It may not feel this way yet where you live, but winter is officially over! Today marks the spring equinox – the official first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere and a time listen to the birds, smell the flowers and feel the growing warmth from the sun.
Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On With Your Day. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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Chinese leader Xi Jinping is visiting Moscow today to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin – a state summit with political overtones that will be closely watched by the rest of the world. His visit comes after a defiant Putin made a surprise appearance over the weekend in Russian-occupied Mariupol, his first visit to territory captured by his forces in the yearlong conflict between Russia and Ukraine. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s famous island of Bali has attracted thousands of Russians and Ukrainians escaping the horrors of war since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022. But for those fleeing the conflict, there’s trouble in paradise: Balinese authorities last week called for an end to Indonesia’s visa-on-arrival policy for Russians and Ukrainians, citing alleged bad behavior and visitors overstaying their visas and working illegally as hairdressers, tour guides and taxi drivers.
Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg assured employees that his office will not tolerate intimidation or threats as it investigates an alleged hush-money payment from former President Donald Trump to adult film actress Stormy Daniels. In an email to staff, Bragg said his office is coordinating with the New York City Police Department and other law enforcement agencies to ensure all credible threats are investigated. His email comes after Trump posted a social media message over the weekend saying he expects to be arrested Tuesday in connection with the investigation. City, state and federal law enforcement agencies held security preparation meetings, while a Trump lawyer predicted “mayhem” if an indictment comes down. Meanwhile, former Vice President Mike Pence described any potential indictment of Trump as politically charged, saying it’s “not what the American people want to see.”
As California reels from an onslaught of powerful storms and destructive floods, a 12th atmospheric river will bring another round of heavy snow and rain to the state this week. The latest in the parade of storms lashed California with high winds and dumped more rain and snow over the region yesterday. The next atmospheric river will take aim at Southern California tomorrow and is expected to arrive with high winds, heavy rain, mountain snow and the threat of more floods. Soil in California is still overly saturated from last week’s storms, making the ground vulnerable to more flooding and rapid runoffs, the National Weather Service said. Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow bands of moisture that can carry saturated air thousands of miles – think of them as fire hoses that can drench an area with water. But there’s a silver lining: While the storms have damaged homes and forced evacuations, they’ve also helped ease the state’s historic drought.
Global banks just suffered their worst week since 2008, and rattled customers are wondering what’s next after beleaguered megabank Credit Suisse was taken over by UBS Sunday. Experts say more volatility is in store for the week ahead, but it doesn’t mean a repeat of the global financial crisis from 15 years ago. In an attempt to ward off the crisis, the US Federal Reserve and several other major central banks last night announced a coordinated effort to boost the flow of dollars through the global financial system to keep credit flowing to households and businesses. The fallout from this month’s banking turmoil — the surprising bank runs and collapses of Silicon Valley Bank and Signature Bank — has shaken the global banking system. “If banks are under stress, they might be reluctant to lend,” US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said.
In yet another twist following the murder conviction of Alex Murdaugh, the body of Stephen Smith, a 19-year-old found dead in the middle of a South Carolina road in 2015, will be exhumed for a private autopsy, his family announced. The revelation comes almost two years after state authorities reopened a probe into his death based on information learned while investigating the murders of Margaret Murdaugh and Paul Murdaugh. Family patriarch Alex Murdaugh was sentenced to life in prison this month for murdering his wife and son at their rural estate in June 2021. South Carolina authorities have not provided details on any connection – if any – between Smith’s death and the Murdaugh family.
The Finns are doing something right
The world’s happiest country is Finland for the sixth year in a row, according to the annual World Happiness Report, which ranks countries based largely on life evaluations from the Gallup World Poll. The US did not crack the top 10.
A giant, stinky seaweed blob is headed to Florida
The gargantuan mass floating in the Atlantic is a specific variety called sargassum and measures some 5,000 miles wide. It’s expected to reach the Gulf of Mexico this summer and potentially soil Florida’s coastline.
Expert says seaweed bloom will continue to grow
If birth control is messing with your sex life, read this
Some contraceptive methods are a saving grace, while others can be a libido killer. Experts say there are ways to balance pleasure and protection.
Dollar Tree’s ditching eggs for now
The discount store says it can’t afford to sell them due to inflation. And we can barely afford to buy them either, so … ¯_(ツ)_/¯
Forget “Snakes on a Plane.” There were snails on a plane!
Customs officers found six giant African snails in a traveler’s bag at the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Where’s Samuel L. Jackson when you need him?
The number of athletes who finished this year’s Barkley Marathons, a grueling and near-impossible annual race held in the mountains of Tennessee, tying a record.
“Sometimes in our lives, we have to put our big girl panties on and get to it, and that’s what I’m doing. But I do have times of sadness every day, grief every day.”
– Emma Heming, wife of actor Bruce Willis, on caring for him after his frontotemporal dementia diagnosis.
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Happy Chocolate Week!
In honor of this beloved treat, here’s a brief history of how it came to be. (Click here to view)
Read the full article here
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