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HeadlinesMarch 16, 2022

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Signs of Possible Progress in Talks to End Ukraine War as Casualties and Number of Refugees Mount

Mar 16, 2022

As the Russian invasion of Ukraine is in its 21st day, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said Russian demands are becoming “more realistic” in ongoing negotiations to end the assault. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said he sees “some hope” for a compromise. Zelensky said Tuesday he doesn’t expect Ukraine to join NATO anytime soon. Later today, the Ukrainian leader is virtually addressing the U.S. Congress, where he is expected to repeat calls for more military reinforcement and a no-fly zone.

On Tuesday, the prime ministers of Poland, Slovenia and the Czech Republic held a joint press conference with Zelensky in Kyiv. This is Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala.

Prime Minister Petr Fiala: “You are fighting for your lives, for your families, for your country, for freedom. But we know you are fighting also for our lives and for our freedom. We know it. And probably the main goal of our visit or main message of our mission is to say, 'You are not alone. Our countries stand with you. Europe stands with your country.'”

Ukraine’s capital is now under a curfew as Russia continues to bomb residential areas. Earlier today, Russian forces shelled a 12-story apartment building in Kyiv. Ukraine’s other cities also remain under attack or Russian occupation. On Tuesday, survivors of a Russian airstrike on a residential block in Kharkiv were evacuated by rescue workers.

Inna: “Brotherly nation? My mother comes from Borisov. I have relatives in Kursk. How could this monster — oh my god, monster — come up with something like this, to destruct everything? People are starving. There is no water, no wood for heating. And he decided to destroy a city, in the 21st century? A beautiful city.”

Meanwhile, the humanitarian crisis continues to worsen. Over 3 million people have now become refugees. On Tuesday, President Zelensky said 100 children have been killed since the start of the invasion. UNICEF says a child war refugee is being created every second in Ukraine.

Two Fox News Journalists Killed Covering Ukraine Invasion as Russia Doubles Down on Media Repression

Mar 16, 2022

Two Fox News journalists — camera operator Pierre Zakrzewski and producer Oleksandra Kuvshynova — were killed earlier this week when their vehicle was struck outside Kyiv. Fox News correspondent Benjamin Hall was injured in the attack and hospitalized; Ukrainians officials say he lost part of his leg. At least five media professionals have been killed since the start of the invasion three weeks ago. Click here to see our segment on Brent Renaud, the award-winning U.S. journalist who was killed in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Russian TV producer Marina Ovsyannikova was released Tuesday after being fined for calling on Russians to join antiwar protests in a prerecorded video. On Monday, she burst onto the set of a live Russian news broadcast yelling “Stop the war,” while holding a sign that said, “They’re lying to you here.”

Russia’s Isolation from West Grows Amid New Sanctions and NATO Chemical Attack Warning

Mar 16, 2022

Russia withdrew from the Council of Europe Tuesday, ahead of its expected expulsion from Europe’s rights watchdog. Amid its increasing isolation, Moscow also announced sanctions against President Biden and top U.S. officials, as well as Canadian Prime Minister Trudeau. This came as the EU approved a new wave of sanctions against Russia, including banning investments in Russian energy, luxury goods exports, and imports of steel products. The U.K. also blacklisted hundreds of powerful Russians and imposed new import tariffs.

Meanwhile, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned Moscow could stage a “false flag” operation in Ukraine to launch a chemical weapons attack.

Biden Signs Bill with $13.6B in Ukraine Aid, $0 in Pandemic Aid as WH Warns Funds Urgently Needed

Mar 16, 2022

President Biden signed a bill Tuesday which includes $13.6 billion in additional military and humanitarian aid for Ukraine. It’s part of a $1.5 trillion spending measure to fund the U.S. government through the 2022 fiscal year. The measure, however, was stripped of funding for the pandemic after Democrats could not agree on where that money would come from. This comes as the White House renewed urgent calls for more coronavirus funding. This is Press Secretary Jen Psaki.

Press Secretary Jen Psaki: “We’ve outlined the severe and immediate consequences that the United States will face if Congress fails to provide us with $22.5 billion in emergency funding to fight COVID-19. Those consequences are dire: fewer monoclonal antibodies sent to states, an inability to purchase additional treatments, fewer tests available to Americans, less surveillance for future variants and a risk of running short on vaccines.”

Pfizer Requests Approval for Extra Booster; Reports of Possible Deal for Vaccine Patent Waiver at WTO

Mar 16, 2022

In other coronavirus news, Pfizer-BioNTech has requested emergency use authorization from the FDA for an additional vaccine booster dose for adults 65 and older.

Meanwhile, in Florida, Raul Pino, the health administrator for Orange County, has been reinstated. Pino had been suspended after promoting vaccines to his staff.

In global pandemic news, there are reports of a possible breakthrough in discussions at the World Trade Organization for an intellectual property waiver for COVID vaccines. The waiver would reportedly only apply to vaccines in its initial phase and would be limited to certain countries. The deal still needs to be approved by EU countries and some WTO members.

Israeli Forces Shoot and Kill 3 Palestinians, Including Another West Bank Teenager

Mar 16, 2022

Israeli forces fatally shot three Palestinians in separate attacks Tuesday in the occupied West Bank and in the Bedouin city of Rahat. The youngest victim was 17-year-old Nader Rayan, who was shot during a raid on the Balata refugee camp in the West Bank city of Nablus.

