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Buffalo shooting suspect allegedly plotted attack online
On May 14th, ten people were killed and three injured in a mass shooting incident at a Tops Friendly Markets store in Buffalo, NY. Authorities arrested the suspected shooter, 18-year-old Payton S. Gendron, at the scene. Gendron allegedly donned body armor and live-streamed the shooting on the popular streaming platform, Twitch, using a helmet camera.
Finland & Sweden announce intent to join NATO; Russia responds
Finland and Sweden have announced their intention to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), signaling a historic policy shift - one which was reportedly influenced by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Russian President Vladimir Putin noted that while the two nations' NATO membership would be "no direct threat" to Russia, the territories' military infrastructure expansion would "certainly provoke" a response from Moscow.
North Korea’s Kim Jong Un slams officials’ COVID-19 response
On Monday, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un "strongly criticized" Cabinet and public health sector officials for their COVID-19 response, singling out their "irresponsible work attitude." The North Korean leader also condemned lapses in legal oversight that resulted in "several negative phenomena in the nationwide handling and sale of medicines."
Biden administration to ease Trump-era sanctions on Cuba
On Monday, the Biden administration announced it would be reinstating a program allowing US citizens and permanent residents to apply for their families in Cuba to enter the US. The Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program will allow citizens and permanent residents to do so without waiting for immigrant visas.
Elisabeth Borne to be France’s first female PM in 30 years
On Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron appointed Elisabeth Borne as the new Prime Minister. Borne is the former Labor Minister of France.
Biden to deploy troops to Somalia to counter al-Shabab
The President has approved the deployment of troops to Somalia, acting in response to a request from the Department of Defense. A Department of Defense news release stated, "The president has authorized the Department of Defense to return a small, persistent U.S. military presence to Somalia."
Trial of Michael Sussmann begins
On Monday, a jury was seated in the trial of former Clinton attorney Michael Sussmann — the first trial stemming from Special Counsel John Durham’s years-long investigation into the origins of the Trump-Russia probe. US District Judge Christopher Cooper presided over the first day of the Sussmann trial, which consisted of nearly eight hours of jury selection.
President and First Lady to visit Buffalo amid ongoing investigations into mass killing
Residents of Buffalo, NY held vigils and church services on Sunday to mourn the deaths of ten people killed in a shooting at a grocery store. The suspected shooter, Payton Gendron, was arrested at the scene. Gendron was investigated as recently as less than a year ago for making a threat at his school. Allegedly, the comments he made related to shooting people. However, he was released without charge following a psychiatric evaluation.
Japan’s Okinawa marks 50th anniversary of end of US occupation
Sunday marked 50 years since the end of the US occupation of Okinawa. The chain of islands, located between Taiwan and Japan in the East China Sea, was returned to Tokyo on May 15th, 1972. Several US bases still stand on Okinawa. Citizens have long opposed the presence of military bases in the prefecture, expressing concerns that it could invite military aggression, especially given the rising tensions between China and Taiwan.
Lebanon conducts parliamentary elections on Sunday
On Sunday, Lebanon held its first parliamentary election since both the 2020 Beirut blast and the country's economic collapse, a collapse which plunged the majority of its population into poverty. A total of 718 candidates from 15 electoral districts are contesting the elections for a seat in Lebanon's 128-member parliament.