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5 things to know for March 3: Covid-19, stimulus, White House, Russia, Afghanistan

As the rain in the Southeast wraps up, another system prepares to bring valley rain and mountain snow to the west. CNN meteorologist Pedram Javaheri discusses the timing of the impacts.

Posted: Mar 3, 2021 6:50 PM
Updated: Mar 3, 2021 6:50 PM

March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb, or at least that's what they say. Wait, why do they say that?

Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

(You can also get "5 Things You Need to Know Today" delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Coronavirus 

Experts say we're beginning to see the light at the end of the long pandemic tunnel, but that could be thwarted if state leaders keep pushing to reopen too soon. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott rescinded a state mask mandate and will let businesses operate at 100% capacity starting in a week. Mississippi, Ohio and Louisiana are among other states set to lift safety precautions soon, too. President Biden reminded state leaders and residents to stay vigilant. Biden also bolstered the vaccine push under the Defense Production Act, announcing there would be enough doses for all US adults by the end of May. In Europe, the EU's coordinated vaccine strategy is splintering as participating countries look outside the bloc to China, Israel and Russia for vaccine help amid a rollout plagued with supply issues and contract squabbles.

2. Stimulus 

Republicans are gearing up for a messy fight as the stimulus bill faces a vote in the Senate. Their plan is to divide Democratic ranks over the more specific and controversial provisions in the bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says two such provisions, related to rail and bridge projects, will be stripped from the bill. Then, there's the looming $15 minimum wage addition, which the Senate parliamentarian said shouldn't be included. Some progressive senators are mulling withholding a vote on the bill unless it is in. Biden urged Democratic senators against accepting so-called poison pill provisions that would gut the basic tenets of the bill and keep it from being effective. Whatever happens, the next few days in the Senate will be long and laborious as Dems try to get it all done by that March 14 unemployment benefit deadline.

3. White House

The White House has pulled Neera Tanden's nomination to lead the Office of Management and Budget after Tanden requested her name be withdrawn from consideration. This ends weeks of uncertainty and controversy surrounding her nomination. The former Hillary Clinton campaign aide and president of the Center for American Progress faced scrutiny during the confirmation process for past critical comments of lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. Her confirmation was already unlikely after key senators, including Democrat Joe Manchin, said they'd oppose it. Two other positions that have been confirmed: Cecilia Rouse, dean of the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs, will chair the Council of Economic Advisers. And Gina Raimondo, the first woman governor of Rhode Island, will serve as Biden's secretary of commerce.

4. Russia

The Biden administration has unleashed sanctions on Russian officials and entities in response to the poisoning and imprisonment of opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Among others, the sanctions target the head of Russia's security services, the FSB. The State Department also sanctioned the FSB as an entity, which according to department spokesperson "speaks to where we believe culpability lies." The US intelligence community has determined "with high confidence" that the FSB poisoned Navalny in August with the nerve agent Novichok. Navalny has now been detained in Russia since mid-January. The US' punitive actions were coordinated with the European Union, which also unveiled sanctions, and represent the first significant move against Moscow since Biden became President.

5. Afghanistan

Three women media workers were shot dead in Afghanistan yesterday. They're the latest victims in a wave of killings spreading fear among professionals in urban centers. Shootings and small bombs attached to vehicles have targeted journalists, civil society workers and mid-level government employees in Afghanistan in recent months as the government and Taliban negotiators try to broker a peace deal and the US withdraws some troops. The Afghan government and some foreign powers have blamed the attacks on the Taliban, which denies involvement. The US embassy condemned the latest slayings, saying the attacks are meant to intimidate and stifle freedom of speech.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Qantas launches 'Mystery Flights' to increase interest in travel

Maybe it's just us, but we like to know exactly where we're going when we get on a plane.

'Wonder Woman' star Gal Gadot is pregnant with her third child

A new superhero is on the way! 

Instagram accidentally hid likes for some users

If someone posts something on Instagram and it doesn't get likes, was it ever really posted at all?

Amazon quietly changed its app icon after some unfavorable comparisons

Yeah ... one typically wants to avoid comparisons to Hitler.

Target saw more sales growth in 2020 than the last 11 years combined

Is it because we all roam the wide, fluorescent aisles and pretend, just for a little bit, that everything is normal again?

