5 things to know for March 9: Ukraine, USPS, South Korea, January 6 riot, teachers’ strike

By AJ Willingham, CNN

Thinner toilet paper rolls. Empty snack bags. A little less shampoo in the bottle. Instead of charging buyers more to compensate for inflation, some companies simply offer less. Here’s what you need to know to Level up and get on with your day.

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1.Ukraine

President Joe Biden has announced a ban on Russian imports of oil, natural gas and coal into the United States in a bid to put further pressure on the Russian economy at the risk of seeing gas prices even higher in its territory. . Risky oil and gas sanctions weren’t put in place when it came to punishing Russia for its invasion of Ukraine, but the country’s continued assault and targeting of Ukrainian citizens has increased American support for the action. The UK and EU both announced less immediate Russian oil and gas cuts. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian military today agreed to a 12-hour ceasefire with Russia to allow civilians to escape through humanitarian corridors. However, Ukrainian forces are suspicious of the pact. Ukraine’s foreign minister said Russian troops were holding 300,000 civilians “hostage” in the city of Mariupol, where a long-awaited humanitarian aid convoy bound for the city appeared to have come under fire. Follow CNN’s full coverage of Russia’s attack on Ukraine here.

2.USPS

The Senate passed the Postal Service Reform Act, a sweeping bipartisan bill that will overhaul the finances of the U.S. Postal Service 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 data on local and national delivery times. Unlike other government agencies, the USPS generally does not receive taxpayer funding, which is why its financial situation is so dire. While the bill has been hailed as a milestone, some experts say it’s not enough because it doesn’t actually create ways to improve postal service. How will the revamp affect you? Here is a breakdown.

3. South Korea

South Koreans head to the polls today to elect a new president who will take on an evolving list of challenges facing the mighty East Asian nation. Gender inequality, sexual violence, division and political corruption have been big national issues for voters, while soaring property prices continue to tax Asia’s fourth-largest economy. The ever-present threat from North Korea looms outside its borders, as does evolving politics in the Pacific. The election boiled down to a close two-way race between Lee Jae-myung, the standard bearer of the ruling Democratic Party, and Yoon Suk-yeol of the main conservative opposition People Power Party. The winner will succeed President Moon Jae-in, who is constitutionally barred from seeking re-election.

4. Capitol Riot

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

5. Minneapolis Strike

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

BROWSE

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

The football offseason has all the drama of “The Bachelor” with outfits that are a little less fancy.

Chic workout brand Lululemon is getting into the footwear business with a new shoe called “Blissfeel”

The words “happiness” and “light bulb” are far too close for comfort.

In rebranding, 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 colleagues

“Hello, new virtual colleague… what about this prolonged global pandemic and tectonic socio-cultural shift, huh?”

Giant poisonous spiders have infiltrated the southeastern United States and are expected to spread quickly, but experts say not to worry

Please don’t kill the beautiful hand-sized nightmares. They won’t hurt you. Just step back from where you found them, move halfway around the world, and never come back. This was a message from the Committee for No Scary Bugs 2022.

NUMBER OF THE DAY

$55 million

That’s the value of an interim settlement agreed to by the families of victims and survivors of last year’s apartment collapse in Surfside, Florida. The families had filed a wrongful death lawsuit against three defendants, including the condominium association and the groups responsible for the inspection and integrity of the building. The collapse killed 98 people, and the exact cause has yet to be identified.

QUOTE OF THE DAY

“It’s taken the whole community to get to this point – with a drop in cases and hospitalizations…If we see another surge, we’ll be prepared to reinstate the mask policy, if necessary.”

— Hawaii Governor David Igeannouncing the end of the state’s mask mandate on March 25. Hawaii is now the latest state to drop its face covering requirement.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

A harmonious blend

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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