10 things you need to know today: May 2, 2015

Freddie Gray's death ruled a homicide, two indicted in Bridgegate scandal, and more

Marilyn J. Mosby
(Image credit: Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

1. Freddie Gray's death ruled a homicide, six officers charged

State's Attorney Marilyn J. Mosby announced in a Friday press conference that a medical examiner ruled the death of Freddie Gray, the 25-year-old man who died of a fatal neck injury while in police custody, a homicide. Mosby said that charges, including misconduct and involuntary manslaughter, are being brought against the six officers involved. Not only did the officers ignore Gray's "obvious" need for medical assistance, Mosby said, they also had no grounds to arrest him. Mosby added that Gray's fatal neck injury was the result of his being handcuffed and shackled by his feet, then placed in a Baltimore police wagon without a seatbelt.

The Associated Press

2. Two indicted, Christie ally pleads guilty in connection with Bridgegate scandal

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced the Bridgegate-related indictments of Bill Baroni, the former deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Bridget Anne Kelly, the former deputy chief of staff to New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, on Friday on multiple counts of conspiracy for their involvement in the politically motivated closure of three lanes onto the George Washington Bridge and subsequent coverup in 2013. The indictments came after David Wildstein, Christie's childhood friend and a former top official at the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, pled guilty Friday morning to two counts of conspiracy for his role in the scandal.

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The New York Times

3. Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, gives birth to baby girl

Prince George has a little sister, as of 8:34 a.m. (7:34 a.m. GMT) Saturday morning. Britain's Prince William and his wife arrived at St. Mary's hospital in London early in the morning, and the Duchess of Cambridge gave birth to the girl, who has not yet been named, two and a half hours later. Kensington Palace first announced the news via Twitter, adding that both mother and daughter are doing well. The new princess reportedly weighed 8 lbs 3 oz at birth, and she becomes fourth in line to the throne, following Prince Charles, Prince William, and Prince George.

Time The Guardian

4. Nigerian army reports troops have freed hundreds more Boko Haram prisoners

The Nigerian military released a tweet on Thursday declaring that "another set of 234 women and children were rescued," from Boko Haram militants. The operation in the country's Sambisa Forest — one of the last Boko Haram strongholds in Nigeria — comes several days after the army reportedly freed around 300 women and children in a separate offensive against the Islamic militants. Outgoing Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan has pledged to "hand over a Nigeria completely free of terrorist strongholds," when he leaves office at the end of May. It is unclear whether any of the hundreds of rescued women are among those who were kidnapped from a school in Chibok last year, sparking international outrage against Boko Haram.

BBC News The Associated Press

5. DOJ to spend $20 million on police body cameras

Incoming Attorney General Loretta Lynch announced on Friday that the Department of Justice will spend $20 million to provide body cameras to police, mostly in major cities. Of that sum, $17 million will purchase the equipment, while the remaining $3 million will cover training and effectiveness evaluation programs. "Body-worn cameras hold tremendous promise for enhancing transparency, promoting accountability, and advancing public safety for law enforcement officers and the communities they serve," Lynch said.

NBC News

6. China passes Mexico as No. 1 source of U.S. immigrants

Research presented Friday at the Population Association of America conference revealed that China and India are sending more immigrants to the United States than Mexico. In 2013, 147,000 immigrants came to the U.S. from China, and 129,000 immigrants arrived from India. Meanwhile, 125,000 immigrants came to the U.S. from Mexico, according to data from the Census Bureau. Immigration to the U.S. from China and India has been on the rise for a decade, while immigration from Mexico is declining. Hispanic people are still the largest ethnic minority group in America, but two-thirds of the U.S. Hispanic population was born in the country.

The Wall Street Journal

7. Sexual assault in the U.S. military has reportedly declined in the past two years

The Pentagon released its annual report on sexual assault in the military on Friday, and the survey found a 27 percent drop in cases of "unwanted sexual contact" over the last two years. There were 18,900 cases reported in 2014, as compared to 26,000 reported cases in 2012. The report also noted that while the number of assaults has decreased, the number of people reporting the cases actually increased; 6,131 people reported a military sexual assault in 2014, a 70 percent increase from the number of reported cases in 2012. Still, "that's clearly far, far too many," Defense Secretary Ash Carter said. "The report makes it crystal clear that we have to do more."


8. Stand By Me singer Ben E. King dies at age 76

Ben E. King, the R&B soul singer most famous for the song Stand By Me, died Thursday of natural causes at age 76. Born in North Carolina and raised in Harlem, New York, King started his career with The Drifters, releasing hits such as There Goes My Baby, and Save the Last Dance for Me. But King's Stand By Me was his biggest hit; it charted nine times on the U.S. Billboard 100, and has been covered by some 400 artists ranging from John Lennon to boxing legend Muhammad Ali.

The Telegraph

9. Iowa governor declares state of emergency due to avian flu outbreak

Governor Terry Branstad announced on Friday that Iowa would enter a state of emergency due to an avian flu outbreak, effective immediately and continuing at least through the end of May. Minnesota and Wisconsin have also declared states of emergency due to the viral outbreak, which does not pose a risk to humans, but is highly contagious among poultry populations. Iowa is the top egg-producing state in the U.S., and officials believe up to one-quarter of the state's flock — at least 16 million chickens — could be infected and would have to be exterminated.


10. Filipino energy officials tell citizens to conserve electricity for Pacquiao fight

Filipino boxing champ Manny Pacquiao is set to take on Floyd Mayweather for the WBC World welterweight title on Saturday night in Las Vegas. An ocean away, his supporters in the Philippines hope their televisions will stay tuned in. Energy officials warned residents on Friday to disconnect refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners — "just leave electric fans and TVs on" — in order to duck one of the chronic, hours-long power outages with which the country is too familiar. Pacquiao is a national hero in his native Philippines, and fans are eagerly awaiting this matchup, which has been years in the making and could earn Pacquiao as much as $120 million.

Al Jazeera America

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Sarah Eberspacher

Sarah Eberspacher is an associate editor at TheWeek.com. She has previously worked as a sports reporter at The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus and The Arizona Republic. She graduated from Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism.