3 Things To Know Today

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Photo: Science Photo Library RF

1 Zelensky Appeals For Truce To Dig Out Trapped Mariupol Civilians

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is appealing for a truce in Mariupol so that civilians – about 200 women and children – can be rescued from bunkers under a steel works in the shattered port city. While Russia's military had said it would pause activity at the Azovstal steel works for two days to allow citizens to leave, they haven’t. According to independedntly verified reports, the fight rages on – and it’s bloody. Russia is in fact denying new attacks on the city it's devastated since invading ten weeks ago. Meanwhile, the United Nations Secretary General says a third operation with the Red Cross has been launched to evacuate Mariupol. Antonio Guterres told the UN Security Council about 500 civilians have been evacuated as part of two earlier operations. He said the civilians had been "living under relentless shelling and scarce availability of water, food and sanitation." He went on to say he hopes Moscow and Kyiv can continue to coordinate so that more civilians are able to have safe passage out of the region.

2 CA Bill Would Allow Parents To Sue Social Media Companies

A new bill is being proposed in California which would allow parents to sue big tech companies for getting their kids addicted to social media. The bill just cleared the State Senate Judiciary Committee and has bipartisan support. The University of San Diego's Children's Advocacy Institute is sponsoring the measure and says research shows excessive social media use in teens and tweens has led to increases in anxiety, depression and even suicide. Instagram parent-company Meta says it disagrees, citing its own data showing the majority of teens using the app feel better about themselves. Some parents support the move while others say parents just need to do a better job of making sure their kids don't get too wrapped up in social media drama.

3 FDA Limits Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Emergency Use Authorization

The FDA is limiting its emergency use authorization of the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine. As in – it won’t be expanded for use in anyone under 18. The FDA also said it’s only approving the vaccine for adults who cannot get the other vaccines or who specifically request the J&J product. The move comes after some have experienced a rare blood clotting condition after receiving the vaccine. The director of the FDA's Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research said Johnson & Johnson's vaccine still plays a role in the pandemic. Scientists have identified 60 cases of the side effect, including nine that were fatal. It amounts to 3.23 blood clot cases per 1-million J&J shots – nearly 20-million doses have been delivered. The problem, if it occurs, in the first two weeks after vaccination. On a related note, parents of very young children don't seem to be in a rush to get their kids vaccinated for COVID at all.

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