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5 things to know for May 2: Campus protests, Abortion, Bird flu, Interest rates, Electric vehicles

By Alexandra Banner, CNN

(CNN) — A volcano in Indonesia is erupting in spectacular fashion, prompting thousands of evacuations as airlines cancel flights. Local authorities have even warned a tsunami could be triggered by “volcanic material collapsing into the ocean.”

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

1. Campus protests

Pro-Palestinian protests continue to rock college campuses across the country, with some teens and parents now reconsidering their enrollment decisions. Students nationwide have only a few days left to submit their college deposits and make their decisions on where to enroll for the fall, and many protests have impacted the logistics of visiting schools. On Wednesday, police deemed the UCLA encampment an unlawful assembly, with officials saying many protesters were unaffiliated with the university. They also ordered people to disperse or face arrest. Law enforcement overnight began pulling aside barricades and making their way back into the UCLA encampment, prompting more tense clashes, according to a CNN team on the ground.

2. Abortion

The Arizona Senate on Wednesday voted to repeal the state’s 160-year-old near-total abortion ban, three weeks after the state Supreme Court revived the controversial law. The bill next heads to the desk of Democratic Gov. Katie Hobbs, who said Wednesday that she looks forward “to quickly signing the repeal into law.” The legislation would clear the way for Arizona’s 15-week limit to remain in place. On the same day, Vice President Kamala Harris traveled to Florida hours after a ban on most abortions after six weeks of pregnancy went into effect in the state. At a campaign event, she laid out in stark terms what a second Trump administration would mean for women across the country: “More bans, more suffering, less freedom.”

3. Bird flu

Ongoing testing of milk and dairy products by the FDA has not found any active H5N1 bird flu virus in nearly 300 samples of products purchased in grocery stores, the agency said Wednesday. The FDA has tested samples of milk and other kinds of products made from milk, like cheese and sour cream, as well as products made with milk powder, such as infant and toddler formula. This comes as the government is also testing samples of raw and cooked ground beef purchased at grocery stores to evaluate and contain a bird flu outbreak among dairy cows that has spread to about three dozen herds in nine states. The highest concentration of infected cattle is in Texas, where 12 herds have tested positive.

4. Interest rates

The Federal Reserve said Wednesday it is holding interest rates at their current levels for the sixth straight meeting. Fed Chair Jerome Powell and his colleagues previously penciled in three rate cuts this year, but that now looks very much in doubt. Questions had even been raised as to whether the economy is so hot that the Fed may need to hike rates, but Powell dispelled that notion in his post-meeting news conference. He said a persistently strong economy, coupled with inflation continuing to stall, would simply result in the Fed holding off on cutting rates, but added that an “unexpected weakening in the labor market” could speed up the timing of the first cut. Data shows the job market overall remains robust, with unemployment still under 4% and employers continuing to hire workers at a brisk pace.

5. Electric vehicles

Tesla has abruptly fired the team running its electric vehicle charging business, raising doubts about the future of one of the largest US charging networks. A lack of charging infrastructure is one of the main barriers to widespread EV adoption, and Tesla’s extensive “Supercharger” network has long been a major selling point for its vehicles. The move also blindsided other carmakers, such as General Motors and Ford, which planned to use the network. Still, experts say the EV market is not collapsing, but rather entering a new phase in which consumers are demanding more affordable models. Worldwide sales of plug-in vehicles will rise around 20% this year compared to 2023, according to a report from the International Energy Agency.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Man draws a huge crowd while eating 700 cheeseballs in 30 minutes
Watch this man eat hundreds of cheddar cheese balls in front of a New York City crowd — a true superhero origin story.

Dave and Buster’s is getting into the betting business
The restaurant and entertainment chain wants to allow small bets on arcade games, but some fans remain skeptical.

Princess Charlotte turns 9
The Prince and Princess of Wales released this sweet photo of their daughter to mark the occasion.

Scientists reveal the face of a Neanderthal who lived 75,000 years ago
A Neanderthal was buried 75,000 years ago, and experts painstakingly pieced together what she looked like. See the images here.

Why is a mother’s mental health so important? A doctor explains
Mental health disorders can affect up to 1 in 5 new mothers, and some of this crisis is preventable. Read expert advice on improving maternal mental health.

TODAY’S NUMBER

300
That’s nearly how many sanctions the US imposed on companies in China and Hong Kong this week for their support of Russia’s war in Ukraine. The sanctions target more than a dozen companies that have “enabled Russia to acquire desperately needed technology and equipment from abroad,” the Treasury Department said Wednesday.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“It was just a huge relief to see justice had been done after so many years.”

— Matt Patrick, a Methodist pastor in Oklahoma, telling CNN he became emotional Wednesday after the United Methodist Church overturned its 40-year ban on gay clergy. Hundreds of church leaders also voted to remove penalties for holding same-sex marriages, signaling a historic shift toward acceptance and inclusion.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY …

May movie preview
In the mood for movies and popcorn? Here’s a rundown of the biggest flicks heading to theaters this month.

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