‘Tragic,’ but ‘justified’

No criminal charges will be filed against the deputies who fatally shot Andrew Brown Jr. last month. Nancy Pelosi has called for a cease-fire in the Middle East. And why are vaccination rates lower in rural counties than in urban ones?

ūüĎč It’s Laura! Here’s Tuesday’s news.¬†

But first, if you ever wanted to be part of a coral reef forever, you’re in luck.¬†Eternal Reefs in Florida creates memorial reefs out of a person’s cremated remains, adding mementos or personal touches, then submerges them onto the ocean floor.¬†It sounds like¬†some kind of macabre museum for fish, but the reefs¬†help¬†the environment, too. ūüź†

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Prosecutor: No criminal charges for officers

The sheriff’s deputies who fatally shot Andrew Brown Jr. will not be criminally charged,¬†a prosecutor said Tuesday. Nearly a month after Brown, an unarmed Black man, was killed by sheriff’s deputies in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, Pasquotank County District Attorney Andrew Womble said,¬†“Mr. Brown’s death, while tragic, was justified.”¬†Brown, 42, was killed April 21 while Pasquotank County deputies were attempting to serve him with an arrest warrant. The event led to widespread protests in the area as demonstrators demanded transparency from officials.¬†Family lawyers called the deputies’ actions “unequivocally unjustified,” saying Brown was not armed and did not drive toward deputies or pose a threat.

  • Bodycams haven’t lived up to promises of exposing police misconduct. One reason: The police decide what to release.
  • ‘Release the tapes’: Protesters demand footage after sheriff identified deputies involved in the fatal shooting of Andrew Brown Jr.

Jay McNar prays in front of the spot where Andrew Brown Jr. was killed by Pasquotank County Sheriff's deputies on April 28, 2021 in Elizabeth City, N.C. A North Carolina judge ruled that video from four body cameras showing the shooting death of Andrew Brown Jr. will not be released publicly at this time. Andrew Brown Jr. was killed on April 21 by Pasquotank County Sheriff's deputies. (Photo: Joe Raedle, Getty Images)

Speaker Pelosi calls for a cease-fire

As deadly tensions in the Middle East enter their second week, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called for a cease-fire, saying it is in the U.S. national security interest to support security in Israel.¬†The call for a cease-fire ratchets¬†up pressure on President Joe Biden’s administration to intervene more forcefully to help end the deadly conflict between Israel and Hamas.¬†Biden expressed his support for a cease-fire on Monday in a call with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, but did not call specifically for an end to the violence between Israel and Hamas.¬†A rocket launched from Gaza killed two Thai workers in southern Israel on Tuesday, police said, hours after Israeli airstrikes toppled a six-story building in the Palestinian territory that housed bookstores and educational centers. With the war showing no sign of abating, Palestinians in the region staged a general strike in a rare collective action against Israel‚Äôs policies.

  • Why does peace remain elusive in Gaza? Here¬†are the¬†key players behind the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
  • In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the dying children capture our attention.What about the ones living?

A Palestinian man inspects the damage of a six-story building which was destroyed by an early morning Israeli airstrike, in Gaza City, on May 18, 2021. Israel carried out a wave of airstrikes on what it said were militant targets in Gaza, leveling a six-story building in downtown Gaza City, and Palestinian militants fired dozens of rockets into Israel early Tuesday, the latest in the fourth war between the two sides, now in its second week. (Photo: Khalil Hamra, AP)

What everyone’s talking about

  • ‘Get the word out’: New guidelines lower age to begin colorectal cancer screening from 50 to 45.
  • President Biden earned $607,000 in 2020¬†and paid 26% in federal taxes, returns show.¬†
  • ‘It‚Äôs just terrifying’: Video shows 4-year-old being taken from bed before being found dead on a street in Dallas.
  • The sky spectacle of the year: A super blood moon and lunar eclipse is coming next week.¬†
  • ‘Why did I live when so many didn’t?’:¬†I survived COVID-19 after being on a ventilator, but my nightmare was far from over.
  • Into the sea: Famed Darwin‚Äôs Arch in Galapagos Islands collapses due to erosion.

