5.16.2022

Buffalo Shooting, COVID-19 deaths, and Visualizing Alone Time Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, May 16, and we're covering a tragedy in Buffalo, a pandemic milestone, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

NEED TO KNOW

 

Mass Shooting in Buffalo

At least 10 people were killed and three others wounded Saturday after a shooter opened fire at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. It marks the worst mass shooting in the city's history, and the deadliest in the US in the past year. Officials believe, based on documents from the shooter, that the attack was racially motivated. See the victims here.

 

According to reports, 18-year-old Payton Gendron arrived at the grocery store in the mid-afternoon, shooting four people in the parking lot before moving inside the store. A security officer, retired police officer Aaron Salter Jr., attempted to stop Gendron, exchanging fire before being shot and killed. 

 

Officials say the attack was premeditated. The shooter is said to have left a 180-page manifesto explicitly describing his aim of targeting Black patrons at the store. Gendron, who lived more than three hours away from the store, said he selected the location based on the neighborhood's racial demographics. 

 

Gendron was arraigned on murder charges Saturday evening.  

1 Million Deaths

The number of reported COVID-19 deaths in the US is expected to pass 1 million today or tomorrow, more than two years after the country's first reported fatality of the coronavirus. 

 

As of this writing, just over 999,602 deaths have been recorded, with a seven-day rolling average of around 300 deaths per day (see data). Despite the grim milestone, deaths from the virus continue to track downward, having fallen almost 40% over the past month and well below a February peak above 2,500 per day. Hospitalizations

have also increased almost 70% over the past month. 

 

The country's elderly population suffered the brunt of the pandemic. An estimated 75% of victims were 65 years or older (see data)—more than 25% were 85 years or older, despite the age group accounting for less than 2% of the US population. 

 

President Joe Biden ordered flags lowered to half-staff Thursday in anticipation. See a visualization of the scale of the loss here.

European Shift

Lawmakers in both Finland and Sweden affirmed efforts to apply for membership to NATO, the Western-backed alliance originally established as a bulwark against the Soviet Union. Officials say the move, which would end decades of a stringent neutrality policy for both countries, was prompted by Russia's invasion of neighboring Ukraine. Their applications will likely set off a series of negotiations within NATO-member countries; see the process here

 

Separately, a delegation of US senators, led by Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), made an unannounced visit to Kyiv over the weekend. McConnell later urged the Biden administration to classify Russia as a state sponsor of terrorism. 

 

See updates on the war here, along with photos from the ground.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with MUDWTR

> Ukraine wins 2022 Eurovision Song Contest; the United Kingdom finishes second (More) | Watch winning song's music video (More)

 

> Fred Ward, actor who starred in "The Right Stuff," dies at 79 (More) | Atlanta rapper Lil Keed dies at 24 (More)

 

> Dallas Mavericks upset top seed Phoenix Suns, advance to NBA Western Conference Finals (More) | See updated playoff bracket (More)

From our partners: Struggling to sleep? Wind down each night with a caffeine-free, rest-full drink. MUDWTR’s :rest blend is made from cinnamon-y rooibos chai and adaptogens that support a state of relaxation and calm. Take 20% off your Evening Ritual Starter Kit with code 1440.

Science & Technology

Tech groups appeal Texas law limiting content moderation by social media platforms; law, which alleges censorship of conservative viewpoints, was upheld by an appeals court Wednesday (More)

 

> Engineers demonstrate ultrathin fuel cell that uses the body's glucose as power; may be used to run internal biosensors and implanted devices (More)

 

> New analysis suggests a weather phenomenon known as an anticyclone helped produce the deadly Pacific Northwest heat wave last year that left hundreds dead in the US and Canada (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets rebound Friday (S&P 500 +2.4%, Dow +1.5%, Nasdaq +3.8%) to close out another losing week (More)

 

> US consumer sentiment index drops to lowest level since August 2011 (More)

 

> Oil giant and world’s most valuable public company Saudi Aramco reports record quarterly net profit of $39.5B, up 82% over last year (More) | US gas prices at new average record high of $4.47 per gallon over the weekend (More

Politics & World Affairs

> Pro-choice protests held in cities across the US, including an estimated 17,000 on the National Mall (More) | Demonstrations follow leaked draft opinion suggesting the Supreme Court may overturn Roe v. Wade; read here (More)

 

> Former national security adviser Robert McFarlane dies at age 84; McFarlane was a key figure in the Iran-Contra affair during the Reagan administration (More) | See 101 (More, w/video)

 

> Milwaukee imposes two-night curfew after three separate shootings injure at least 21 people (More) | One killed, three injured in shooting at California church (More)

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ETCETERA

 

Visualizing how much time we spend alone (and with others).

 

The most underrated US islands to visit this summer.

 

Wrinkle, the marathon mallard, sets a world record.

 

Scientists grow plants using moon soil.

 

Meet the Catholic Church's newest saints.

 

Supply chain kinks hit the cap-and-gown industry.

 

Lake Tahoe trash divers remove 25,000 pounds of refuse.

 

Elephant alerts man; man saves drowning antelope. (via YouTube)

 

Clickbait: A sinkhole so big, it has its own forest.

 

Historybook: First Academy Awards hosted (1929); Warsaw Ghetto Uprising ends (1943); HBD Janet Jackson (1966); RIP comedian Andy Kaufman (1984); RIP "Muppets" creator Jim Henson (1990).

 

"Laughter helps you put everything into perspective."

- Jim Henson

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