Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 22, 2022

Biden's message to Kim Jong Un, monkeypox vaccines, and more


Biden gives a succinct ‘hello’ to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un

Asked what message he had for North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, President Biden on Sunday offered up a simple, short response: "Hello ... period," he answered, speaking with reporters in Seoul before heading to Japan on the second leg of his trip to Asia. Biden also said he was "not concerned" about North Korean missile tests, and that the U.S. is prepared for "anything North Korea does." Both American and South Korean intelligence has suggested North Korea is preparing a missile or nuclear test to coincide with the timing of Biden's visit.


U.S. looking into monkeypox vaccines, Biden says

President Biden on Sunday said the U.S. is investigating what vaccines are available to protect against monkeypox, a relatively rare, smallpox-like virus. "We're working on it hard to figure out what we do and what vaccine if any might be available for it," Biden said. Advisers "haven't told me the level of exposure yet, but it is something that everybody should be concerned about," he went on. "It is a concern in that if it were to spread it would be consequential." So far, the World Health Organization says it has been notified of 92 lab-confirmed monkeypox cases and 28 suspected cases in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and some European countries. Studies have indicated the smallpox vaccine to be at last 85 percent effective against monkeypox.


Zelensky: War will end in ‘diplomacy’

The end of the war in Ukraine will come about through diplomacy, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has said, speaking on Ukrainian TV. "We did not start this war. But we have to finish it," he told viewers. "Victory will be bloody in battle. But the end will be in diplomacy. We want everything back. Russia does not want to give anything away." Zelensky also in his remarks praised the performance of Ukrainian forces, commending how well they've fought against Russian President Vladimir Putin's military, which he said is "one of the strongest armies in the world."


Biden signs large $40B aid package for Ukraine

President Biden on Saturday signed legislation to provide Ukraine with another $40 billion in aid as the Russian invasion rages on. The package had passed Congress with bipartisan support. The funding is intended to support Ukraine through September, and provides $20 billion in military assistance, $8 billion in general economic support, $5 billion to address possible resulting global food shortages, and over $1 billion to assist refugees. The president also on Saturday signed the Access to Baby Formula Act.


1 person dead, 8 injured in San Bernardino shooting

One person was killed and eight others wounded when someone opened fire during a Friday night party in San Bernardino, California, authorities said. Twenty-year-old Allen Gresham Jr. was found in a parking lot and pronounced dead at the scene. Eight others were also shot, though their injuries are not thought to be life-threatening. Police believe the shooting followed an altercation inside an event, which then spilled out into the parking lot. Two people were arrested at the scene, but not in connection with the shooting itself. 


Jif recalls peanut butter due to possible salmonella contamination

Jif parent company J.M. Smucker Co. has voluntarily recalled some of its Jif peanut butter products after a possible salmonella outbreak was linked to a Kentucky manufacturing plant. The recalled varieties include creamy, crunchy, and natural, among others. J.M. Smucker has shared online a full list of recalled lot codes, which are found alongside the best-if-used-by date. As of May 20, approximately 14 people have fallen ill, per the Food and Drug Administration. Both the FDA and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating the possible outbreak. 


Mitt Romney: ‘We must prepare for Putin’s worst weapons’

In an op-ed for The New York Times published Saturday, GOP Sen. Mitt Romney (Utah) ruminated on the possibility of Russia resorting to nuclear warfare, and urged the U.S. to take President Vladimir Putin's threats seriously. "We should imagine the unimaginable," Romney wrote, "specifically how we would respond militarily and economically to such a seismic shift in the global geopolitical terrain." The senator went on to align himself with much of President Biden's decision-making thus far, while also offering up a few possible ways to respond to Putin, including NATO engagement in Ukraine.


Rep. Mo Brooks is surging, weeks after Trump dropped him

When former President Donald Trump nixed his endorsement for poorly-performing GOP Rep. Mo Brooks (Ala.), it seemed Brooks' chances at re-election were dead in the water. But two months later, Brooks is surging in the polls, and likely has a chance at advancing to a runoff following Tuesday's GOP primary. In recent weeks, support for second-place candidate and retired army pilot Mike Durant has fallen, in turn bolstering the third-place Brooks. Previously, the Alabama representative worked to help Trump in his crusade to overturn the 2020 election.


Tiger Woods pulls out of PGA Championship

Tiger Woods withdrew from the PGA Championship on Saturday after having posted the worst score of his career in the event. The championship announced Wood's exit after the third round, in which he shot a nine-over par 79. "Tiger Woods has informed us that he is withdrawing from the 2022 PGA Championship," PGA of America President Jim Richerson wrote in a statement. "We admire Tiger's valiant effort to compete here at Southern Hills and wish him the best as he continues to recover from his injuries." The championship was Wood's second major golf event since his serious car accident last year. 


'SNL' sends off McKinnon, Bryant, Mooney, and Davidson

Longtime Saturday Night Live cast members Kate McKinnon, Aidy Bryant, Kyle Mooney, and Pete Davidson said their final goodbyes on the late night sketch show's season finale on Saturday, hosted by actress Natasha Lyonne. In one particularly emotional moment, McKinnon — appearing as the scrappy Ms. Rafferty, who's been repeatedly abducted by aliens — teared up before delivering the show's signature opening line. "Well, Earth. I love you, thanks for letting me stay awhile," she said. "Live from New York, it's Saturday night!" McKinnon has been on the show for 11 seasons, Bryant for 10, Mooney for 9, and Davidson for 8.


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