By Alexandra Meeks, CNN
Many people are hyped about the transition away from cars that run on gasoline, but some experts say we should pump the brakes on all the excitement. The US isn’t ready for a full switchover to electric because the precious metal needed to build electric car batteries is just as hard to get as gas, according to some industry leaders. Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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President Joe Biden unveiled tough new sanctions against Moscow yesterday in response to Russian military actions currently unfolding in Ukraine. Calling the events “the beginning of a Russian invasion,” Biden laid out sanctions that would effectively cut off Russia’s financial institutions and oligarchs from Western finance. Biden also announced he is moving additional troops and equipment to “strengthen” US allies in the region. US officials say they’re holding out hope for the possibility of diplomacy to avert an all-out war, but also made it clear Biden is ready to go much further should an invasion of Ukraine escalate. The UK, Japan and Australia also plan to impose sanctions against Russia, and Germany has stopped the progression of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline — the $11 billion project that would boost deliveries of gas directly from Russia to Germany.
2. Ahmaud Arbery
A jury has found the three White men who killed Ahmaud Arbery in 2020 guilty of all charges in their federal hate crimes trial, backing prosecutors’ case that the men chased the 25-year-old through a Georgia neighborhood while he was jogging because he was Black. In November, Travis McMichael, Gregory McMichael and their neighbor William “Roddie” Bryan were convicted of murder in state court. Yesterday, the three men were found guilty of interference of rights, a federal hate crime; and attempted kidnapping. For the federal convictions, the three men could now receive up to life in prison and steep fines, on top of the life sentences they received for their previous murder convictions. Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
3. Capitol riot
The Supreme Court said yesterday that it will not take up former President Donald Trump’s case challenging the disclosure of his White House documents to the House committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol. Trump filed an emergency request to block the National Archives from turning over the materials to the court, but that was previously rejected as well. While Trump maintains he can assert executive privilege over some records to keep them secret, more documents are set to be turned over to the House next week.
4. Covid Protests
Word of a possible convoy of truckers protesting vaccination mandates in the coming days prompted the Defense Department yesterday to approve the use of 700 National Guardsmen and 50 tactical vehicles before they descend on the Washington, DC, area. The drivers of the semi-trucks are planning to block major roads until their demands are met, similar to recent protests in Canada, according to the group’s organizers. While it’s unclear if the convoys will materialize this week, area law enforcement — including the Maryland State Police, Metropolitan Police Department in DC and the US Capitol Police — are closely monitoring the situation and in some cases increasing security to deal with the possibility of major disruptions ahead of Biden’s State of the Union address on March 1.
Uganda has proposed steep penalties for anti-vaxxers that include fines and imprisonment as the country doubles down on its coronavirus vaccine mandate. The proposed bill states that those who do not get vaccinated against Covid-19 will be fined 4 million Ugandan shillings (around $1,137) or receive a jail term of six months. A parliamentary health committee said yesterday it is considering the proposed legislation to “ensure mandatory COVID-19 vaccination.” The East African country of around 45 million people has grappled with a series of lockdowns to manage the pandemic amid misinformation and hesitancy toward vaccines. Uganda has recorded more than 163,000 cases of coronavirus and 3,500 deaths, according to the latest government figures.
‘Hank the Tank,’ a 500-pound bear, is breaking into California homes
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You should be eating citrus this month
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That’s approximately how many people were killed in a gold mine blast in Burkina Faso on Monday. The cause of the explosion in the West African country remains unknown, local officials said. Burkina Faso is home to some major gold mines run by international companies, but also to hundreds of smaller, informal sites that operate without oversight or regulation. Children frequently work in these so-called artisanal mines where accidents are common.
“Anti-Semitic and other racist materials were distributed in clear sandwich bags to parts of our city overnight. The City unequivocally denounces hate in any form — it has no place in our city.”
— Mayor Richard Newton of Colleyville, Texas, announcing that a hate crime investigation is underway following the discovery of anti-Jewish flyers that were left in driveways this week. This comes one month after a terrifying ordeal in Colleyville where a man held four hostages in a synagogue during an hours-long standoff. Anti-Semitic attacks, including assaults, vandalism and harassment, are on the rise in US, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Off The Grid
Meet the couple that built their own island! The floating fortress is a 45-minute boat ride from the nearest town. (Click here to view)
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