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Ukrainians carry their belongings as they evacuate to safety across a bridge as Russia continues its assault on Ukraines major cities.
Ukrainians carry their belongings as they evacuate to safety across a bridge as Russia continues its assault on Ukraine's major cities. Chris McGrath / Getty Images

Good morning, Portland! Plum tree blossoms are blooming out my window, and I couldn't be more pleased to inform you that springtime is here. Make sure to look at a blossoming tree today. (What's more, sun is expected to peek out this afternoon!) Another reason to find joy this morning: The Mercury's Highball Week is on the horizon! Prep your palette for a week of delicious speciality cocktails starting March 14. Now, for the news:

- Wasn’t it just the other day that you were thinking, “Man, I wish there were more traffic speed cameras in town!”? Well, your wish has been granted by the fine folks in the Oregon Legislature. Last week, the legislature advanced a bill that would allow Portland to purchase and install an estimated 22 additional speed cameras along the city’s riskiest streets.

- The Oregon legislative session ended Friday—three days earlier than expected—marking several victories for state lobbyists and lawmakers and the end of the road for a number of hard-fought pieces of legislation. OPB has the wrap-up.

- A federal judge blocked Oregon’s ban on so-called real estate “love letters”—a cute name for those brown-nosing notes sent by prospective homebuyers to sellers to sweeten their offer—arguing that the new state law violates the First Amendment. That law was penned to discourage sellers from discriminating against buyers, yet the judge said the state “could have addressed the problem of housing discrimination without infringing on protected speech to such a degree.”

- That trucker convoy reached Washington, DC, where it was met with a shrug—and stuck trying to navigate beltway traffic:

- As Russia goes hog wild censoring any media outlets in the country that speak honestly about its attack on Ukraine, Netflix and TikTok have decided to jump ship voluntarily. On Sunday, the two companies shut down their operations in Russia to avoid being shuttered by the government itself. Meanwhile, Russia continues to be hit with sanctions from outside countries opposing the war. The latest: Visa, Mastercard and American Express all announced they’ll cut service in Russia, and Samsung has joined Apple, Microsoft, Intel and Dell in shipping anything to Russia.

- There’s one Russian product that hasn’t been impacted by others’ sanctions: oil. On Friday, Shell made a hefty purchase of Russian crude oil, arguing that it had “no alternative,” in the face of already-spiking oil prices across the globe. (Russia is the world's second top producer of crude oil after Saudi Arabia.)

- Meanwhile, Russian forces have continued to fire on Ukraine cities, upending civilian attempts to evacuate the country. Prez Putin, like the true Marvel villain he is, says he’ll stop killing people and destroying Ukrainian communities if Kyiv cedes to Russian military rule. This would be a great moment for the Avengers to actually exist. Or, at the very least, Natasha Romanoff.

- Thousands of Russians were arrested over the weekend amid a surge in protests against the war—and the fascist censorship that’s accompanied it.

- Those protesters have found a relevant ballad for the moment: