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5 things to know for March 21: Russia, Trump, California storm, School strike, Fungus

By Faith Karimi, CNN

Americans took fewer steps during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, and they still haven’t gotten their mojo back, a new study found.

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

(You can get “CNN’s 5 Things” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

1. Russia

A strike destroyed Russian cruise missiles in Russian-occupied Crimea, the Ukrainian defense ministry said, as both countries host world leaders this week. Ukraine did not directly claim responsibility for the strike, but said it will further “demilitarize Russia and prepare the Crimean peninsula for de-occupation.” The strike comes as China’s Xi Jinping is holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow and Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida heads to Kyiv for an unexpected meeting with President Volodymyr Zelensky. Western allies remain skeptical of any breakthrough over the war in Ukraine, with Washington calling the Chinese leader’s visit a “diplomatic cover” for Moscow. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called out Xi’s visit, saying it came days after the International Criminal Court in The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Putin.

2. Trump

Officials in New York and Washington, DC, are preparing for potential protests as a grand jury weighs possible charges in Donald Trump’s alleged role in a scheme to pay hush money to adult film star Stormy Daniels. In New York City — where the grand jury is meeting — all police officers are expected to be in uniform and ready for deployment today, according to an internal memo a source shared with CNN. Law enforcement officials in both cities said that although it’s a “high alert day,” there is currently no credible threat. The extra measures come after Trump posted a social media message this weekend urging his supporters to protest in response to a potential arrest. A source close to his legal team said that if he’s indicted, they don’t expect any arrest or initial appearance before next week.

3. California storm

Emergency officials in California are dispatching swift-water rescue teams, hand crews and bulldozers in several counties as they anticipate another atmospheric river will dump more rain and snow in the state. “Now’s the time to make sure you and your family are prepared,” the Office of Emergency Services tweeted. “Gather supplies for a go-bag, prep for a power outage and if told by officials to evacuate, don’t wait!” In San Bernardino County, officials warned residents in the mountains to limit travel and maintain at least a two-week supply of food, water, medication and fuel. Atmospheric rivers are long, narrow bands of moisture that can carry saturated air thousands of miles. The state has already seen at least 11 atmospheric rivers this winter season that have that ravaged communities and displaced residents.

4. LA school strike

A union representing 30,000 Los Angeles school custodians, cafeteria workers, bus drivers and other support staff will begin a three-day strike today — effectively stopping classes for more than a half million students. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced classes in the nation’s second-largest district would be canceled starting today after last-minute negotiations failed. The union wants “equitable wage increases, more full-time work, respectful treatment, and increased staffing levels for improved student services,” it said. But Carvalho said the demands are not feasible. “Under California law, we cannot drive the school system into a bankruptcy position. We cannot drive the school system into a red position. And if we were to acquiesce to all the demands, that is exactly where we would be,” he said.

5. Fungus

A drug-resistant and potentially deadly fungus is spreading fast in US health care facilities, according to a new study. Clinical cases of Candida auris, or C. auris, nearly doubled in 2021. There was also a tripling of the number of cases resistant to echinocandins, the first-line treatment for Candida auris infections, according to data from the CDC. The study found that clinical cases increased each year, skyrocketing from 53 in 2016 to 1,471 in 2021. Candida auris cases were initially confined to the New York City and Chicago areas, but they’ve now spread to over half of US states. Last year, the World Health Organization released a list of “fungal priority pathogens” that included Candida auris.


Bumblebees solve puzzles by watching other bumblebees.

Like humans, bumblebees are capable of socially learning behavior and passing on the knowledge to others in their colonies, a new study shows.

New Mexico is hiring ‘professional bear huggers.’

Unfortunately, a love of bears is not the only qualification to become a conservation officer.

Manchester United’s list of confirmed bidders is pretty slim.

Here’s the latest on what the potential sale of the Red Devils means for the club and its 1.1 billion fans.

There’s a high-tech Swiss train named after Shania Twain.

What do you give a Grammy-winning musician who has everything? A “Shania Train,” of course.

A designer who dressed models in chandeliers is stepping down 

Jeremy Scott is leaving Italian luxury fashion house Moschino after a decade of cheeky, over-the-top pop culture and fashion.


“It’s heartbreaking to know pet owners are … making a decision about their pet, whether it’s to surrender that pet to an animal shelter or they have to make a decision about euthanasia because they can’t afford care.

–Christa Chadwick, vice president at the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, explaining how inflation and economic uncertainty are affecting pet owners nationwide.


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The curiosity is strong with this one

Step into the world of “Star Wars” and see how the creatures and monsters in the fantasy franchise come to life.  (Click here to view)

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