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    Universal Studios Orlando has announced it will reopen to the public June 5, but some passholders will get the chance to visit before then. Over the weekend, some passholders received an invite to visit the Florida theme park again June 3 or 4, WFTV reported. Universal has unveiled several new plans for how the park will implement new safety procedures. Social distancing starts when you park, with a space or two between vehicles. Everyone will be required to undergo a temperature check, and face coverings must be worn. There will also be new ride queue configurations for social distancing, and more virtual lines. Signs and announcements with the new rules throughout the park will also remind guests of the new policies. Other changes include more contactless pay options, and extra cleaning of equipment, especially at Volcano Bay.
  • The parents of Ahmaud Arbery have met with members of the Department of Justice as they investigate why it took so long to make an arrest in the murder case, their legal team said. Arbery, 25, was gunned down Feb. 23 as he went on a run near his home in Brunswick, Georgia. Travis James McMichael, 34, is charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in Arbery’s slaying. His father, Gregory Johns McMichael, 64, is charged as a party to felony murder and aggravated assault. The legal team for Arbery’s family said the meeting with U.S. attorney for Georgia’s Southern District and the family happened late last week, WSB-TV reported. >> Ahmaud Arbery: Gregory and Travis McMichael charged with murder In a statement, the attorneys for Arbery’s parents said, in part: “This would involve the consideration both civil and criminal charges against state officials and conspirators involved in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. We left that meeting feeling satisfied that the DOJ would do their part to fully investigate all players involved in this murder and would hold those responsible accountable.” In a statement, the Department of Justice announced it is looking at federal hate crime charges in the case. “The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia have been supporting and will continue fully to support and participate in the state investigation. We are assessing all of the evidence to determine whether federal hate crimes charges are appropriate. In addition, we are considering the request of the Attorney General of Georgia and have asked that he forward to federal authorities any information that he has about the handling of the investigation. We will continue to assess all information, and we will take any appropriate action that is warranted by the facts and the law.” Video of the shooting was leaked on social media earlier this month, prompting the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to take over the case. Last week, the GBI announced a third arrest in the case against William “Robbie” Bryan, the man who shot the cellphone video showing the shooting that killed Arbery. The GBI charged Bryan with murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. Critics say Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson mishandled the case from the beginning, before recusing herself. But Johnson said she was barely involved because suspect Greg McMichael used to be her chief prosecutor and that her office quickly pulled out of the investigation. But as she heads into a reelection campaign, Johnson now faces many questions and both federal and state investigations. In a recent interview with radio station WIFO-FM, Johnson blamed the Glynn County police for not calling in the GBI sooner and the media for the firestorm around her. “I don't fear the truth; I fear lies,” Johnson said. “We are under a cloud now because of the national media that's based on a lie.” Bryan, along with the McMichaels, remain in jail waiting for a court date to be set for a bond hearing.
  • Twenty hikers were rescued Monday after flash flooding near a swimming hole known as the Devil’s Bathtub in southwestern Virginia, authorities said. The U.S. Forestry Service closed the Devil’s Bathtub Trail for the rest of Monday after the hikers were accounted for shortly after 10 a.m., WJHL reported. According to Duffield Fire Chief Roger Carter, the hikers were rescued on trails around the Devil’s Bathtub after they were trapped by rising waters, ending an ordeal that began Sunday at 7:15 p.m, WCYB reported. “The real challenge is the stream crossings and when you have the water come up very quickly, that’s going to trap people in places where they can’t get out and they can’t get out because the terrain is so steep and in some places, sheer vertical cliffs and then other places, they may end up on an island trapped by water on all sides of them,” Billy Chrimes, Search and Rescue Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, told WJHL. Carter told reporters that one rescued hiker might have a twisted knee, while others have mild cases of hypothermia. Devil’s Bathtub is a naturally occurring swimming hole located in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. The trail leading to it is called Devil’s Fork and is a 7.2-mile round trip, CNN reported.
  • She does not have the moves of her famous father just yet, but 11-month-old Capri Bryant gave it a good try as she made her first uncertain steps. Vanessa Bryant continues to grieve the deaths of her husband and daughter -- NBA legend Kobe Bryant and 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January -- but there have been some recent happy moments for the family. Vanessa Bryant shared an Instagram video shot over the weekend of the couple’s youngest child, Capri, taking her first steps. “I’m so proud of you!” Vanessa Bryant said in the video. “I knew you were gonna do it!” “My baby!!!! So proud of my Koko Bean,” Vanessa Bryant wrote on Instagram on Monday. “Capri took her first steps from her auntie Sophie to mama today.' Kobe and Gianna Bryant were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, in late January, along with the pilot and six other people.
