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Here’s what you need to know
Another planned evacuation of Mariupol, Ukraine failed. Russian forces kept shelling the city despite a ceasefire attempt. Meanwhile, Russian troops damaged a pipeline that supplies gas to southeastern Ukraine and strengthened their hold of the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant.
China’s GDP outlook hit a three-decade low. A real estate crisis and the country’s zero-covid policy are among the factors slowing growth to about 5.5% this year.
Israel mediated Russia-Ukraine talks. Prime minister Naftali Bennett held separate meetings with the Russian government, with which Israel has a close relationship, and Ukraine, a country with a robust Jewish community.
Visa and Mastercard suspended service in Russia. The two credit card giants want to further isolate the country in rebuke of its Ukraine invasion. Separately, Netflix is suspending service in Russia, and Snapchat turned off its public map of Ukraine due to concerns for user safety.
TikTok halted new posts and livestreams in Russia. The move comes days after Russia passed a “fake news” law and blocked Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube in the country (more below).
US gas topped $4 a gallon. Prices, driven up by the war in Ukraine, haven’t been this high since 2008.
What to watch for
China’s foreign minister Wang Yi’s annual news briefing is today. Viewers will be closely watching for any further insight into how the country will approach the war in Ukraine. As the US and Europe hit Russia with unprecedented sanctions, Beijing has called them illegal and counterproductive.
China has long expressed its displeasure with what it calls the US’s “financial hegemony” and its corresponding ability to slap sanctions on foreign countries. Last year, Wang’s address was critical of the US’s interactions with foreign nations, and there’s a good chance he’ll express the same sentiment this year.
That much was the case on Saturday when the foreign minister spoke with his US counterpart, secretary of state Antony Blinken. According to a Chinese government statement, Wang encouraged talks between the US, the EU, NATO, and Russia, but condemned the “negative impact of NATO’s continuous eastward expansion” toward Russia.
What has Russia blocked?
The Russian government is cracking down on speech it doesn’t like, limiting its citizens’ access to media outside of the Kremlin’s grip.
Russian lawmakers passed a new law on March 4 criminalizing the spread of “false information” about its military. This is all separate from the external pressures from companies like Visa and Mastercard which have limited Russians’ access because of sanctions or in protesting the war. So what has Russia blocked, limited, or throttled?
- BBC’s Russian-language service
- US-funded Radio Liberty
- Independent news outlet Meduza
- German broadcaster Deutsche Welle
- The walkie-talkie app Zello
Best companies for remote workers
Don’t miss your chance to tell us how your company is leading the way for its remote workforce. The deadline for submitting to the Best Companies for Remote Workers is March 16th.
Submit your company today. And remember, like last year, you don’t have to be all-remote to be eligible. It’s free to enter, and registration takes a few minutes.
Deer may be able to give humans covid-19. The potential transmission, the topic of a new study, would be the first of its kind recorded.
A sci-fi writer raised more than $15 million on Kickstarter to self-publish. We’re honestly just impressed that Brandon Sanderson wrote four books during the pandemic.
Mark Meadows may have committed voter fraud. The former White House chief of staff listed a North Carolina mobile home as his residence in 2020.
In the UK, fish sticks are called fish fingers. Learn how the delicacy grew to make up 10% of the country’s fish consumption in the newest episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast.
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