5 things to know for May 5: Covid-19, Facebook, Mueller probe, Afghanistan, Israel

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just released new national climate normals, and no, it’s not your imagination. Your city really is getting warmer.

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1. Coronavirus

President Biden has a new Covid-19 goal: at least one vaccine dose to 70% of US adults and 160 million fully vaccinated by July 4. That would mark a sharp slowdown in vaccination pace, something that’s already happening across the country. So far, about 145 million people — about 56% of all adults in the US — have gotten at least one dose. States are also getting ready to vaccinate 12- to 15-year-olds once the FDA approves the Pfizer vaccine for that group. Pfizer also has its eye on authorization for 2- to 11-year-olds in September. Meantime in Brazil, the parliamentary inquiry into the government’s Covid-19 response has begun. The nation’s former health minister said yesterday that President Jair Bolsonaro was warned about the consequences of ignoring science and common pandemic safety measures.

2. Facebook

The Facebook Oversight Board will announce its long-anticipated decision on the fate of former President Trump’s Facebook account at 9 a.m. ET today. Trump’s Facebook and Instagram accounts were suspended indefinitely a day after the Capitol riot in January. (YouTube and Twitter made similar moves.) The decision on Trump’s Facebook account is so contentious and historic, Facebook itself isn’t doing the deliberating. The oversight board is an independent body described as a kind of Supreme Court for the social network. Its decision today will set extremely important precedents for content moderation that could ripple through the social media — and political — worlds.

3. Mueller probe

A federal judge has rejected the Justice Department’s attempts to withhold the release of a secret memo, written for former Attorney General William Barr, regarding the department’s opinion not to charge Trump with obstruction at the end of the Mueller investigation. Judge Amy Berman Jackson dismissed the DOJ’s reasoning that the largely redacted March 2019 memo was legal reasoning to help Barr make a decision about Trump. She said she believed Barr and his advisers had already decided they wouldn’t charge the President with a crime and the memo was partly strategic planning — and therefore could be made public. The decision adds to the criticism federal judges and others have had about Barr and his handling of the end of the Mueller probe — and his desire to keep documents related to the investigation under wraps.

4. Afghanistan

The ongoing withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan could threaten the progress of women’s rights in the country, even if the Taliban doesn’t fully take power, according to a newly declassified US intelligence report. The report says progress for women’s rights in Afghanistan over the last two decades probably relied more on “external pressure than domestic support” and thus could falter without foreign backing. The report also concluded the Taliban’s policies toward women, girls and ethnic minorities hasn’t changed, putting them in potential danger when it comes to issues like child marriage and sexual violence. The US secretary of state has warned the Taliban that any backslide in Afghan women’s rights would carry diplomatic consequences.

5. Israel

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has missed a deadline to form a new government, extending the country’s long political deadlock. Instead, Netanyahu bounced the mandate to form a new government back to President Reuven Rivlin, who now must decide which of Israel’s other political leaders he might entrust with trying to form a governing coalition. Israel has gone through four elections in two years, and none has resulted in a definite governing structure in the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. The government’s future may hinge on Naftali Bennett, a former defense minister and right-wing party leader. Both Netanyahu and another major party leader have offered Bennett the prime ministership in a sort of rotation deal. Bennett says he’s not opposed to forming a unity government made up of a wide array of parties.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Conan O’Brien ends his long run in late night next month

Nearly 30 years — and one iconic hairdo

Sean Combs — also known as Puffy, Puff Daddy, P. Diddy, Diddy and then P. Diddy again — has legally changed his middle name to ‘Love’

For those keeping track at home, that’s now Sean Love Combs.

As their divorce news shocks the world, here’s a timeline of Bill and Melinda Gates’ relationship 

The term “power couple” has never been so accurate.

Why you might not really need 8 glasses of water a day

You get a lot of water from the things you already consume — including beer (hey, Cinco de Mayo).

A Belgian farmer moved a pesky stone on his property and ended up moving the country’s border with France  

Don’t you hate it when that happens? 

TODAY’S NUMBER

$1 trillion

That’s how much the shortage of manufacturing workers could cost the US by 2030 if it’s not addressed. Though US manufacturing activity surged to a 37-year high in March, the industry has more than half a million job openings and is struggling to find both skilled workers, like welders, and more entry-level employees.

TODAY’S QUOTE

“I think the world is more interested in the negative.”

Britney Spears, who slammed recent documentaries about her life, calling them “hypocritical.” Spears said on Instagram the documentaries focused too much on her hard times rather than her success.

TODAY’S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

The history of Cinco de Mayo

If you’re going to celebrate today, you should at least know what you’re celebrating — and no, it’s not Mexico’s Independence Day. (Click here to view.)

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