It’s happened again. At least eight people were killed in a mass shooting in Indianapolis last night, a week after President Joe Biden brought in new gun restrictions. The incident happened at a FedEx facility, where the gunman later also killed himself, police said. Authorities are investigating the motive and whether the shooter was an employee at FedEx, which said it was “deeply shocked” by the attack. “I saw a man with a submachine gun of some sort,” one witness told local media. Biden has called for an assault weapons ban, which would face a major battle in the Senate.
2. Sweet as Suga: Allies US and Japan Hold Talks on China
We need to talk about Xi. China will be top of the agenda as President Biden meets Japanese Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga at the White House today, Biden’s first in-person summit. The two allies are expected to present a united front on Taiwan and the Uyghur people as well as announcing $2 billion of Japanese investment in 5G telecommunications. Washington and Tokyo last released a joint statement on Taiwan, which is democratically ruled but claimed by China, in 1969. However, with China taking an increasingly hostile stance to the self-governed island, Biden wants to up the pressure on Beijing.
Floyd, Wright, Toledo. The latter is the latest — and youngest — name to make headlines recently after being killed by police. Adam Toledo was 13 when he was shot last month. Authorities released footage of the incident yesterday. The Latino seventh grader is seen holding what appears to be a gun, dropping it and raising his hands as directed by police. America is already on edge following the killing of Minneapolis driver Daunte Wright this week, and as the trial of the officer who killed George Floyd wraps up. Derek Chauvin’s defense rested yesterday, with closing arguments set for Monday.
It was the first country hit by the pandemic. Will it be the first economy to fully rebound? China’s GDP surged 18.3 percent in the first quarter of this year compared to the same period in 2020, a record rate of growth. It’s a quick rebound after Q1 2020’s historic 6.8 percent contraction due to lockdowns. However, the Chinese recovery now looks to face nascent signs of inflation and there are concerns that rising geopolitical tensions could affect trade. 5G technology and the global shortage of semiconductors will likely be discussed at Biden and Suga’s meeting today.
Hong Kong media mogul Jimmy Lai and other well known activists have been given sentences of up to 18 months for involvement in 2019 pro-democracy protests. The U.S. has expelled 10 Russian diplomats in retaliation for Moscow’s interference in elections. And Princes William and Harry will not walk side by side at their grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral tomorrow, in what will be their first public appearance together since the Oprah interview.
Coronavirus update: The Africa CDC has warned the region is falling behind the rest of the world in vaccine delivery with just under 14 million doses administered on the continent of 1.3 billion. COVID-19 patients in Brazil are being tied to beds and incubated without sedatives as the hard-hit country’s hospitals are near collapse.
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Move over Walter White. A beloved North Carolina school teacher was killed in a shootout while trying to steal drugs and money from a Mexican cartel, police announced this week. Barney Dale Harris, 40, taught Spanish at a Charlotte high school and had a wife and three children. Investigators believe Harris went to rob a drug dealer’s mobile home, clad in a bullet-proof vest that failed to save his life. “Let me say this. Many, many times you don’t really know a person,” local Sheriff Terry Johnson told media.
Never mind the union, Jeff Bezos has a better way to keep Amazon workers happy. The world’s richest man says the company will now use “algorithms to rotate employees among jobs that use different muscle-tendon groups to decrease repetitive motion.” Bezos made the remarks in his final letter to shareholders as CEO, promising to improve things for workers at the e-commerce giant and denying employees are “treated like robots.” He also referred to the failed union drive at the company’s Alabama plant, saying it had taught him “we need to do a better job” for workers.
3. Scientists Monkeying About With Human-Animal Chimeras
It’s not out of a sci-fi novel. Researchers have grown the first combined human-monkey embryos that could someday help us fight aging and disease — though they also raise ethical questions. Scientists have done similar experiments with pigs in the past, but the new study used long-tailed macaques, which are more closely related to humans. They injected human stem cells into developing monkey embryos in lab dishes, but the hybrids weren’t implanted into a uterus. “Implantation of human-monkey embryos would be ethically contentious,” said Alejandro De Los Angeles, a stem cell biologist at Yale University.
4. Gwyneth Paltrow Releases the Mother of All Goop Lists
Vagina-scented candles are so 2020. The actor’s Mother’s Day Goop gift guide this year includes a vibrator necklace and a bidet. You thought Mom would be happy with some flowers? Get the woman who brought you into this world a $65,000 immersive sensory pod! Maybe that’s not for everyone in this pandemic-hit economy, but if you have $2,575 to spare you can get your mother a fedora hat with the night sky embroidered on it exactly as it was when you were born. And how does Paltrow’s own mom feel about her daughter’s more controversial products? Embarrassed apparently.
5. South Africa’s Semenya Misses Tokyo Qualifying Time
Caster Semenya won the 5,000-meter race at the South African national championships yesterday, but just missed the time needed to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics. The runner still has until the end of June to get her time down, and said she plans to focus on long-distance events from now on. The two-time Olympic champion has been barred from competing in her regular 800-meter races because she refuses to take drugs to lower her natural testosterone levels. The 30-year-old has identified as female her whole life, but World Athletics argued in court that she is “biologically male.”
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