America has seen yet another deadly mass shooting in a week. Ten people, including a police officer, were killed Monday afternoon when a gunman opened fire at a grocery store in Boulder, Colorado. Officials have arrested a suspect, who was injured during the attack. A witness’s livestreamed video showed heavily armed officers surrounding the store, with some being lifted onto the roof with a cherry picker, while police used a bullhorn to communicate with the attacker. Last week a gunman killed eight people in an attack in the Atlanta area that many are urging authorities to classify as a hate crime.
2. More Nations Join EU’s China Sanctions Over Uyghur Abuses
Britain, Canada and the United States have joined the EU in leveling sanctions against four Chinese officials accused of human rights violations against the Uyghurs in Xinjiang province, prompting outrage in Beijing. U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken said China “continues to commit genocide and crimes against humanity in Xinjiang” and urged the country to stop the oppression of the Muslim minority group — at least 1 million of whom have been detained in internment camps. China hit back by summoning the EU ambassador and retaliated with sanctions on 10 EU officials and researchers.
3. Thousands of Australians Evacuated Amid Massive Flooding
Stranded residents had to be rescued in boats and by helicopter in eastern Australia on Tuesday, as heavy flooding continued. A week of torrential rain over New South Wales has caused rivers to burst their banks and prompted 18,000 people to evacuate their homes. Rainfall is expected to ease on Wednesday, but half of the state is still under emergency weather warnings. The deluge has caused rats, spiders and snakes to seek shelter in people’s homes, with snakes even jumping into rescue rafts to escape the flood waters.
Companies are cutting ties with the 24-year-old influencer after allegations of misconduct against him and fellow content creators dubbed the Vlog Squad. Dobrik’s comedic videos have garnered over 18 million subscribers, earned him millions of dollars and prompted The Wall Street Journal to dub him “Gen Z’s Jimmy Fallon.” But several sponsors, including SeatGeek, DoorDash and Hello Fresh, have now severed ties over recent accusations of sexual assault and bullying against Vlog Squad members. Dobrik said he is also stepping down from the board of Dispo, a photo app he co-founded.
Israelis head to the polls today in their fourth election in two years, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hoping his successful vaccine rollout will secure him votes. Saudi Arabia has proposed a cease-fire with Yemen’s Houthi rebels, though the group recently rejected a similar offer. And President Joe Biden’s administration has been criticised over photos of a border detention facility showing migrant children in crowded conditions.
Coronavirus Update: Russia and China have rejected accusations that they are using coronavirus vaccines to project their influence in the world, saying they are guided by humanitarian concern. Meanwhile, the World Health Organization is calling for vaccine makers to share their technology with other manufacturers to prevent inequality.
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It’s the Mona Lisa of micro-posts. That’s how Malaysian businessman Sina Estavi, who bought the Twitter founder's first tweet for $2.9 million in cryptocurrency Monday, described the value of his investment. Dorsey auctioned off the 2006 tweet “just setting up my twttr” as a nonfungible token (NFT) for charity. “This is not just a tweet!” Estavi posted — on Twitter, naturally. “I think years later people will realize the true value of this tweet, like the Mona Lisa painting.” So what does Estavi actually get for his millions? A certificate, digitally signed by Dorsey.
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2. Icelanders Toast Marshmallows on Erupting Volcano
In an extreme version of a cookout, people in Iceland have flocked to an active volcano outside Reykjavik to grill hot dogs and toast marshmallows over flowing lava. Some even came prepared with buns and ketchup. Mount Fagradalsfjall erupted last week for the first time in 900 years, and 10.5 million cubic feet of lava have poured out of the ground since. “It reminds you a little of a barbecue in summer,” joked Lucille Fernemont at the site. Another onlooker noted that the sulphurous smell from the gases was not so appetizing: “It smells pretty bad.”
It’ll bee the same. That’s what Darko Mandich, CEO of MeliBio, a vegan honey producer, promises about his product, which doesn’t use insects but is otherwise biologically identical — down to the molecules — to the real thing. The startup uses microorganisms in a lab to simulate the building blocks of honey: pollen and nectar. “Commercial beekeeping is favoring a single bee species, the honey bee, all over the world to meet the rising demand for honey,” said Mandich, who hopes MeliBio will start deliveries this year. “They are actively competing with wild and native bee species and pushing them back.”
4. Polish Writer Faces Jail for Calling President a ‘Moron’
Journalist Jakub Żulczyk faces up to three years in prison after he called President Andrzej Duda a “moron” on Facebook. The writer leveled the insult in November, mocking the Polish leader for not understanding the U.S. electoral process after Duda tweeted his congratulations to President Biden, but seemed confused about the Electoral College process. Poland has nine different laws against insults and defamation, and Żulczyk’s post was deemed “unacceptable” and “offensive.” Jail sentences can also be given as punishment for those who “insult” the country’s flag.
5. Senator Asks NCAA to Probe March Madness Inequalities
Democratic Sen. Tina Smith of Minnesota has called for the NCAA to investigate disparities in equipment between male and female athletes in the March Madness tournaments. “Too often women's athletics is not supported or valued similarly as men's," Smith wrote in a letter to the NCAA president. It follows last week’s outcry after Sedona Prince, a player with the Oregon Ducks, posted a viral TikTok showing the difference in equipment in the women’s weight room compared to the men’s. The backlash prompted an apology from the NCAA — and an upgraded weight room for the women.
For today's March Matchup, we're throwing you back to that feeling of test anxiety. You just got to school and realized you have a big test later in the day that you forgot about. Which Carlos Watson Show guest are you calling on? Khan Academy founderSal Khan or journalistFareed Zakaria? Watch their episodes of the show and vote here.