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Wednesday morning news - May 18, 2022

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WORLD Radio - Wednesday morning news - May 18, 2022

Biden visits with victims’ families in Buffalo, primary elections, Ukrainian troops evacuated from Mariupol, U.S. eases restrictions on travel to Cuba, and FDA approves COVID boosters for kids


President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden visit the scene of a shooting at a supermarket to pay respects and speak to families of the victims of Saturday's shooting in Buffalo, N.Y., Tuesday, May 17, 2022. Andrew Harnik/Associated Press Photo

For WORLD Radio, I'm Kent Covington. 

Biden meets with grieving families in the wake of Buffalo shooting » President Biden met with grieving families in Buffalo, New York on Tuesday and said the country must reject racial hatred.

BIDEN: In America, evil will not win, I promise you. Hate will not prevail. And white supremacy will not have the last word.

Investigators say the white suspect in Saturday’s shooting, Payton S. Gendron targeted most of his victims because they were black. Ten people died in the massacre at a supermarket.

Biden said he also is not giving up on pushing for tighter gun laws in the United States.

But the 18-year-old suspect purchased the rifle used in the attack in New York, which already has some of the strictest gun laws in the country.

Authorities say Gendron made a threat against his high school last year and was forced to undergo a mental health evaluation. Despite that fact, he was not on the state’s red flag list, which would have barred from legally buying a gun.

White House moves to loosen remittance, flight rules on Cuba » The Biden administration said Monday that it will loosen restrictions on travel to Cuba and lift other Trump-era limits on sending cash to the country. WORLD’s Kristen Flavin has more.

KRISTEN FLAVIN, REPORTER: The State Department said Monday that it will lift the current $1,000-per-quarter limit on family remittances. It will also allow non-family remittances to support independent Cuban business owners.

Additionally, it will move to reinstate the Cuban Family Reunification Parole Program.

That program allows certain U.S. citizens and legal residents to apply to let family members come to the United States sooner than the visa process normally allows.

The United States will also allow scheduled and charter flights to locations beyond Havana.

State Dept. spokesman Ned Price said the measures—quote—“aim to support Cubans’ aspirations for freedom and for greater economic opportunities.”

Critics say the moves will only strengthen the hand of Cuba’s oppressive communist government.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Kristen Flavin.

Ukraine evacuates fighters from Mariupol steel plant » Ukraine’s government said 53 soldiers have been evacuated from a steel plant in the port city of Mariupol. That plant for weeks has been the last Ukrainian stronghold in a city almost entirely occupied—and mostly destroyed—by Russian forces.

Those troops were transported to a hospital in the Russian-controlled town of Novoazovsk, east of Mariupol. Another 211 fighters left through a humanitarian corridor to the town of Olenivka.

Ukrainian officials say they’re working on an exchange plan to get the evacuated soldiers home.

FDA authorizes COVID-19 booster shots for kids ages 5 to 11 » The FDA on Tuesday gave the green light for COVID-19 booster shots for children ages 5 to 11. WORLD’s Anna Johansen Brown has more.

ANNA JOHANSEN BROWN, REPORTER: The FDA’s authorization opens a third shot of Pfizer's vaccine to healthy elementary-age kids—at least five months after their last dose.

That is assuming that the CDC also signs off on the authorization, as expected. The CDC’s board of advisers is scheduled to meet tomorrow.

Everyone 12 and older is already approved for one booster dose.

Pfizer makes the only COVID-19 vaccine available for children of any age in the United States.

The dose for 5-to-11-year-olds is one-third the strength of those given to everyone 12 and older.

Demand for vaccine shots has fallen nationwide, but that could change if new cases continue to rise. Infections have been trending upward since about the first of April. Hospitalizations are also up, but deaths have continued to decline.

Reporting for WORLD, I’m Anna Johansen Brown.

I’m Kent Covington. For more news, features, and analysis, visit us at wng.org. 


WORLD Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of WORLD Radio programming is the audio record.

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