An urban-rural vaccination divide

It’s not quite one of Aesop’s fables: Coronavirus vaccination rates across the nation are lower in rural counties than in urban ones.¬†A¬†CDC analysis released Tuesday¬†found 39% of rural adults received at least one¬†vaccine dose, compared with 46% of¬†urban adults. Rural vaccination rates also were lower than urban rates among younger adults, seniors, men and women.¬†About 60% of adult Americans have had at least one vaccine dose, and¬†vaccines have been credited for¬†steadily falling numbers of new cases and hospitalizations. Moral of the story? The seven-day average of new cases has dropped to numbers not seen since March 2020, essentially the start of the pandemic.

  • Mask confusion: Are more mask conflicts on the horizon for businesses?
  • Lollapalooza will return to Chicago in July as the first major multi-genre festival since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

People enjoy their time in a wave swinger Friday, May 14, 2021 at Chicago's Navy Pier. (Photo: Shafkat Anowar, AP)

McCarthy opposes Capitol attack commission

A bipartisan commission to study the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol could subpoena House Republican Leader Kevin McCarthy. And on Tuesday, McCarthy said he opposed the proposed commission that would include five Republicans and five Democrats, similar to the 9/11 commission, to study the attack. Because McCarthy spoke with Trump during the riot, McCarthy is expected to be called as a witness if a commission is created. Trump was impeached after he was accused of inciting the violence, but was acquitted in the Senate. The House was expected to vote on the legislation Wednesday. The Senate must still consider it. The Biden administration supported the bill.

  • House chairman proposes $1.9B emergency spendingto beef up Capitol security after Jan. 6 riot.¬†
  • Capitol riot aftermath: House¬†panel proposes bipartisan commission to study Jan. 6 domestic terrorism.

Supporters loyal to President Donald Trump clash with authorities before successfully breaching the Capitol building during a riot on the grounds, Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2021. A number of lawmakers and then the mob of protesters tried to overturn America's presidential election, undercutting the nation's democracy by attempting to keep Democrat Joe Biden from replacing Trump in the White House. (Photo: John Minchillo, AP)

Real quick

  • U.S. investigates incidents of Havana syndrome near the White House. What is the mysterious illness?
  • New York Mets’ Kevin Pillar hit in the face by a pitch, suffers multiple nasal fractures.
  • We are outraged and sorrowful’:¬†Bucknell University condemns the ‘horrific’ attack on an LGBTQ residence.
  • Rapper T.I., his wife Tiny Harris under investigation by LAPD after allegations of drugging, sexual assault.
  • ‘Disappointing beyond measure’: New Jersey police officer charged with running meth lab from his home.

Could this be a 100-year flood?

Houses and streets were left flooded and cars sat stranded on water-filled streets after a day of torrential downpours Monday in Louisiana and other parts of the south-central United States. The National Weather Service says thunderstorms are still on the horizon Tuesday, with 30 million people threatened by flooding this week across parts of Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Arkansas. The NWS also issued a flash flood emergency in Lake Charles, Louisiana, as some areas reported up to 12 inches of rain. Lake Charles Mayor Nic Hunter said the rainfall totals will probably meet the threshold for a 100-year event. A number of tornado warnings had also been issued in various cities, and the NWS urged at-risk residents to seek higher ground. The weather service said the likelihood of flooding is high with the incoming storms throughout the week. 

  • Is this the new weather normal in the U.S.?¬†Hotter than it used to be, thanks to climate change.

Parents use boats to pick up students from schools after nearly a foot of rain fell in Lake Charles, La., Monday, May 17, 2021. (Photo: Rick Hickman, AP)

A break from the news

  • ūüŹĖÔłŹ Booking a summer vacation? How to make the most of AARP discounts for travel. Can I come?
  • ūü§© Hey now, you’re an all star: As ‘Shrek’ turns 20, Smash Mouth finally embraces its ‘All Star’ legacy.
  • ūüé• ‘Thank God for every moment’: DMX’s biggest revelations from Part 1 of his final interview.

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