5 things to know for May 18: Primary, Covid, Ukraine, Buffalo hunt, Immigration

By Alexandra Meeks, CNN

Prices at the pump are on the rise — again. The average cost of gasoline in California hit $6 a gallon yesterday for the first time, and this award could spread nationwide by the end of the summer, JPMorgan analysts said.

Here’s what you need to know to Level up and get on with your day.

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1. Primaries

Voters in Pennsylvania, North Carolina, Kentucky, Idaho and Oregon voted yesterday to choose their party’s candidates for the 2022 midterms. High-profile senatorial races in the swing states of Pennsylvania and North Carolina have captured national attention, with 50-50 control of the chamber on the line in November. There are also a number of US House races that could determine whether the Democrats continue to hold their five-seat majority. In Pennsylvania, the The Republican primary battle was neck and neck early this morning like Mehmet Oz, the celebrity doctor backed by former President Donald Trump, and Dave McCormick, a former hedge fund executive, continue to battle for the top spot. The winner of this race will face Lieutenant Governor John Fettermanwho won the Democratic primary despite being hospitalized after suffering a stroke days earlier.


More … than one million people have now died of Covid-19 in the United States since the start of the pandemic, according to data from Johns Hopkins University – and experts believe that the true assessment of the disease is even higher. About three-quarters of all Covid-19 deaths are in the elderly, CDC data shows. Last week, President Joe Biden issued a proclamation marking one million dead and ordered the American flag to fly at half mast, writing that the nation “must not be numb to such grief.” Yesterday, the White House also announced that American households are now able to order »eight additional free at-home tests to COVIDTests.gov — bringing the total number of free tests available to each household to 16 since the program began,” the administration said.


The evacuation mission Azovstol Steel Plant in Mariupol is coming to an end, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said yesterday. According to Ukrainian officials, this will soon mark the conclusion of Ukrainian forces’ “combat mission” in the compound, which for weeks was the last major standoff in a town otherwise occupied by Russian troops. Meanwhile, Finland and Sweden handed over to them applications for NATO membership today, the secretary general of the US-led military alliance said, in a formal step towards the end of decades of neutrality. Separately, UN Secretary General António Guterres will announce a plan to accelerate the world’s shift to renewable energy today, saying the war in Ukraine is a wake-up call for the world to move away from fossil fuels, according to prepared remarks.

4. Buffalo Hunt

The 18-year-old white man who allegedly committed a racially motivated mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York on Saturday has created a private chat room on the Discord communication app and invited people to view his chat logs about 30 minutes before he opened fire, a Discord spokesperson told CNN yesterday. The messages, which showed Payton Gendron had been planning the shoot for several months, finally went public when he invited people to join him, the spokesperson said. New details are also emerging about the weapon believed to have been used in the shooting – a legally obtained AR-15 style rifle. Law enforcement officials said there did not appear to have been any red flags that would have prevented the 18-year-old from obtaining the three guns allegedly found in his possession – the one used during the attack and two guns in his car.

5. Immigration

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas admitted yesterday that the agency had “not seen a significant decreaseamong migrants arriving at the US-Mexico border despite its efforts to restrict the flow. In an exclusive interview with CNN’s Priscilla Alvarez, Mayorkas said, “We’re seeing a seven-day average of over 7,500 people, so we haven’t seen a significant decrease in flows.” In April, the US Border Patrol stopped border crossings 201,800 times, down 4% from March, according to newly released data. But the numbers remain at historic highs, straining resources. Mayorkas’ remarks come in uncertainty about the future of the so-called pandemic restriction Title 42. The public health authority, which allows authorities to turn back migrants at the US-Mexico border, is set to end on May 23 – but an ongoing lawsuit could prevent those plans.


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How many people Mexico was officially recorded as extinct or extinct, according to data from the National Register of Missing Persons of the Ministry of the Interior. From 1964 to the present, more than 24,700 are women and more than 74,700 are men. The sex of 516 people is unknown. The figure has risen by more than 20,000 in the past two years alone, according to the data, which has sparked outrage and urgent calls for better search and rescue systems.


“I have no explanation.”

– Deputy Director of Navy Intelligence Scott Braywhen asked to identify a spherical object moving at high speed in declassified video shared yesterday during a House subcommittee hearing on “unidentified aerial phenomena,” commonly referred to as UFOs. During the hearing, key lawmakers warned that UFOs must be investigated and taken seriously as a potential threat to national security.


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