3.3.2022

Russia Captures Kherson, Ford Shifts, and the Happiest Cities in America Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Thursday, March 3, and we're covering the capture of a major Ukrainian city, an internal split at Ford, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

NEED TO KNOW

 

Russia Captures Kherson

The southern Ukrainian city of Kherson was overtaken by Russian forces yesterday, the first major city captured by Russia since its invasion of Ukraine began one week ago. The southern city is a strategic and economic hub, with access to the Black Sea and located near the mouth of the Dnieper River.

 

The capital of Kyiv and the second-largest city of Kharkiv continued to receive heavy shelling (see photos), including a downed missile that landed near Kyiv's central rail station. Despite the bombardment, reports say the Ukrainian front line held outside Kharkiv and a Russian convoy outside Kyiv remained stalled. 

 

Ukrainian officials said yesterday more than 2,000 civilians had been killed since fighting broke out a week ago, a figure that hasn't been independently confirmed. More than 1 million of the country's nearly 44 million residents have fled the country; read on-the-ground accounts here.

 

Both sides have signaled the desire for a second round of cease-fire negotiations, which may take place as soon as today. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said bombings must cease before talks resume.

 

Separately, the United Nations General Assembly voted 141-5 in a nonbinding measure to condemn Russia's actions. Thirty-five countries, including India, abstained.

 

Track Russia's advance here.

Ford Splits EV Business

Ford Motor is reorganizing itself and creating two separate divisions in-house: Ford Model e for its electric vehicles and Ford Blue for its internal-combustion engine vehicles. The automaker said yesterday it plans to spend $5B on electric vehicles this year—double its 2021 spend. It also aims to produce more than 2 million EVs by 2026, with investments expected to reach $50B.

Ford follows similar moves from other legacy automakers to invest in the global EV market—worth more than $200B in 2021 and projected to reach over $900B by 2030, according to analysts. About 6.6 million EVs were sold worldwide last year, up from 2.2 million in 2019.

 

Tesla dominates the space, accounting for more than half of all EVs sold, with startups and traditional automakers playing catch-up. Hyundai said yesterday it will invest about $16B toward electric vehicles by 2030. Toyota plans to invest $35B by 2030, and General Motors plans $35B through 2025.

Israel Evictions Paused

Israel's Supreme Court this week temporarily suspended the evictions of a number of Palestinian families from homes in an East Jerusalem neighborhood. The stay will remain in effect while the Israeli government conducts further assessment, a process that may take years to complete. 

 

The evictions in the city's Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, often described as a microcosm of the broader Israeli-Palestinian conflict, were the catalyst for last year's 11-day war between Israel and Hamas in Gaza. The case centers on properties originally built by a Jewish organization but whose legal ownership became clouded as control of East Jerusalem shifted from Jordan to Israel via wars in 1948 and 1967. Others have argued the specific properties in question were never legally transferred (paywall, WSJ) by the Jordanian government and are therefore a private land dispute.

 

See an overview of the broader conflict here.

In partnership with Organifi

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with Travelzoo

> Russia and Belarus athletes allowed to compete as neutral athletes at upcoming 2022 Beijing Winter Paralympics (March 4-13) (More)

 

> René Magritte painting fetches nearly $80M, the second-most valuable painting ever sold at auction in Europe (More) | Oscar-winning producer and film exec Alan Ladd Jr. dies at 84 (More)

 

> Russian oligarch Roman Abramovich to sell English soccer club Chelsea, valued at over $2B, with net proceeds going to victims of Ukraine invasion (More)

From our partners: Thinking about your next adventure? Find the perfect vacay or stay-cay inspiration with Travelzoo. Their curated deals offer outstanding savings on the finest travel, lifestyle, and entertainment experiences, and their weekly Top 20 email delivers the best travel deals of the week. Sign up to become a Travelzoo member (it’s free!) to start getting inspired today.

Science & Technology

> Supposed closest black hole to Earth found not to exist; located 1,000 light-years away, astronomers now believe the HR 6819 system contains two stars, with one sucking the mass away from the second (More) | All about black holes (Watch)

 

> Archaeologists uncover well-preserved, 40,000-year-old Homo sapiens site in northern China with evidence of advanced stone tools, and production and use of pigments (More)

 

> New paper suggests known fossils of Tyrannosaurus rex actually represent three separate species; theory has sparked intense debate among paleontologists (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets up (S&P 500 +1.8%, Dow +1.8%, Nasdaq +1.6%) as investors continue to weigh Ukraine (More) | Fed Chairman Jerome Powell signals a quarter-percentage rate increase will be proposed at the Fed meeting in two weeks (More)

 

> Amazon to shut down its physical bookstore and pop-up shop concepts; company will help employees of 68 stores throughout the US and the UK find new roles within Amazon (More)

 

> Sports e-commerce giant Fanatics raises $1.5B, valuing company at $27B (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) opens the door to scaled-down version of Biden administration's Build Back Better social spending plan; would support splitting spending between climate change and deficit reduction (More)

 

> COVID-19 antiviral medication to be freely provided at hundreds of pharmacies across the US for those who test positive for infection (More) | See current US COVID-19 stats (More)

 

> Rural US population declined over the past decade by 0.6% to around 46 million people; marks the first time the rural population has shrunk between census counts (More)

IN-DEPTH

 

The Voyagers

Atavist | Bill Donahue. In 1945, a father and son undertook a perilous journey across the Bering Strait, fleeing Soviet Russia for a better life in America. (Read)

Why Some Ideas Fail to Scale

Freakonomics | Stephen Dubner, John List. (Podcast) Why some ideas take off, while others fizzle—and how to set your ideas up for success. (Listen)

SUPERFOODS, BUT DELICIOUS

 

In partnership with Organifi

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Delicious, energizing, and ready to mix right from the canister, it's an organic, gluten-free, glyphosate residue-free, all-natural, non-GMO boost to your day. Its active ingredients have been found to (among other things) support lower stress, lower cravings, and even healthy weight management. Try Organifi Green Juice today for 25% off your entire purchase!

Please support our sponsors!

ETCETERA

 

America's happiest cities.

 

Babysitters are making bank.

 

The best professional photography of the past year.

 

How US living situations have evolved over time.

 

Ranking America's best Italian restaurants.

 

Reimagining the future of flying cars.

 

The Hubble Telescope captures a triangular tug-of-war.

 

A painful two minutes on "Wheel of Fortune."

 

Clickbait: Armenian man sets world record for helicopter pull-ups.

 

Historybook: Inventor Alexander Graham Bell born (1847); "The Star-Spangled Banner" becomes the US national anthem (1931); HBD track and field great Jackie Joyner-Kersee (1962); Turkish Airlines flight crashes outside Paris, killing all 346 aboard (1974); RIP Sir Roger Bannister, first person to run a sub-four-minute mile (2018).

 

"It is better to look ahead and prepare than to look back and regret."

- Jackie Joyner-Kersee

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