Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy virtually addressed Congress this morning: Speaking from Kyiv, Zelenskyy called for more assistance and invoked the bombing of Pearl Harbor and the attacks on 9/11 in talking about the level of crisis the Ukrainian people are living through. He specifically asked for a no-fly zone over Ukraine as well as aircraft, two requests that American legislators are hesitant to follow through on, reports CNN. Mainly because they are concerned Russia would view either act as an escalation, dragging the U.S. into war. Biden is expected to give a speech of his own later today. Watch Zelenskyy's full address here:
And, on cue, here's a bunch of national reporters demanding to know why the US doesn't want to start WWIII:
Meanwhile, in eastern Washington: Far-right Republican and former State Representative Matt Shea—who was accused of domestic terrorism, mind you—is in POLAND right now with "more than 60 Ukrainian children, trying to facilitate their adoption in America," reports the Seattle Times. No one asked him of all people to do this, and the Times notes that international agencies say that the confusion and chaos of war is an inappropriate time to coordinate international adoptions. Shea is apparently freaking out people in the Polish town of Kazimierz Dolny, where he and the Texas-based Christian organization he's with are staying with the kids in a guesthouse:
“I asked him many times, ‘What are you going to do with these children?’ and he told me that it’s not my business,'” Weronika Ziarnicka, an aide to the mayor of Kazimierz Dolny, said of Shea. “I got the feeling in my gut that something’s wrong with this guy; he didn’t want to tell me his last name.”
Fucking wild. Read the rest of David Gutman's reporting here. [Eds note: In the meantime, I'm going to email that mayor and tell her about Shea's support for training children as soldiers in a holy war.]
Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha: The CDC estimated that omicron BA.2 sub-variant a.k.a. stealth omicron now makes up 23% of new COVID-19 cases here in the United States. Omicron cases are rising again in France, the U.K., Italy, and other parts of Europe as China is still struggling through its first wave. Doesn't this all sound familiar? Now with war mixed in.
After their CEO said that a fourth dose will be necessary, Pfizer and BioNTech are looking for FDA emergency authorization for a second booster for adults 65 and over, reports the New York Times. The request is based mostly on data from Israel, where second boosters are authorized, and it is likely to set off a heated debate between scientists on vaccine efficacy.
Weather break: KING 5 says we'll have some brief morning showers that will then give way to sun sun sun. I love this time of year, just before the cherry blossoms really start to bloom and the trees are just covered in tiny pink buds that look like little fists. Anyway, want to see what sunrise looked like on the mountains today?
It'll take a little while for the low clouds to scatter out here in the lowlands, but in the mountains? Well, they're already basking in some sunshine at @CrystalMt and Hurricane Ridge. #wawx pic.twitter.com/zrV2aiaVf6
— NWS Seattle (@NWSSeattle) March 16, 2022
Rondo and Tamari Bar's new sister restaurant just opened right next to the Bainbridge Island ferry terminal: And boy, does it look good. Hi Life is currently serving a dozen types of poke and whiskey highballs to famished and discerning ferry travelers. Eater Seattle took the first good look at the new restaurant, recommending the shokado bento box that gives a sampling of eight different types of poke with a side, and it looks heavenly.
This is a little too freaky for me: Mike Tyson's cannabis brand just launched Mike Bites, a new gummy edible shaped like an ear. As in the ear he bit off of Evander Holyfield in 1997 (it's not clear if Holyfield is receiving any profits from the sale). You can buy these babies in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada—let me know how they taste?
KNKX is moving: The Seattle NPR affiliate will set up shop at the Madore Building at 1501 Western Ave. They will now have 7,900 square feet to play around with, including a space for their live jazz and blues in-studio performances, and new recording studios. I've walked past this building a million times and have always admired how weird it is. Congrats!
NEW: KNKX says it has found a new home for its Seattle studios in the Madore Building (1507 Western Ave) near Pike Place Market, and will launch a capital campaign. The facility will include a performance space double the size of its current studio. https://t.co/4jTt9sULlk pic.twitter.com/JJRTh4aCw6
— Joe Veyera (@JoeVeyera) March 15, 2022
270 artifacts will be returned to the Upper Skagit Tribe: The Seattle City Council unanimously passed an ordinance that outlines the transfer and curation of the artifacts uncovered during the 2013 Newhalem Gorge Inn Restoration project, reports KING 5. The objects are expected to stay in the curation facility in Marblemount where they are currently stored.
Researchers discovered a new way to trap those scary giant hornets: Sex pheromones.
Starbucks' CEO and president Kevin Johnson to retire in April: He spent 13 years at the coffee company and was the big boss for the last five, reports the Seattle Times. Starbucks' board of directors hopes to have a permanent replacement by fall. But, in the meantime, noted "person of means" (oh God, remember that?) and Starbucks founder Howard Schultz will serve as interim CEO and receive $1 in compensation.
Authorities apprehend the last teen who escaped from the Snoqualmie youth detention facility in January: The Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families took the teen into custody "without incident" and provided no further details, reports KING 5. All five of the teens are looking at charges of "escape in the first degree, kidnapping in the first degree, unlawful imprisonment, two counts of robbery in the first degree and theft of a motor vehicle."
These times they are a-changin': Cannes Film Festival officially partnered with TikTok. Now, users can scoop "exclusive backstage content," interviews with stars, and access a "global in-app competition of vertical short films," reports THR. If this is what it takes for the kids to get into art house international cinema, then so be it.
For your listening pleasure: Skepta's "Ladies Hit Squad" (featuring D Double E & A$Ap Nast).