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5 things to know for May 7: Coronavirus, GOP, school violence, voting limits, Brexit

Steel prices have tripled since plummeting at the beginning of the pandemic. That sounds like good news, but analysts warn it could be a bubble just waiting to burst.

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

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1. Coronavirus

About 185 million Americans could be fully vaccinated by September, according to the latest vaccination models. That’s roughly 88% of the adult population, but experts say it’s a race against time to fend off a winter surge as virus variants like the one driving the crisis in India become more prominent. Booster shots may also be needed in the coming months to keep up immunity. India reported 414,188 new Covid-19 cases today, a new daily high. Brazil has topped 15 million Covid-19 cases, but there’s some hope on the horizon after the government announced it will buy an extra 100 million Pfizer vaccine doses.

2. GOP

Rep. Liz Cheney may soon be ousted from her position as the No. 3 House Republican because of her repeated callouts of fellow GOP members who have pushed the “big lie” that the 2020 election was somehow stolen from former President Trump. House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy is leading the charge to remove her from her position, saying she isn’t “carrying out the message” to help the party take back the majority. Cheney hasn’t shown any intention of stepping down as House Republican conference chair, so her ouster would have to happen through a conference vote. Her likely successor? Rep. Elise Stefanik, a Trump loyalist who has nonetheless drawn some criticism within her party for her less-conservative voting record.

3. School violence

Troubling incidents of school-related violence rattled two communities yesterday. In Rigby, Idaho, a sixth-grader allegedly pulled a handgun out of her backpack and started shooting in a hallway, injuring two fellow students and an adult. The district superintendent said an event like this is the “worst nightmare a school system can face.” In Columbia, South Carolina, a Fort Jackson trainee is in custody after allegedly hijacking a school bus full of students on its way to an elementary school. According to video and the sheriff, the suspect boarded the bus, held a rifle to the driver and told him to drive to the next town. The 18 children on board and the driver weren’t hurt. The suspect faces kidnapping, armed robbery, carjacking and other charges.

4. Voting

Florida and Texas are looking to join the growing list of states enacting controversial voting laws based on Trump’s false claims of voter fraud in the 2020 election. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed a bill yesterday that includes stricter voter ID requirements for voting by mail, limits on who can pick up and return a voter’s ballot, a ban on private funding for elections and stricter drop box rules. The new law will face immediate legal challenges from activist groups. The Texas House of Representatives moved a bill forward today that would add new voting restrictions and penalties. It still needs to bounce around the state House and Senate before final votes, but business groups and voting rights organizations are primed for a fight if it becomes law.

5. Brexit

The UK and France just engaged in an unusual maritime tussle over new Brexit trade guidelines. The conflict revolved around the self-governing British island of Jersey, just 14 miles off the French coast. France is not pleased that, due to the hasty trade deal struck between the UK and the European Union in December, its fishing boats must now provide paperwork to operate there. British media reported that the UK had sent two gunboats to the area amid reports that French fishing boats had launched a protest. France, in turn, announced it was sending navy ships to monitor the situation. The UK said it didn’t want to escalate the situation, and the French boats eventually left. But it was another moment of unexpected drama as the region navigates the first few months of a post-Brexit reality.


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Rome debuts hot pizza vending machine

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$1.8 billion

That’s how much India is spending on a parliament renovation, even as hospitals plead for help and Covid-19 patients die by the thousands. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has pushed for the renovations.


“He believed what was being fed to him.”

Joseph Hurley, a lawyer for alleged Capitol rioter Anthony Antonio, who said his client had “Foxitis” and “Foxmania” and believed lies about the 2020 election from Fox News.


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What’ve you got there?

It’s nice to know cows appreciate good accordion playing just as much as anyone else. (Click here to view.)

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