Transcript: February 21, 2023


Sound: Biden: “Freedom is priceless. It is worth fighting for as long as it takes. And that’s how long we’re going to be with you, Mr. President. For as long as it takes.”

President Biden just made a surprise visit to Ukraine – an active war zone. Angie has the story. Plus – would you pay for Instagram? Mark Zuckerberg thinks you might – for this. Those stories and more today on Notice News.

Biden’s Surprise Trip to Ukraine

Hey guys and Happy Tuesday, I hope you had a great long weekend. Our top story today: overnight Sunday into Monday, President Biden made a surprise visit to the war-torn country of Ukraine. Our Washington correspondent Angie has more. 

Angie: It’s something you don’t see very often – the President of the United States – in the middle of an active war zone. But that’s where President Biden was yesterday – on a super secret trip that took him to Ukraine’s capital city, Kyiv. 

Sound: [Air Sirens in Ukraine]

There he met with Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelensky – and strolled through the city as air sirens blared.

Sound: “I felt it was important that the President of the United states be here the day the attack began.”

Located in central Ukraine, Kyiv had been the focus of intense Russian attacks since the war began almost a year ago, but the Ukrainians were able to fend off a ground invasion of the city early in the war. To get to the city, Biden had to take an 11-hour train ride from the Polish border. Biden joins a growing list of international leaders who have paid a visit to Ukraine in a show of support. While there, Biden announced at a press conference that the U.S. would provide another $500 million in military aid. 

In 2022, the United States pledged $48 billion in assistance, with just under half of that going to support Ukraine’s military. It’s the most money our government has given a European country since the end of World War II. 


Here’s what else is making news right now.

North Korea fired two ballistic missiles into the sea of Japan Monday, threatening to turn the Pacific Ocean into, quote, their “shooting range.” It’s the latest move in the back-in-forth between the U.S. and its allies, and North Korea. 

Former President Jimmy Carter announced over the weekend he would be moving into hospice – or, end-of-life – care. At 98 years old, Carter, who served as president in the 1970’s, is currently the oldest living president, ever. 

And – “Magic: the Gathering” just became a billion – yes billion, with a b – dollar brand. The company that makes it, Hasbro, said sales from the fantasy card game now top a billion dollars, surpassing their other brands like G.I. Joe and Transformers. 

Facebook and Instagram to Charge Users for Verification

Celebrities and public figures have little blue checkmarks next to their usernames on social media. but – would you pay to have one yourself? 

Meta, the company that owns Facebook and Instagram, announced they’re launching “Meta Verified,” a subscription service that gives any user that can provide a government ID, a blue checkmark. The catch? It costs $11.99 a month on the web or $14.99 a month on an Android or iPhone.

In addition to the checkmark, the subscription includes extra protections against impersonation, including access to direct customer service from Meta. Because the service aims to prevent impersonation, those who subscribe will have to go by their legal names on their profile. 

Meta Verified will be rolled out to Australia and New Zealand this week and will be gradually rolled out to other countries. This comes shortly after Twitter introduced a similar subscription service called Twitter Blue that costs $11/month. 

Meta’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg says his company is planning to quote “empower creators to be way more productive and creative.” 

But his company has been under pressure from Wall Street to keep making a ton of money as revenue from advertising on their platforms has cooled down. 


That’s it for today but you can learn more about President Biden’s visit to Ukraine on our website, I’ll be back tomorrow with more from us, Notice News.