‘Dark moment’ at a light rail yard

Multiple people were killed in a shooting at a rail yard. President Joe Biden wants a report on COVID-19’s origins on his desk in 90 days. And if you didn’t catch the supermoon eclipse situation, we’ve got pictures.

👋 Hiya! It’s Laura. Happy Wednesday! I’ve got super(moon) news for you. 

But first, it’s a baby boom! Did you know Tasmanian devils are marsupials? They have a pouch! And did you know not a single one had been born in Australia’s mainland for more than 3,000 years – until now? Check this out: Seven newborn Taz puppies.

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At least 8 dead in San Jose shooting

A light rail yard in San Jose, California, was the scene of a deadly shooting Wednesday morning, when a gunman opened fire, killing at least eight people in the latest shooting rampage to rock the nation in recent weeks. Police spokesman Russell Davis said the gunman, an employee at the sprawling Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority light rail hub, was also dead, and that other employees were among the victims, adding that, “there are multiple injuries and multiple fatalities.” Mayor Sam Liccardo said the city was facing a “dark moment.” Santa Clara County Sheriff Laurie Smith said bomb dogs alerted officers to the presence of explosives on the scene. A bomb squad had cordoned off the area, she said. Nationwide, there have been at least 230 mass shootings in 2021. A mass shooting is defined as four or more shot or killed, not including the shooter, according to the Gun Violence Archive. 

  • Photo gallery: A look at the scene of the shooting at a San Jose rail yard.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) workers gather near a railyard following a shooting on Wednesday, May 26, 2021, in San Jose, Calif. Santa Clara County sheriff's spokesman said the railyard shooting left multiple people, including the shooter, dead.  (Photo: Noah Berger, AP)

Where did COVID-19 come from?

President Joe Biden wants to know, and he’s pressing the intelligence community for better answers. As questions grow about whether the virus was the result of an accident in a Chinese laboratory or spread through other means, Biden said Wednesday that he wants the community, which has been divided over the issue, to “redouble” their investigative efforts, and report within 90 days on the likely origins of COVID-19. As of today, the U.S. Intelligence Community has “coalesced around two likely scenarios,” according to Biden’s statement. While two elements of the community lean toward the likelihood that the virus emerged from human contact with an infected animal, one leans toward the possibility of a laboratory accident.

  • What we know: U.S. intelligence found Wuhan lab researchers fell sick in fall 2019.
  • Scientists want answers: Did the coronavirus come directly from animals or was it released from a lab?

In this Feb. 9, 2021, file photo, Peter Ben Embarek of the World Health Organization team holds up a chart showing pathways of transmission of the virus during a joint news conference at the end of the WHO mission in Wuhan in central China's Hubei province. A joint WHO-China study on the origins of COVID-19 says that transmission of the virus from bats to humans through another animal is the most likely scenario and that a lab leak is "extremely unlikely," according to a draft copy obtained by The Associated Press. (Photo: Ng Han Guan, AP)

What everyone’s talking about

  • ‘Medical rape’: Woman accuses NYC doctor of impregnating her with his own sperm. 
  • Private likes: Facebook and Instagram will let users hide ‘likes’ on posts.
  • ‘I couldn’t believe it’: Street artist sues the Vatican for using Christ image on Easter stamp.
  • Ariana Grande shares dreamy first wedding photos: See her old Hollywood-inspired dress.

🌜 Super-duper moon

Did you catch the moon show? One of the greatest sky spectacles of the year happened Wednesday morning as a full moon, supermoon and lunar eclipse happened at the same time, creating the super flower blood moon. While the biggest, brightest supermoon of the year will illuminate the sky Wednesday, the total eclipse was visible for only about 15 minutes, and only in some western parts of the U.S., where watchers were able to see the full moon turn to a rusty red as it dipped into Earth’s shadow. If you missed this one, don’t worry: The country and Canada will get to witness a 99% lunar eclipse high on the horizon with little obstruction on Nov. 19, according to experts.

  • Amazing photos: Super blood moon projects cosmic delight around the world.
  • Video: Catch a glimpse of the super flower blood moon in the sky above Sydney.

The partially eclipsed moon sets over West Palm Beach Wednesday morning, May 26, 2021. The moon was near its closest approach to Earth, making it a "supermoon," and meaning it appears slightly larger in the sky. (Photo: LANNIS WATERS, palmbeachpost.com/USA TODAY Network)

Murder charges filed in deaths of Vallow children

In a bizarre case involving “doomsday” religious beliefs, the mother of two missing children in Idaho, who were found dead last year, and her husband appeared briefly in court Wednesday via Zoom after they were charged with murder in the children’s deaths. New charges were filed against Lori Vallow Daybell and Chad Daybell, her husband, who is also facing murder charges in connection with the children’s death and his former wife’s death, marking the most serious ramping up of the criminal case against the couple. Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 7, and Tylee Ryan, 17, vanished in late 2019 in a case that drew national attention as details emerged of multiple suspicious deaths, “doomsday” religious beliefs and the Daybells fleeing to Hawaii. New court documents lay out the sequence of events that led to the children’s deaths and, for the first time, adds charges in connection with the death of Tammy Daybell, Chad’s former wife. The couple could face life in prison or the death penalty if convicted, prosecutors said.

  • Police reviewing death of Lori Vallow’s ex-husband after ‘murder’ comment in 2018 audio.
  • A ‘precious’ boy and ‘feisty’ sister: Missing Idaho children found dead, police say.

These undated photos released by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children show missing person, Joshua Vallow, 7, left, and Tylee Ryan, 17. They were last seen on Sept. 23, 2019 in Rexburg, Idaho. (Photo: National Center for Missing & Exploited Children via AP)

Real quick

  • Montana woman who killed ex-husband after she said he attempted rape sees charges cleared.
  • Making history: Karine Jean-Pierre becomes first Black woman to lead White House press briefing in decades.
  • ‘The Voice’ finale: Cam Anthony wins Season 20, handing Blake Shelton 8th win in 10 years.
  • ‘What did you expect?’ Joe West booed as he sets record with his 5,376th game as an umpire.
  • Ship fire rages for 6th day off Sri Lanka; India sends ships, aircraft to help battle blaze. 

A blockbuster deal for Amazon

How’s this for a movie blockbuster: Amazon has confirmed it will acquire movie studio MGM in a deal worth $8.45 billion. In a statement Wednesday, Amazon said it would help preserve MGM’s heritage of films, which includes 4,000 titles, including the James Bond franchise, “The Magnificent Seven,” “Raging Bull” and “Rocky.” MGM also owns several popular TV series, including “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which is in the midst of its fourth season on Hulu. “The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP (intellectual property) in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team,” said Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios, in a statement. Amazon’s acquisition of MGM highlights a shift to consolidation in a competitive market for streaming services.

  • Amazon transition: Jeff Bezos to become company’s executive chair, Andy Jassy the new CEO July 5.

Amazon logo is displayed in Douai, northern France. (Photo: Michel Spingler, AP Images)

A break from the news

  • 🍿 Are you ready to go back to the movies? These people are! And there are a lot of them.
  • ✈️ Yes, airports will be mobbed. No, masks aren’t optional. Here’s everything you need to know about summer flights.
  • 🏋️‍♀️ This unconventional tummy-thrusting workout is viral on TikTok, but fitness experts warn people to ‘be careful.’ Here’s why.

🎧 Listen up! 

Join us at 4:30 p.m. ET Thursday, May 27, on Twitter Spaces! We’ll be talking race, history and the story of Jimmie Lee Jackson, whose death changed America, with USA TODAY reporter Javonte Anderson.

Join us on Twitter Spaces! (Photo: USA TODAY)

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