5 things to know for April 23: Police violence, Covid, climate, Indonesian sub, Mars

Severe storms are going to roll through the Southeast this weekend, teeing up an active few days of rough weather.

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1. Police violence

As the impact of the guilty verdicts in the George Floyd case continue to reverberate, other incidents of police violence are coming to the fore. The family of Ma’Khia Bryant, a 16-year-old girl shot and killed Tuesday by police in Columbus, Ohio, is appealing for justice after police released bodycam footage of the incident. In Elizabeth City, North Carolina, a man named Andrew Brown Jr. was killed Wednesday after an encounter with police in which shots were fired. The deputies involved are on administrative leave during an investigation. As the Justice Department begins its probe into the practices of police in Minneapolis, where Floyd was killed, it’s expected to revisit high-profile cases of years past, like those of Philando Castile and Justine Ruszczyk, who were killed by police there in 2016 and 2017.

2. Coronavirus 

Vaccine advisers to the CDC are expected to meet today to review any more blood clot cases related to the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. They’re also due to vote on updated recommendations for use of the vaccine. Health advisers have noted that dangerous complications are still extremely rare. The CDC is also considering revising its mask guidance, especially related to when people — especially those who are vaccinated — are outdoors. Federal officials in the US are also considering whether to renew the transportation mask requirement that expires next month. It was put into place in February and backed by aviation industry leaders because it added some official muscle to rules set by individual transportation operators.

3. Climate 

President Biden’s ambitious new climate goal — to cut US carbon emissions in half by 2030 — is the latest big-ticket item on his progressive agenda. It could also complicate relations with China. The countries are the world’s biggest carbon polluters, and assuming Biden can sell his emissions plan when he addresses Congress next week, they’ll both be on an aggressive short-term course to reduce that pollution. While the climate crisis has always been an opportunity for countries to work together, there are concerns such collaboration might not be able to entirely escape the fallout from other areas of the US and China’s heated bilateral relationship.

4. Indonesian sub

Crews are working frantically to locate a missing Indonesian submarine with 53 crew members on board before it’s expected to run out of oxygen tomorrow. An Indonesian naval vessel has detected an object within the search range of the submarine, but officials aren’t sure what the object is yet. The German-made submarine lost contact Wednesday during a military exercise in the Bali Strait, which connects the Indian Ocean and the Bali Sea. Australia, Singapore and the United States are sending support for the search. Indonesia’s military says it suspects an oil spill seen in aerial surveillance near Wednesday’s dive point came from the craft, which could mean it was leaking fuel or it released fluid in an attempt to surface.

5. Mars

NASA’s Perseverance rover has completed another extraterrestrial feat. The craft has successfully converted some of the plentiful carbon dioxide on Mars into oxygen as a first test of its MOXIE instrument. The name MOXIE is short for Mars Oxygen In-Situ Resource Utilization Experiment. After a two-hour warmup, the MOXIE made 5.4 grams of oxygen, which is enough to sustain an astronaut for about 10 minutes. After its historic first flight on Mars earlier this week, Perseverance’s travel companion on the red planet, the Mars Ingenuity helicopter, completed a second, riskier flight during which it captured color images of Mars’ surface.


Organizers of the Academy Awards are worried about ratings

It may be Hollywood’s biggest night, but in this day and age, what does that mean for the couch-and-sweatpants crowd?

Cher and a 4-year elephant rescue mission she led are getting a documentary 

Just come prepared to cry.

James Cameron says the next ‘Avatar’ movie will have more water

Sounds like a cake mix advertisement: 50% more moist than the original!

Taco Bell is testing a meat alternative 

First we had the chicken sandwich wars. Is a new meatless battle brewing?

Here’s where you can sunbathe in the buff around the world

For when you want to go all out with your post-pandemic plans.


$600 billion

That’s the value of the infrastructure plan Senate Republicans revealed yesterday. It’s more pared down than President Biden’s $2 trillion plan and operates on a narrower definition of what infrastructure is.


“No one can still deny the scale of the abuses taking place in the Xinjiang region.”

Labour lawmaker Yasmin Qureshi, after British lawmakers unanimously declared China’s ongoing crackdown in Xinjiang a genocide. They join the US, Canada and the Netherlands in this strong condemnation.


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Mind your manners 

If you’re trying to take grapes from a raccoon, at least be polite and ask first. (Click here to view.)