5 things to know for March 11: Biden, coronavirus, Russia, Mueller report, climate

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Do you really have to eat breakfast? Despite the rise of trendy diets, scientists and nutritionists agree it’s still an important way to set yourself up for a healthy day.

Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.

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1. Election 2020

Joe Biden won big in yesterday’s smattering of primary elections. The former vice president claimed victories in Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri and the biggest prize of the night, Michigan. Bernie Sanders’ loss in Michigan is a big blow, both psychologically and mathematically, because Sanders won the state in 2016’s primary. Results are still coming in from North Dakota and Washington state, but the big picture is pretty clear: Biden is sailing by, and Sanders is in big trouble. Sanders’ campaign reps say they don’t know what his next move is, but he will definitely take on Biden in Sunday’s CNN/Univision Democratic debate in Arizona. Biden also scored another high-profile endorsement from former candidate Andrew Yang. And on social media, video of Biden engaging in a testy exchange with an auto worker in Detroit has won him praise for straightforwardness, though others criticized it as lacking presidential decorum.

2. Coronavirus

Companies, schools and events are getting more aggressive in their efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus. Google has asked all employees in its North American offices to work from home if they can, and countless other companies are doing the same. In Washington, the hardest hit state, gatherings of more than 250 people are banned in three counties. In New York, Gov. Andrew Cuomo says he will deploy the National Guard and create a 1-mile containment area to halt a growing cluster of coronavirus cases in New Rochelle. The situation in Europe is much the same. Italy is still under lockdown, and Berlin has shuttered state theaters, opera houses and concert halls until mid-April as the number of cases across the continent grows. The coronavirus has now infected more than 115,000 people worldwide and killed more than 4,200.

3. Russia

Vladimir Putin’s path to an extended presidency is almost clear after lawmakers voted to change term limit rules in the Russian constitution. Under current Russian law, Putin would have to step down as president in 2024, but the proposed amendment would either scrap term limits altogether or just allow Putin to run again, extending his time in office all the way to 2036. Why? The legislator who put forth the measure said Putin’s continued rule would be a stabilizing factor in the country and alleviate people’s fears over Russia’s political future. Putin, of course, approves of the proposed changes. The amendments still face two more rounds of approval today in parliament.

4. Mueller report 

The House of Representatives has won access to secret grand jury material gathered in former special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation and cited in the Mueller report. The unveiling of this information may revive a House Judiciary Committee investigation into President Trump for obstruction of justice in the Russia investigation. The committee’s probe has been waylaid by political maneuvers, including the White House barring administration witnesses from appearing before Congress. The appeals panel that made the decision criticized the Justice Department for withholding the materials. The DOJ could contest the ruling. And even if the grand jury material ultimately goes to the House, it is likely to be kept confidential for the time being.

5. Climate crisis

Hunger is once again on the rise around the world, and the climate crisis is a primary cause, according to a new report from the World Meteorological Organization. More than 820 million people suffered from hunger in 2018, in part because of crop failures, locust swarms, weather events and other challenges brought on by the changing climate. The study also found that displacement and death from natural disasters related to the climate crisis are likely to disrupt life for millions upon millions of people in the future. Meanwhile, scientists are warning that the Amazon rainforest, one of the world’s largest ecosystems, could reach a point of no return and become a grassy savannah within 50 years if damage to the forest isn’t reversed.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

A retreat on the Isle of Man encourages people to lock their phones in a box for an analog vacation 

Any vacation sounds like it would be improved if it started with locking your phone in a box.

‘The Bachelor’ finale was off the rails, y’all

And if you don’t watch, just be prepared: At least one person you know will be raving all about it today.

Coachella will be postponed because of the coronavirus 

Darn, what are we supposed to do with all this neon body glitter?

McDonald’s is selling a Big Mac with 4 patties 

This thing is so big, it probably requires a building permit.

New chlamydia species found deep under the Arctic Ocean

Good … it can stay there. 

HAPPENING LATER

Harvey Weinstein learns his fate

The convicted rapist and disgraced movie mogul faces between five and 29 years in prison when he’s sentenced today in New York. Weinstein, 67, still faces felony sex assault charges in Los Angeles.

TODAY’S NUMBER

$18.7 billion

That’s how much the problems with the 737 Max have cost Boeing in the year the planes have been grounded after two fatal crashes.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“I love my students, and this is for them. We want them to feel safe. We want them to learn. They deserve more.”

Cassie Heeringa, one of the many members of the St. Paul, Minnesota, teachers union currently striking for better mental health support and multilingual services for students

TODAY’S WEATHER

AND FINALLY

Address the bear? Hello, bear!

In these stressful times, please enjoy this moment of Zen. Or sheer terror. It’s one or the other. (Click here to view.)

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