The Perfect Enemy | 5 things to know for March 8: Floods, Mexico kidnapping, Covid-19, Marijuana, TikTok - CNN
April 10, 2024

5 things to know for March 8: Floods, Mexico kidnapping, Covid-19, Marijuana, TikTok – CNN

5 things to know for March 8: Floods, Mexico kidnapping, Covid-19, Marijuana, TikTok  CNN

CNN  — 

A new report has shed light on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s secret, lavish lifestyle and reputed girlfriend as his invasion of Ukraine rages on. These never-before-seen images inside Putin’s opulent home may also provide a lens into his values and how he views the war, an independent journalist said.

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

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1. Floods

As many parts of California attempt to recover from colossal amounts of snow that trapped mountain communities, more than 16 million people are now under flood watches ahead of a storm set to drench the state Thursday with dangerous amounts of rain. The places that will be impacted – mostly across central and Northern California, including the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento – have already been dealt layers of snow from the previous brutal storms. In response to the ominous forecast, many residents in the region have been urged to prepare at least two weeks of essentials ahead of the likely flooding. The impending atmospheric river event won’t be the first this year to lash California. Late last year and into the new year, multiple rounds of heavy rains from atmospheric rivers soaked entire neighborhoods and unleashed mudslides that killed at least 18 people.

2. Mexico kidnapping

Two of the four Americans who authorities say were kidnapped in Mexico last week have been found dead, officials said Tuesday. The other two were found alive. The group of friends traveled from South Carolina so one of them – a mother of six – could undergo a medical procedure across the border, but they never made it to the appointment. The discovery of the Americans’ whereabouts comes days after the four were targeted by a Mexican cartel that likely mistook them for Haitian drug smugglers, a US official said. Their abduction highlights the ongoing violence that has plagued some Mexican cities during the long-running Mexican drug war as well as the growing business of “medical tourism.”

3. Covid-19

The US is planning to relax Covid-19 testing restrictions for travelers from China as soon as Friday, a source told CNN. In December, federal health officials announced that, starting January 5, the US would require all travelers from China to show a negative Covid test result before flying to the country after Beijing’s rapid easing of Covid restrictions led to a surge in cases. Those restrictions will be relaxed this week, the source said, citing a decline in Covid cases, hospitalizations, and deaths – and more data surrounding the variants that were circulating in China. The Biden administration still plans to monitor cases in China and around the world, keeping in place a program that surveys travelers on details around new variants. 

4. Marijuana

Voters in Oklahoma will reject a ballot measure that would have legalized recreational marijuana in the state for adults ages 21 and older, CNN projects. The measure in Tuesday’s special election would have allowed for possession of up to 1 ounce of marijuana and the growth of up to six marijuana plants. If it had passed, there would also have been a 15% tax on sales of recreational marijuana in the state. Supporters of the measure argued it would bring in new tax revenue, but critics said it would negatively impact communities. It was one of several ballot measures on cannabis use that has been considered by voters in recent months. Similar measures in November failed in Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota, while voters in Maryland and Missouri passed measures for recreational cannabis use.

5. TikTok

A dozen senators unveiled bipartisan legislation Tuesday expanding President Joe Biden’s legal authority to ban TikTok nationwide, marking the latest in a string of congressional proposals threatening the social media platform’s future in the country. The legislation specifically aims to give the government new powers, up to and including a ban, against foreign-linked producers of electronics or software that the Commerce Department deems to be a national security risk. The proposed law takes a wide-ranging approach to fears that companies with ties to China could be pressured by that country’s government into handing over Americans’ data. The legislation has “sparked a lot of interest” from other senators beyond the 12 co-sponsors and among some members of the House in both parties, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Mark Warner said.


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That’s how many protesters were detained in the country of Georgia on Tuesday in the wake of intense clashes with police. Thousands of people took to the streets – hurling insults aimed at both Georgian politicians and Russian President Vladimir Putin – to express discontent with a law that would require some organizations receiving foreign funding to register as “foreign agents.” Many of them fear that the bill follows the model of a controversial law in neighboring Russia that has already imposed draconian restrictions on individuals with foreign ties.


“When those doors shut, I cried for 30 minutes straight.”

– Former first lady Michelle Obama, sharing in a new podcast that she broke down after leaving then-President Donald Trump’s inauguration. She said the emotions of leaving their family’s home after eight years and resentment over Trump taking office overwhelmed her. “That day was so emotional on so many different reasons,” she added.


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