Reuters footage captured several bright flashes from explosions and the sound of blasts reverberating through the city as both sides exchanged fire.At least 126 people have been killed in Gaza since Monday (May 10), including 31 children and 20 women, and 950 others wounded, Palestinian medical officials said.Among eight dead in Israel were a soldier patrolling the Gaza border and six Israeli civilians, including two children, Israeli authorities said.
Washington was running out of gas on Friday, even as U.S. officials assured Americans that supplies would return to normal soon.The six-day Colonial Pipeline shutdown, the most disruptive cyberattack on record, has prompted widespread panic buying.It's left many gas stations across the Southeast empty, and customers scrambling to fill up their cars.As social distancing restrictions ease and more Americans hit the road, pump prices are at their highest in years.The national gasoline average has climbed to over $3, the most expensive since 2014, according to the American Automobile Association.Colonial Pipeline, the country's largest fuel network, announced Thursday it had restarted its entire system and was ramping up deliveries.By Friday, a Colonial spokeswoman said the pipeline is shipping at normal rates again. But gas outages have persisted."I'm gonna have to fill up again probably before getting to North Carolina, there's a big time gas shortage there so I'm probably gonna have to fill up on the way as well"The Wall Street Journal and New York Times reported Friday that DarkSide, the hacking group blamed for the pipeline attack, announced it would be shutting down.DarkSide said it had also hacked four other companies, including a Toshiba subsidiary in Germany.Colonial has not determined how the initial breach occurred, and hasn't disclosed whether they paid the hackers. Bloomberg News reported that it paid nearly $5 million.U.S. lawmakers have reintroduced legislation in the wake of the cyberattack to secure pipelines and pipeline facilities from cyberattacks.
Johnson said the government would accelerate remaining second doses to the over 50s and those clinically vulnerable to just eight weeks after the first dose and would prioritise first doses for those eligible who had not yet come forward.Even so, the spread of the variant could disrupt Britain's progress out of lockdown, making it more difficult to move to the final stage of a staggered reopening of the economy in June, he said.Johnson had aimed to lift all restrictions on June 21, after allowing people in England from Monday to hug again, meet in small groups indoors and travel abroad.The United Kingdom has delivered one of the world's fastest inoculation campaigns, giving the first shot to almost 70% of the adult population and a second to 36%, helping to reduce infection rates and deaths.But the emergence of the B.1.617.2 variant in parts of northern England and London has prompted some scientists to call for the reopening to be delayed, and a rethink on the speed of the vaccine rollout.At the national level, infections are still low, and fell for a fifth consecutive week in England, Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures showed on Friday.
Thunderstorms brought hail to the Wichita, Kansas, area on May 14, with reports of pea-sized hail in the region.Footage captured by Kevin Herndon near Lake Afton, Kansas, shows hail peppering the ground.The National Weather Service had reported a series of storm developments in the Wichita area on the afternoon of May 14, forecasting hail and winds of up to 50 mph . Credit: Kevin Herndon via Storyful
When last October’s Glass Fire raged through California’s Napa Valley wine country, firefighter Ryan Bellanca battled to keep the blaze from devastating an upscale vineyard. But Bellanca wasn't working for any fire department. The owner of the vineyard had hired his private company, Bella Wildfire & Forestry, to protect the property. Authorities, however - including Cal Fire, the state’s fire agency, and the Napa Sheriff’s office - weren’t so pleased. Bellanca said Cal Fire accused his crew of lighting dangerous backfires – which consume fuel in a wildfire's path – and failing to leave an evacuated area. He denies lighting the backfires, but admits his team failed to advise Cal Fire that it was in the evacuated area, as required by law. [BELLANCA]: "We then had CalFire's management team come in and ask us to go ahead and evacuate….” The incident highlights how a booming business in private firefighting is creating friction with government firefighters as wildfires grow more frequent and dangerous across the western U.S. Brian Rice is the president of California Professional Firefighters, which represents more than 30,000 government firefighters. "These private contractors took it upon themselves to take one of the most dangerous and trained on operations in wildland firefighting on themselves. They didn't communicate it to anybody. They did it by themselves. And they not only endangered the lives of those (government) firefighters on that strike team that were moving from the incident command with their assignment to their assigned place, but all the firefighters in that area." [CALIFORNIA GOVERNOR GAVIN NEWSOM]: “Let’s be realistic. Fire season has already started....” In April, California Governor Gavin Newsom said the state had already seen twice as many fires this year as in this same period of 2020. Meaning, the controversy over private firefighting is likely only going to heat up. State firefighters complain that private contractors can get in the way or even accelerate a fire by focusing solely on a particular property - for a paying customer - rather than entire communities. And unless they are contracted by government agencies, these fire service companies have broad leeway when it comes to staff training and insurance. [RICE]: “And private contractors, acting with independent action, responsible to no one except their insurance company and the bottom line, a dollar, are absolutely not the answer, nor are they the future." Representatives of private fire services companies say they work well with authorities. An executive in the Napa wine industry predicted that demand for private firefighting will increase as some vineyards struggle to get stretched-thin government crews onto their property. Cal Fire did not respond to requests for comment.With homes built ever closer to fire-prone countryside, some 280 wildland fire contracting companies now work across the country, mostly in the western U.S.
