Russia’s Defense Ministry declared a new phase of the war, striking hundreds of Ukrainian military targets in the country’s eastern region. U.S. officials said Russia has sent 11 more battalion tactical groups into Ukraine, each with 8,000 to 11,000 troops. As a bloody new chapter in the war is underway, President Joe Biden is expected to announce more military aid for Ukraine on par with the $800 million package announced last week. Meanwhile, Ukraine says Russia will allow a humanitarian corridor for the evacuation of women, children and the elderly from the besieged city of Mariupol. CNN


Ride-sharing companies Uber and Lyft have stopped requiring passengers and drivers to wear masks, one day after a federal judge overturned the mask mandate on public transportation. Additionally, both companies will allow riders to sit in the front passenger seat after previously requiring riders to sit in the back to give drivers more distance during the pandemic. A Biden official confirmed that masks are no longer mandatory on public transportation, but as major hubs like Chicago’s O’Hare airport continue to enforce mask usage anyway, the judge’s ruling has led to mass confusion as to where masks are required. WSJ


Moderna announced that it’s testing a shot that combines its original vaccine with protection against the omicron variant. Current vaccines are based on the original version of the coronavirus, but as the virus continues to mutate, health officials have made it clear that giving boosters every few months isn’t the answer. Before omicron surfaced, Moderna was studying a combination shot that added protection against the beta variant. Yesterday, the company announced that people given the beta-original vaccine combination produced more antibodies capable of fighting several variants, including omicron, than the current booster shot does alone. REUTERS


In yesterday’s earnings report, Netflix said it lost 200,000 subscribers in the last quarter. The streaming giant fell significantly below its initial expectation of adding 2.5 million subscribers. While its worst quarter since 2011 is in the past, the future looks bleak as well: Netflix expects to lose another 2 million subscribers in the spring. Competition from other streamers in addition to the company’s decision to suspend service in Russia after it invaded Ukraine, which resulted in the loss of 700,000 members, led to Netflix’s losses in the recent quarter. The company’s stock plunged 23% in after-market trading, erasing $30 billion in market value. CHEDDAR


An autopsy confirmed that Patrick Lyoya was shot in the back of the head by a Michigan police officer while face down on the ground. On April 4, 26-year-old Lyoya was pulled over by a Grand Rapids police officer before a struggle ensued between the two over the officer's taser. The officer, who is white, then allegedly fatally shot Lyoya, a black man. The autopsy matches a recently released video of the incident by the Grand Rapids police chief. The Michigan State Police, as well as the U.S. Department of Justice, is investigating the high-profile case as Lyoya’s family and lawyers continue to plead for justice. WOOD TV


The White House has restored key climate change protections to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) that were dismantled during the Trump presidency. With new protections of the 50-year-old law, federal agencies are required to evaluate their projects’ climate impacts and encouraged to work with communities to find alternatives to climate-damaging projects. In 2020, former President Trump repealed parts of NEPA in an effort to create jobs and build more infrastructure with less red tape. The White House makes the move just ahead of Earth Day this Friday. WHITE HOUSE


The Biden administration is making changes to an existing student loan program to better provide debt forgiveness to lower-income borrowers. The changes allow nearly 10% of all borrowers to receive at least three years of credit toward eventual debt forgiveness. The income-driven program permits borrowers to pay a certain percentage of their income on loans for 20 to 25 years, before the rest of their balances are forgiven. The move immediately relieves over 40,000 borrowers of their debts. In 2021, a study of government data found that just 32 borrowers out of 8 million successfully had their debt forgiven after decades of payments. NPR 


Today is 4/20, a day where marijuana is celebrated by millions around the world. If you’re unfamiliar, most people celebrate the high holiday the same way they celebrate going to the convenience store … by consuming marijuana. Legalization has been a headline for decades now, and in the most recent development New Jersey is permitting recreational marijuana sales. The news broke days before 4/20 — which seemed like the perfect day to roll out the newly laxed law, right? Not so fast. A Cannabis Regulatory Commission spokeswoman said that “selecting 4/20 for opening day would have presented unmanageable logistical challenges,” so New Jerseyans will have to wait until 4/21 to make their first (legal) purchases of recreational pot. NJ.COM  


Actor Johnny Depp took the stand to give testimony in a high-profile defamation case against his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard. Depp is suing Heard for $50 million in a Virginia court over a 2018 Washington Post op-ed piece where she detailed her experience with domestic abuse. Although she did not name him in the column, Depp’s lawyers claim her article made it difficult for him to land movie roles. Heard filed a countersuit against her ex-husband, seeking $100 million in damages for falsely accusing her of alleged fabrication. Heard is expected to take the stand later in the trial. NY POST


ASIAN ENTREPRENEURS: Gold House, a nonprofit aiming to advance representation and socioeconomic equity for Asian/Pacific Islanders (APIs), launched a $30 million fund to invest in entrepreneurs of Asian descent. The fund includes investors like the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative and DoorDash CEO Tony Xu and celebrities like Anderson .Paak. A recent Harvard study showed Asian American professionals are the least likely U.S. demographic to be promoted into management. CNBC

CHIPOTLE: Chipotle has launched Cultivate Next, a $50 million venture capital fund to invest in tech startups that can help it run its restaurants better. While there are no exact details on where the money will be used, Chipotle’s Chief Technology Officer Curt Garner, who is leading the initiative, said part of its goal is to improve the customer experience that has changed significantly during the pandemic. CHEDDAR