19 Migrants and Refugees Presumed Dead After Boat Capsizes Off Libyan Coast

Mar 16, 2022

Nineteen migrants are missing and presumed dead after their boat capsized off the coast of Libya over the weekend. Three people were rescued, and one body was found. The passengers were believed to be from Egypt and Syria.

Peruvian President Pedro Castillo Responds After Lawmakers Vote to Impeach Him

Mar 16, 2022

In Peru, President Pedro Castillo on Tuesday rejected allegations of corruption after Congress voted to begin impeachment proceedings against him this week. Castillo, a leftist former teacher and union leader, vowed to correct errors made by his administration and signaled the need for a larger government overhaul.

President Pedro Castillo: “Peru is currently experiencing an unprecedented institutional crisis involving the three levels of government. This has a negative impact on the quality of the public services that we as a state provide to the population. This situation cannot continue.”

Castillo’s approval rating has plummeted to 26% since taking office last July. Peru has had five presidents since 2016.

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U.N. Accuses Burmese Military of Killing Civilians, Other Human Rights Violations

Mar 16, 2022

A new U.N. report finds the Burmese military has committed systematic human rights violations, many amounting to war crimes and crimes against humanity, since the February 1, 2021, coup.

Ravina Shamdasani: “The report sets out Myanmar’s military and security forces’ flagrant disregard for human life, bombarding populated areas with airstrikes and heavy weapons and deliberately targeting civilians, some of whom have been shot in the head, burned to death, arbitrarily arrested, tortured or used as human shields.”

Ginni Thomas Attended “Stop the Steal” Rally; Court Orders Ex-Proud Boys Leader Be Held Before Trial

Mar 16, 2022

Back in the U.S., Ginni Thomas, the wife of Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, revealed she attended last year’s January 6 “Stop the Steal” rally. Ginni Thomas said she left before Trump’s speech, and before the deadly attack on the Capitol, because she got cold. Thomas called the morning’s events “a peaceful gathering of Trump supporters.”

In related news, a Florida judge ordered Enrique Tarrio, former head of the Proud Boys, be detained while he awaits trial on charges related to the insurrection. Evidence cited in Tarrio’s indictment included a nine-page plan to storm government buildings on January 6, titled “1776 Returns.” The document does not specifically mention attacking the Capitol, and it’s not known who produced it.

Sarah Bloom Raskin Withdraws Nomination for Top Fed Post

Mar 16, 2022

Sarah Bloom Raskin has withdrawn as the nominee for a top regulatory post at the Federal Reserve. The move came after conservative Democratic Joe Manchin joined Republican senators to oppose her confirmation. Sarah Bloom Raskin had vowed to focus on how the climate crisis threatens the economy.

Street Vendors Call on Gov. Hochul to Expand Licenses as Workers Launch March to Albany

Mar 16, 2022

Here in New York City, street vendors held a “sleepout” and rally in front of Governor Kathy Hochul’s office, calling for her to lift a cap on licenses for sellers. Thousands of street vendors, the majority of them from immigrant communities, are unlicensed and vulnerable to hefty fines or harassment while working.

Alicia: “Just like you, we are mothers. We have children. We are fighting so you can take action, grant us vendor licenses, so we can live and work with dignity.”

Tuesday’s action was also the kickoff for a 150-mile march from New York City to Albany, where immigrant workers will demand New York state expand funding and protections for those excluded from government pandemic relief in the state budget.

Disney Employees Walk Out in Protest over CEO’s Response to Florida’s “Don’t Say Gay” Bill

Mar 16, 2022

Disney workers are staging a series of walkouts after CEO Bob Chapek initially refused to condemn Florida’s so-called Don’t Say Gay legislation and for donating to politicians who back the measure, which bans discussions of sexuality and gender identity in schools. The virtual and in-person walkouts were organized by LGBTQ employees of Disney, who are calling for the company to take action to protect workers in Florida from the legislation.

Police Arrest, Charge Suspect in Killing of Unhoused Men in NYC and Washington, D.C.

Mar 16, 2022

Police in Washington, D.C., arrested a suspect in a string of shootings targeting unhoused men in D.C. and New York. Two of the shootings were fatal. Thirty-year-old Gerald Brevard faces multiple charges, including first-degree murder.

Man Charged with Attempted Murder After Brutal Attack on 67-Year-Old Asian Woman

Mar 16, 2022

A man has been charged with attempted murder as a hate crime after he brutally attacked a 67-year-old woman of Asian descent in Yonkers, New York. He called her an anti-Asian, sexist slur before he repeatedly punched her in the head in a building’s vestibule. The shocking assault was captured on a security camera. Anti-Asian hate crimes have skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic.

Today marks one year since the mass shooting at three Atlanta spas, which killed eight people, six of them women of Asian descent. Commemorations and rallies are taking place across the U.S. today.

Senate Passes Bill to Make Daylight Savings Permanent

Mar 16, 2022

A bipartisan bill to make daylight savings permanent passed the U.S. Senate Tuesday by unanimous consent and now heads to the House. Backers of the measure argue more sunlight hours could help conserve energy, be a boon for businesses, and improve mental and physical health.

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