars sank into the Atlantic Ocean yesterday after catching fire last month. The ship, Felicity Ace, went down about 220 miles from Portugal’s Azores Islands, officials said. A salvage crew had begun to tow the damaged ship to land when rough waters caused it to tilt and sink.

 

The 650-foot-long vessel was transporting electric and non-electric vehicles from Germany to Rhode Island when it caught fire Feb. 16. The 22 crew members were safely evacuated the same day. The cause of the blaze is still unclear, but reports suggest lithium-ion batteries in the electric vehicles fueled it.

 

The cargo was valued at more than $400M, and Volkswagen, Porsche, Audi, and Lamborghini could see at least $155M in losses.

Authorities fear the ship could pollute the ocean due to 2,200 tons each of fuel and oil on board. They are monitoring the situation.

Argentina Wildfires

A giant ash cloud pushed into the capital of Paraguay Monday. The massive cloud carried smoke and debris from wildfires that have been battering the province of Corrientes in northeast Argentina since early January (see video).

 

The Iberá Wetlands, one of the largest ecosystems in the world, has been fighting raging wildfires following two years of historic drought, threatening a biodiverse area that harbors many species on the verge of extinction. Rain and low temperatures over the weekend brought some relief to the area; however, the fires have destroyed more than 3 million acres (1.3 million hectares) of farmland and forest—roughly the size of Connecticut.

 

Across the South Pacific, at least 10 people have been killed, and tens of thousands evacuated as heavy flooding continues in southeast Australia. The city of Brisbane saw 80% of its annual rainfall in just three days. See photos here.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

> MLB cancels first two regular-season series after labor talks between league and players' union break down (More) | Everything to know about the collective bargaining dispute (More)

 

> HBO Max moves into live sports after eight-year deal with US Soccer to broadcast women's and men's national team matches beginning in 2023 (More)

 

> Five major film studios, including Disney and Universal, halt the release of films in Russia following the invasion of Ukraine (More)

Science & Technology

> NASA launches one of its most sophisticated weather satellites; GOES-T will monitor weather conditions, wildfires, and climate dynamics over the Western US and Pacific Ocean (More)

 

> Scientists demonstrate first use of CRISPR gene editing treating disease directly through blood infusions; injection disables a gene that produces a toxic nerve-damaging protein (More)

 

> Geologists confirm discovery of a mile-wide asteroid crater; impact occurred in northeast China roughly 50,000 years ago, possibly witnessed by early humans (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets fall (S&P 500 -1.6%, Dow -1.8%, Nasdaq -1.6%) on rising Ukraine concerns (More)

 

> The US and fellow member countries of the International Energy Agency agree to release 60 million barrels of oil as prices surge over $100 per barrel (More)

 

> Target shares close up 10% on strong revenue growth and guidance; retail giant passed $100B in annual sales in 2021 (More)

Politics & World Affairs

In partnership with Tangle

> President Joe Biden gives first State of the Union address, talks Ukraine, economy, and more; see highlights here (More)

 

> American Civil Liberties Union sues Texas to block state probes into families with children receiving gender transition treatment; case stems from a nonbinding opinion memo written by Attorney General Ken Paxton (R) (More) | See an overview of the directive here (More)

 

> New York to lift statewide mask mandate for schools beginning today; New York City to lift mandate starting Monday (More) | See US COVID-19 stats here (More)

From our partners: What's the other side saying? Tangle knows. Tangle is an independent, ad-free, non-partisan politics newsletter that summarizes the leading arguments from the right, left, and center on the news of the day. Sign up for free to get a 360-degree political read.

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ETCETERA

 

Mardi Gras returns to New Orleans (in photos).

 

America's most sinful states.

 

How Americans view major issues.

 

Monterey Bay Aquarium's deep-sea creature compilation. (w/video)

 

Yellowstone celebrates its 150th anniversary.

 

The 20 most-leaked passwords.

 

Authorities seize $3M in meth-filled onions.

 

Another mind-bending optical illusion.

 

Clickbait: Even in the metaverse, the taxman cometh.

 

Historybook: Children’s author Dr. Seuss born (1904); Oscar-winning actress Jennifer Jones born (1919); Former Soviet Union president Mikhail Gorbachev born (1931); Wilt Chamberlain sets all-time NBA record with 100 points in a single game (1962).

 

"Everybody pulls for David, nobody roots for Goliath."

- Wilt Chamberlain

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