Happy Tuesday! Sure, the idea of spending $3,500 on a pair of ski goggles designed to pull you out of the real world seems a little silly.
But now that you tell us they’re made by Apple …
Quick Hits: Today’s Top Stories
- Russian defense officials claimed Monday that Ukrainian forces had launched a “large-scale offensive” in eastern Ukraine and suggested they had taken heavy losses—including several hundred casualties overnight. Ukraine acknowledged offensive efforts in the region but disputed both Russian claims about their magnitude and the assertion that they signaled the beginning of the long-awaited spring offensive.
- Nearly 90 Afghan schoolgirls and their teachers fell ill over the weekend after suspected poisonings at an elementary school in northern Afghanistan. Local officials suggested the alleged attack—which sent victims to the hospital with respiratory and neurological symptoms—may have been motivated by a rivalry between villages. The episode mirrored recent reported poisonings in Iran—and a string of similar incidents in Afghanistan from 2009 to 2012, which the World Health Organization concluded were likely caused by mass psychogenic illness. Under Taliban rule, women have been barred from receiving an education past the sixth grade, so most of the sickened girls were between 6 and 12 years old.
- The U.S. Navy said Sunday an Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard craft carrying armed troops “harassed” a commercial vessel in the Strait of Hormuz. The destroyer USS McFaul and the U.K. Royal Navy frigate HMS Lancaster responded to a distress call from the unnamed ship after three “fast-attack” boats approached and followed the vessel. The Lancaster dispatched a helicopter to monitor the situation, which the Navy said resolved when the Iranian boats departed after an hour.
- Former Vice President Mike Pence officially filed to run for president yesterday ahead of a formal announcement expected in Des Moines, Iowa, on Wednesday. New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu, meanwhile, announced he would not run in 2024, arguing it’s more important to keep former President Donald Trump from clinching the GOP nomination. “The stakes are too high for a crowded field to hand the nomination to a candidate who earns just 35 percent of the vote,” he wrote in the Washington Post. “I will help ensure this does not happen.”
- GOP Rep. James Comer of Kentucky, chair of the House Oversight Committee, said Monday he will initiate hearings to hold FBI Director Christopher Wray in contempt of Congress. The FBI refused to turn over an unclassified document which Comer claimed—after viewing it with Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin during an FBI briefing Monday—details allegations that President Joe Biden was involved in a $5 million bribery scheme when he was vice president. Raskin dismissed the document’s significance, arguing it recycles “stale and debunked Burisma conspiracy theories long peddled by Rudy Giuliani and a Russian agent.” The committee will vote Thursday on whether to bring the measure against Wray to the full House.
- The Securities and Exchange Commission on Monday sued Binance—the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange—alleging the company and its founder, Changpeng Zhao, misused U.S. investors’ funds and showed “blatant disregard” for federal securities law. The 136-page filing accused Binance of sending investors’ funds to a separate company controlled by Zhao, among other transgressions.
- An Oklahoma school board voted 3-2 on Monday to approve the nation’s first religious charter school, St. Isidore of Seville Catholic Virtual School, which plans to offer online classes to children kindergarten through 12th grade. The school—which has the backing of Republican Oklahoma Gov. J. Kevin Stitt—will likely face legal challenges over its public funding.
Is This It?
Ukraine’s modern update to “loose lips sink ships” is considerably shorter: