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The Latest On Ukraine, Plus Is Putin Committing War Crimes?

Published March 15, 2022 at 9:38 AM PDT
 A man looks at the building which was shelled on March 15, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.
Anastasia Vlasova/Getty Images
Getty Images Europe
A man looks at the building which was shelled on March 15, 2022 in Kyiv, Ukraine.

The Latest On Ukraine, Plus Whether Russia Is Committing War Crimes

Ukraine Latest And Russia War Crimes 3.15.22

Russian forces kept up their assault on Ukraine on Monday, firing on suburbs around the capital of Kyiv and attacking other cities, even as the two countries held another round of diplomatic talks, which ended without a breakthrough. The fighting, now in its third week, is taking a toll on Ukraine’s civilian population, killing thousands and forcing over 2 million people to flee the country. As Putin continues his relentless campaign to seize Ukraine, the International Criminal Court (ICC) in the Hague is closely monitoring the invasion and preparing to prosecute war crimes and crimes against humanity, if and when it comes to that. While there is mounting evidence pointing to Russia’s attack on Ukraine as a “crime of aggression,” which has been recognized as a war crime since 2018, ICC Prosecutor Karim Khan says the court does not have jurisdiction over that crime in Russia or Ukraine as neither country is among the court’s 123 member states. The only way the court could get jurisdiction over the crime of aggression is if the United Nations Security Council calls on the ICC to investigate. But, Khan says, other war crimes carried out in Ukraine may still be under the court’s jurisdiction.

Today on AirTalk, we speak with director of the War Crimes Research Office at American University’s Washington College of Law, Susana SáCouto.

With files from the Associated Press

Census Data Shows Black Populations Moving From Cities To The Suburbs. What Trends Are We Seeing In SoCal?

Census Black Population Shift 3.15.22

For decades, Black residents have been leaving some of the nation’s largest cities while suburbs have seen an increase in their Black populations. Those two trends have now spread to even more areas of the country, according to the 2020 U.S. census.

From 1990 to 2000, 13 of the United States’ biggest cities lost Black residents. By 2020, it was 23. According to the census, roughly 54% of Black residents within the 100 biggest American metro areas were suburbanites in 2020, up from 43% two decades ago, according to Bill Frey of the Brookings Institution. Today on AirTalk, we speak with Teresa Córdova, professor of Urban Planning and Policy and director of the Great Cities Institute (GCI) at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Michael Stoll, professor of Public Policy and director of the Black Policy Project in the Ralph J. Bunche Center for African American Studies at UCLA about the latest trends and how they’re being reflected in Los Angeles and Southern California.

With files from the Associated Press 

March Madness: SoCal Edition -- How The Bruins, Trojans And Titans Might Fare Plus Tips For Filling Out Your NCAA Tournament Bracket

Triple Play March Madness 3.15.22

March Madness is back to normal, or as close to normal as it can get, and that means all those stunning upsets and once-in-a-lifetime game-winners will play out in front of crazy crowds for the first time in three years. It's the first NCAA Tournament since 2019 to be played in different cities and different time zones across America. The party lands in New Orleans for the Final Four and championship game April 2-4. It’s a return to the way things were before the pandemic scrubbed the tournament completely off the 2020 calendar, then turned the 2021 event into a one-city-fits-all affair -- all the games played in a makeshift bubble in front of limited crowds in and around Indianapolis.

For its part, Southern California will be sending three teams on the men’s side -- UCLA, fresh off its captivating Final Four run last year, USC, who returns to the tournament this year after its equally captivating run to the Elite Eight last year, and the wildcard Cal State Fullerton Titans, who knocked off Cal State Long Beach to win the Big West Tournament and an automatic bid to the Big Dance. No teams from Southern California advanced to the women’s tournament this year, and in fact only one team from the entire state made it on the women’s side -- the defending national champion Stanford Cardinal, who enter the tournament as a 1-seed looking to repeat.

Today on AirTalk, we’ll talk with SB Nation College Basketball Contributor Mike Rutherford, KPCC’s Nick Roman about what to watch for in the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament this year, preview the path our local teams will have to conquer if they want to cut down the nets in April and share some quick tips on how to conquer your office bracket pool.

With files from the Associated Press

COVID-19 AMA: Pfizer Says 4th Dose of COVID Shot Will Be Needed, Cases Surge Abroad, And More

COVID Update 3.15.22

In our continuing series looking at the latest medical research and news on COVID-19, Larry Mantle speaks with Dr. Kimberly Shriner, director of Infectious Disease and Prevention at Huntington Hospital in Pasadena.

Topics today include:

Masks Are Now Optional In Many SoCal School Districts. We Ask Listeners How Their Student’s First Mask-Free Day In Two Years Went

Open Phones - No School Masks 3.15.22

Monday was the first mask-free in-person day for many school children in Southern California for the first time in two years. The state guidance to remove the indoor school mask requirement took effect over the weekend. Local jurisdictions can still require masks in schools, but the L.A. County health department has also aligned with the state’s guidance. It dropped a local health order requiring masks inside schools and child care facilities (although masks are still strongly recommended), and when it did, many districts followed suit including Long Beach Unified, Montebello Unified, Riverside Unified, and Santa Ana Unified. However, L.A. Unified remains a holdout, with district officials still negotiating with the teachers’ union on when to drop the indoor mask requirement. Today on AirTalk, we want to hear from families about what it was like for your students to go back to class now that masks are optional.

We Ask Listeners How They’re Adjusting To Getting Back To “Normal”

Open Phones Post Omicron Socialization 3.15.22

This weekend was the KPCC Gala, which celebrated the 20th anniversary of Southern California Public Radio. It’s actually been 22 years since our public media network was founded, but the pandemic delayed our celebration, so who’s counting? And this coming Sunday, our FilmWeek Oscar Preview will be back live and in person at the Ace Hotel, another event postponed by the pandemic. This has happened to a lot of us, so as the world opens up and many of us begin to return to “normal” routines, we want to hear what it’s been like for you: Did you jump back into gatherings head first? Did you feel hesitant or socially awkward? Did you get a chance to see people in person who you haven’t been face to face with in two years? What was it like?

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