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5 things to know for May 10: Covid, Biden, pipeline hack, gun violence, Afghanistan

Interest in the field of public health has risen since the pandemic started. Many hope this means our global tragedy has moved students to work toward a better future.

Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Coronavirus

The US is finally turning the corner on the pandemic, experts say. And if more Americans get vaccinated, we could see a big drop in coronavirus cases and deaths this summer. In India, health workers are racing to administer vaccines as hundreds of thousands of new cases continue to be reported every day. Only about 2.75% of India’s 1.3 billion-strong population is fully vaccinated. And remember, the Tokyo Olympics are still supposed to go on this summer. Japan’s vaccine rollout is not going as quickly as the country anticipated, and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga says it is up to the International Olympic Committee to decide whether the Games will go ahead.

2. White House

President Biden will go on a big push this week to secure bipartisan support for his domestic infrastructure package. Lawmakers are returning to the Hill after a recess, and Biden on Wednesday is due to host his first meeting with Republican and Democratic leaders from the House and Senate since taking office. There’s a new complicating factor in these talks: the latest US jobs report, which was underwhelming. Only 266,000 new positions were added in April, a quarter of the number analysts had expected. While we shouldn’t make sweeping assumptions based on one report, the results will likely divide Democrats and Republicans more. They also put the onus on Biden to make sure the economy bounces definitively back after the pandemic.

3. Pipeline hack

A cyberattack forced the temporary shutdown of one of the largest US pipelines over the weekend, and a former senior cyber official says a criminal group originating from Russia is to blame. Colonial Pipeline transports more than 100 million gallons of gasoline and other fuel daily from Houston to New York Harbor and had to pause operations after the attack. Operators said yesterday they were restoring IT systems. Analysts worry a long shutdown could result in a spike in gas prices. The attack raises even more concerns about security vulnerabilities in the nation’s infrastructure.

4. Gun violence

Several shootings made headlines on another weekend of gun violence in the US. Six people were killed at a birthday party in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The suspected shooter — believed to be a boyfriend of one of the victims — is also dead. In New York’s Times Square, two women and a 4-year-old girl were injured in a shooting; gun violence in the city has skyrocketed, with an 83% rise this year compared to the same period last year. In Kinloch, Missouri, two people were killed and three others injured when gunfire erupted at a park. And in Phoenix, one person was killed and several injured after an altercation at a downtown hotel.

5. Afghanistan

At least 85 people are dead and 147 wounded after a bomb attack targeting schoolgirls in Kabul, Afghanistan. A car bomb was detonated in front of the Sayed Al-Shuhada school, and two more bombs exploded when students rushed out in panic. Officials said most of those killed were schoolgirls. While there hasn’t been any official claim of responsibility, the area is home to a large community of Shiites from the Hazara ethnic minority, which has been targeted in the past by Islamic State, a Sunni militant group. World leaders condemned the attack, but families of the victims called out the Afghan government and Western powers for failing to put an end to violence and ongoing conflicts in the country.


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