(CNN) – Here are five things you need to know to get up to speed on what’s happening around the country today.
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At least four people were killed yesterday in a shooting on a hospital campus in Tulsa, Oklahoma, police said. “It was just madness inside, with hundreds of rooms and hundreds of people trying to get out of the building,” Tulsa police Capt. Richard Meulenberg said. Officials are still working to identify the motive of the shooter, who authorities believe died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound. This comes as the US grapples with a series of mass shootings that have left communities across the country grieving. Less than three weeks ago, 10 people were killed in a racially motivated shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. Last week, an 18-year-old opened fire at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, killing 19 children and two teachers. The embattled Uvalde school police chief who led the flawed law enforcement response spoke exclusively to CNN yesterday after remaining out of the public eye for a week but declined to answer substantive questions about the massacre.
President Joe Biden said yesterday there is little he can do to lower the cost of gasoline or food at the moment. “There’s a lot going on right now but the idea we’re going to be able to click a switch, bring down the cost of gasoline, is not likely in the near term. Nor is it with regard to food,” Biden said at the White House. The President and his team are placing a heavy emphasis on the economy to try to demonstrate his commitment amid sinking approval ratings. Biden said instead of direct action to bring down gas or food prices, he is looking to ease the financial burden in other areas, like prescription drugs and child care. Meanwhile, Jamie Dimon, the CEO of JPMorgan Chase, is predicting an economic “hurricane” is in the near future, mainly caused by the war in Ukraine, rising inflation pressures and interest rate hikes from the Federal Reserve.
The decision by the US to supply advanced weapons to Ukraine has sparked concern that Russia may retaliate. Russian officials called the decision a “direct provocation” after the US and the UK agreed to provide missile systems to Kyiv capable of hitting targets 50 miles away. NATO, however, does not foresee a Russian retaliation. On the ground, Russia’s monthslong blockade of Ukrainian ports is also exacerbating a food crisis and is increasing food prices across the globe. The Biden administration said it is working to get temporary storage containers to help salvage some of the 20 million tons of grain that are currently stuck inside Ukraine. Still, as these efforts are underway, the US and its international partners are no closer to finding a quick and absolute solution to lifting the Russian blockade.
New variants are poised to keep Covid-19 circulating at high levels throughout the summer, new research suggests. The next influx of infections will probably come from the newer Omicron subvariants BA.4 and BA.5, two closely related viruses that were first characterized in South Africa and that landed in the US around late March, according to the gene sequence sharing site GISAID. The CDC said BA.4 and BA.5 together accounted for an estimated 6% to 7% of new infections in the US in late May and are more likely to lead to breakthrough infections, even in people who’ve had Covid-19 before. Without upgraded vaccines or boosters, some medical professionals believe a lot of Americans will get sick in the coming weeks to months.
5. Depp-Heard verdict
A jury has found both Amber Heard and Johnny Depp liable for defamation in their lawsuits against each other. The jury awarded $15 million in damages to Depp, a legal win for the actor. The jury awarded Heard $2 million. Depp sued Heard, his ex-wife, for defamation over a 2018 op-ed she wrote for The Washington Post in which she described herself as a “public figure representing domestic abuse.” Though Depp was not named in the article, he claims it cost him lucrative acting roles. Heard countersued Depp for defamation over statements his attorney made about her abuse claims. Depp sought $50 million in damages and Heard sought $100 million. Depp was not present in court when the verdict was read, but released a statement that said, in part, “the jury gave me my life back.” Heard also released a statement saying she is “heartbroken” over the verdict.
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That’s how much student loan debt the Biden administration is canceling for 560,000 borrowers who attended the now-defunct network of for-profit schools known as Corinthian Colleges, the Department of Education announced yesterday. The cancellation amounts to the largest one-time discharge ever made by the department. However, the move will not satisfy many Democrats who have been calling on Biden to broadly cancel up to $50,000 of student loan debt for each of the 43 million borrowers in the US.
“I don’t think anybody anticipated the impact of one facility — of the Abbott facility. Once we learned of the extent of it and how broad it was, we kicked everything into gear.”
— President Biden, conceding yesterday that he didn’t understand how big of an effect the shutdown of an Abbott baby formula plant in Michigan and subsequent recalls would have on the baby formula supply until April. Biden’s admission came during a White House roundtable on the crisis yesterday after multiple formula manufacturers said they immediately knew the effect the shutdown would have on formula supply. Separately, the White House yesterday announced another shipment of infant formula the equivalent of 3.7 million 8-ounce bottles is on its way to the US from the UK.MORE NEWS: AG Nessel Says Abortions Are Still Legal In Michigan
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