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Here are the headlines you Need2Know for Thursday, March 3, 2022:


Kherson, a southern Ukrainian city of 300,000 people, has fallen to Russian forces, as fighting intensified across the country. The Russian Defense Ministry provided its first official count of military casualties, which was 498 dead troops and 1,597 injured, and the United Nations updated its civilian death count to 227. Internationally, pressure on Russia intensified, and the General Assembly voted 141-5 to demand that Russia halt the war and the Paralympics, which officially begins Friday, has banned all athletes from Russia and Belarus. As sanctions on the country escalated, the economic repercussions are being felt worldwide. NY TIMES


It's all about the black stuff. As oil prices spiked on Wednesday to $115 per barrel, the entire world suddenly found itself adjusting to a new energy landscape. The shockwaves rippled into political debates as U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle urged the Biden administration to do more to ramp up domestic production and criticized America's reliance on Russian oil exports, which have so far dodged sanctions. OPEC, meanwhile, doubled down on plans to only gradually ramp up supply. WSJ


Look out oligarchs: the Biden administration's new "KleptoCapture" task force is setting out to enforce U.S. sanctions on a handful of high-level Russian nationals. The law enforcement supergroup will include officers from the Secret Service, FBI, IRS, Homeland Security, and even the postal service, and plans to use a range of tools to freeze assets and seize criminal proceeds. The announcement is the latest from Biden in a series of measures designed to make Russian elites feel the pain for Putin's invasion of Ukraine. CNN

Or maybe we could sanction all the oil they sell us.


Markets rallied yesterday on the news that the Federal Reserve still plans to raise interest rates 25 basis points later this month, despite the uncertain economic impact of the war in Ukraine. The Fed had been signaling a March hike for months, but after multiple hot inflation reports, some investors had priced in a more hawkish turn. Chair Jerome Powell assured lawmakers in his semiannual report to Congress that the Fed would proceed carefully and adjust its approach as needed. Whether Powell was being wishy-washy or admirably flexible, the soft-spoken banker calmed markets after another chaotic session. CHEDDAR


The world is awash in plastics, and 175 nations are teaming up to stem the tide. The countries have agreed to begin sketching out a legally-binding treaty designed to improve recycling practices, clean up waste, and curb plastic production worldwide. The United Nations-led effort aims to seal the deal by 2024, and is set to rival the 2015 Paris Agreement as one of the biggest global environmental accords in history. NY TIMES

Cue the plastic lobbyists...


Fitbit smartwatches are designed to monitor users' physical activity. Now they're getting overheated themselves. The Google-owned company is recalling one million Iconic smartwatches after reports of burn injuries from overheating batteries. Fitbit urged customers to stop wearing their watches immediately and reach out for a prepaid package to return the product. The recall only covers the Iconic style, which was sold from September 2017 through December 2021, not any of the brand's other lines.  A federal regulator said there have been 78 reports of third and second-degree burns. WSJ


The electric vehicle boom is underway and Ford is streamlining its business model to maximize profits. The automaker announced plans to spin off its electric vehicle business into a separate entity called “Ford Model e." The goal of the split is to capture some of the investor enthusiasm that has gone to exciting new EV startups, while continuing to tap into Ford's century-plus experience in the business to drive growth. The traditional combustion engine business will also get a snazzy new name, "Ford Blue." CNBC


The Pete Buttigeig-led Department of Transportation has a message for state governments: protect pedestrians and bicyclists or risk losing access to billions of dollars going out to local governments from the bipartisan infrastructure bill. So that's the stick. The carrot is that projects that do include upgrades for bike paths, sidewalks and other pedestrian pathways will get preferential treatment in the distribution of money. The department's shift in priorities followed a sizable spike in road deaths in 2021. AP



Invitations have gone out for Apple's first product launch hof 2022. A new iPad Air, updated Macs, new Apple-made chips, and a low-cost iPhone SE with 5G capabilities are all expected to get their grand reveals at the March 8 event. Unfortunately for Russia, these hot new releases won't be available, at least for now. The company announced this week that it's pausing sales of physical products to Russia until further notice. BLOOMBERG


It's Girl Scout cookie season, and the uniformed young saleswomen hitting the streets with the latest supply of Thin Mints and Peanut Butter Patties are running into an unexpected obstacle: angry customers. Despite the charitable aims of the cookie sales, the organization says customer harassment is making face-to-face sales difficult. What exactly are these pillars of the community saying? The group said customers' main complaints had to do with price hikes, healthy eating, and false rumors that it's connected to Planned Parenthood. INSIDER
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