Gunman kills at least 19 children, 2 adults at Texas elementary school
The community in the city of Uvalde, Texas, remains in mourning Wednesday after an 18-year-old gunman wearing body armor entered an elementary school and fired hundreds of rounds, killing at least 19 children and two adults Tuesday. It was the deadliest shooting at a U.S. grade school since the 2012 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Gov. Greg Abbott said one of the two adults killed in the attack at Robb Elementary School on Tuesday was a teacher. A U.S. Border Protection agent shot and killed the gunman, a senior Department of Homeland Security official told USA TODAY Tuesday night. Federal law enforcement officials told the Associated Press that the death toll was expected to rise. Hours after Tuesday's attack, President Joe Biden called for new gun restrictions. "As a nation we have to ask, when in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby? When in God's name are we going to do what has to be done?" Biden asked. "Why are we willing to live with this carnage?"
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Biden to sign policing order on second anniversary of George Floyd's death
Two years after George Floyd's death sparked nationwide protests, President Joe Biden will sign a wide-ranging executive order Wednesday that aims to hold police accountable for excessive use of force. Biden's order will require all federal law-enforcement agencies to limit the use of force, ban the use of chokeholds unless deadly force is authorized, restrict the use of no-knock entry warrants and require the activation of body-worn cameras during arrests and searches, according to senior administration officials. Rev. Al Sharpton described Biden's order as "an important step" that showed the president "took the initiative" when Congress failed to act, but he said activists would "never give up" on pushing for legislation. On May 25, 2020, Floyd, 46, was murdered by former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, who pressed his knee into Floyd's neck for more than nine minutes. The incident fueled a national social justice movement targeting police reform and systemic racism.
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FDA chief to detail delays inspecting baby formula plant, which helped lead to shortage
Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Robert Califf is set to answer questions Wednesday from House lawmakers probing the events leading to the baby formula shortage, which forced President Joe Biden to invoke the Defense Production Act to speed production and authorize flights to import supply from overseas while many parents still hunt for scarce supplies. According to prepared testimony, federal plans to inspect a baby formula factory linked to the nationwide shortage were slowed by COVID-19, scheduling conflicts and other logistical problems. The issue is largely tied to problems at Abbott Nutrition's Michigan plant, the largest in the U.S., which the FDA shut down in February due to contamination. In his remarks, Califf also explains why it took his agency months to inspect the plant after first learning of potential problems last fall. Members of an Energy and Commerce subcommittee will also hear from three infant formula manufacturers, including a top Abbott executive.
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Senate confirmation hearing for Biden's ATF nominee begins
Steven Dettelbach, the Biden administration's nominee to lead the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco Firearms and Explosives, will take part in a Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday. Dettelbach, a former federal prosecutor, has received support from eight of the agency's previous directors or acting leaders prior to the hearing. A letter from the former directors underscored an untenable state of uncertainty that has shadowed the agency for years: a chronic lack of permanent leadership. The ATF has been without permanent leadership for seven years. As with all prior nominees to the post, Dettelbach faces stiff resistance from the powerful gun lobby, led by the National Rifle Association, which helped derail President Joe Biden's first nominee for the job, David Chipman. The NRA claims Biden has sought to "double-down on his attempt to put a gun control advocate in charge" of the agency by appointing Dettelbach.
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Kate Moss expected to take the stand in Heard-Depp trial
British model Kate Moss is expected to take the stand in the Amber Heard-Johnny Depp trial Wednesday. Moss, who dated Depp in the 1990s, is expected to testify on his behalf. Heard, during her testimony, recalled a 2015 fight near a staircase in which she said she hit Depp in the face out of fear he would hurt her sister, Whitney. The actress said she was "instantly" reminded of Kate Moss at that moment. Moss has never accused Depp of abuse, but Heard previously claimed during their 2020 U.K. trial that two people told her Depp once pushed Moss down the stairs. Earlier in the trial Depp's legal team appeared to celebrate upon hearing Heard mention Moss. Some legal experts believe their reaction was because Heard referencing past instances of alleged abuse in this case opens the door for Depp's team to do the same – and Heard has prior domestic abuse charges against her.
Amber Heard, Johnny Depp and who we choose to believe
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Contributing: The Associated Press
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Texas school shooting, George Floyd, baby formula: 5 things to know Wednesday