We've reached a turning point in the COVID-19 pandemic. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention yesterday said that Americans who have been fully vaccinated can stop wearing masks indoors or out, and don’t have to worry about social distancing in most settings. About half of Americans have gotten at least one of the two vaccination shots needed for full protection. Even vaccinated people are still advised to use a mask in places like hospitals and nursing homes and while traveling by public transportation.
The CDC gives advice, but states and local governments set the rules. The agency said people must continue to follow local restrictions.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis says he'll pardon residents charged with breaking COVID-19 protocols https://t.co/z7ghU8dIRn— CBS News (@CBSNews) May 14, 2021
➤GASOLINE IS FLOWING AGAIN: The flow of fuel moving through the Colonial Pipeline was approaching full capacity yesterday, President Joe Biden said yesterday, adding it might take a little time to get to the pumps. The shutdown of the pipeline caused panic buying and shortages through the eastern states that the pipeline serves. It also caused some price-gouging, with some stations posting prices of up to $9.99 a gallon.
Colonial Pipeline paid hackers a ransom of nearly $5 million to recover its stolen data, The New York Times reported.
➤MASS SHOOTING IN PROVIDENCE PARK: Nine people were injured in a shootout between two groups of young men in Providence, Rhode Island. The incident began with a drive-by shooting and gunfire was returned from the targeted house. All those involved were said to be well known to the police.
➤GAZA UNDER HEAVY FIRE: Gaza was hit with heavy artillery fire and airstrikes from Israel early today. As the Israeli military and Palestinian militants continued to exchange deadly fire, Israel's defense minister warned that Israel has "many, many more targets" for its strikes unless the Palestinians desist. More than 100 people have been killed in Gaza, and at least seven Israelis have been killed in the worsening conflict.
LATEST: Israeli ground forces joined in bombarding Gaza on Friday, representing a major escalation of the conflict between Israel and Palestinian militants as they edged toward all-out war. https://t.co/RgaNycYPIr— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 14, 2021
➤UNEMPLOYMENT BONUS CUT OFF TO MANY: Close to a million unemployed workers in at least 15 states are about to lose the $300 weekly federal supplement to their unemployment checks. As of yesterday, 15 Republican governors have decided to opt out of the program, arguing that their states have labor shortages and need people to get back to work. The states include Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Georgia, Idaho, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah and Wyoming. The cutoff dates vary by state.
Speaker Pelosi says that Rep. Greene's decision to scream at Rep. Ocasio-Cortez outside the House chamber is behavior that may need to be investigated by the House Ethics Cmte. https://t.co/0fnRj3IOC4— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 14, 2021
➤McDONALDS RAISES PAY: Fast-food restaurants are finally raising their pay rates to attract new workers in a tight job market. McDonald's is increasing its entry-level wage to between $11 and $17 depending on location. That is good only at company-owned restaurants. Most McDonalds are franchises. Chipotle Mexican Grill says its average hourly wage will be $15 by the end of June.
➤FAMOUS ASIAN AMERICANS: Asian Americans seem to be the invisible minority in the United States. At least you'd think so from the results of a new survey that shows that 42 percent of Americans can't name a single famous Asian American. Many of those who could came up with Bruce Lee, who died in 1973. So, here are a few names just in case you get that question: architect Maya Lin, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, comedian Margaret Cho, actor George Takei, actress Sandra Oh, cellist Yo-Yo Ma, director Ang Lee, singer Bruno Mars, and fashion designer Vera Wang. Oh, and U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris.
A massage therapist engaged in "inappropriate and exploitative behavior targeting members of the Ohio State football team" and had sex with at least 5 players, the university says, citing the findings of a law firm hired to conduct an investigation. https://t.co/97jHoFjb3s— NBC News (@NBCNews) May 14, 2021
⚾YANKEES SHORTSTOP SIDELINED: New York Yankees shortstop Gleyber Torres has tested positive for COVID-19, the team's management announced yesterday. That makes eight members of the Yankees organization to test positive this week. Only one has shown any symptoms so far. The New York State Department of Health is investigating, since all of those infected reportedly have had the one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.
🏀SEIMONE AUGUSTUS MOVES TO COACHING: Seimone Augustus, an eight-time women's basketball All-Star and four-time champion, is retiring from the court but will stay on with the Los Angeles Sparks as an assistant coach. She played for the Minnesota Lynx for 14 seasons before moving to L.A. Augustus, now 37, is also a three-time Olympic gold medalist.
🏀WNBA SEASON STARTS TODAY: Speaking of women's pro basketball, the 2021 season begins today with a full season of 32 games scheduled. And, this year, they're all happening "out of the bubble." Tonight's opener features the Indiana Fever at New York Liberty.
- CHECK IT OUT: ESPN ranks the top 25 WNBA players for 2021.
- CHECK IT OUT: See the full WNBA 2021 schedule.
🎾RAFAEL NADAL IS BACK: Rafael Nadal whacked his way through a sluggish start against Denis Shapovalov to win a spot in the quarter finals of the Italian Open. It was a 3-6 6-4 7-6 (3) victory for the 34-year-old player against a 22-year-old opponent.
🏀RODRIGUEZ GETS A STAKE IN THE TIMBERWOLVES: Retired baseball star Alex Rodriguez and tech billionaire Marc Lore have reached an agreement to buy the NBA's Minnesota Timberwolves and the WNBA's Minnesota Lynx from owner Glen Taylor, according to a report from USA Today.
🏈SCALPERS CASH IN ON BRADY'S RETURN: Ticket scalpers are demanding up to $8,862 to see quarterback Tom Brady's return appearance at Gillette Stadium on October 3rd, according to Bleacher Report. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers match against the New England Patriots is the most in-demand game of the just-announced NFL season, based on ticket prices. Brady spent two decades with the Patriots and led the team to six Super Bowl titles before leaving for Tampa last year.
🏈PEYTON MANNING'S NEW JOB: It seems Peyton Manning has a new job with the Broncos. Hey, a man's gotta stay busy.