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Russia faces more sanctions over war crimes allegations

Ukraine accused the Russians of a massacre in Bucha, drawing widespread international condemnation and denials from Moscow.

Volunteers in Bucha prepare to put the body of a civilian, who according to residents was killed by Russian soldiers, in a van carrying body bags.
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  • Morgan Haefner
By Morgan Haefner

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Russia faces more sanctions over war crimes allegations. Ukraine accused the Russians of a massacre in Bucha, drawing widespread international condemnation and denials from Moscow.

The ruble’s recovery is “not sustainable,” Anthony Blinken said. The US secretary of state said the Russians are engaging in “a lot of manipulation” to prop up a currency that had crashed when sanctions were first imposed.

China is swooping on discounted Russian fuel. According to Bloomberg, state-owned companies Sinopec and PetroChina are negotiating with suppliers that few others will touch.

Zelenskyy appeared at the Grammys. In a video message, the Ukrainian president told the assembled recording industry to “fill the silence with your music.” Jon Batiste, Silk Sonic, Olivia Rodrigo, and Foo Fighters were the big award-winners, alongside comedian Louis CK.

Tesla delivered a record number of vehicles. The company shipped more than 310,000 cars in the first quarter of 2022, in spite of “an exceptionally difficult quarter due to supply chain interruptions and China zero Covid policy,” Elon Musk tweeted.

Starbucks is suspending is share buyback program. The shift in strategy coincides with Howard Schultz’s return as CEO today—he wants the money spent of cafes and employees instead.

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What to watch for

Two people in pink vests stand near a tent on top of a storage tank. They hung up a sign that reads fossil.
Image copyright: Reuters/John Sibley
Extinction Rebellion activists on top of a storage tank at Esso West London Terminal.

The UN is set to publish guidance today on further steps to curb climate change. But with negotiations over the language to be used in the report’s summary only 70% complete as of Sunday, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is cutting things close.

One sticking point in the talks, according to the Associated Press: India argues that since emerging economies’ share of overall carbon emissions is less than that of advanced economies, they shouldn’t have to make the same cuts.

India’s share of annual global emissions is 7%, making it the world’s third biggest contributor. China, the world’s largest emitter, contributed 27%, while the US share was 11%.

The report—the last in a series of three IPCC studies—will lay out measures to limit the rise in global temperatures by 2030, as well as approaches towards removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

A union fight at Amazon

In recent years, Amazon has sought to quash unionization efforts across the country, spending millions of dollars on consultants focused on dissuading workers from organizing. But that didn’t stop Chris Smalls from clinching a union win for Amazon workers last week.

While the contract still needs to be hammered out, Amazon employees at a Staten Island, New York City warehouse voted by a roughly 10% margin to form a union, marking the first successful labor campaign at the retail giant. The effort comes during a growing wave of worker activism across the US that has been met by plenty of pushback from Amazon:

$4.3 million: Amount Amazon spent on anti-union consultants in 2021

2: Times a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama voted against unionizing

2,600+: Number of Staten Island employees who voted to unionize

$30: Hourly minimum pay the union wants

$18: Current starting hourly pay rate

The first true meme stock company

AMC Entertainment recently made a $27.9 million investment in a gold and silver mine. What does the movie chain have to do with precious metals? Basically nothing. But if you think of AMC as a meme stock, its strategy becomes clearer. ✦ The first true meme stock was the topic of our Weekend Brief, a member-exclusive email. Support our journalism and try out membership free for a week!

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Surprising discoveries

It’s snowing microplastics in the ocean. All that material ends up on the seafloor, where scientists have found 10,000 times more microplastics than on the water’s surface.

A German man had 90 covid shots to sell vaccination cards. It’s unclear if the jabs affected his health.

Row, row, robot boat. An uncrewed vessel will hang out right above the submerged opening of the volcano that erupted in Tonga to learn more about January’s explosion.

A Native American tribe got its land back. The 465 acres at Virginia’s Fones Cliff were returned to the Rappahannock Tribe, which was displaced from the area nearly 400 years ago.

Birds are laying eggs a month early. Scientists studying a 120-year-old collection of eggshells at the Chicago Field Museum attribute it to climate change.

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