News Headlines 5/7/21

SIXTH-GRADE GIRL SHOOTS THREE AT IDAHO MIDDLE SCHOOL: A sixth-grade girl shot and wounded two students and a custodian at her middle school in Rigby, Idaho, yesterday morning (May 6th) before being disarmed by a female teacher and held by her until police arrived and took the girl into custody. The victims are expected to survive, with the students in fair condition and possibly able to be released as early as today, and the custodian treated and released. Sheriff Steve Anderson said the girl, whose name wasn’t disclosed, pulled a handgun out of her backpack and fired multiple times both inside and outside of Rigby Middle School. Anderson said they are investing where the girl got the gun and her motive.

FLORIDA GOV. SIGNS VOTING LAW THAT’S LATEST TO BE BLASTED BY CRITICS: Florida Republican Governor Ron DeSantis signed a new state voting law yesterday (May 6th), the latest recent law passed by a Republican-led state that creates new voting restrictions and that have been blasted by Democratic critics and voting rights advocates. DeSantis signed the bill at a live event that aired exclusively on Fox News, saying it would prevent fraud and restore confidence in the state’s elections. The state has found no evidence of significant fraud, and critics claim the more restrictive voting laws being passed by GOP states make it harder for people to  vote, particularly the elderly and people of color. Fox News later said it had booked DeSantis for an interview, not a bill signing, and hadn’t asked that the event be exclusive to them.

BLINKEN MEETS WITH UKRAINE’S PRESIDENT, REAFFIRMS U.S. SUPPORT: Secretary of State Antony Blinken met in Ukraine Thursday (May 6th) with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, reaffirming U.S. support for Ukraine amid increased tensions between the country and Russia, which recently had a troop buildup on the border. Russia has since pulled back some of those forces, but not all. Blinken emphasized America’s commitment to Ukraine’s, quote, “sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence,” as well as the importance of Ukraine working against widespread internal corruption. Ukraine is hoping for more military aid from the U.S., and strong support for its NATO membership.

U.S. UNEMPLOYMENT CLAIMS FALL BELOW 500,000, LOWEST SINCE START OF PANDEMIC: The number of Americans filing first-time unemployment benefit claims fell below 500,000 last week to 498,000, according to the Labor Department’s report out yesterday (May 6th), the lowest level since the pandemic began. The first-time claims fell by 92,000 from a revised 590,000 the week before. While down by nearly half from the peak of 900,000 in January, the claims are still well above the approximately 230,000 they were before the pandemic struck in March 2020.