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5 things to know for May 24: Covid, Biden, hate-related incidents, Belarus, bitcoin

Six dogs participating in an early study were successful in detecting Covid-19, which has shown an association with a "distinct" odor.

Posted: May 23, 2021 7:43 PM
Updated: May 24, 2021 4:30 AM


National Guard troops stationed at the Capitol since the January 6 insurrection left the grounds yesterday. But the campus is still closed to visitors.

Here's what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.

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1. Coronavirus

A US intelligence report found that several researchers at China's Wuhan Institute of Virology fell ill in November 2019 and had to be hospitalized. This new detail could fuel further debate about the origins of the virus. The director of the lab has vehemently denied the report's findings, calling them 'a complete lie.' In the US, despite lagging vaccine interest, at least 25 states plus Washington, DC, have now fully vaccinated at least half of their adult residents. Almost half the total US population has now gotten at least one shot. The benefits of more vaccinations is already obvious: The US is recording some of the lowest Covid-19 metrics in roughly a year.

2. White House

President Biden is still hoping for bipartisan support for his wide-ranging infrastructure bill, despite a deepening partisan divide. The White House has dropped the price of the bill from $2.25 trillion to $1.7 trillion in what is widely seen as a concession to Republicans who have balked at its cost and scope. The reduction takes spending on manufacturing, research and development and supply chain out of the talks and drops Biden's proposed spending level on roads, bridges and other projects. White House senior adviser Cedric Richmond says Biden is willing to 'change course' on the future of the bill if negotiations sputter into inaction.

3. Hate-related incidents

The New York Police Department is stepping up its presence among the city's Jewish communities following two hate-related incidents in Brooklyn over the weekend. The episodes were among a handful recently reported across the US as tensions flared over the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Also in Brooklyn, a man last week allegedly tried to set a synagogue and Jewish school on fire. He has been charged with arson. In Los Angeles, a man was arrested for assault with a deadly weapon after an altercation that began with slurs allegedly yelled at patrons at a restaurant.

4. Belarus

Belarus' government is facing international condemnation after President Alexander Lukashenko ordered a fighter jet to escort a re-routed Ryanair flight carrying a leading Belarusian opposition activist. Accounts of why the plane was diverted differ: Ryanair says it was notified of a potential security threat on board; Belarusian authorities claimed the plane's captain decided to change course after being told of a potential bomb on board. Raman Pratasevich, in exile and a vocal critic of Lukashenko's regime, was detained when the flight landed in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The US and the UK are among those questioning Belarus' motives and accounts of the incident.

5. Cryptocurrency

It's been a rough few days for the cryptocurrency markets, and the woes continued yesterday when Bitcoin prices temporarily fell as much as 13%. The crypto slump began last week when Chinese authorities announced further restrictions on cryptocurrency transactions, resulting in a broad crypto crash that wiped out about $1 trillion in market value. The US has also recently hinted at more restrictions. Cryptocurrencies have always been subject to dramatic ups and downs, but as they become more mainstream, their volatility attracts more scrutiny from experts and investors. Over the long term, however, they're still going strong: Bitcoin, the most prominent cryptocurrency, is still up more than 250% over the past year.

BREAKFAST BROWSE

Phil Mickelson became the oldest major winner with an enthralling PGA Championship victory

He's 50 and flourishing!

Here are the winners from last night's Billboard Music Awards 

It was a good weekend to be The Weeknd.

New 'Fast & Furious' film nabs biggest opening of the pandemic so far

For those keeping track, that's 13 (!!!) 'Fast & Furious' films so far. (You'd think it would be nine, but real fans know the truth.)

Simone Biles is the first woman to land a Yurchenko double pike in competition

The move is described as a roundoff onto the springboard, then a back handspring onto the vaulting table and a piked double backflip into the air to land. You know, easy peasy. 

Billions of cicadas are finally emerging in the eastern US

T H E Y ' R E  H E R E . 

TODAY'S NUMBER

$150 billion

That's how much of Iraq's oil money has been stolen and smuggled out of the country in corrupt deals since the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, Iraqi President Barham Salih estimated.

TODAY'S QUOTE

'Our party grew out of the people, so it will exist as long as people support it.'

Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar's de facto leader who was detained at the start of the brutal military coup that upended the country's government in February. The junta-appointed election commission has said it would dissolve her party because of what it claims was election fraud. Suu Kyi appeared today in court for the first time in person since the coup.

TODAY'S WEATHER

Check your local forecast here>>>

AND FINALLY

'Garden of Your Mind'

This song, featuring some autotune magic of the inimitable Mister Rogers, never fails to put me in a good mood. (Click here to view.)

Oregon Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 313161

Reported Deaths: 3594
CountyCasesDeaths
Multnomah51245642
Washington34995276
Marion32577393
Clackamas26570271
Lane23989246
Jackson20977257
Deschutes16623102
Umatilla12602125
Douglas10712188
Linn1046886
Josephine8659165
Yamhill744999
Klamath643491
Polk623570
Malheur479467
Benton461927
Coos412069
Columbia324237
Jefferson313746
Lincoln276330
Union272737
Wasco239039
Crook212338
Clatsop211725
Tillamook181523
Baker174421
Morrow167921
Curry166817
Hood River163035
Harney78916
Grant7558
Lake6768
Wallowa50811
Gilliam1374
Sherman1283
Wheeler651
Unassigned00

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Cases: 4644566

Reported Deaths: 68019
CountyCasesDeaths
Los Angeles144512125852
Riverside3579884804
San Diego3495814009
San Bernardino3472035506
Orange3146225354
Sacramento1503072089
Santa Clara1405641841
Fresno1358611888
Kern1358421515
Alameda1162141329
Ventura976901120
San Joaquin973871615
Contra Costa95727924
Stanislaus806991234
Tulare72969896
San Mateo52239607
San Francisco51907605
Monterey49465565
Solano44151312
Santa Barbara43112500
Sonoma39441378
Merced39370535
Placer36487364
Imperial34261755
Kings30124284
San Luis Obispo28300313
Madera21707258
Butte21307230
Shasta20683276
Santa Cruz20151211
Yolo19143239
Marin17106242
El Dorado16004127
Sutter13094153
Napa1226895
Yuba926061
Nevada847685
Humboldt829587
Tehama823784
San Benito709067
Mendocino685575
Lassen637627
Tuolumne615393
Lake603687
Amador492259
Glenn398030
Siskiyou389541
Calaveras342266
Del Norte336034
Colusa290918
Inyo166539
Mono14935
Plumas12406
Mariposa99712
Trinity72010
Modoc6278
Sierra1980
Unassigned1650
Alpine1000
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Medford
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Brookings
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Hi: 85° Lo: 56°
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Crater Lake
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Clear
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Warmer temperatures with haze returning
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