REPORTER: "Are you enjoying your first day without masks?" BIDEN (back to camera): "Yes!" U.S. President Joe Biden on Friday said he was enjoying new mask guidance from the CDC - as were many vaccinated Americans who were told the day before that they no longer needed to mask up outdoors and indoors in most cases. But amid the celebration - was plenty of confusion as well. "I think maybe it's best to keep it on, until everyone else collectively decides."Jackson Mingle said he was vaccinated but not quite ready to shed the mask until it becomes common practice. Jeri Kelly, visited D.C. from Oregon, said she couldn't be sure if someone without a mask was actually vaccinated. "I am just concerned that the next person, how honest are they going to be." The CDC's sudden shift in guidance left many questions unanswered - When can Americans go to the gym without a mask? Or walk into a restaurant - or a baseball game without one? White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Friday said implementation will be left to the state and local level. “We also understand that private sector companies may decide that they want to have requirements. That’s up to them to make that determination. If you are running a stadium. If you are running a sports team or something like that. You have different considerations. We fully respect that. But we have no plans to change our approach from the federal government.” U.S. supermarket chain Kroger Co said it will continue to require customers to wear masks. Trader Joe's, said it would immediately drop its mask mandate for customers who are fully vaccinated. In many parts of the United States, people have not been wearing masks for months. Bars in Miami, for example, have been serving mask-less customers for weeks. There are caveats. The looser mask guidance does not apply to certain situations such as public transportation and prisons. There is also no approved U.S. COVID-19 vaccine for children aged 11 and younger. But U.S. officials hope the new freedoms afforded to vaccinated people will convince holdouts to get the shot, too.
A former Florida official central to the federal investigation into whether U.S. Representative Matt Gaetz committed sex trafficking of a minor will cooperate with investigators as part of a plea agreement.Court documents showed Joel Greenberg - a close associate of Congressman Gaetz - is expected to plead guilty to crimes including sex-trafficking a minor and spending more than $70,000 to pay for sex with the minor and others, who were 18 or older.The plea deal marks a turning point in the sprawling federal investigation, which has ensnared Gaetz, one of former President Donald Trump's staunchest defenders in Congress.Investigators are seeking to determine whether Gaetz had sex with the same 17-year-old Greenberg was accused of trafficking, according to reports and a law enforcement source who spoke with Reuters.The 39-year-old congressman has not been charged with any crimes and has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.A Gaetz spokesman said on Friday. quote "Congressman Gaetz doesn’t seem to be named nor referenced in Mr. Greenberg's plea," adding Gaetz 'has never had sex with a minor and has never paid for sex."
Wall Street finished off a rough week on a brighter note as investors bet the economic rebound will continue to chug along.The Dow rallied 360 points on Friday. The S&P 500 gained 61. The Nasdaq surged 314.The market was oversold and may be scaling back some of those inflation fears that rattled stocks earlier in the week, says Carin Pai, head of equity strategy at Fiduciary Trust International. "So some of the inflation numbers that we're seeing, maybe the market's overreacting a little bit on the concern about an inflationary scenario that's going to be sustained. We think more so, the inflation scenario that we're thinking about is that it's going to last for a period of time, but it's not going to be sustained." Shares of Walt Disney were left out of the rally. Investors weren't happy with the latest subscriber numbers for the Disney+ streaming service. The stock fell 2.6 percent. Netflix, the top name in the streaming video business, moved higher.Beauty stocks rallied as investors bet there will be more sales of make-up and other cosmetics after the CDC advised fully-vaccinated Americans that they don't have to wear masks in most places. Revlon jumped more than 4 percent and Estee Lauder, parent of MAC, rose nearly 2 percent. Despite Friday's gains it was still the worst week for the stock market since February. Investors had to sort through more disappointing economic data Friday. Retail sales unexpectedly stalled in April. Sales were flat after the upwardly revised 10.7 percent surge in March, as the impact of stimulus money waned. But what's bad news for Main Street might be seen as good news on Wall Street, with investors betting the retail sales slowdown will dampen talk the Federal Reserve will need to remove the extra stimulus it's pumping into the economy.
