5 things to know for March 15: Storms, Ukraine, Meta, Bank collapse, Willow Project


When you’re craving a quick snack, how often do you reach into the fridge for a few strawberries or grapes without rinsing them? (It’s okay to admit it, we’ve all done it before.) While consuming unwashed fruits and vegetables isn’t totally detrimental to your health, some scientists say you should make a diligent effort to wash these produce items that often have high levels of pesticides.

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

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A significant portion of the Northeast, from New York through New England, is being hit with heavy snow from the nor’easter impacting the region. The wintery conditions are creating messy commutes and widespread flight interruptions, with more than 1,000 flights canceled in the US on Tuesday and thousands more delayed today. New York’s LaGuardia International Airport and Boston Logan International Airport were most impacted with about 300 cancellations each on Tuesday. Meanwhile, in flood-ravaged California, the latest atmospheric river event is bringing hurricane-force wind gusts that are so strong it reportedly sent glass falling from a San Francisco high-rise building. The combination of strong winds and heavy rain also left nearly 200,000 homes and businesses without power across the state this morning, many of them in Santa Clara County.

A Russian fighter jet forced down a US drone over the Black Sea on Tuesday, creating a potentially dangerous escalation at a critical time in the fighting. This marks the first time Russian and US military aircraft have come into direct physical contact since Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine just over a year ago. The White House called Moscow’s actions “unsafe, unprofessional and reckless” while Russia’s defense ministry denied its aircraft came into contact with the drone. On the ground, Russian forces are escalating their attacks across Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk region. As fierce fighting continues in Bakhmut, a Ukrainian soldier called the fight around the area “hell on Earth.”

Employees at Facebook’s parent company Meta are bracing for another round of layoffs expected to impact about 10,000 workers. The latest layoffs, announced on Tuesday, come after Meta said in November that it was eliminating approximately 13% of its workforce, or 11,000 jobs. The cuts announced in November coupled with the 10,000 announced Tuesday brings Meta’s headcount down to around 66,000 – a reduction of about 25%. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a memo that the cuts will take place over the next couple of months, adding “this will be tough and there’s no way around that.” Meta is far from the only Big Tech company to undergo layoffs: Amazon, Google-parent Alphabet and Microsoft have all confirmed recent cuts impacting tens of thousands of tech workers as well.

The US Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission are opening investigations into the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, according to sources familiar with the matter. The federal investigations are in their preliminary stages, a source said, and are looking into both the bank’s failure and the actions by senior executives in the lead-up to the collapse. This comes after the Biden administration took an extraordinary action on Sunday to guarantee that customers of the failed bank will have access to all their money starting Monday. Separately, the newly appointed CEO of Silicon Valley Bridge Bank – created to handle customers’ transferred deposits and banking services – is asking customers to return some their funds into the bank while trying to assure customers their deposits are protected.

CNN is hosting a special on the crisis addressing what does this means for banks and their customers everywhere. Send us your questions here.

The Biden administration on Monday approved the massive Willow oil drilling project in Alaska, angering climate advocates and setting the stage for a court challenge. The Willow Project is a decadeslong oil drilling venture in the National Petroleum Reserve, which is owned by the federal government. The area where the project is planned holds up to 600 million barrels of oil, though that oil would take years to reach the market since the project has yet to be constructed. By the administration’s own estimates, the project would generate enough oil to release 9.2 million metric tons of planet-warming carbon pollution a year – equivalent to adding 2 million gas-powered cars to the roads. The project will almost certainly face an uphill battle with various legal challenges, analysts say.

Lindsay Lohan announces a baby is ‘coming soon’

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Technology behind ChatGPT is about to get even more powerful

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They bought an ‘ancient’ Italian home for around $9,000. There were many surprises in store

Home renovations often involve unforeseen costs and hidden surprises… especially if you decide to fix up a 14th-century apartment.

Party’s over: Judge says Miami Beach can roll back 5 a.m. last call

Following complaints about noisy nightclubs from city residents, a judge ruled the last call for alcohol in Miami Beach can be shifted from 5 a.m. to 2 a.m.

Webb telescope spots a star on the brink of exploding

View the rare and tumultuous sight 15,000 light-years away from Earth.


That’s how much egg prices across US grocery stores rose over the last year through February, fueled by short supply caused by a deadly avian flu. But in a welcome reversal, it appears egg prices are finally beginning to decline as constraints on suppliers are beginning to ease, data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows.

“While the US has many vital national interests… becoming further entangled in a territorial dispute between Ukraine and Russia is not one of them.”

– Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, in a statement to Fox News’ Tucker Carlson. Several key Republican senators on Tuesday pushed back against his comments, exposing the division on Capitol Hill over whether the US should continue providing aid to the war-torn nation.

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Mexico’s child geniuses

This school in Mexico is exclusively for gifted children – and where prodigies go to tap into their talents. (Click here to view)

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