5 things to know for March 9: Ukraine, USPS, South Korea, Jan. 6 riot, Teacher strike

Here is what you need to know for today
Originally Published: 09 MAR 22 06:27 ET
Updated: 09 MAR 22 06:31 ET

(CNN) — Thinner toilet paper rolls. Emptier snack bags. A little less shampoo in the bottle. Instead of charging buyers more to compensate for inflation, some companies are just, well, offering less. Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Ukraine

President Joe Biden announced a ban on Russian oil, natural gas and coal imports to the US in a bid to further pressure Russia’s economy at the risk of even higher gas prices at home. Risky oil and gas sanctions were once non-starters when it came to punishing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, but the country’s continued onslaught, and its targeting of Ukrainian citizens, increased US support of the action. The UK and EU both announced less immediate Russian oil and gas cutoffs. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military has agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire with Russia today to allow civilians to escape through humanitarian corridors. However, Ukrainian forces are wary of the pact. Ukraine’s foreign minister says Russian troops are holding 300,000 civilians “hostage” in the city of Mariupol, where a long-awaited convoy of humanitarian aid to the city appeared to have come under fire. Follow CNN’s full coverage of Russia’s attack on Ukraine here.

2. USPS

The Senate has passed The Postal Service Reform Act, a sweeping bipartisan bill that will overhaul the US Postal Service’s finances and allow the agency to modernize. By making changes to health care coverage within the agency, the bill is expected to save the postal service $50 billion over the next decade. The bill also requires the USPS to create an online dashboard with local and national delivery time data. Unlike other government agencies, the USPS generally does not receive taxpayer funding, which is why its financial situation has been so dire. While the bill has been hailed as an important step, some experts say its not enough because it doesn’t actually create ways to improve mail service. How will the overhaul affect you? Here’s a breakdown.

3. South Korea

South Koreans are heading to the polls today to elect a new president who will take on an evolving slate of challenges facing the powerful East Asian nation. Gender inequality, sexual violence, division and political corruption have been big domestic issues for voters, while surging housing prices continue to tax Asia’s fourth-largest economy. The ever-present threat of North Korea looms large outside its borders, as do shifting politics in the Pacific. The election has boiled down to a tight two-way race between Lee Jae-myung, the standard-bearer of the ruling Democratic Party, and Yoon Suk-yeol, from the conservative main opposition People Power Party. The victor will succeed President Moon Jae-in, who is constitutionally barred from seeking reelection.

4. Capitol riot

The first Capitol riot defendant to go on trial has been found guilty by a jury in Washington, DC. Guy Reffitt, a Texas supporter of former President Donald Trump, was found guilty of all five charges he faced, including obstruction and firearms charges. It was the first case related to January 6 to go to trial, and tested the Justice Department’s ability to tie one person’s actions in the crowd to the broader attack on the Capitol. The pivotal outcome could set the tone for the more than 500 Capitol riot defendants whose cases are still making their way through the justice system. Some may be more likely to take plea deals, while a criminal law used to prosecute January 6 cases may become a target of appeals.

5. Minneapolis strike

Education professionals in Minneapolis went on strike yesterday after failing to reach an agreement with Minneapolis Public Schools. Backed by representatives from local and national teachers unions, educators are calling for better wages for education support professionals, smaller class sizes and increased school safety. Classes are canceled indefinitely for about 30,000 area students as the strike continues. Similar negotiations and strikes have played out across the country, as teachers and students face dwindling resources. Neighboring St. Paul recently avoided a strike with a new agreement between teachers and the city’s school system.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

QB Aaron Rodgers says he will stay with the Green Bay Packers after months of suspense

The football offseason has all of the drama of “The Bachelor” with slightly less fancy outfits.

Swanky workout brand Lululemon jumps into the footwear business with a new shoe called ‘Blissfeel’

The words “bliss” and “blister” are far too close for comfort.

In an image overhaul, Kohl’s says it’s no longer a department store

Kohl’s: A State of Mind.

Joining a company remotely? Here’s how to bond with your coworkers

Hello new virtual colleague… how ’bout that extended global pandemic and tectonic sociocultural shift, huh?”

Giant venomous spiders infiltrated the southeastern US and are expected to spread rapidly, but experts say not to worry

Please do not kill the beautiful, hand-sized nightmares. They will not hurt you. Simply back away from wherever you found them, move to the other side of the world and never return. This has been a message from the Committee for No Scary Bugs 2022.

TODAY’S NUMBER

$55 million

That’s the value of a tentative settlement agreed upon by the families of victims and survivors of last year’s condo collapse in Surfside, Florida. The families had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against three defendants, including the condo association and groups responsible for the inspection and integrity of the building. The collapse killed 98 people, and the exact cause has not yet been identified.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“It’s taken the entire community to get to this point — with lowered case counts and hospitalizations … If we see another surge, we will be ready to reinstitute the mask policy, if needed.”

— Hawaii Gov. David Ige, announcing the end of the state’s mask mandate on March 25. Hawaii is now the last state to drop its face-cover requirement.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

A harmonious mix

Mozart’s famous Turkish March takes on new life when performed with traditional bamboo instruments by the Suc Song Moi Bamboo Ensemble from Vietnam. (Click here to view)

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