If you’re traveling for Memorial Day, you’re gonna break the bank filling up the tank. Gas is at a 7-year-high, just in time for your road trip. And by the way, there’s no newsletter Monday, so we’ll see you again Tuesday!
Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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1. Capitol riot investigation
Senate Republicans are stalling on a vote to create a commission to investigate the January 6 Capitol riots. Leading the pushback is Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who has made the unusual move of asking wavering senators to support filibustering the bill as “a personal favor” to him. Only three Republican senators so far have expressed their support for the commission: Sens. Mitt Romney, Susan Collins and Lisa Murkowski. A key procedural vote on the bill was delayed yesterday after GOP senators postponed passage on another bill, creating a time squeeze. A group of former Homeland Security secretaries who served in both Republican and Democratic administrations is calling on the Senate “to put politics aside” to create the commission.
Some hopeful pandemic news to send you off this weekend: The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is predicting that Covid-19 cases will fall over the next four weeks, thanks to widespread vaccination efforts. Those efforts will continue over the Memorial Day holiday in places like New York City, where vaccination buses are headed out to crowded beaches and parks. We’re also learning more about the potential motivations behind President Joe Biden’s call for the US intelligence committee to reinvestigate the origins of the coronavirus. According to the New York Times, intelligence officials told the White House they had untapped evidence about the virus’ origins that required more analysis to fully interpret.
3. San Jose shooting
Mourners gathered in San Jose yesterday to honor the nine victims of Wednesday’s shooting at a Valley Transportation Authority rail yard. Authorities are releasing more information about the gunman, identified as VTA employee Sam Cassidy. Law enforcement haven’t found any written evidence of a motive, but Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said he was “highly disgruntled” regarding his job. One witness said she believed the gunman sought people out as he shot. Heartbroken families, friends and coworkers are sharing memories of the victims: Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; Adrian Balleza, 29; Alex Ward Fritch, 49; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35; Lars Kepler Lane, 63; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; and Timothy Michael Romo, 49.
The Biden administration will not seek to reenter the Open Skies Treaty with Russia in response to what the State Department called Russia’s “failure to take any actions to return to compliance.” Biden’s refusal to rejoin closes one possible means of collaboration ahead of a key meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin next month. Meanwhile, Russian authorities have denied entry to at least two European airlines after the carriers requested to fly an alternative route bypassing Belarusian airspace. The move underscores Russia’s support of Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko, who is facing international condemnation for allegedly re-routing a passenger flight with a political opposition figure on board.
5. Department of Justice
Attorney General Merrick Garland has announced a series of six steps the DOJ is taking to improve efforts to combat hate crimes. They include measures like increasing resources and coordination, facilitating the expeditious review of hate crimes, designating both civil and criminal assistant US attorneys as local civil rights coordinators, and expanding access to different languages in the department. The steps Garland outlined are intended to help the department implement the Covid-19 Hate Crimes Act, which President Joe Biden signed into law earlier this month.
Ariana Grande shares photos of her at-home wedding
The Masked Singer crowns its Season 5 winner
Was it the Piglet in little boy shorts, the Chameleon who looks kind of like Elton John, or the very fancy Black Swan?
Meet the tech startup that taught a computer to taste wine
Next step: Teach the computer to be really snobby about its preference for Gewürztraminer.
Rolls-Royce will now build you any car you want, but it will cost millions
Baby squid and tardigrades are heading to the International Space Station
P.S. — Do you love science? Indulge your curiosity and sign up for CNN’s new Wonder Theory newsletter, a weekly exploration of the universe, ancient discoveries, fascinating findings — and, yes, funky animals in space.
That’s how much AMC stock rose yesterday thanks to another round of love from meme stock investors on Reddit. We’ve seen this before with the big Game Stop surge earlier this year.
“I do my routines every day and am focused on my No. 1 goal right now: walking on my own. Taking it one step at a time.”
Tiger Woods, speaking about his injury in his first interview since the serious car crash that sidelined him in February.
Stars and stripes forever
Here’s a very cool visual breakdown of the many times the American flag has evolved through the years.