Year in review: A look at news events in March 2022 | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Year in review: A look at news events in March 2022

Team Canada make their entrance during the opening ceremony at the 2022 Winter Paralympics, Friday, March 4, 2022, in Beijing. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

A look at news events in March 2022:

1 - Russian forces escalated their attacks on populated urban areas of Ukraine. In strategic Kharkiv, explosions tore through the region’s Soviet-era administrative building and residential areas on the sixth day of the invasion. Ukrainian authorities said five people were killed and five wounded in the attack on the Kyiv TV tower.

2 - Canada slapped more sanctions against Russia in a bid to punish Moscow and choke its military attack on its democratic, sovereign neighbour Ukraine. In addition to closing Canadian airspace to Russian commercial planes, Ottawa also banned all Russian-owned or registered ships and fishing vessels in Canadian ports.

2 - The UN General Assembly voted 141-5 with 35 abstentions to demand an immediate halt to Moscow’s offensive against Ukraine and the withdrawal of all Russian troops. Russia got support from Belarus, Syria, North Korea and Eritrea, a powerful indication of the international isolation that President Vladimir Putin faced.

2 - The U.S. announced it was joining Canada and the EU in banning all Russian-owned and operated aircraft from its airspace.

3 - Russian and Belarusian athletes were banned from the Winter Paralympic Games for their countries' roles in the war in Ukraine.

3 - Formula One said Russia won't have a race in the future. It terminated its contract with the Russian Grand Prix following the country's invasion of Ukraine. F1 had already cancelled this year's race, but following further discussions, it went a step further, ending a contract that was set to run until 2025.

4 – Ukrainian authorities said Russian forces had taken control of Europe's largest nuclear power station. The Zaporizhzhia plant had been shelled by Russian military, causing a fire and damaging the compartment of a reactor. A Russian airstrike also destroyed the power plant in Okhtyrka, leaving the city without heat or electricity.

4 – Canada increasing its economic pressure on Russia in response to its ongoing attack on Ukraine. Russia and its ally Belarus were removed from Canada's most favoured nation list of trade partners, a dubious honour previously only bestowed upon North Korea. The decision means Russian and Belarusian exports are subject to 35 per cent tariffs.

4 - NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said what is taking place in Ukraine is horrific. But NATO foreign ministers, including Canada's Mélanie Joly, refused to police a no-fly zone over Ukraine. Stoltenberg said that could provoke a widespread war in Europe with nuclear power Russia.

5 - Alpine skier Mollie Jepsen captured Canada's first medal of the Beijing Paralympics, a gold in the women's downhill. The 22-year-old from West Vancouver, B.C., won the standing downhill in one minute and 21.75 seconds. Canada added two more medals on Day 1 of the Games. Mac Marcoux of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., captured silver in the men's downhill, while Mark Arendz of Hartsville, P.E.I., opened his Paralympics with a bronze in the men's six-kilometre biathlon.

5 - Mastercard and Visa suspended their operations in Russia. Mastercard said its cards issued by Russian banks would no longer be supported by its network. Visa said it was working with clients and partners in Russia to cease all Visa transactions over the coming days.

7 - Canada won six medals at the Paralympic Games in Beijing, bringing its total haul to 12 so far. Tyler Turner from Campbell River, B.C., won Canada's first-ever Paralympic gold medal in snowboarding, Brian McKeever skied to his 14th victory and Natalie Wilkie from Salmon Arm, B.C. won the women's 15-kilometre cross-country ski race. Lisa DeJong of Sherwood Park, Alta., won silver in the women's snowboard cross race, Brittany Hudak from Prince Albert, Sask., won bronze in the women's 15-kilometre cross-country ski race and alpine skier Alana Ramsay won bronze in super combined.

7 - Netflix and TikTok suspended most of their services in Russia.

7 – The official global death toll from COVID-19 topped six million.

7 - A principal organizer of the "Freedom Convoy'' demonstration in Ottawa, Tamara Lich of Alberta, was released from an Ottawa jail on a $25,000 bond. She'd been held since her arrest Feb. 17 when police shut down the three-week occupation in the capital.

8 - Mark Arendz from Hartsville, P.E.I., won the gold medal in the 10-kilometre standing biathlon event at the Beijing Paralympics. He was the only athlete in the field to go a perfect 20-for-20 on the shooting range. His gold was his second medal in Beijing and the 10th of his career.

