5 things to know for February 25: Ukraine, SCOTUS, George Floyd, Covid-19, gas prices

Here is what you need to know for today

By Alexandra Meeks

A woman stands in front of an apartment building following a rocket attack on the capital city of Kyiv, Ukraine.

1
Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is progressing as missiles struck the capital city of Kyiv this morning. Ukrainian officials say troops blew up a bridge about 30 miles north of Kyiv to stop the advance of Russian forces, who have already seized control of the Chernobyl nuclear plant and are holding staff hostage. US intelligence officials are concerned that Kyiv could fall under Russian control within days, according to two sources familiar with the latest intelligence. Countries around the world are condemning the attack and imposing fresh sanctions on Russia in response to the attack. Former US President Jimmy Carter issued a statement yesterday pleading for peace, calling the “unprovoked” invasion a violation of international law that “threatens security” in Europe and around the globe. Meanwhile, Moscow is feeling financial repercussions as Russian stocks crashed and the ruble hit a record low against the US dollar. Follow CNN’s full coverage of Russia’s attack on Ukraine here.

2
SCOTUS

President Joe Biden has reached a decision on his first nominee to the Supreme Court, and a formal announcement could come as soon as today, according to people familiar with the selection. His historic selection is set to be the first Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court. The precise timing of the announcement remains fluid, given the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but aides say it will take place no later than Monday, even if it is delayed. Multiple sources have told CNN that Biden has met with at least three potential nominees — including Ketanji Brown Jackson, Leondra Kruger and J. Michelle Childs.

3
George Floyd

Three former Minneapolis police officers were found guilty yesterday of violating George Floyd’s civil rights. Jurors concluded the men showed deliberate indifference to Floyd’s medical needs as former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin knelt on Floyd for more than 9 minutes on May 25, 2020, killing him. The jurors also found two of the officers guilty of an additional charge for failing to intervene to stop Chauvin. According to the Department of Justice, violating a person’s civil rights “is punishable by a range of imprisonment up to a life term, or the death penalty, depending upon the circumstances of the crime, and the resulting injury, if any.” Federal sentencing guidelines suggest the officers could receive a lesser sentence. The three men remain free on bond and are expected to start pre-sentencing proceedings next week.

4
Coronavirus

At least 5.2 million children globally have lost a parent, grandparent or family caretaker to Covid-19, a new study says. The study, published yesterday in the medical journal The Lancet Child & Adolescent Health, said this “heart-breaking hidden pandemic” is nearing the total number of Covid-19 deaths, which currently stands at about 5.9 million people, according to latest World Health Organization totals. While plummeting Covid-19 case counts across the US are leading to a lifting of mask mandates, data shows more people are dying of Covid-19 now than during most points of the pandemic. More than 2,000 Covid-19 deaths have been reported in the US each day for the past month as the Omicron variant remains a heightened concern.

5
Gas prices

Gas prices were rising rapidly even before Russia’s attack on Ukraine, but with the current shock to the oil market, $4 a gallon gas is now likely to be widespread across the country in a matter of weeks — if not sooner. The average price of a gallon of regular gas stood at $3.54 nationwide yesterday, according to figures collected from US gas stations. Wholesale gas prices jumped 5% in trading yesterday as oil futures topped $100 a barrel for the first time since 2014. Some experts say the jump in wholesale gas prices will likely be passed on to consumers within days. Some areas are already paying at or near $4 a gallon, and California leads the nation with prices averaging $4.77 per gallon.