10 things you need to know today: May 21, 2022
A tornado tears through Gaylord, Michigan, Russia claims to have captured Mariupol, and more
Tornado in Michigan kills at least 1, injures more than 40
At least 1 person is dead and over 40 are injured after a tornado ripped through Gaylord, Michigan on Friday afternoon. The uncommon and deadly event tore roofs off of buildings, ripped trees from the ground, toppled cars, and downed power lines. "My heart goes out to the families and small businesses impacted by the tornado and severe weather in Gaylord," tweeted Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D). "To the entire Gaylord community — Michigan is with you. We will do what it takes to rebuild." Whitmer also declared a state of emergency for Otsego County.
Russia claims to have taken Mariupol
Russia on Saturday claimed to have taken complete control of the besieged Ukrainian city of Mariupol, potentially notching a huge victory for Russian President Vladimir Putin's ongoing offensive. There was no immediate confirmation of the news from Ukraine. Russia's Defense Ministry said that a final 532 Ukrainian soldiers had been evacuated from the Azovstal steel plant and taken to Russian-controlled territory, rounding out a weeks-long attack that killed thousands. At this point, the supposed capture is mostly symbolic, considering Moscow already effectively controlled the area, military analysts said.
Biden signs baby formula bill during trip to Asia
President Biden on Saturday signed into law a bill aimed at bolstering access to baby formula as the national shortage meanwhile continues to plague American families. The legislation, known as the Access to Baby Formula Act of 2022, was passed by the Senate on Thursday after having successfully cleared the House the day prior. The measure is meant to ensure families in need can continue using government-provided Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) benefits to buy baby formula during a public health emergency or product recall. "Now, millions of parents will have an easier time finding the baby formula they need," Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) said on the Senate floor.
Russia cuts off gas supply to Finland
Russia on Saturday cut off national gas supplies to Finland after the latter reportedly refused to pay for the fuel in rubles, as Russian President Vladimir Putin had ordered; Poland and Bulgaria last month lost access to Russian supplies for the same reason. Gasum, Finland's state-owned gas wholesaler, shared news of the decision on Friday morning, noting the company has been prepared for this to happen and that there will be "no disruptions in the gas transmission network." The dispute also happens to coincide with Finland's decision to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization alongside neighboring Sweden, much to Russia's dismay.
CDC recommends adults 50 and older receive 2nd booster
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended all adults ages 50 and older receive a second COVID-19 booster if at least four months have lapsed since their third dose. The agency had previously encouraged the additional shots only for those 65 and older or with underlying medical conditions, though those over 50 were still eligible. The change in guidance arrives alongside a rise in infections over the last month, as well as a "substantial increase" in hospitalizations for older Americans, the CDC said.
Weekend heat wave heads to East Coast
Nineteen states and Washington, D.C. could set or tie existing temperature records this weekend, as one of the first major heat waves of 2022 swallows up the East Coast. Millions are expected to see temperatures at or above 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In the Northeast, the heat is expected to peak on Saturday and Sunday. To keep both safe and cool, experts suggest those in impacted areas reschedule any strenuous activities to early morning or evening, drink plenty of water, and seek shade from the sun.
G7 nations pledge nearly $20B in aid for Ukraine
The Group of 7 economic powers on Friday agreed to a $19.8 billion economic aid package for Ukraine, as the country continues to defend itself against a ruthless Russian-led invasion. The backing will come in a mix of grants and loans, and is intended to keep Ukraine's government functioning. "We will continue to stand by Ukraine throughout this war and beyond and are prepared to do more as needed," the G7 finance ministers said in a statement. The International Monetary Fund has said Ukraine needs about $5 billion per month to maintain basic government services.
Meta employees reportedly restricted from discussing abortion at work
Per a new report, a Meta executive on Thursday told company employees they may not discuss abortion on the company's internal version of Facebook, known as Workplace, for fear of fostering a hostile work environment. The policy, which forbids employees from talking about things like the merits and availability of abortion, was reportedly enacted in 2019. In the wake of a leaked opinion suggesting the Supreme Court is poised to overturn Roe v. Wade, however, some employees are calling for the policy's end. Otherwise, the Meta executive said, staffers may only discuss abortion at work privately, with a trusted colleague, or in a small group.
San Francisco archbishop denies Pelosi communion over support for abortion rights
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Catholic Democrat from California, can no longer receive communion in San Francisco Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone's archdiocese due to her support for abortion rights, Cordileone announced Friday. In a public notification, Cordileone said he'd warned Pelosi in April that she must drop her support of abortion rights or cease referring to her faith to justify them. He also said Pelosi declined to meet with him. "After numerous attempts to speak with Speaker Pelosi to help her understand the grave evil she is perpetrating, the scandal she is causing, [and] the danger to her own soul she is risking, "Cordileone wrote on Twitter, "I have determined that she is not to be admitted to Holy Communion."
Upcoming 'Stranger Things' season finale will have film-like runtime
The highly-anticipated fourth season of Netflix hit Stranger Things will have a season finale that's nearly two and a half hours long, Netflix revealed Friday. What's more, the two episodes prior to the finale also boast a feature film-like length, with episode seven clocking in at 1 hour and 38 minutes and episode eight at 1 hour and 25 minutes. The first seven episodes of season 4 will be released on May 27, with the final two to debut weeks later on July 1.