8 - The World Health Organization was now saying an expert panel was strongly supporting booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines. That was a turnaround from the UN agency's previous insistence that boosters weren't necessary and contributed to vaccine inequity. The expert group concluded that booster shots provide high levels of protection against severe disease and death from the highly contagious Omicron variant.

8 - The UN High Commissioner for Refugees and UNICEF confirmed that two million people -- half of them children -- had fled Ukraine.

8 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced that Canada was indefinitely extending its NATO military mission in Latvia. The mission, called Operation Reassurance, was due to end next year.

8 - A judge dismissed the sex abuse lawsuit brought by an American woman against Prince Andrew after the parties settled. The federal judge in New York signed papers ending the litigation at the request of the lawyers. The lawyers three weeks ago announced a deal in which the prince would donate to Virginia Giuffre's charity and declare he never meant to malign her character. Giuffre accused Andrew of sexually abusing her while she travelled with financier Jeffrey Epstein in 2001 when she was 17.

9 - The NHL signed its first Canadian sports betting partnership. It teamed up with the Ontario Lottery and Gaming Corporation in a multi-year partnership.

10 – The Walt Disney Company was the latest big name to join the list of organizations no longer doing business in Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine. The company had previously announced it was pausing all film releases in Russia, but it now said it was pausing all other businesses in the country, including cruise ships, National Geographic magazine issues and tours, local productions, product licensing and its TV networks.

11 - Five new Russian oligarchs were added to the Canadian sanctions list, including a major shareholder in a British multinational manufacturing company that operates a steel mill in Regina. Before leaving Warsaw following his four-country trip of Europe this week, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the penalties against Roman Abramovich for his close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The British government said Abramovich was using Evraz -- one of Regina's largest employers -- to help destabilize Ukraine during Russia's invasion, and also sanctioned Abramovich over his close ties with the Kremlin.

13 – An American journalist was killed in Ukraine while gathering material for a report about refugees. Ukraine's Interior Ministry said 50-year-old documentary filmmaker Brent Renaud died in Irpin, which had been the site of intense shelling by Russian forces in recent days. Another journalist was wounded in the attack. Renaud won a litany of prestigious awards for documentary filmmaking including two duPont-Columbia journalism awards.

13 - William Hurt, the Oscar-winning actor of ''Broadcast News,'' “Body Heat'' and “The Big Chill,'' died at 71. His son said he died of natural causes, peacefully among family. In a long-running career, Hurt was three times nominated for an Academy Award, winning for 1985's “Kiss of the Spider Woman."

14 - Tom Brady's retirement lasted all of 40 days. Brady returned to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for his 23rd season in the NFL. The seven-time Super Bowl champion announced his decision on Twitter and Instagram, saying he had “unfinished business.''

14 – The man who invented the GIF has died of COVID-19. Stephen Wilhite won a Webby lifetime achievement award in 2013 for inventing the short-video format back in 1987 when he worked at CompuServe. In 2013, he told the New York Times the file had only one pronunciation -- a soft “G,'' like Jif peanut butter. He said one of his favourites was the '90s-era dancing baby GIF.

15 –A day after Jerry Dias announced his sudden retirement, Unifor revealed it had been investigating the now-former union president since late January. Canada's largest private sector union said the secretary-treasurer was sent a complaint alleging Dias engaged in a breach of the union's constitution. Dias was notified of an independent investigation Jan. 29, took medical leave Feb. 6, then decided March 11 to retire immediately, citing health issues.

15 - Canada announced sanctions against another 15 Russians, and a short time later, Moscow responded by banning more than 300 Canadians from entering the country. The names on that list included Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Foreign Affairs Minister Mélanie Joly, chief of defence staff Gen. Wayne Eyre and almost every member of Parliament.

15 – Fox News videographer Pierre Zakrzewski was killed in Ukraine, after the vehicle he was travelling in was struck by incoming fire. Reporter Benjamin Hall was injured in the attack outside of Kyiv. Zakrzewski covered conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria and helped get freelancers and their families out of Afghanistan last year.

16 – The 47-nation Council of Europe expelled Russia from the human rights body after 26 years of membership.

17 - Health Canada approved the use of Moderna's two-dose COVID-19 vaccine called Spikevax for children between the ages of six and 11. It had already been approved for older children.

18 - The City of Ottawa calculated the cost of responding to the three-week-long protest in front of Parliament Hill comes in at $36.3 million. Almost all of that was the cost of policing the protest. The total costs in the memo to city councillors didn't include losses to downtown businesses, which were estimated to be in the millions, or the almost $30,000 in relief payments to social service providers whose operations were affected.

19 - Will Butler left Arcade Fire. The Montreal band was co-founded by Butler's older brother and frontman, Win, two decades ago. They've received multiple awards, including the 2011 Grammy for album of the year. Will Butler said it was time for new things, and that he and the band are still friends and family.

20 - While most provinces were continuing the slow lifting of COVID-19 measures, a new subvariant of the highly contagious Omicron strain, BA.2, was detected stateside.

21 - Veteran talk show host Maury Povich said he would stop making original episodes of ''Maury,'' where he had been a daytime mainstay for 31 years. Povich worked in television news for many years, and is married to journalist Connie Chung. He was the inaugural host of ''A Current Affair'' in the late 1980s.

22 - Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the Liberals reached a confidence and supply agreement with the NDP, which will see New Democrats support the Liberal minority government through 2025.

23 - Madeleine Albright, the first female U.S. secretary of state, died of cancer. She was 84. President Bill Clinton chose Albright as America's top diplomat in 1996, and she served in that capacity for the last four years of the Clinton administration. At the time, she was the highest-ranking woman in the history of U.S. government.

24 – The Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission approved Rogers' acquisition of Shaw's broadcasting services, subject to some conditions and modifications. The conditions include a requirement forcing Rogers to contribute $27.2 million to various initiatives and funds, which is five times what the company had originally proposed. Rogers must also report annually on its commitments to increase its support for local news.

25 - Taylor Hawkins, the longtime drummer for the rock band Foo Fighters, died at 50. Hawkins played drums for the Foo Fighters for 25 of the 28 years of the band's existence. Along with lead singer and guitarist Dave Grohl, Hawkins played prominent roles in the band's videos and in its recent horror-comic film ''Studio 666.'' Hawkins played drums for Alanis Morissette before joining Foo Fighters.

27 - Canada's soccer team qualified for the men's World Cup for the first time since 1985. The score was a lopsided 4-0. The match took place in Toronto before a loud and proud sellout crowd of 29,122 on a chilly day at BMO Field. A Jamaican own goal in the 89th minute padded the score.

27 - The Academy Awards show offered up a major drama of its own. Will Smith marched onstage and slapped presenter Chris Rock after the comic made a joke about the shaved head of Smith's wife, Jada Pinkett Smith. The crowd at L.A.'s Dolby Theatre hushed as Smith twice shouted at Rock to “keep my wife's name out of your (expletive) mouth.'' Pinkett Smith revealed in 2018 that she was diagnosed with hair loss. A tearful Smith returned to the stage later to collect his first best-actor Oscar for “King Richard'' and apologized to the Academy and fellow nominees -- but not to Rock.

28 - Will Smith apologized to Chris Rock for slapping the comedian onstage at the Oscars, writing in a statement that he was ''out of line'' and ''wrong.'' Smith sent the statement on his Instagram page, saying he was embarrassed by his actions. Smith also issued an apology to the film academy, Oscar producers and viewers. The academy condemned Smith's violent behaviour.

28 - Ottawa Senators owner Eugene Melnyk died. The team announced Melnyk's death with a statement from his family that mentioned ''an illness he faced with determination and courage.'' Melnyk had a liver transplant in 2015 after a public campaign for a donor. The Toronto native was 62.

30 - The UN refugee agency said more than four million refugees had now fled Ukraine following Russia's invasion. The figure was a new milestone in the largest refugee crisis in Europe since the Second World War. The UNHCR said more than 2.3 million refugees had arrived in Poland. The agency also estimated 6.5 million people had been displaced from their homes within Ukraine.

30 - Former chief of the defence staff general Jonathan Vance pleaded guilty to one charge of obstruction of justice. His lawyer was seeking a discharge, arguing his client entered a guilty plea at the earliest opportunity and had already suffered significant financial and reputational damage. Military police charged Vance in July, following a months-long investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct. He wasn't charged with that offence, but investigators found that Vance repeatedly contacted a woman and tried to persuade her to make false statements about their past relationship. Vance was sentenced to 80 hours of community service and put on probation for a year.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2022
The Canadian Press

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