A CCTV camera in the city of Rehovot captured Israel’s Iron Dome missile-defense system in action over areas in the south of the country on the evening of May 14.This video, recorded by a camera belonging to Rehovot resident Tai Tzaban, shows several missiles streaking across the sky some distance away before flashes can be seen.According to local reports, rockets were fired from Gaza into parts of southern Israel on Friday, setting off sirens in the area.At least eight people have been reported killed in Israel after groups in the Gaza Strip began firing rockets across the border. According to the ministry of health in Gaza, at least 119 people have been killed in Gaza since the start of Israeli bombardments. Credit: Tai Tzaban via Storyful
"This is a woman that's deeply unwell, and clearly needs some help," Ocasio-Cortez told reporters when asked about Georgia Representative Marjorie Taylor Greene.The Washington Post this week reported two of its journalists witnessed Green aggressively confronting Ocasio-Cortez this week.U.S. Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Green committed "verbal assault and abuse," and may have violated ethics rules of the U.S. House of Representatives.Greene already has been sanctioned by the House for making incendiary remarks, including promoting violence against Democrats.The Republican on Friday said voters in her district wanted her to debate policy with New York progressive, accusing Ocasio-Cortez of promoting "socialism.""I know for a fact what socialism will do to our country," Green told reporters. "The American people know it. The American people want to see a debate."Greene has voiced support for unfounded conspiracy theories including the "QAnon" one that holds that elite Democrats are part of a cabal of Satan-worshipping pedophiles and cannibals.She has since distanced herself from some of her remarks.A CNN reporter on Friday shared since-deleted footage on Twitter purporting to show Green in 2019 - before she was elected to Congress - harassing Ocasio-Cortez through the mail slot in the Democratic representative's office door.
Heavy rainfall hit areas of Kerala, India, on May 14, amid warnings of a cyclonic storm.Timelapse footage captured by Instagram user @shyam_krishnan, who said he took it in Kerala’s capital city of Thiruvananthapuram, shows winds propelling sheets of rain. The Kerala State Disaster Management Authority had issued a red alert warning for the city on May 14, warning of very heavy to extremely heavy rainfall.The India Meteorological Department reported on May 14 that the storm was a tropical depression and would intensify into a cyclone on May 15. The storm was forecast to move toward the Gujarat coast. Credit: @shyam_krishnan via Storyful
Inflation worries have rattled Wall Street as of late - and investors are eager to hear what members of the Federal Reserve have to say about the stickiness of rising prices.Fed speak tops the Reuters Business Calendar for the week of May 17th.#1There's a lot of angst out there about rising inflation, and with the next Fed meeting weeks away, investors will be listening ever-more closely when voting members of the rate-setting committee speak throughout the week.Atlanta Fed President Raphael Bostic gives opening remarks at a two-day Fed conference on Monday and Tuesday. Fed Governor Richard Clarida speaks at that conference on Monday. Bostic is back again Friday at a Fed roundtable with fellow voting member Thomas Barkin of the Richmond Fed.Carin Pay is head of equity strategy at Fiduciary Trust Interntional:"With the weaker consumer confidence number, with the weaker retail sales number, the markets may be thinking, well, that gives the Fed some room to wait for a much more sustained economic recovery before tapering."Another Fed keynote on Friday at a different event: San Francisco Fed President Mary Daly participates in a panel discussion on wages. A hot topic given claims by business leaders that extra government jobless benefits are causing a shortage of hourly workers.Want to know what the Fed was thinking at its last meeting? Minutes are released on Wednesday.#2Sticking with the economy. It's a big week for housing. The National Association of Home Builders puts out its homebuilder sentiment index on Monday. New housing construction and permits data come out on Tuesday. Weekly mortgage application numbers are due on Wednesday.And then on Friday, April home resale figures are released. Economists predict 6.08 million units were sold last month, that's a slight uptick from the month before. Housing is running into an inventory problem with low interest rates fueling demand so strong that houses are snapped up nearly as soon as they hit the market.#3Earnings season isn't over yet. We get some big names from the retail sector.Walmart, the reigning king of big-box retailers, is out on Tuesday. Analysts are expecting earnings of $1.21 per share.Sales are expected to come in at $132 billion.Home Depot, a beneficiary of the stay-at-home trade, also reports Tuesday. Analysts forecast sales of $34.6 billion...the consensus profit forecast is $3.06 a share.On Wednesday we hear from Home Depot rival Lowe's, as well as discounter TJX...parent company of TJ MAXX, Marshall's and Home Goods...And Target reports. Earnings are expected to hit at $2.18 a share...Wall Street is looking for revenues of $21.5 billion#4Oatly hopes to cash in on the plant-based food craze. With star-studded backers like Oprah Winfrey and Jay-Z behind it, Oatly is looking for an opening market value of $10 billion. The stock will start trading on Thursday at the Nasdaq.Ticker symbol: O-T-L-Y.#5The week rounds out with a presidential visit to an American icon. President Biden will visit a Ford electric vehicle facility in Michigan on Tuesday.Ford recently announced plans to invest $185 million in battery development.And that's some of the events to look out for. I'm Conway G. Gittens for Reuters
Since she's not as worried about inflation as others in the market are, Pai said she'll be looking to pick up some of the high-growth tech names that get dumped on when inflation fears and talk of higher rates pull them down again.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki said there was no excuse for such a situation.NBC News reported children who migrated to the United States without their parents are being held on buses in a parking lot in Dallas.
