Hail of a mess
Parts of Texas and Oklahoma were battered by softball-sized chunks of hail Wednesday night causing “billion-dollar” damage. Also, the CDC has signaled to the cruise industry when cruises could expect to begin passenger voyages.
It’s Julius with the news everyone’s talking about.
But first, wild animals hate morning commutes, too: A cow and alligator held up traffic Wednesday when they strolled onto a highway and bridge.
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Biden’s speech offers insight on administration’s efforts on police reform, gun violence
During his first speech to a joint session of Congress, President Joe Biden outlined the future of his administration, highlighting efforts to address gun violence and police reform. The president urged Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, asking them to “get it done by next month.” The legislation aims to bolster police accountability and ban certain maneuvers that have led to the deaths of Black Americans. Biden also pressed lawmakers to take action on gun violence, urging them to reinstate a ban on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines. The president also called for the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act, aimed at reducing domestic and sexual violence. The law also includes a provision preventing people convicted of abusing dating partners from buying or owning guns.
- ‘It’s about time’: Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi made history by being the first women to share the dais during a president’s address to a joint session of Congress.
- Moments you may have missed: From a seemingly sleepy Ted Cruz, to a subtle dig from an Iowa congresswoman, here’s what you may have missed from last night’s speech.
- A speech to Congress unlike any other: Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Biden’s address to Congress Wednesday night was much more subdued for an event usually known for its glad-handing cadence and rousing moments.
President Joe Biden outlined the future of his administration during an address to both houses of Congress Wednesday night. (Photo: USA TODAY)
CDC sets timetable for when U.S. cruises could restart
Cruises could return to American waters this summer, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in a letter to the cruise industry that USA TODAY obtained. CDC spokesperson Caitlin Shockey gave USA TODAY a more specific timeline, saying U.S. cruises could begin passenger voyages in mid-July, depending on cruise lines’ pace and compliance with the CDC’s Framework for Conditional Sailing Order. “We acknowledge that cruising will never be a zero-risk activity and that the goal of the CSO’s phased approach is to resume passenger operations in a way that mitigates the risk of COVID-19 transmission onboard cruise ships and across port communities,” said Aimee Treffiletti, head of the Maritime Unit for CDC’s COVID-19 response within its Global Mitigation Task Force for COVID-19.
What everyone’s talking about
- Vanna White was ‘whacked in the head’ by confetti blaster after a historic win on ‘Wheel of Fortune.’
- The first genetically modified mosquitoes released in the U.S. will buzz in the Florida Keys.
- Prince William and Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, celebratetheir 10th wedding anniversary with sweet portraits and videos.
- Billie Eilish gets ‘vulnerable’ in her new single and video‘Your Power’ from her upcoming album.
Standoff in North Carolina ends with 5 dead
Five people were killed, including two deputies and the suspected gunman, after a lengthy standoff in North Carolina, the local sheriff’s office said. The Watauga County Sheriff’s office said Sgt. Chris Ward and K-9 Deputy Logan Fox were dispatched to a home Wednesday after the homeowner and his family didn’t report to work or answer telephone calls. Both were hit by gunfire. Other officers were able to pull out Ward, who later died at a hospital. Fox died at the scene. “The individual suspected of killing the two officers is also suspected of killing two civilians in the residence. The names of the civilians are not being released at this time,” a statement said. Morganton Department of Public Safety Maj. Ryan Lander later said that the suspect appeared to have killed himself, according to The News Herald.
Hail storms in Texas, Oklahoma likely create ‘billion-dollar’ damage
Hail as large as softballs battered parts of Texas and Oklahoma Wednesday, leaving behind shattered windows on cars and in homes. Across both states, there were 38 reports of severe hail, according to the Storm Prediction Center. “Yesterday was certainly a billion-dollar hail loss day across the U.S.,” Northern Illinois University meteorologist Victor Gensini said. CNN senior meteorologist Dave Hennen added that it would be the second billion-dollar disaster this year in Texas, following the extreme Arctic outbreak back in February. At least one injury was reported in Oklahoma when large hail hit Norman and surrounding areas, officials said.
Storm damage to cars in Norman, Okla on Thursday, April 29, 2021, after a hail storm hit the area Wednesday evening.. (Photo: CHRIS LANDSBERGER/THE OKLAHOMAN)
- New York City will reopen on July 1, Mayor Bill de Blasio said.
- A North Carolina sheriff named the deputies involved in the fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.
- The FDA announced a plan to ban menthol cigarettes ‘forever’ targeted at Black Americans.
- Scientists find 25,000 barrels of possible DDTat a ‘staggering’ dump site near the California coast.
- Al Schmitt, a Grammy-winning engineer and producer, died at age 91.
The NFL Draft begins tonight: Who’s going *No. 3?*
The 2021 NFL Draft kicks off Thursday night when it will welcome the league’s next generation of stars. This year’s draft features a deep quarterback class that could end up having as many as five quarterbacks selected in the first round, including the presumptive No. 1 overall pick, Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence. But entering the night, most of the speculation surrounds the San Francisco 49ers, who own the third pick in the draft and which quarterback they will select. This year’s NFL Draft will start at 8 p.m. EDT in Cleveland with the first round and will run until Saturday.
- Five NFL Draft prospects that could be surprise first-round selections
- How and when to watch the 2021 NFL Draft
Workers continue preparing the NFL Draft Theatre for the 2021 NFL Draft, Tuesday, April 27, 2021, in Cleveland. After going all virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the three-day draft, which has grown into one of America's biggest, non-game sporting events, returns with thousands of fans who will be separated by their loyalties, and whether they've been vaccinated.(AP Photo/Tony Dejak) (Photo: The Associated Press)
A break from the news
- 💤 Nighttime modes on smartphones don’t helpwith sleep, new research suggests.
- 🔈 Does Google Assistant always say your name wrong?You can teach it to pronounce correctly
- 💸 Will there be a fourth stimulus check? Americans are looking for clues.
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