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5 things to know for May 13: Pipeline hack, Congress, Covid, police, Mideast violence

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Eid Mubarak to all who celebrate, as Muslims mark Eid al-Fitr, the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan.

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

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1. Pipeline hack

Colonial Pipeline finally launched the restart of its operations yesterday evening following a six-day shutdown caused by a ransomware attack. This means shortages and ultra-long lines at the pump are coming to an end, but it will take several days for service to get back to normal. The ransomware group that carried out the attack demanded millions in bitcoin cryptocurrency payment. Colonial Pipeline and US government officials have managed to retrieve the most important data that was stolen, so it doesn’t look like the company will need to pay up. Meanwhile, President Biden signed an executive order meant to better protect the nation from cyberattacks like this one, which are also becoming a concern for entities like banks and stock exchanges. However, even the Biden administration admitted more would need to be done to stop an attack like the Colonial Pipeline hack.

2. Congress

It was a busy day on Capitol Hill, between important oversight hearings and a landmark vote among House Republicans to oust Rep. Liz Cheney from her leadership position. Cheney was removed as House GOP conference chair by voice vote in a session that lasted a mere 20 minutes. The move — after Cheney repeatedly called out ex-President Trump’s “big lie” that the 2020 election was stolen — sends a high-profile message about her party’s priorities. During a separate House committee hearing on “unexplained delays and unanswered questions” about the Capitol riot, some Republican leaders tried to downplay its effects and criticize the FBI for its investigation. Attorney General Merrick Garland, by contrast at a Senate hearing on domestic extremism, called the insurrection the most “dangerous threat to democracy.”

3. Coronavirus

Two Indian states and the territory of Delhi have had to suspend Covid-19 vaccinations for people between the ages of 18 to 44 due to shortages.  That’s a huge blow to India, which is trying frantically to vaccinate its massive population to stem the historic coronavirus wave devastating the country. Nepal’s Covid-19 crisis is deepening after Prime Minister K. P. Sharma Oli was forced to step down following a vote of no confidence. Oli, who touted unproven coronavirus remedies and attended crowded events, roused public anger over his response to a deadly second wave. Now, Nepal must form a new government while facing its highest daily death tolls since the pandemic began. In the US, the CDC recommended the use of Pfizer/BioNTech’s coronavirus vaccine in 12- to 15-year-olds following the FDA’s authorization.

4. Policing

The judge who oversaw Derek Chauvin’s murder trial has made a ruling that could result in a lengthier prison sentence for the ex-officer convicted in the killing of George Floyd. State prosecutors had asked for a tougher sentence, citing five aggravating factors. Judge Peter Cahill ruled four were proven: Chauvin abused a position of trust and authority, he treated Floyd with particular cruelty, children were present during the offense, and Chauvin committed the crime with others. His sentencing is set for June 25. Meanwhile in Chicago, two recent police killings have prompted calls to implement a new foot pursuit policy. Advocates say it would cut down on deadly encounters, but policing experts say a ban on foot pursuits would be unrealistic.

5. Gaza

Riots and violent clashes between Arab and Jewish citizens have swept through several Israeli cities after days of deadly airstrikes and rocket attacks. Militants in Gaza have fired more than 1,000 rockets into Israel since the latest round of violence began Monday afternoon, and Israel has responded with devastating airstrikes in Gaza. Residents have reacted with fury, and there have been reports of attacks and raids at places of worship. The United Nations is now warning that if both sides refuse to cease aggressions, the situation could mushroom into “full-scale war.”

BREAKFAST BROWSE

What we can learn from the most memorable commencement speeches of all time

It’s worth it if you can stop shifting in your plastic folding chair long enough to listen.

Qantas supermoon ‘flight to nowhere’ sells out in record time

“Flight to nowhere” sounds so ominous! It’s really more like “flight up in the sky near the airport for a little bit.”

KFC is changing its packaging to look more modern

The packaging will also bear the famous slogan, “It’s Finger Lickin’ Good,” which disappeared during the pandemic for … well, obvious reasons.

Reality show ‘Unicorn Hunters’ is looking for the next $1 billion company

Devastating news for fans of mythical beasts

Cicadas hit snooze on their 17-year alarm clock. But they are still coming

We don’t blame you, little bugs. 

TODAY’S NUMBER

$2 billion

That’s how much federal officials from the US Secret Service have helped recover in fraudulently obtained Covid-19 relief funds.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“And if you don’t behave, I’m going to talk to your daddy.”

Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe, to Environmental Protection Agency nominee Radhika Fox during her confirmation hearing. According to Inhofe’s communications director, the awkward exchange was prompted by Fox’s opening statement, in which she paid tribute to her parents.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

Creating color

Portraits, drawings, illuminated manuscripts: Renaissance artists loved watercolors, and the process of making them was an art unto itself. (Click here to view.)

CNN Newsource

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