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10 things you need to know today: May 7, 2023

At least 9 people killed during Texas mall shooting, Mage wins 149th Kentucky Derby under backdrop of horse deaths, and more


At least 9 people killed during Texas mall shooting

At least nine people, including the alleged gunman, were killed during a mass shooting at a mall in Allen, Texas, on Saturday. The shooter opened fire around 3:30 p.m. at the Allen Premium Outlets. Video from a nearby dashcam circulating online appears to show the moment when the carnage began, with the shooter getting out of a silver sedan in the parking lot and opening fire at people on the sidewalk. Dozens of shots can be heard as the gunman continues approaching shoppers. A police officer in the area on an unrelated call responded to the report of shots fired, law enforcement said, and "engaged the suspect and neutralized the threat." In addition to the deaths, at least seven people were also injured. 


Mage wins 149th Kentucky Derby under backdrop of horse deaths

The annual "Run for the Roses" was held Saturday, as Mage won the 149th Kentucky Derby to capture the first leg of the Triple Crown of Thoroughbred Horse Racing. Going into the race at 15-1 odds, the three-year-old colt crossed the finish line a length ahead with a time of 2:01.57 under jockey Javier Castellano. Despite the pageantry and spectacle of the race, though, this year's Kentucky Derby was overshadowed by the deaths of numerous horses at the race's track, Churchill Downs. At least seven horses have died recently, including two on the morning of the Derby. This has prompted renewed calls for investigations into horseracing following a doping scandal that emerged in 2021. 


Anti-monarchists criticize police presence at Charles' coronation

Anti-monarchists on Sunday criticized the heavy use of police force at the coronation of King Charles III in London, pushing back after numerous protesters were arrested and detained during the festivities. Police reportedly arrested dozens of protesters against the monarchy. This included Graham Smith, leader of the group urging the U.K. to embrace a republic, as well as 51 others. Police in London said that while the group had a right to protest, they also had a duty to prevent disruptions to the coronation. Members of the protest group began to be released late Saturday evening after more than 16 hours in custody. 


United Nations' nuclear watchdog expresses concerns over Ukrainian power plant

The head of the U.N.'s atomic energy watchdog group warned Saturday that the area around Europe's largest power plant was becoming increasingly unsafe due to the war in Ukraine. International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Rafael Mariano Grossi said in a statement that the Zaporizhzhia power plant in southeast Ukraine is "becoming increasingly unpredictable and potentially dangerous." Grossi added that he was "extremely concerned about the very real nuclear safety and security risk," and that "we must act now to prevent the threat of a severe nuclear accident." His warning comes as the Russian-installed governor in the region near the power plant has ordered the evacuation of surrounding villages, as shelling and heavy fighting continues to ramp up in the area. 


More than 200 dead, many more missing after Congo floods

More than 200 people have died and scores more remained missing on Saturday following a series of flash floods and landslides in eastern Congo. The head of Kalehe, the worst-hit province in the country, told local reporters that 203 bodies had been recovered, with the death toll expected to rise in the coming days. Hundreds of homes were reportedly washed away by the raging rapids, as villagers and rescue workers alike worked to dig through the rubble looking for remains. The flooding began with heavy rainfall this past Thursday which caused rivers to overflow, eventually leading to a domino effect of flooding and landslides that destroyed entire villages. 


Police remain silent on details of NYC subway death

The New York City Police Department has remained mostly silent on the details surrounding the controversial death of a subway performer, five days after it occurred. New York City Mayor Eric Adams has urged people not to "rush to judgment" in the death of Jordan Neely, a 30-year-old who was placed into a chokehold on a subway car and killed while appearing to suffer a mental health crisis. The perpetrator, identified as Daniel Penny, has not been charged. The NYPD has remained quiet about almost all details of the incident despite growing anger and calls for accountability. The department did not offer USA Today any additional details on Sunday when the outlet reached out to them. 


Texas committee recommends expelling lawmaker for misconduct

A Texas House of Representatives committee recommended Saturday that GOP state Rep. Bryan Slaton be expelled from the legislature after determining that he engaged in inappropriate sexual misconduct with a 19-year-old intern. Slaton is expected to face a full House vote on his expulsion as early as this Tuesday. In an investigative report, the committee said that Slaton gave the intern and another staffer alcohol at his home, and later had sex with the intern while she was intoxicated. He also asked a fellow lawmaker to keep this incident secret, the committee said. While Slaton does not dispute that these events occurred, his lawyers argued that the complaints should be dismissed because they happened at his private residence. 


Michigan set to pass red flag law amidst conservative pushback

Michigan is set to become the 20th state, and first in almost three years, to pass a red flag law. This provision allows family members, police, mental health professionals, and even former romantic partners to petition for the removal of firearms from someone's home if they are deemed a threat to themselves or others. However, while the law has been heavily promoted by Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D), many conservative counties are pushing back against claimed Second Amendment infringements, in a state where gun culture runs deep. At least half of the counties in Michigan have passed resolutions against the law, and some sheriffs have even said they are unwilling to enforce it.


Hundreds of Hawaiians relying on bottled water after chemicals found in well

Around 650 Hawaiian residents have been forced to rely on bottled water since March, it was reported this weekend, after the state's health department detected synthetic chemicals called PFAS in local well water. The contamination reportedly dates back to October, when Hawaii's Department of Health detected chemicals in one of the wells that serve Kunia Village, an affordable housing development on the island of O'ahu. The department announced in January that the levels of PFAS found in the water exceeded limits set by the Environmental Protection Agency. Kunia Village stopped using the well and has been forced to use bottled water for all tasks, including bathing, washing dishes, and doing laundry. 


DOJ seeking 25-year prison sentence for Oath Keepers founder

The Justice Department said Friday that it was seeking a 25-year prison sentence for Stewart Rhodes, the leader of the right-wing, anti-government militia group the Oath Keepers, after he was convicted of seditious conspiracy and other felonies related to the Jan. 6, 2021 attack at the U.S. Capitol. Prosecutors laid out their sentencing recommendations for Rhodes and eight other members of the Oath Keepers, who were convicted of numerous offenses following a pair of trials in 2022. The 25-year recommendation for Rhodes is notably the longest yet for any criminal charge related to Jan. 6, and comes after a Kentucky man just received a record-setting 14-year prison sentence for his participation in the attack. 


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