5 things to know for March 3: Ukraine, Capitol riot, Covid-19, NRA, TikTok

Here is what you need to know for today
Originally Published: 03 MAR 22 06:38 ET
Updated: 03 MAR 22 06:54 ET

(CNN) — The fallout from the war in Ukraine is extending to outer space. Russia’s space agency is refusing to launch a batch of internet satellites for a London-based startup as a form of retaliation against UK sanctions. Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Ukraine

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has forced more than one million refugees to flee the country, according to the United Nations, as fierce fighting continues into its second week. Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky is pleading for international assistance as Russian troops step up their offensive by bombarding residential areas. Russian strikes hit at least three schools and damaged a cathedral and shops yesterday in Ukraine’s second biggest city, Kharkiv, according to videos and photos posted to social media, geolocated and verified by CNN. In the port city of Mariupol, residents are without electricity and water, according to the mayor. Meanwhile, the International Criminal Court in The Hague, Netherlands said yesterday it would launch a war crime investigation following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. Follow CNN’s full coverage of Russia’s attack on Ukraine here.

2. Capitol riot

Former President Donald Trump and a right-wing lawyer were part of a “criminal conspiracy” to overturn the 2020 presidential election, the House select committee investigating the January 6 Capitol riot alleged in a court filing yesterday. The 61-page filing is part of an attempt to gain access to emails from lawyer John Eastman, who the committee says helped Trump orchestrate the plot. House members have also signaled they may make a criminal referral to the Justice Department about Trump, depending on their findings. To date, no top advisers around Trump have been charged for crimes related to the attack on the US Capitol. However, the Justice Department has charged more than 750 people who participated in the pro-Trump riot, which interrupted Congress from its session certifying the election.

3. Coronavirus

The White House has unveiled a new plan to move America to a new stage of the pandemic where Covid-19 “does not disrupt our daily lives.” The National Covid-19 Preparedness Plan, which will require additional funding from Congress, focuses on increased spending for Covid-19 treatments, preparing for new variants, and keeping schools and businesses open. The plan notably includes a new “Test to Treat” initiative that would enable Americans to get tested for Covid-19 at a pharmacy and receive free antiviral pills “on the spot” if they test positive. The CDC announced recently that nearly 70% of the US population resides in areas where masks are no longer required. Some people in these areas, however, are staying masked out of personal preference, experts say.

4. NRA

In a legal win for the National Rifle Association, a judge has blocked the New York attorney general’s attempt to dissolve the organization — but has allowed her suit against it to move forward. The judge denied the attorney general’s claim to dissolve the NRA, stating in part that the attorney general’s office had failed to prove that the alleged mismanagement of the organization’s funds has created public harm. He also said dissolving the NRA could impact the free speech rights of its members. In a statement yesterday, NRA President Charles Cotton called the decision a “resounding win” for the organization and its 5 million members. New York Attorney General Letitia James’ suit against the NRA will move forward, though — and James said the decision affirmed her office’s right to pursue its claims that “fraud, abuse, and greed permeate through the NRA and its senior leadership.”

5. TikTok

A group of state attorneys general announced an investigation into TikTok’s impact on the mental health of young Americans. The probe zeroes in on the social media platform’s engagement techniques to determine whether any of its practices may run afoul of state consumer protection laws, according to announcements by the states. Connecticut Attorney General William Tong cited “reckless viral challenges” on TikTok as a major source of concern. TikTok said that it limits its features by age, provides tools and resources to parents, and designs its policies with the well-being of young people in mind. This comes after a November 2021 announcement of a similar multi-state investigation into Meta platforms, including Facebook and Instagram.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

An NFT of Ukraine’s flag has raised more than $6.7 million for the country’s defenses

Cryptocurrency donations are pouring in as thousands of users — and celebrities — bid for a share of the digital image.

Burned cargo ship carrying luxury cars has now sunk

Thousands of vehicles from brands including Porsche, Bentley and Lamborghini are now on the bottom of the ocean… yikes.

Amazon is closing all of its physical bookstores

First, Amazon shuttered the doors of traditional bookstores worldwide. Then it opened its own. Now, they’re closing them all.

Sportswear brand Fila opening hotel in Shanghai

Luxury hotels are collaborating with popular brands to create the ultimate customer experience.

Western Australia opens its borders after 697 days

One of the world’s longest border closures ends today! Australian citizens will finally be able to visit their friends and loved ones.

TODAY’S NUMBER

0.17

That was the blood alcohol level of a JetBlue pilot who was “removed from his duties” yesterday after failing a Breathalyzer test before a flight at Buffalo Niagara International Airport. James Clifton, 52, was passing through security when a TSA agent raised concerns that he may have been impaired. The blood alcohol limit for pilots is 0.04, according to the FAA, meaning the pilot’s blood alcohol level was more than four times the legal limit per FAA regulations. Clifton later admitted to having 5-6 drinks “the night before at dinner,” according to a police report.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“No matter how far we come, we get reminded that it’s not enough.”

–Serena Williams, calling out The New York Times yesterday after the paper published an article about her venture fund but used a photo of her sister, Venus. The Times apologized on Twitter saying, “this was our mistake” and confirmed a correction will appear in today’s paper.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Let’s take a trip!

Start your morning with this beautiful exploration of India. (Click here to view)

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