By Alexandra Meeks, CNN
It’s going to be a terrific Twosday! Today is 2/22/22 and unique festivities are happening around the world to celebrate the special palindrome date, meaning it reads the same forward and backward. Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
(You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)
Russian President Vladimir Putin has ordered troops into separatist-held parts of eastern Ukraine in what the Kremlin called a “peacekeeping” mission. While it is unclear if these troop movements marked the beginning of an invasion of Ukraine that Western leaders have warned about for weeks, US Ambassador to the United Nations Linda Thomas-Greenfield told an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council last night that Putin is “attempting to create a pretext for a further invasion.” She also blasted Putin’s claim that his troops entering those regions are “peacekeepers,” calling it “nonsense.” Russia’s latest move came just hours after Putin signed decrees recognizing the independence of the Moscow-backed areas. Meanwhile, Putin is increasing his combative rhetoric on Russian media and accusing the West of threats and blackmail.
A fourth Covid-19 shot might be recommended in the US this fall, according to leading public health officials who say they are “very carefully” monitoring if Americans would need another vaccine dose. Researchers say a fourth dose does boost antibodies, but is not likely to prevent Omicron breakthrough infections. In December, Israel became the first nation to roll out a fourth dose option for adults 60 and older. More recently, Sweden announced last week that second booster doses are recommended for everyone 80 and older. In the UK, officials unveiled plans yesterday to offer an extra booster dose to their vulnerable populations in addition to carving out end dates for self-isolation rules — one day after it was announced that Queen Elizabeth II has tested positive for Covid-19. Buckingham Palace says the Queen has canceled her planned virtual engagements today as she continues to suffer from mild Covid-19 symptoms.
3. Winter storms
Winter weather alerts covering nearly 25 million people across the US were issued yesterday, as snow, sleet and freezing rain descend on most of the northern tier of the country. One storm system is bringing frigid conditions to the northern Plains through the Great Lakes today, with another blast expected later this week. Increasing wind may lead to near blizzard conditions in Minneapolis with several inches of snow, according to the National Weather Service. Another storm system in the South is carrying in warm, moist air from the Gulf of Mexico and providing enough moisture to create storms and flooding. As a result, people in some parts of Mississippi and Tennessee have been instructed to stay inside and be on the lookout today.
4. Oil & gas drilling
The Biden administration has announced another freeze to new oil and gas drilling leases after a judge ruled against a key climate tool used to estimate the “societal cost” of carbon emissions. The appeal, which came over the weekend, is the latest in a legal battle in the courts between several Republican-led states and the Biden administration over the social cost of carbon, a metric that uses economic models to put a value on each ton of carbon dioxide emitted. The idea is to quantify the economic harm caused by changes in the climate, such as sea level rise, more destructive hurricanes, extreme wildfire seasons and flooding. Climate scientists are in favor of the metric because it helps measure climate-fueled disasters, but states that produce oil and gas are against it, arguing it increases the costs of drilling.
AT&T is shutting down its 3G network today. The move will impact people still using 3G Kindles, 3G flip phones, the iPhone 5 and older models, various Android phones and some wearable devices. It will also affect some home alarm systems and medical devices such as fall detectors. Some in-car crash notification and roadside assistance systems like OnStar will also need to be updated or replaced. The 3G shutdown is primarily happening so companies can re-use the spectrum for 4G and 5G services, which are newer standards, better technologies and are more efficient. T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless are phasing out 3G later this year. AT&T owns WarnerMedia, CNN’s parent company.
Britney Spears secures book deal
Is this a prelude to Brit performing on stage again? One can only hope!
The world’s biggest cruise ship is making its debut
It’s so big it even has different neighborhoods if you never want your cruise to end…
New winner named in 2021 Kentucky Derby
The decision has been met with praise after the previous winner sparked major controversy.
Rare fossil of giant flying reptile discovered on Scottish Island
Some of these creatures were as big as airplanes… *goosebumps*
‘Arthur’ comes to an end after 25 seasons
What type of animal is Arthur? Most of us never knew, but one thing is very certain — our favorite PBS creature will be missed!
Jane Marczewski, a singer known by her stage name Nightbirde, who gained widespread popularity after being a contestant on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” has died after a four-year battle with cancer, her family confirmed. “You can’t wait until life isn’t hard anymore before you decide to be happy,” she said during one of her performances, impressing the judges with her positive and bubbly personality.
That’s how much Michigan head basketball coach Juwan Howard was fined for fighting on the court after an NCAA college basketball game against Wisconsin. Howard has also been suspended for the rest of the regular season. The now-viral video of the brawl shows Howard throwing a punch toward a Wisconsin coach following an argument, sparking pushing and shoving between both sets of players and staff.
“Let me be clear: Doctors say had I not been vaccinated at all, I wouldn’t be here.”
— Fox News anchor Neil Cavuto, sharing how a second case of coronavirus nearly killed him. In contrast to some of the loudest voices at the right-wing network, Cavuto has spoken out in favor of Covid-19 vaccines. Cavuto, a cancer survivor with multiple sclerosis who is immunocompromised, said his most recent case of Covid-19 led to pneumonia and landed him “in intensive care for quite a while.”
Take a victory lap!
Now that the Beijing Winter Olympics are over, competitors are heading home and celebrating their medals! Check out this compilation of the year’s most emotional reactions in winning moments. (Click here to view)
™ & © 2022 Cable News Network, Inc., a WarnerMedia Company. All rights reserved.