TODAY'S NUMBER

10,000

That's how many minors and vulnerable people may have been abused by French Catholic clergy since 1950, according to an independent investigation set up by the church in France. In 2019, Pope Francis issued global rules for reporting sexual abuse in the Catholic Church, mandating for the first time that all dioceses set up systems for reporting abuse and cover-ups.

TODAY'S QUOTE

"I acknowledge some of the things I have said have been misinterpreted as an unwanted flirtation."

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been accused by three women of unwanted advances. Cuomo drew criticism for his apology, in which he said he has "teased people" and "never intended to make anyone feel uncomfortable."

TODAY'S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Inside a royal doll house

If the tiny bound books don't enchant you, the tiny gardens will. (Click here to view.)

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 947918

Reported Deaths: 15377
CountyCasesDeaths
Marion1291181990
Lake635721103
Allen53899761
Hamilton44082449
St. Joseph42122590
Elkhart33803491
Vanderburgh30574449
Tippecanoe26915251
Johnson23727418
Hendricks22410342
Porter21832347
Clark17562231
Madison17492385
Vigo16302285
Monroe14545191
LaPorte14389239
Delaware14183222
Howard13971273
Kosciusko11498135
Hancock10935166
Warrick10737178
Bartholomew10635170
Floyd10514208
Wayne10077226
Grant9213204
Morgan8928160
Boone8463111
Dubois7791123
Dearborn769490
Henry7691133
Noble7466101
Marshall7409128
Cass7219118
Lawrence7026153
Shelby6647111
Jackson661386
Gibson6190107
Harrison609386
Huntington604495
Montgomery5853105
DeKalb581091
Knox5535104
Miami548888
Putnam543268
Clinton537465
Whitley529354
Steuben501768
Wabash488692
Jasper483861
Jefferson474492
Ripley457777
Adams446068
Daviess4231108
Scott409165
Clay394957
White393858
Greene393392
Wells389884
Decatur388797
Fayette378578
Posey362341
Jennings356056
Washington334747
LaGrange325175
Spencer321136
Fountain318455
Randolph317190
Sullivan309449
Owen287064
Starke282864
Fulton280454
Orange277859
Jay257038
Perry254152
Carroll245229
Franklin242838
Rush237030
Vermillion235050
Parke221420
Tipton212055
Pike211740
Blackford170534
Pulaski168551
Crawford147318
Newton145845
Benton143916
Brown135846
Martin130217
Switzerland126910
Warren115616
Union98511
Ohio80511
Unassigned0482

Ohio Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 1385749

Reported Deaths: 21820
CountyCasesDeaths
Franklin1538881574
Cuyahoga1358332341
Hamilton987081326
Montgomery679671161
Summit568451051
Lucas51531869
Butler48000663
Stark42232983
Lorain32046539
Warren30404338
Mahoning27463643
Clermont25990297
Lake24809422
Delaware22566147
Licking20767246
Fairfield20730223
Greene20611275
Trumbull20257516
Medina20074290
Clark18170332
Richland16680236
Portage16389231
Wood15926209
Allen14333261
Miami14018261
Muskingum12927155
Wayne12185244
Columbiana11980242
Tuscarawas11204271
Marion10908150
Pickaway10606129
Scioto10531127
Erie9864171
Ross9612177
Lawrence8934125
Hancock8603143
Ashtabula8474187
Geauga8251156
Belmont8236188
Jefferson7691175
Huron7537131
Union742651
Washington7380126
Athens709365
Sandusky6963135
Darke6875137
Knox6812122
Seneca6519137
Ashland6051115
Auglaize595388
Shelby5820104
Brown575372
Mercer565190
Defiance5564101
Crawford5563117
Madison551071
Highland549282
Fulton542583
Clinton533781
Logan518687
Preble5102111
Putnam4900107
Guernsey484364
Williams468982
Perry462254
Champaign454264
Ottawa442484
Jackson434563
Pike398345
Morrow396451
Coshocton391969
Fayette383753
Adams369275
Hardin366170
Gallia355458
Holmes3321111
Henry329869
Van Wert320771
Hocking310770
Wyandot285458
Carroll266352
Paulding246443
Meigs221742
Monroe192749
Noble174142
Morgan170029
Harrison160741
Vinton141319
Unassigned05
Fort Wayne
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 62°
Angola
Partly Cloudy
64° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 64°
Huntington
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 62°
Decatur
Partly Cloudy
62° wxIcon
Hi: 83° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 62°
Van Wert
Partly Cloudy
61° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 61°
Monday is another nice and breezy day with warmer temperatures.
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