U.S. House members have reached a deal to push forward with a bipartisan, independent commission to investigate the Jan. 6 storming of U.S. Capitol.In a statement, the Democratic chairman of the Homeland Security Committee Bennie Thompson and ranking Republican member John Katko said on Friday they would introduce legislation before the House as soon as next week to set up the investigative panel.It will be modeled after the one used to probe the attacks of September 11th. U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi praised the agreement, calling January 6th (quote) "one of the darkest days in our history."Like the Sept. 11 panel, this one would have five commissioners appointed by each party as well as the authority to issue subpoenas to carry out its investigation. The lawmakers said its report and "recommendations to prevent future attacks" would be due by Dec. 31.The agreement paves the way for the panel's creation after a partisan fight over the scope of the investigation - and as Republican committee members increasingly downplay the events of the day in an effort to defend former President Donald Trump and his supporters.Both the House and the Senate would have to approve the bill, which would then go to President Joe Biden to sign into law.
A crowd of protesters cheered as two men were released after being detained by UK Home Office officials in Glasgow, Scotland, on May 13.The crowd had surrounded the van after the Border Agency conducted an early raid on a property on Kenmure Street in the Pollokshields area of the city, local media reported.Police Scotland said in a statement that the men were released “to protect the public health and well-being of all people involved in the detention and subsequent protest in Kenmure Street.”Video shared by David Fennessy captured the moment the two men were released from Border Agency custody. Credit: David Fennessy via Storyful
Dozens of nurses, some of them retired but back in action, enjoyed the classical music while the vaccination was still carrying on.Madrid's WiZink Centre, a venue for large sports events and concerts, opened its doors on April 9 to thousands of people who have received the COVID-19 vaccine.On Wednesday, more than 105,000 Madrid residents from 60 to 67 years old got Astrazeneca jab, according to Madrid health authorities.
The peclets were born to mother Pepa and father Tapo on April 16, the zoo told Reuters in an emailed statement.Native to the Gran Chaco region of South America, the Chacoan peccary is listed as endangered by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
This fencing champion volunteered at a COVID wardLocation: Budapest, Hungary2020 didn’t go as planned for Hungarian fencer Gergely Siklosiand many Olympics hopefuls like himWhen Hungary was forced into lockdownthe 22-year-old took some time off sportand volunteered at a COVID ward and vaccination centerHe also completed basic military training(SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) FENCER, GERGELY SIKLOSI, SAYING:"One may think I was on track for a good Olympic performance, I had won the World Cup, World Championship and I was certain to go, but I doubt I would have lived up to my own expectations in 2020. It did me good that for a year the training sessions were held in a relaxed way, free of competitions."Siklosi's coach agrees the extra year served Siklosi well(SOUNDBITE) (Hungarian) FENCING COACH, TAMAS DANCSHAZY-NAGY, SAYING:"Given the choice, we would not have chosen this path. Families, entire nations were pummeled - but if it had to be, we tried to look at the glass half full and develop skills to take us further along."
WHO chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus also said the second year of the pandemic was set to be more deadly than the first, with India a huge concern as the official tally of infections crossed 24 million, and over 4,000 people died for the third straight day.WHO's top emergency expert, Mike Ryan, told the same virtual briefing in Geneva that local conditions needed to be taken into account if a country is planning to allow vaccinated people not to wear masks in public.Senior adviser Bruce Aylward said WHO was in touch with the United States about sharing vaccines with the international COVAX scheme, which distributes doses to poorer countries.
