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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."
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.
Ukraine’s Kalush Orchestra wins Eurovision Song Contest 2022
On Sunday, Kalush Orchestra, a Ukrainian band, won the 2022 Eurovision Song Contest held in Italy. UK's Sam Ryder came in second, while Chanel of Spain finished third. The winning song, "Stefania", was penned by the band's frontman, Oleh Psiuk, as a tribute to his mother. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, "Stefania" has begun to be considered an "anthem to the motherland."
Biden issues statement marking 1 mln COVID-19 deaths in the US
On May 12th, President Joe Biden issued a statement marking the death of one million individuals in the US due to COVID-19. Biden stated, "In remembrance, let us draw strength from each other as fellow Americans. For while we have been humbled, we never give up. We can and will do this together as the United States of America."
Moscow sanctions Gazprom Germania’s subsidiaries & EuRoPol GAZ
Russia has imposed sanctions on the owner of the Polish section of the Yamal-Europe pipeline, Gazprom Germania, and its subsidiaries in several countries, including the US, Switzerland, and Singapore. Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov noted that there could be no relations with the sanctioned companies moving forward, nor would the affected companies be permitted to partake in supplying Russian gas.
Al Jazeera blames Israeli forces for Shireen Abu Akleh’s death
On Wednesday, Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American journalist working for Al Jazeera, was shot dead while covering an Israeli military raid in the city of Jenin. The international community has condemned Abu Akleh's killing. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the US, and the EU, among others, called for an independent investigation into the incident to ensure that those responsible will be held accountable.
Interior Department pulls multiple oil lease sales amid ongoing Ukraine crisis
On Wednesday, The Interior Department announced it had canceled three offshore oil and gas lease sales. The lease sales had been expected to go ahead in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska's Cook Inlet.