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Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine's president, addressing members of Congress virtually at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, March 16.
Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Ukraine's president, addressing members of Congress virtually at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. on Wednesday, March 16.Drew Angerer / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Wednesday’s Mini-Report, 3.16.22

Today’s edition of quick hits.


Today’s edition of quick hits:

* A powerful address: “Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy pleaded with Congress on Wednesday for more aggressive measures to help stop the war, including a no-fly zone, showing lawmakers a gripping video of the death and devastation that has beset his country. His appeal was direct, aimed not just at lawmakers but at President Joe Biden. The graphic video that accompanied his speech showed exploding buildings, dead children and mass graves, and left lawmakers visibly shaken.”

* A crushing scene: “Russian forces bombed a theater where hundreds of Ukrainian civilians were sheltering in the besieged port city of Mariupol on Wednesday, the country’s foreign minister said in a tweet, calling the attack a ‘horrendous war crime.’”

* After Zelenskyy spoke, President Joe Biden made a related announcement, adding to the list of security aid the U.S. has already sent: “President Joe Biden on Wednesday announced an additional $800 million in military support for Ukraine after its president pleaded with Congress to do more to help it defend itself against the military onslaught from Russia.”

* A provocative response: “President Joe Biden on Wednesday called Russian President Vladimir Putin a ‘war criminal’ for the first time. In a brief exchange with reporters Wednesday, Biden was asked if he believes the Russian leader is a war criminal amid the crisis in Ukraine. The president initially said no, then asked the reporter to repeat the question. ‘I think he is a war criminal,’ Biden then said in response.”

* Interest rates: “The Federal Reserve announced a quarter-percentage point interest rate increase Wednesday — nearly two years to the day after the central bank slashed its benchmark federal funds rate to zero in a bid to cushion the blow of a deep recession triggered when the United States shut down in the early days of the pandemic.”

* A high-profile infection: “Second gentleman Doug Emhoff tested positive for Covid on Tuesday, prompting Vice President Kamala Harris to skip an evening event 'out of an abundance of caution,' her office said. Harris tested negative Tuesday.”

* The door to an agreement appears open: “Russia walked back recently made demands on Washington related to the Iran nuclear deal, clearing the way for Tehran and Washington to revive the 2015 agreement, senior western diplomats said.”

* This measure still needs House approval, which may not happen: “The Senate on Tuesday voted 57-40 to overturn a federal requirement that passengers on U.S. airplanes and other modes of public transportation wear masks.”

See you tomorrow.