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News Brief: March 3 – March 10


Ukraine: Deadly Snipers and Holocaust Memorials

With a kill distance of over two miles, one of the deadliest snipers in history will fight in Ukraine.

The Canadian, only identified as Wali to protect his family’s safety, said he wants to help Ukraine defend itself.

“I want to help them. It’s as simple as that,” Wali said. “I have to help because there are people (t)here being bombarded just because they want to be European and not Russian.”

Some of those Russian bombardments have struck significant historical sites in Ukraine, including Babyn Yar on March 1.

Babyn Yar, also known as Babi Yar, is one the largest WWII mass graves in Europe. According to Nazi records, 33,771 Jews were killed over two days. The site holds particular significance to Ukraine, which has both a large Jewish population and a Jewish President.

After the Babyn Yar attack, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky used Twitter to express frustration that the West is not doing enough to prevent attacks on Ukraine.

“What is the point of saying ‘never again’ for 80 years, if the world stays silent when a bomb drops on the same site of Babyn Yar?” Zelensky said. “At least 5 killed. History repeating…”

Read more about the history of Babyn Yar here.


Louisiana’s Harshest Juvenile Lockup

NBC, in partnership with ProPublica and the Marshall Project, investigated the Acadiana Center for Youth in St. Martinville, a high-security juvenile facility in Louisiana that “quietly” opened last summer to “regain control of the most troubled teens in their care.”

Most states have strict limits on placing juveniles in solitary confinement due to the potential for psychological harm. While it remains a rare occurrence in Louisiana, the Acadiana Center reportedly locks teens in cells for around 23 hours a day for weeks on end, among other restraints.

According to incident reports, guards have been known to respond violently when transgressions arise. Three slammed door hatches on teens’ hands. One struck a boy with his knee and fired pepper spray into a teen’s cell, leaving him coughing and vomiting.

Carmen Daugherty, the policy director at Youth First Initiative, called the conditions at St. Martinville “egregious.”

“It’s like you put all of the things that we talk about that are so wrong with our youth justice system and you put it in one facility,” Daugherty said.

President Biden Takes Step Toward Digital Currency

The U.S. is taking steps towards a potential digital currency.

President Joe Biden signed an executive order on March 8, 2022, instructing the federal government on cryptocurrency and other digital assets.

“My Administration places the highest urgency on research and development efforts in the potential design and development of a United States CBDC (Central Bank Digital Currency),” the order reads.

David Yermack, a professor and the chair of the finance department at New York University, said digital currency is becoming more important.

“Bill Gates famously said there will always be banking but there will not always be banks,” Yermack said. “I think this (digital currency) is going to become a necessity just because of the demographic changes in the world.”

TSA Extends Mask Mandate

The TSA, in accordance with the CDC, is extending the mask mandate for another month, according to an administration official.

“At CDC’s recommendation, TSA will extend the security directive for mask use on public transportation and transportation hubs for one month through April 18,” the official told Fox News.


OKC Couple Supporting Ukrainian Family Monetarily

Oklahoma City citizens Julie Nelson and her husband reserved a Ukrainian Airbnb to monetarily assist its host.

“We just kind of were feeling helpless, like we wanted to do something and didn’t know what to do,” Nelson said.

Nelson and her family have hosted an Airbnb in Oklahoma City for three years. They are reserving the Airbnb for a woman in Ukraine named Siri who has at least 10 people living with her.

“My husband had been reading about (the) Airbnb community making reservations over there as a way to help them keep their income and also supply shelter for people,” Nelson said. “I contacted her and told her what to set the price for, for a day, and then I reserved the space for that donation.”

Siri said she was grateful.

“Your support is very inspiring and has enabled me to help others in need. Thank you. I finally smiled again for the first time in these days,” Nelson said, quoting Siri’s messages.

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