In an internal party vote on Friday, U.S. Congressional Republicans picked a representative fiercely loyal to Donald Trump for a leadership role, replacing another who'd voiced unvarnished criticism of the former president. "I also want to thank President Trump for his support, he is a critical part of our Republican team." New York Representative Elise Stefanik was once seen as a moderate, but swung decisively toward the divisive former president, loudly defending him at his first impeachment trial. Her elevation to serve as House Republican Conference Chair signals Trump's enduring grip on the party. She replaces Wyoming Representative Liz Cheney, who broke ranks after a violent mob of Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol in January. Chaney blamed Trump for the deadly riot, and for spreading the baseless claims of election fraud that inspired it. She was ejected from her position earlier this week, but did not relent. "We cannot have a former president spreading lies." Republicans on Friday cheered Stefanik's victory as a sign of party unity heading into the 2022 midterm elections.
A judge in the Sicilian city of Catania ruled on Friday (May 14) that the head of Italy's right-wing League party, Matteo Salvini, should not stand trial over allegations he kidnapped a group of migrants by refusing to let them disembark from a ship.The case is centered on an incident in July 2019, when Salvini, who was then the country's interior minister, blocked more than 100 people aboard the Gregoretti coastguard ship for six days as he waited for European allies to agree to resettle them.During his 14 months as interior minister, he stopped several boats from docking in Italy in an effort to halt migrant flows, and regularly accused the charities that operated them of effectively encouraging people smuggling.The Catania case is similar to a separate investigation in the Sicilian capital Palermo over migrants who were kept aboard another boat a month after the Gregoretti incident.However, in a completely contrasting decision, a judge in Palermo last month ordered that Salvini should stand trial over the allegations. He could face up to 15 years in prison if found guilty.The trial will begin in Palermo on September 15.Prosecutors in Catania had asked the judge not to send Salvini to trial, saying his decision did not violate international treaties and was not to be considered kidnapping.
Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives elected Trump-backed Stefanik to their leadership after ousting Cheney for criticizing Trump's continued false claims of election fraud.The secret-ballot vote boosted Trump's dominance over the party even after it lost its majorities in the House and Senate, as well as the White House, during his single term in office. Trump is positioning himself to play a major role in next year's congressional elections and is also flirting with a 2024 White House run."I believe that voters choose the leader of the Republican Party and President Trump is the leader that they look to," Stefanik said.Stefanik defeated Representative Chip Roy, who entered the race to serve as chair of the House Republican Conference on Thursday night.House conservatives including Roy had complained that Stefanik's voting record was not conservative enough, including a vote against Trump's 2017 tax cuts, his main legislative accomplishment. But the party in the end lined up behind Trump, who blasted Roy's entry into the contest in a statement, hinting at backing a primary challenger to him next year.Now free of her job as head of the Republican conference, Cheney, a lawmaker with impeccable conservative credentials and the daughter of former Vice President Dick Cheney, vows to steer the party away from a man she says is "pushing the lie" that his defeat in the 2020 election was the result of massive voter fraud.Trump's claim was rejected by multiple courts, state election officials and his own administration. Cheney calls him "an ongoing threat" to U.S. democracy.By dumping Cheney and electing Stefanik, Republicans demonstrated that adherence to strict conservative ideology is no longer of prime importance in the Trump era.The conservative Club for Growth, which rates members of Congress, gives Stefanik a lifetime score of just 35% for voting in line with its priorities, one of the worst among House Republicans, and well below Cheney's 65%.
Satellite imagery captured on May 8 showed stunning cloud formations known as ‘von Karman vortices’ over Guadalupe Island, 150 miles west of Mexico’s Baja California Peninsula.The formations “occur when the prevailing wind is diverted by elevated land features such as islands, mountaintops, or volcanoes … causing the air, and its subsequent clouds, to rotate into a spiral shape,” according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.The phenomenon was named after Theodore von Karman, a cofounder of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and one of the first scientists to describe the formation. Credit: NOAA Satellites via Storyful
American consumers spent less at stores last month. U.S. retail sales unexpectedly stalled in April as the boost from stimulus checks faded. The Commerce Department said Friday sales were flat following a nearly 11% surge in March. Economists had expected sales would increase modestly.Once you strip out the impact of volatile items like food, gas and autos, the so-called core retail sales dropped 1.5% from a rise of over 7% in March.The weak sales data could raise anxiety about the economic recovery. Consumer spending accounts for more than two-thirds of economic activity. Fears about the virus linger, keeping many workers at home. And hiring slowed in April amid a shortage of workers. But retail sales are likely to pick up in the coming months amid record savings and a reopening economy. Households have accumulated at least $2.3 trillion in excess savings during the health crisis, and that should underpin spending this year.