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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Tuesday, March 1, 2022:


The war in Ukraine intensified Monday as Russian forces shelled Kharkiv, the country's second-largest city, and closed in on the capital Kyiv, even as negotiators were talking. As reports of civilian casualties trickled out of Ukraine, the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court said he will begin an investigation into whether Russia has committed war crimes. The UN said half a million Ukrainians have fled the country, and so far other European countries are welcoming them with open arms, which some argue is highlighting the stark difference in treatment that Middle Eastern and African refugees and migrants received in recent years. NY TIMES

If only their talks would intensify.


As nations and private companies ramp up their responses to the invasion, the economic consequences are mounting for Russia. The ruble plummeted 30% after the U.S. and other nations blocked Russian banks from the SWIFT international payment system, adding to the pain of other targeted sanctions. Global energy companies such as BP and Shell divested or broke ties from Russian oil and gas giants. Shipping company Maersk announced that it was considering suspending all deliveries to Russia. Hollywood is pausing new releases in Russia, including "The Batman" which was supposed to open there this Friday. And Harley-Davidson and GM both said they were halting shipments of their products to the country. CHEDDAR

We can now add Russia to the list of things getting canceled.


A UN climate panel is painting a bleak picture of how climate change could impact the world. A new report says if global warming isn't brought under control, future generations will face a cascade of 127 "potentially irreversible" changes that could make the planet far less habitable than it is today. UN Secretary-General António Guterres didn't mince words about the report,  calling it "an atlas of human suffering and a damning indictment of failed climate leadership." CHEDDAR


President Biden has a lot on his plate: war in Ukraine (see above), climate change (see above) and a number of economic challenges, from surging energy costs to the lingering impact of COVID-19 (see any edition of Need2Know). Tonight, the president is expected to touch on these topics and more in his first State of the Union address. The speech comes as Biden faces low polling numbers and looming midterm elections, and the world will be listening closely for hints of how his administration will juggle multiple crises in the year ahead. The speech starts at 9 p.m. ET, but Cheddar will have live coverage for you starting at 8 here: CHEDDAR

We’re just curious to see if anyone claps.


One topic that is expected to come up during the address is the sorry state of U.S. nursing homes. According to the White House, more than 200,000 nursing home residents and staff members died of COVID over the past two years, and many see this disproportionate impact as a sign that changes are needed to better protect these vulnerable members of our society. To remedy the situation, the administration has proposed a series of fixes, including minimum staffing levels, beefed-up federal oversight, and making sure all residents have private rooms. AP


The low-dose version of the Pfizer-BioNtech COVID vaccine that is given to kids under 12 appears to be considerably less effective than the adult dose given to the 12-17 set. While the vaccine still provided protection against getting seriously ill regardless of dosage, those who received the higher-dose version were less likely to contract the disease in the first place. The study came out after the FDA unexpectedly delayed emergency use authorization of the vaccine in children 6 months through 4 years. NPR

This information would’ve been helpful a few months ago.


As if the car industry needed one more setback, Toyota on Monday shut down domestic production after a suspected cyber attack hit a major supplier. The world's best-selling carmaker hosts one third of its production in Japan and is set lose 13,000 cars worth of output. The source of the attack is still unknown, but Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida noted that it was unclear if Russia was involved. The comment didn't come out of nowhere, as companies prepare for Russian cyberattacks in retaliation for sanctions. Notably, Japan on Sunday said it would join the U.S. in blocking Russia from the SWIFT international payment system. CNBC

We’re concerned about Toyotathon.


As the MLB and union officials kicked the can down the road on collective bargaining negotiations, baseball-star-turned-exec Derek Jeter delivered a shock to the baseball world with the announcement that is stepping down as the CEO of the Miami Marlins. His departure comes a full year before the end of his five-year contract, suggesting all was not well behind-the-scenes. Details are still coming to light, but the former Yankee said in a statement that the "vision for the future of the franchise is different than the one I signed up to lead." ESPN

Okay, so he’s not the GOAT of everything.


As the price of everything goes up, so does the price of getting items to us. Egypt, which is struggling financially, announced today that it's raising the price for cargo ships to cross the Suez Canal by as much as 10%. While business has been good as consumers upped their buying-game during the pandemic, Egypt needs to widen and deepen part of the canal's southern waterway after the Ever Given cargo ship famously got wedged last year, blocking passage for all ships for nearly a week. AP


Onions famously have layers. Who knew one of them was hiding drugs? The U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized $3 million worth of methamphetamine that was hidden in a shipment of onions. Most shocking to border agents was how the drugs were concealed in 1,200 small packages that were colored and shaped like onions. In an example of game recognizing game, one CBP director noted that “while we have certainly seen narcotics in produce before, it’s unusual for us to see this level of detail in the concealment." AP

So the drug dealers cried before and after they shipped this.

Need2Know Podcast Note: The Need2Know podcast is taking a break for now. We're looking forward to bringing you more context and analysis on the big stories of the day in a few weeks. In the meantime, check out our archive on Apple or Spotify, or watch on YouTube, and send us your feedback!

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