👋 Away Message: It's infrastructure week at WTF HQ! This will be the last edition of WTFJHT until May 31. WTF is taking a much needed break to retool ahead of what is shaping up to be a very consequential midterm cycle (we've also had a few unresolvable scheduling snafus/conflicts here, so I'm just going to take a mulligan on this one). In the mean time, we've built a little news aggregator tool – currentstatus.io – to keep you up-to-date on the daily shock and awe. Thanks for understanding! I'm going to miss you. You'll hear from us again on Tuesday, May 31. Thanks for being here.
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1/ One U.S. Capitol Police officer was killed and another hospitalized after a man rammed his car into a security checkpoint outside the Capitol. The suspect was shot and killed after he “exited the vehicle with a knife in hand” and began “lunging” at the officers. The incident comes two weeks after the outer perimeter fence to the Capitol complex was removed. Investigators do not believe the incident was “terrorism related,” Chief Robert Contee of the Washington Metropolitan Police Department said. (CNBC / New York Times / Washington Post / NPR / Wall Street Journal / NBC News / ABC News)
2/ The CDC relaxed its travel guidance, saying Americans fully vaccinated against Covid-19 can resume domestic and overseas travel “at low risk to themselves.” The CDC guidance recommends they continue to wear a mask, avoid crowds, maintain social distance, and frequently wash their (damn) hands. Individuals do not need to get a test before or after domestic travel and do not need to self-quarantine on return, as long as they follow public health measures. CDC Director Rochelle Walensky, however, said Americans should still try to avoid travel because Covid-19 cases are rising across the country. “We must balance this guidance with the fact that most Americans are still not vaccinated,” Walensky said. (New York Times / Washington Post / NBC News / Politico / Wall Street Journal)
😷 Dept. of “We’re gonna get through this.”
Global: Total confirmed cases: ~129,989,000; deaths: ~2,833,000
U.S.: Total confirmed cases: ~30,591,000; deaths: ~554,000; fully vaccinated: ~16.4%; partially vaccinated: ~30.7%
3/ More than 171,000 migrants were taken into custody along the U.S. southern border in March, including a record number of unaccompanied minors. It was the highest monthly total since 2006. (Washington Post / CNN)
4/ Major League Baseball pulled its All-Star Game out of Atlanta due to Georgia’s restrictive new voting law. “Major League Baseball fundamentally supports voting rights for all Americans and opposes restrictions to the ballot box,” MLB Commissioner Robert Manfred said in a statement. (Axios / NBC News)
5/ The U.S. and Iran agreed to resume negotiations on restoring the 2015 nuclear agreement. The two countries will negotiate through intermediaries in Vienna next week to try to bring both back into compliance with the nuclear accord. In 2018, Trump unilaterally withdrew from the agreement to rein in Iran’s nuclear program, calling is “the worst deal ever negotiated.” Iran responded by exceeding enrichment and research limits. White House press secretary Jen Psaki called the upcoming indirect talks “a welcome and potentially constructive early step.” (Wall Street Journal / New York Times / Washington Post / CNN)
6/ The Justice Department investigation into Rep. Matt Gaetz is centered on whether he and an indicted Florida politician solicited women online for sex in exchange for cash, gifts, or drugs. Investigators believe Joel Greenberg, who was indicted last year for sex trafficking and other crimes, met women on websites that connects people for dates in exchange for gifts, fine dining, travel, allowances, etc. The Justice Department inquiry is also investigating whether Gaetz had sex with a 17-year-old girl and whether she received gifts. The sex trafficking charge against Greenberg involved the same girl. It’s a violation of federal child sex trafficking law to provide someone under 18 with anything of value – like meals, hotels, drugs, alcohol or cigarettes – in exchange for sex. A conviction carries a 10-year mandatory minimum prison sentence. Gaetz has also allegedly showed other lawmakers – while on the House floor – photos and videos of nude women he said he had slept with. (New York Times / CNN / ABC News)
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