‘Am I dying?’ / ‘Uniquely American … racial terror’ / Cheaper new iPhone?

‘Am I dying?’ Daily Beast reporters shot in Ukraine share their story.
CNN analysis: “Putin’s clumsy military campaign … makes little sense.”
Stephen Colbert offers alternatives under a new Russian law that threatens prison for use of the word war to describe the invasion of Ukraine—including “Special Bang Bang Time” and “National Lampoon’s Eastern European Vacation.”

Gas bane. Axios Chicago contends that the average price of a gallon of gasoline in Chicago has passed the 2012 record of $4.68 by two cents.
But not if you adjust for inflation—which would put that 2012 value at $5.73 today.
Nationally, The New York Times notes, the average price of gas in the 2008 financial crisis topped out at $5.37 adjusted for inflation.
Brace for a further surge if, as expected, (update) as President Biden bans Russian oil imports …
 … a move that The Associated Press says would be most effective if it included European allies.
Shell says it’ll stop buying Russian oil and gas and is apologizing for having done so after the invasion of Ukraine …
 … and says profits from its remaining Russian oil will fund Ukrainian relief efforts.
A Tribune editorial: Sanctions against Russia “are the best option in a sea of lousy choices.”
Times are tough for Chicago’s Russian Tea Time restaurant, co-founded by a man and his Ukrainian-born mother.

Masks optional. The Chicago Public Schools mask mandate expires next week …
New research links even mild cases of COVID-19 to accelerated aging and other changes in the brain.
Writing for Newcity, a young psych ward nurse describes a harrowing time during the pandemic’s rise: “I had never experienced that level of violence in patients.”

‘Uniquely American … racial terror.’ In a long forestalled triumph for Chicago Congressman Bobby Rush, Congress has given final approval to legislation that would make lynching a federal crime.
The bill is named in honor of Chicagoan Emmett Till, the Black 14-year-old kidnapped and murdered by white men in 1955.

Ridership down, crime up. Citing “safety concerns,” the CTA says it’s stepping up security on its busiest train lines.
The nation’s public transit agencies are getting billions in federal pandemic relief cash …
 … including $118 million for the CTA.
PolitiFact rates Aurora Mayor and Republican gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin’s statement that he cut homicides by 40% his first year in office “mostly false.”

Another one bites the dust. Ex-State Sen. Thomas Cullerton has pleaded guilty to embezzlement charges.

Disney and ‘Don’t Say Gay.’ In a lame statement about the company’s commitment to inclusion, its CEO—a guy who reportedly has feared it might be viewed as too liberal (March 2 link)—says it won’t criticize Florida legislation that would forbid “instruction by school personnel or third parties on sexual orientation or gender identity … in kindergarten through grade 3.”

Cheaper new iPhone? Apple was rumored ready to launch a new version of its low-end iPhone SE(Update: Not so cheap.)
If you’re a fan of watching executives deliver wooden scripts as sycophants cheer slavishly, you can watch live here at noon Chicago time.

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