10 things you need to know today: March 5, 2022
Ceasefire agreement collapses as Russia continues shelling, trucker convoy to arrive in D.C. this weekend, and more
Ceasefire agreement collapses as Russia continues shelling
A ceasefire agreement intended to create "humanitarian corridors" that would allow civilians to escape the embattled Ukrainian cities of Mariupol and Volnovakha fell apart almost immediately as Russian forces continued shelling the cities. Russia announced Saturday morning that military forces encircling Mariupol and Volnovakha would stop firing for five hours on Saturday afternoon so civilians could safely leave, but Ukrainian officials said the invaders never kept up their side of the bargain. "The Russian side is not holding to the ceasefire and has continued firing on Mariupol," said Kyrylo Tymoshenko, the deputy head of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky's office. Ukrainian Deputy Prime Minister Iryna Vereshchuk said Russia also continued firing on Volnovakha.
Trucker convoy to arrive in D.C. this weekend
Truckers and other demonstrators seeking an end to COVID-19 restrictions and mandates plan to descend on Washington, D.C., this weekend. Hundreds of vehicles reportedly massed in Hagerstown, Maryland, about an hour's drive from Capitol Hill, on Friday. A Facebook group for the "People's Convoy" has over 300,000 members. Organizers said the protest will be "lawful" and will "terminate in the vicinity of the D.C. area, but will not be going into D.C. proper." The protest is modeled on the Canadian Freedom Convoy that occupied downtown Ottawa for three weeks in February and shut down several border crossings. Similar convoys formed in France, Belgium, and New Zealand.
Putin's crackdown on 'fake' news prompts some outlets to suspend operations in Russia
Russian lawmakers on Friday unanimously passed legislation punishing those who intentionally spread "fake" news regarding the country's military with up to 15 years of jail time. Lawmakers also imposed fines for those who publicly call for sanctions against Russia. After Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the bill into law, BBC and Bloomberg News announced they would "temporarily suspend" journalism work inside Russia. BBC's website was inaccessible in Russia on Friday, but interim director Jonathan Munro said BBC journalists will remain on the ground in Moscow. CNN announced Friday that it will "stop broadcasting in Russia while we continue to evaluate the situation."
Strong February jobs report adds 678,000 jobs, lowers unemployment rate
The U.S. economy added 678,000 jobs in February, shattering Wall Street expectations as the unemployment picture also inched back toward pre-pandemic rates. Specifically, the jobless rate fell to 3.8 percent from 4 percent, beating estimates. As for job gains, economists had projected an increase of 440,000. February's actual 678,000 total is now the largest monthly increase in job growth since July. The Labor Department in its latest report also revised the total gains for December and January to a stronger-than-initially reported 588,000 jobs and 481,000 jobs, respectively.
Nearly 7 in 10 Americans support Russian sanctions even if energy prices jump, poll finds
Americans are, for the most part, rallying behind economic sanctions on Russia as punishment for its globally-derided invasion of Ukraine, even if the measures ultimately cause higher energy prices back home, according to a new NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist Institute of Public Opinion poll. Per the results, 83 percent of Americans are in favor of sanctions, with 69 percent — including 58 percent of Republicans — in support even if causes energy prices to rise in the United States. Inflation, and its subsequent effect on gas prices, has been a key issue confounding both Democrats and President Biden in recent months.
Sen. Lindsey Graham hit with bipartisan criticism after calling for Putin's assassination
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) has been the target of strong criticism on both sides of the aisle after his Thursday call for a Russian "Brutus" to assassinate Russian President Vladimir Putin went viral. "You would be doing your country — and the world — a great service," Graham wrote on Twitter on Thursday, amid the ongoing Russian invasion of Ukraine. Earlier that night, Graham said almost exactly the same thing during an appearance on Sean Hannity's Fox News program. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) said "calling for the assassination of heads of state" is "an exceptionally bad idea," while Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-Minn.) wrote "Seriously, wtf … I really wish our members of Congress would cool it."
At least 50 dead after attack on Shiite mosque in Pakistan
At least 57 are dead and more than 100 wounded after a Friday explosion devastated a Shiite mosque in northwestern Pakistan, per Pakistani police and doctors. Authorities are not entirely sure yet what happened, but believe at least one gunman attacked police officers outside, entered the mosque during Friday prayers, and detonated what appeared to be a suicide vest. Pakistani intelligence officials believe the attack was most likely the responsibility of ISIS-K, though no group has yet claimed responsibility.
Supreme Court reimposes Boston Marathon bomber's death sentence
The Supreme Court on Friday reinstated the death sentence for Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the man convicted in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing. In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court reimposed Tsarnaev's death sentence. Supreme Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that Tsarnaev did receive "a fair trial before an impartial jury." The Supreme Court's liberal justices Stephen Breyer, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor dissented. The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals overturned Tsarnaev's death sentence in 2020, ruling that the district court should have asked all prospective jurors what they'd heard about the case from the media and that the judge should not have excluded evidence about murders Tsarnaev's brother may have committed two years before the bombing.
Fire extinguished at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant
The fire at Ukraine's Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant was extinguished Friday morning after it burned for about four hours, the Ukrainian State Emergency Service said. Zaporizhzhia is Europe's largest nuclear plant. The fire broke out at the facility's training building after it came under heavy shelling on Thursday from Russian forces, who blamed the fire on Ukrainian saboteurs and have since seized control of the facility. No casualties have been reported. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said that, for the "first time in the history of humankind," a country had committed "nuclear terrorism." Russian forces previously seized the decommissioned nuclear plant at Chernobyl and, on Friday, were approaching Ukraine's second-largest nuclear plant in Yuzhnoukrainsk.
Google pauses ad sales in Russia over Ukraine invasion
Google is pushing pause on all ad sales in Russia amid the invasion of Ukraine. Google previously announced that it would block Russian state media channels across Europe, and Russian state media outlets were also banned from running ads. Google had also blocked ads related to the conflict in Ukraine. The decision to suspend all ad sales in Russia, though, came after Russia demanded Google stop running ads it claimed contained "false political information" about the Ukraine invasion. The Russian government also decided on Friday to block access to Facebook due to the social network's "discrimination against Russian media and information resources."