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5 things to know for April 13: Subway shooting, Ukraine, Covid, Storm, Boris Johnson

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

When college swimmer Lia Thomas became the first transgender athlete to win an NCAA Division I title last month, many people were fired up about whether trans athletes have physical advantages in certain competitions. Now, in the latest move targeting trans athletes, the Pennsylvania House yesterday passed a bill that would prohibit transgender girls from competing in female sports — once again striking a nerve with several trans advocacy organizations.

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

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1. Subway shooting

An intensive hunt is underway for the man who set off smoke grenades and fired a handgun on a crowded New York City subway train yesterday, wounding passengers and setting off a panic during the morning rush hour. Investigators have named Frank James, 62, a “person of interest,” who they believe rented a U-Haul van that has been connected to the shooting in Brooklyn’s Sunset Park. The gunman fired at least 33 times and struck 10 people, according to NYPD Chief of Detectives James Essig. Overall, 29 people were hospitalized in connection with the shooting with injuries that included gunshot wounds, smoke inhalation or from falling while trying to escape, officials said. CNN has linked James to multiple rambling videos posted on YouTube where he talked about violence and mass shootings, including one uploaded Monday in which he said he’s thought about killing people who have presumably hurt him.

2. Ukraine

President Joe Biden said yesterday the atrocities being uncovered in Ukraine qualify as “genocide,” as scenes of devastation emerge from towns once overrun by Russian troops. The comment garnered near-immediate praise from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who began accusing Russia of committing genocide inside his country last week. The US government rarely designates atrocities using the term genocide, and while it doesn’t carry any legal ramifications, it does carry significant weight as Biden seeks to rally countries behind a strategy of isolating and punishing Moscow. Meanwhile, Ukrainian officials say nearly 200 children have been killed and more than 300 others have been injured since Russian’s invasion began. Separately, Russian President Vladimir Putin said yesterday that peace talks with Ukraine have hit “a dead end” and vowed he “will not stop military operations” until Moscow succeeds.

3. Coronavirus

Some universities across the US are partially reinstating campus mask mandates following an uptick in Covid-19 cases. The latest schools to bring back indoor masking requirements are three universities in the Washington, DC, region — American, Georgetown and Johns Hopkins. This comes as Covid-19 case numbers have begun to edge up throughout the country, and nearly all of them are caused by the Omicron subvariant BA.2. According to the latest estimates from the CDC, BA.2 caused 86% of new Covid-19 cases nationwide last week. But there are some reasons for optimism. US hospitalizations are at record low levels, and they continue to drop. Deaths also continue to fall.

4. Severe weather

At least 23 people were hurt yesterday after tornadoes touched down in Bell County, Texas. Twelve of those injured were hospitalized, Bell County Judge David Blackburn said, adding that he believes everyone is accounted for. The damages ranged from downed power lines and trees to buildings being flattened in many areas, Blackburn said. The storm system, which delivered at least eight tornadoes mainly in Texas and Iowa, also brought heavy snow to multiple states. Parts of the Dakotas and Montana were under blizzard warnings and forecasters warned of treacherous whiteout conditions on the roads. More than 97 million people are under severe weather alerts today, stretching from Texas and Louisiana up to Missouri and Illinois.

5. Boris Johnson

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his finance minister have been fined by police for hosting parties on UK government premises during the Covid-19 lockdown. London’s Metropolitan Police yesterday said they had issued more than 50 fines as part of their investigation into gatherings held on government premises in Downing Street and Whitehall while the rest of the country was living under strict pandemic restrictions. Revelations of the parties sparked national outrage. The penalty makes Johnson the first sitting UK Prime Minister to be found guilty of breaking the law. Late yesterday, Johnson apologized for breaching the lockdown rules, and said that he had paid the fines issued by the Metropolitan Police.


Kurt Cobain’s guitar from ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ to be sold at auction

Smells like money. This iconic piece of Nirvana’s history is expected to fetch up to $800,000.

‘Stranger Things’ debuts new trailer for its creepy upcoming season

Thanks, Netflix… for giving us the heebie-jeebies.

Rihanna stuns on the cover of American Vogue’s May issue

You won’t find slouchy maternity clothes in RiRi’s closet. The superstar said she prefers sheer dresses, crop tops and belly chains — because, why not!

Lululemon wants your used workout clothes

The company is asking for gently used items. Key word: gently. Shirts or leggings that still have a sweat stench will probably get declined.

Toyota finally has an electric vehicle

It’s a bit strange that America’s best-selling automaker — and pioneer in hybrids with the Prius — waited until now to sell an EV in the US. But a positive milestone, nonetheless!


Gilbert Gottfried, a comedian and film and television actor with a distinctly memorable voice, has died after a long illness, his family announced yesterday. He was 67. “We are heartbroken to announce the passing of our beloved Gilbert Gottfried after a long illness. In addition to being the most iconic voice in comedy, Gilbert was a wonderful husband, brother, friend and father to his two young children. Although today is a sad day for all of us, please keep laughing as loud as possible in Gilbert’s honor,” his family wrote in a post on Twitter.


263 million

That’s how many more people could be living in extreme poverty by the end of the year due to Covid-19, rising global inequality, and increasing food prices, according to a new report from Oxfam. The report also states that “entire countries are being forced deeper into poverty” as Covid-19 has depleted their financial reserves.


“She was an inspiring talent and role model for her athletes’ generation.”

— International Olympic Committee President Thomas Bach, on the death of Olympian Eya Guezguez. The 17-year-old, who sailed for Tunisia in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics, died in a training accident over the weekend and was laid to rest Monday. Guezguez was sailing with her twin sister Sarra when their boat capsized due to strong winds. Sarra, who competed with Eya in Tokyo, survived the accident.


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Parrot talks to Alexa

This super smart bird learned a series of Alexa commands! This video is impressive… scary impressive. (Click here to view)

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