Ukraine, Tornado, Gas Prices, Sydney Flood, North Korea
By Alexandra Meeks, CNN
(CNN) – Travelers are scrambling to get flights to and from Europe after Russia invaded Ukraine. More than 30 countries have so far closed their airspace to Russia – with Moscow reacting accordingly – and several companies are suspending major operations. Russia’s largest airline, Aeroflot, has also been removed from global reservation systems and travel websites, crippling the carrier’s ability to sell seats. Here’s what else you need to know to Start your week smart.
The weekend that was
• More than 1.5 million Ukrainian refugees have entered neighboring countries in 10 days, UN refugee agency commissioner Filippo Grandi said earlier today, calling the situation a “refugee crisis fastest growing in Europe since World War II”.
• A tornado that touched down near Des Moines, Iowa yesterday killed seven people, including two children, officials said. The National Weather Service office in Des Moines said an early estimate shows it was an EF3 tornado, with wind speeds of at least 136 miles per hour.
• The average price of a gallon of regular gasoline in the United States hit $4 today, the highest level since 2008. And with prices soaring amid Russia’s attack on the Ukraine’s record $4.11 per gallon set that year is likely to fall any day.
• Sydney braces for more rain as Australia’s flood death toll rises to 17. Thousands of people have been displaced as heavy downpours swept away property, livestock and roads.
• North Korea fired a single ballistic missile into waters off the eastern Korean peninsula yesterday, according to South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was the country’s ninth test of the year.
The week ahead
Happy International Women’s Day! The day not only recognizes the achievements of women, but also aims to raise awareness of prejudice and promote equality for women around the world.
Apple is about to hold its first major product event of the year. The company is rumored to unveil a slew of new MacBooks and iMacs with the second iteration of its powerful in-house processor, along with a 5G version of its more affordable iPhone SE and an updated iPad Air.
The US Senate Foreign Relations Committee is to hold a hearing on the US and international response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. State Department Undersecretary for Political Affairs Victoria Nuland is due to testify.
South Korean voters will choose a successor to Moon Jae-in, who is eligible for only one term. Moon replaced Park Geun-hye in May 2017 after he was ousted in an abuse of power scandal. The ruling Democratic Party candidate is Lee Jae-Myung. Last week, Moon expressed his condolences for the lives lost and his “respect” for the “courage and sacrifice” of the Ukrainian people during a phone call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. He also said South Korea would provide $10 million in humanitarian aid.
Jussie Smollett, the former ‘Empire’ actor who was convicted of staging a fake hate crime, is set to be sentenced. Smollett was convicted in December of five felony disorderly conduct charges over false claims that he was the target of a racist and homophobic attack in 2019. A disorderly conduct charge for a false crime report is a class 4 felony and punishable by up to 3 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. Cook County Judge James Linn will determine whether to impose a concurrent or consecutive sentence for each of the five counts.
Wall Street will get the latest insight into inflation when the February Consumer Price Index is released before trading begins. The CPI rose 7.5% in the 12 months to January, unadjusted for seasonal fluctuations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. It was the largest annual price increase since February 1982 and worse than economists had expected.
Friday marks two years since the World Health Organization declared the Covid-19 pandemic. Covid-19 has killed more than 950,000 people and infected around 79.2 million in the United States since January 2020, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.
The U.S. federal government’s temporary funding measure, which averted a government shutdown last month, is about to expire. The bill signed into law by President Joe Biden extended funding through March 11. Lawmakers are working to lock in a broader spending package for the full year, but opted for a short-term funding extension last month because they said they needed more time to hammer the details.
Want more than 5 things?
On this week’s Sunday edition of the 5 Things podcast, CNN Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen explains what’s different about this “new phase” of the Covid-19 pandemic and examines a possible gap in the new health plan. Biden administration on this. Listen now!
Pictures of the week
Here’s a look at some more moving, compelling and thought-provoking footage from the week, which was curated by CNN Photos.
What’s Happening in Entertainment
‘The Batman’ hits theaters this weekend
Starring Robert Pattinson as Batman/Bruce Wayne and Zoë Kravitz as Catwoman, “The Batman” is buzzing after its premiere in US theaters on Friday. “Batman has a long history of provoking heated reactions and debate, and the latest entry will be no exception,” wrote CNN’s Brian Lowry in his review. “In Pattinson, the producers found a Dark Knight worthy of the hype, while creating a Gotham that needed him badly,” he added, offering two caveats: The movie drags a little too long at almost three hours, and it owes more to detective films like “Seven” and “LA Confidential” than to other superhero movies.
What happens in sports
MLB cancels more spring training games
Major League Baseball has canceled spring training games until at least March 17 as negotiations over a new collective bargaining agreement between the league and the players’ union drag on.
Russian teams suspended from competitions by FIFA and UEFA
FIFA and UEFA have suspended all Russian international and club teams from competitions “until further notice”, football’s governing bodies announced in a joint statement last week. Spartak Moscow were due to face RB Leipzig in the Europa League, with the first leg in Germany on March 10 and the second leg scheduled for March 17.
Russian and Belarusian gymnasts banned from competitions
Russian and Belarusian athletes and officials will be banned from competitions indefinitely, the International Gymnastics Federation announced on Friday. The decision means that athletes and officials, including judges, from these two federations are not allowed to participate in the Acrobatic Gymnastics World Championships in Baku, Azerbaijan, from March 10-13.
It’s quiz time!
Take CNN’s weekly news quiz to see what you remember from the past week! So far, 81% of other quiz fans have scored an 8 out of 10 or better this week. How well can you do?
Play with me
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow”
Take a break. Relax and enjoy this iconic and unmistakable classic of great Israeli Hawaiian music “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole. (Click here to view)
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