CORONAVIRUS: The global pandemic death toll could be nearly as high as 7 million, according to a new analysis. That’s double the current official death toll. Meanwhile, the variant originating in the UK now accounts for 72 percent of coronavirus genetic sequences in the US. Not a typo. In vaccine news, kids aged 12 to 15 could start to get the shot in the US as soon as today. Expect an announcement on that from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within the next few hours. And on that note: the Biden team just reached a deal with Uber and Lyft to provide free rides to vaccination sites through July 4, when the gov hopes to have 70 percent of the adult population fully inoculated.
POLITICS: Just hours ago, House Republicans voted to remove Rep Liz Cheney (R-WY) as a conference chair. The why: Cheney’s been pretty critical of ex-Prez Trump, particularly over his role in the Capitol attacks and his claims of a stolen election. Now, it looks like Rep Elise Stefanik (R-NY) could be set to take Cheney’s place as part of the House GOP leadership team. In other news, a judge just handed a major loss to the National Rifle Association (aka the NRA). The NRA is currently being sued by New York’s attorney general, so a couple months ago, they filed for bankruptcy and tried to reincorporate as a Texas nonprofit. But now, a judge is dismissing that bankruptcy case, forcing the org to face the lawsuit. And last but not least, Arizona’s governor is signing a controversial voting restriction into law.
WORLD: Recently, Cameroon jailed two transgender women for “attempted homosexuality” and sentenced them to five years in prison - the maximum sentence. You read that right. Cameroon is among 31 African countries that criminalizes gay sex. Now, the two women plan to appeal against the verdict. Meanwhile, the Taliban just captured an Afghan district near the capital of Kabul, about a day before a ceasefire is set to begin. It’s the second district in a week to be seized by the Taliban. This comes as the US and NATO plan to pull troops out of Afghanistan. In other news, 178,000 migrants were reportedly encountered at the US-Mexico border in April. Yes, really. It’s the highest one-month total in two decades. But it looks like the number of unaccompanied migrant kids at the border is down.