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5 things to know for Mar. 15: Russia election, Classified documents, Gun safety, Extreme weather, Tesla

By Alexandra Banner, CNN

(CNN) — Morels are one of the most prized mushroom varieties and are often considered delicacies at higher-end restaurants. While tasty indeed, they’ve also been linked to a slew of poisonings and should be consumed with caution, the CDC said in a new report. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On With Your Day.

1. Russia election

Voters in Russia are casting their ballots for its presidential election today, which is all but certain to extend Vladimir Putin’s rule throughout this decade and into the 2030s. The majority of votes will be counted over the next three days, including in occupied parts of Ukraine where Russian forces are attempting to exert authority. Putin was sworn in as Russia’s president in 2000 and signed a law in 2021 that allowed him to run for two more presidential terms, potentially extending his rule until 2036. He has essentially been the country’s head of state for the entirety of the 21st century, rewriting the rules and conventions of Russia’s political system to extend his powers. The election comes as 86% of Russians last month said they approved of Putin’s intervention into Ukraine and only 11% said they didn’t.

2. Classified documents

Former President Donald Trump appeared in court Thursday as his lawyers tried to convince a judge that his classified documents case should be thrown out based on unconstitutional vagueness. Following a tense hearing, US District Court Judge Aileen Cannon rejected Trump’s claim that the law prosecutors used to charge him — for allegedly retaining national defense records without authorization — was too vague to be used against him. Trump’s team also argued that the Presidential Records Act, which governs how White House records are handled by an outgoing administration, required that the case be dismissed. Cannon hasn’t yet ruled on that claim. The classified documents case is one of four criminal cases Trump is facing while marching forward with his 2024 bid to regain the White House.

3. Gun safety

James Crumbley, the father of the teenager who killed four students at a Michigan high school in 2021, was found guilty Thursday of involuntary manslaughter. The trial comes a month after the shooter’s mother was convicted of the same charges. Legal experts say the groundbreaking verdict could set an important precedent for the extent to which parents of school shooters can be held responsible for their child’s actions. In arguments during the weeklong trial, prosecutors said Crumbley was “grossly negligent.” He bought a gun for his then-15-year-old son four days before the attack, failed to properly secure it, ignored his son’s spiraling mental health and did not take “reasonable care” to prevent foreseeable danger, prosecutors said. The charges handed down to both parents each carry a maximum punishment of up to 15 years in prison, which would run concurrently.

4. Extreme weather

A powerful storm dumped nearly 4 feet of snow in parts of Colorado on Thursday, prompting widespread disruptions and closures. Commuters in the state were unable to access over 50 miles of I-70 as over a half a foot of snow fell in Denver. The same system fired up severe thunderstorms from Oklahoma and Kansas to Illinois earlier this week. Meanwhile, tornadoes in Indiana and Ohio left at least two people dead on Thursday, officials said. The storms have destroyed parts of towns and knocked out power for thousands. The severe weather threat will shift to the US Southeast today, where more than 30 million people from Texas to South Carolina could see severe storms that include large hail, damaging wind gusts, heavy rainfall and tornadoes.

5. Tesla

Tesla, the once red-hot electric vehicle maker, is currently the worst performer in the S&P 500 this year. Its share price has dropped about 60% from its 2021 all-time high of $407 — and is down nearly 32% since January. Tesla has been plagued by safety issues and recalls, and has even been forced to slash prices. In 2019, CEO Elon Musk predicted a world in which Tesla’s driver assistance suite, which the company calls “Full Self-Driving,” would on its own be worth $100,000. More than four years after his prediction, the average used Tesla Model 3 is selling for $29,000. Regulatory approval for its “Full Self-Driving” systems has not arrived, either, as the company incrementally attempts to improve the software.


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Shohei Ohtani reveals his new wife’s identity
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A cosmic ‘poke’ by NASA receives surprising response from Voyager 1
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Elton John is adjusting to no longer touring after 50 years
The legendary singer, 76, shared how life is going eight months after his farewell concert.


Which social media platform is one step closer to being banned in the United States after the House passed a controversial bill this week?
A. Facebook
B. TikTok
C. Instagram
D. Snapchat

Take CNN’s weekly news quiz to see if you’re correct!

Last week, 59% of readers who took the quiz got eight or more questions right. How will you fare?


24 million
That’s how many Americans lack high-speed internet access, according to a new report by the Federal Communications Commission. About 28% of those customers live in hard-to-reach, rural areas where internet service providers are slow to build out their infrastructure, the FCC said.


“It’s incredible to see how much further we got this time around.”

— Dan Huot, SpaceX communications manager, during the live broadcast of the Starship rocket’s third test flight on Thursday. The deep-space rocket system, selected to ferry NASA astronauts to the moon in 2026, went through nearly an hour-long test flight before likely breaking apart. The goal was to gather crucial data so that engineers can go back and tinker with Starship to improve it for future missions.


Check your local forecast here>>>


The rise of virtual humans
With the help of artificial intelligence, “digital humans” are emerging as movers and shakers across various industries. Watch this video to meet a virtual DJ who has performed at shows around the world.

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