Hot off the Wire: Listen to today’s top stories
It should have been the first day of a joyous week for Robb Elementary School students — the start of summer break. Instead on Monday, the first two of 19 children slain inside a classroom were being remembered at funeral visitations.
The gathering for 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza was at Hillcrest Memorial Funeral Home in Uvalde, Texas, directly across from the grade school where the children, along with two teachers, were shot to death last week before the gunman himself was killed.
Visitation for another 10-year-old, Maite Rodriguez, was at another funeral home. More visitations, funerals and burials will follow over the next two-and-a-half weeks, one after another, after another.
The blame for an excruciating delay in killing the gunman — even as parents outside begged police to rush in and panicked children called 911 from inside — has been placed with the school district’s homegrown police chief.
It’s left residents in small city of Uvalde struggling to reconcile what they know of the well-liked local lawman after the director of state police said that Pete Arredondo — as the commander at the scene — made the “wrong decision” last week not to breach a classroom at Robb Elementary School sooner.
Russian forces in a “frenzied push” have seized half of the eastern Ukrainian city of Sievierodonetsk that is key to Moscow’s efforts to quickly complete the capture of the industrial Donbas region.
The city’s mayor also told The Associated Press on Tuesday that Sievierodonetsk “is essentially being destroyed ruthlessly block by block.” He says heavy street fighting continues and artillery bombardments threaten the lives of the estimated 13,000 civilians still sheltering in the ruined city that once was home to more than 100,000.
President Joe Biden is set to meet with Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell as soaring inflation takes a bite out of Americans’ pocketbooks. Tuesday’s meeting will be the first since Biden renominated Powell to lead the central bank and comes weeks after his confirmation for a second term by the Senate.
Witnesses say a 9-year-old girl survived a cougar attack after wandering up a trail with two friends while camping in northwest Washington state. It happened Saturday morning near Fruitland, Washington.
The girl fought back while her friends ran for their lives. Adults rushed to help and found the girl covered in blood. She was soon airlifted to a hospital, where she’s recovering after surgery for multiple wounds to her head and upper body.
Shanghai authorities say they will take some major steps Wednesday toward reopening China’s largest city after a two-month COVID-19 lockdown that has throttled the national economy and largely bottled up millions of people in their homes.
U.S. and Canadian regulators are investigating a hepatitis outbreak that may be linked to fresh organic strawberries. In a joint weekend statement, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the Public Health Agency of Canada say at least 27 illnesses in Minnesota, California and Canada occurred after people ate FreshKampo and H-E-B brand strawberries.
The strawberries were purchased between March 5 and April 25 at various U.S. retailers, including Aldi, Kroger and Walmart and at Co-op stores in Canada. The strawberries are past their shelf life, but the FDA says consumers who froze them to eat later should throw them away.
Police say someone busted into the altar at a New York City church, stole a $2 million gold relic and removed the head from a statue of an angel. The incident happened between Thursday and Saturday at St. Augustine’s Roman Catholic Church, known as the “Notre Dame” of Brooklyn’s Park Slope neighborhood.
The church was closed for construction at the time. The church’s pastor said that camera recordings from the security system were also stolen. The Diocese of Brooklyn called it “a brazen crime of disrespect and hate.”
Standing at attention under a cloudless sky in the late-May heat, President Joe Biden saluted as taps played, after laying the wreath of multi-colored flowers wrapped in red, white and blue ribbon in front of the tomb.
Delivering remarks honoring fallen servicemembers, he said “Memorial Day is always a day where pain and pride are mixed together.”
“Today we are free because they were brave,” the president said.
Authorities say a fire was raging through a chemical company just southwest of downtown Omaha, Nebraska, forcing some nearby residents to evacuate and leaving thousands without power.
Hurricane Agatha has made history as the strongest hurricane ever recorded to come ashore in May during the eastern Pacific hurricane season. It made landfall Monday afternoon on a sparsely populated stretch of small beach towns and fishing villages in southern Mexico’s Oaxaca state.
It was a strong Category 2 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph, but it quickly lost power moving inland over the mountainous interior. Agatha was downgraded to a tropical depression Tuesday morning with sustained winds down to 35 mph.
The Rangers reach the NHL’s Eastern Conference finals, the Cardinals’ first baseman stays hot, the Brewers take two from the Cubs and the Astros get a rare complete game.
Indianapolis 500 champion Marcus Ericsson earned an unprecedented $3.1 million check for his victory. Ericsson is the second Swedish driver to win the race.
Tom Cruise got his first $100 million opening weekend with “Top Gun: Maverick.” Paramount Pictures said Sunday that in its first three days in North American theaters, “Top Gun: Maverick” earned an estimated $124 million in ticket sales.
When the jury in Johnny Depp’s libel suit against ex-wife Amber Heard resumes deliberations after the Memorial Day weekend, its focus will be on issues much removed from the public debate that has engulfed the proceedings.
For six weeks, testimony focused on details of alleged abuse that Heard suffered. Public debate also focused on whether Heard is telling the truth about what she experienced.
But the jury has been tasked not with determining who was abused, but whether Heard defamed Depp when she wrote a newspaper piece about domestic violence. Depp says he was defamed, even though the article doesn’t mention him. The jury verdict form spells out multiple hurdles Depp must clear to prevail.
La Nina, the flip side of the better known El Nino weather condition, keeps popping up. La Nina is the natural but temporary cooling of parts of the Pacific that changes weather worldwide.
The world is in year two, almost year three, of one that set a record in April for strength. For the U.S., La Nina is connected to more drought and fires out West, more Atlantic hurricanes and agricultural losses. They are happening more often. In the late 20th century, La Nina hit 28% of the time. Now it’s nearly half the time.
Hundreds of flights worldwide were canceled by mid-afternoon Sunday, adding to the mounting number of scrubbed flights during the busy Memorial Day holiday weekend.
Authorities say the weekend arrest of Paul Pelosi, the husband of U.S. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, on suspicion of DUI came after a minor two-vehicle crash with no injuries in California’s wine country. Records show Paul Pelosi was taken into custody late Saturday in Napa County and released early Sunday on $5,000 bail.
A federal judge has ruled that former Proud Boys national chairman Henry “Enrique” Tarrio must remain jailed while awaiting trial on charges that he conspired with other members of the far-right extremist group to attack the U.S. Capitol.
U.S. District Judge Timothy Kelly said in an order issued late Friday that Tarrio poses a danger to the public. The judge refused to release Tarrio on bond. An indictment in March charged Tarrio and others with plotting to storm the Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, and interfere with the congressional certification of the Electoral College vote, which Democrat Joe Biden won over Republican President Donald Trump.
In the most significant effort yet to punish Russia for its war in Ukraine, the European Union agreed to ban the overwhelming majority of Russian oil imports. The move came late Monday after tense negotiations that tested how far the bloc is willing to go to ostracize Moscow.
From the moment Russia invaded on Feb. 24, the West has sought to make Russia pay economically for its war. But targeting the lucrative energy sector was seen as a last resort in Europe and has proved hardest since the bloc relies on the country for 25% of its oil and 40% of its natural gas.
EU leaders agreed to cut around 90% of all Russian oil imports over the next six months. A senior Russian official said the move would hurt ordinary Russians.
A man seemingly disguised as an old woman in a wheelchair threw a piece of cake at the glass protecting the Mona Lisa at the Louvre Museum and shouted at people to “Think of the Earth.”
Authorities have since transferred the 36-year-old to a police psychiatric unit and opened an investigation into the damage of cultural artifacts. Videos posted on social media seem to show a young man in a wig and lipstick who had arrived in a wheelchair.
The man’s identity wasn’t known. He was also seen throwing roses in the museum gallery. The cake attack left a conspicuous white creamy smear on the glass but the famous work by Leonardo da Vinci wasn’t damaged. Guards cleaned the smear off.
—The Associated Press