Ukraine is seeking EU membership, but it’s unclear if Ukraine is going to move forward with NATO membership in the future:
A historic night at Versailles. After five hours of heated discussions EU leaders said yes to Ukrainian eurointegration. The process started. Now it is up to us and Ukrainians to accomplish it fast. Heroic Ukrainian nation deserves to know that they are welcome in EU.
— Gitanas Nausėda (@GitanasNauseda) March 11, 2022
Russia is still attempting to encircle Kyiv but seems to be struggling to take the capital city. Ukrainians seemed determined to defend it.
Tens of billions of dollars in coronavirus aid have been gutted from a government funding omnibus bill. In the absence of those funds our testing capacity will go down, the program to make free COVID antiviral drugs available at pharmacies will be halted, and access to other therapeutics and even vaccine supplies may be impacted:
The United States is poised to run out of tests, treatments and vaccines to fight coronavirus after a $15.6 billion funding plan collapsed in Congress.
— Mike Walker (@New_Narrative) March 11, 2022
Cases are starting to rise again in Europe. European case rise has often been a canary in a coal mine for US case only a few weeks later. Cases have risen over 50% in just one week in the UK. Hospital admissions in Europe are also rising with this case rise, and BA.2 is the likely driver:
— Eric Topol (@EricTopol) March 11, 2022
The prevalence of BA.2 continues to rise in the US, especially in the Northeast:
CDC's Nowcast estimates the BA.2 subvariant to make up 11.6% of new cases last week (PI 9.8-13.6%), up from 6.6% the week before. Prevalence ranges from 6% in the Midwest to 24% in the Northeast.https://t.co/xuOF2fCR40 pic.twitter.com/V7PnWP8zyW
— Benjy Renton (@bhrenton) March 8, 2022
Cases are rising again in China, and over 50 million people have been put into COVID lockdown—the worst lockdown scenario in Asia since the start of the pandemic. A Zero COVID policy is tough to enforce with hyper-transmissible variants. Shenzhen, a port city and major business hub, is one of those cities in lockdown. This has forced Apple to move some of it’s operations. Hong Kong is still getting slammed by BA.2.
Testing and reporting are down in the US, and many outlets (including BNO) are discontinuing some tracking efforts:
U.S. COVID update:
– New cases: 6,028
– Average: 34,639 (+145)
– States reporting: 9/50
– In hospital: 24,132 (-893)
– In ICU: 4,656 (-143)
– New deaths: 108
– Average: 1,284 (-7)
More data: https://t.co/YDZSbYO7l7
— BNO Newsroom (@BNODesk) March 13, 2022
The TSA is extending mask mandates for public transportation and for public transportation hubs through April 18.
What is currently known about the BA.2 “stealth” variant.
McKinsey expects oil and gas to fall as a percentage of all energy-related investments in less than 20 years—the world can expect a concomitant rise in investments in renewables. In some markets, such as the US and EU, fossil fuel demand is already decreasing. The EIA says Peak Oil isn’t here yet, but investors seem to be shifting in their outlook nonetheless.
India accidentally fired a missile into Pakistan, claiming a “technical malfunction.” Both of these countries are nuclear-armed, and near-misses like this are the last thing they, a world on edge, needs. There were no injuries or casualties and both countries have kept their cool.
“Canary in the coal mine”: the West’s megadrought is leaving a Scottsdale, Arizona neighborhood with no water at all.
In some good news, more mental health professionals are stepping in to help field certain 911 calls. About 10% of 911 calls pertain to a mental health crisis, and having trained mental health responders present for interventions with those in crisis will help decrease adverse events out in the field.
Demographics in gun ownership are shifting: a December 2021 study found about half of the new gun owners in the US were women and half were a racial minority.
Humans have officially developed one terawatt of solar-powered capacity around the globe, and have produced over one petawatt of solar energy.
In news of the weird and slightly annoying, a man from NYC had to be rescued twice on two different days while hiking in Arizona.