Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: May 27, 2022

White House says Biden will travel to Uvalde on Sunday, parents criticize police response to school shooting, and more

1

Biden to visit Uvalde to meet families of school shooting victims

The White House said Thursday that President Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Uvalde, Texas, on Sunday "to grieve with the community that lost 21 lives in the horrific elementary school shooting." Since the shooting, Biden has repeatedly called for new gun laws to prevent people like the 18-year-old Texas shooter from legally buying weapons like the AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle he used in the attack. "The Second Amendment is not absolute," Biden said. "When it was passed you couldn't own a cannon. ... There's just always been limitations." Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Thursday that Republicans would work with Democrats to find "a bipartisan solution that's directly related to the facts of this awful massacre."

2

Parents criticize police response to school shooting

Parents in Uvalde, Texas, expressed anger Thursday as police revised the timeline of their response to the mass shooting that killed 21 people at Robb Elementary School. Immediately after the attack, Gov. Greg Abbott (R) said a "quick response" saved lives. Police now say the gunman, 18-year-old Salvador Ramos, lingered for 12 minutes outside the school. Contrary to initial reports, no officer confronted Ramos before he entered the school and fired shots for an hour before Border Patrol officers entered and fatally shot him. Cellphone videos showing parents imploring heavily armed police to stop the shooter fueled the frustration. Victor Escalon, a regional director for the Texas Department of Public Safety, said officers were evacuating other students during the standoff.

3

Southern Baptist leaders release secret abuse database

Southern Baptist leaders on Thursday released a previously secret database of hundreds of pastors and other church personnel accused of sexual abuse. The list included more than 700 entries from 2000 to 2019. Southern Baptist leaders had faced pressure for transparency after an independent firm, Guidepost Solutions, disclosed mishandling of sex abuse allegations by church officials who frustrated survivors with delayed or dismissive responses and prioritized protecting the Southern Baptist Convention from liability. SBC Executive Committee leaders Rolland Slade and Willie McLaurin said in a joint statement that releasing the list was "an initial, but important, step toward addressing the scourge of sexual abuse and implementing reform in the Convention."

4

New York court denies Trump appeal to avoid questioning

A New York state appeals court ruled Thursday that former President Donald Trump and two of his adult children, Donald Trump Jr. and Ivanka Trump, must submit to questioning under oath as part of a civil investigation into their business practices. Trump's lawyers had sought to block the testimony, arguing that the investigation being conducted by New York Attorney General Letitia James' office was politically motivated. The legal team also said Trump and his children shouldn't have to talk to James' investigators because the operations of the family property business, the Trump Organization, are the subject of a criminal investigation as well. The court found that the Trumps were not being unfairly singled out.

5

Students stage walkouts to protest gun violence

Students at schools across the United States staged walkouts on Thursday to protest gun violence in response to this week's mass shooting of 19 4th graders and two teachers in Uvalde, Texas. Students left classes for demonstrations at Oxford High School in Michigan, where four students died in a November shooting, and Saugus High School in California, where two died in a November 2019 shooting. Students from several Providence, Rhode Island, schools lay down for three minutes outside the Rhode Island State House. "Students don't have to be quiet about it just because they're a kid," said Emma Janoff, a New York 11th grader and member of Students Demand Action, a national organization against gun violence.

6

Musicians, Gov. Greg Abbott cancel NRA appearances

Six musicians have canceled plans to appear in a concert at this weekend's annual National Rifle Association convention in response to Tuesday's deadly school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. The meeting starts Friday at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, and continues through the weekend. Singer Don McLean, best known for 1970s hits like "American Pie," said in a statement to CNN it would be "disrespectful and hurtful" to perform so soon after the attack. Lee Greenwood and Larry Gatlin of the Gatlin Brothers also canceled. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Thursday he will skip the NRA convention and deliver a prerecorded video instead, so he can attend another press conference and briefing in Uvalde.

7

Oklahoma abortion providers challenge latest abortion ban

A group of Oklahoma abortion providers filed a legal challenge Thursday against a new ban on nearly all abortions in the state. The lawsuit was filed with the Oklahoma Supreme Court a day after Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) signed the law, which prohibits abortions from the moment of conception. The court declined to halt a similar law already in effect that barred abortions after about six weeks of pregnancy. Abortion providers stopped performing the procedure in Oklahoma after Stitt signed the new ban. The law, styled after a Texas law the U.S. Supreme Court has allowed to remain in place pending challenges, lets people sue providers and anyone else helping a woman get an abortion. It allows exceptions only to save the life of a pregnant woman or in cases of rape or incest.

8

U.K. prosecutors authorize sexual assault charges against Kevin Spacey

Britain's Crown Prosecution Service announced Thursday that it had authorized charging actor Kevin Spacey with four counts of sexual assault against three men. Three of the counts stem from incidents in London, two in March 2015 and one in August 2008. The fourth alleged assault occurred in April 2013 in Gloucestershire. The agency also authorized charging Spacey with "causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent." Spacey was fired from Netflix's House of Cards in 2017 after facing sexual assault allegations in the U.S. Massachusetts prosecutors dropped one case in 2019 because of the "unavailability of the complaining witness." Los Angeles prosecutors dropped another case the same year after the accuser died.

9

Funerals scheduled for 3 more victims in Buffalo racist attack

Mourners on Friday are attending the funerals of three more victims of the racist attack on a Buffalo, New York, supermarket. Memorial services are scheduled for Geraldine Talley, 62, of Buffalo; Andre Mackniel, 53, of Auburn; and Margus Morrison, 52, of Buffalo — described by The Associated Press as a mother "known for baking decadent pastries;" a "restaurant worker buying his 3-year-old's birthday cake;" and a "father of six who worked as a school bus aide," respectively. They were among the 10 people killed when a white gunman opened fire at a Tops Friendly Market on May 14. Investigators say the attacker, who posted a racist manifesto online, traveled two hours to the predominantly Black neighborhood to target Black people.

10

'Goodfellas' actor Ray Liotta dies at 67

Ray Liotta, the actor best known for his lead role in Martin Scorsese's Goodfellas, has died. He was 67. Liotta died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was shooting the film Dangerous Waters. Authorities did not immediately release a cause of death. Liotta played gangster Henry Hill in the classic 1990 mob film Goodfellas, starring alongside Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci less than 10 years after making his acting debut in The Lonely Lady. Liotta's other notable films included Field of Dreams and Hannibal. More recently, he appeared in Marriage Story and The Many Saints of Newark. He also won an Emmy for a guest role on ER.

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