  • Stormy weather is threatening to delay SpaceX’s first astronaut launch. A SpaceX rocket is scheduled to blast off Wednesday afternoon from Kennedy Space Center, carrying a Dragon capsule with NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken to the International Space Station. It will be the first time astronauts launch from Florida in nine years and a first for a private company. The manager of NASA's commercial crew program, Kathy Lueders, said everything was progressing well — at least on the ground. “Now the only thing we need to do is figure out how to control the weather,” she said Monday evening as rain continued to drench the area. “We're continuing to be vigilant and careful and make sure we do this right.” Forecasters put the odds of acceptable launch weather at 40%. But that doesn’t include the conditions all the way up the U.S. and Canadian coasts and across the sea to Ireland — a complicated mix of measurements unique to the Dragon crew capsule. The Dragon’s emergency escape system can kick in, if necessary, all the way to orbit. If that happens, the capsule will need relatively calm wind and seas in which to splash down. SpaceX will have at least two recovery ships deployed off Florida, and NASA will have two military cargo planes ready to take off. Additional planes will be stationed in New York and England to assist with a potential water rescue, according to Lueders. Hans Koenigsmann, a vice president for SpaceX, said the launch control team will incorporate global weather patterns and models to determine whether it's safe to launch. “If the weather gods are working with us,' he said, liftoff will occur at 4:33 p.m. SpaceX has a split-second launch window. The good news is that the tropical weather headed toward Cape Canaveral should be gone in a couple days, with conditions also improving up the Eastern Seaboard later in the week. If SpaceX doesn't launch Wednesday, its next attempt would be Saturday. ___ The Associated Press Health and Science Department receives support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute’s Department of Science Education. The AP is solely responsible for all content.
  • On a day when Americans honor veterans, a Florida man got a double treat -- a parade to honor his military service and his 90th birthday, which fell on Memorial Day this year. Vincent Delmore, who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, was expecting a quiet birthday since most of his family lives in his native Connecticut, the Naples Daily News reported. Family and friends had different ideas, organizing a parade of patrol cars and friends through his neighborhood. Family members showed up, too. “It was a complete surprise,” Delmore told the Daily News in a telephone call. “I don’t know how many (patrol) cars there were with lights on.” Family members living in Tampa and Orlando made the drive to southwest Florida to visit. It was exciting for the 90-year-old man, who joked about his age to the Daily News. “Make sure not to put my picture in the obituary section,” he told the newspaper.
  • A UPS driver made an Oklahoma woman’s Memorial Day weekend when he delivered a package to her home in Mayes County. Video from Chelsie Ashley’s front door in Adair shows the driver deliver her a package and notice her American flag, displayed on the front of her home, had rolled up in the wind. The driver stopped on his way off her porch to unravel it, leaving it flowing right through the breeze again. Ashley said she was getting ready for the day and checked the app on her phone to see who was at her door as he was leaving. “He didn’t know anyone was watching him, but he just did it just to do it,' Ashley told KOKI-TV. “I thought it was so cool what he was doing when no one was looking.' Ashley told KOKI it was important to have something uplifting and positive right now, and shared the video on her Facebook page.
  • California churches can resume in-person services but worshippers will be limited to 100 people and they should wear masks, avoid sharing prayer books and skip the collection plate under state guidelines released Monday. The California Department of Public Health released a framework under which county health departments can approve the reopening of churches, mosques, synagogues and other houses of worship that have mostly shuttered their doors since Gov. Gavin Newsom’s March stay-at-home order designed to slow the spread of the coronavirus. The guidelines also urge houses of worship to avoid large gatherings for holidays, weddings and funerals and warn that activities such as singing or group recitation — which are intrinsic to many faith gatherings — “negate” the safety benefits of social distancing. Worshippers have been eagerly awaiting their turn after Newsom began relaxing constraints on stores and other secular outlets as part of a four-phase plan to reopen California’s economy, saying progress is being made in reducing the spread of COVID-19. Some 47 of 58 counties have received permission to move deeper into the reopening by meeting state standards for controlling the virus. The state on Monday cleared the way for in-store shopping to resume statewide with social distancing restrictions, although counties get to make their own choices of whether to permit it. Churches are included in the next phase of the reopening plan, which could come in the next few weeks. But several thousand churches have vowed to defy the current stay-at-home order for May 31, which is Pentacost, a major holiday for many Christians. As of Monday, California had at least 94,558 confirmed cases of COVID-19, more than 3,000 hospitalizations and 3,795 deaths.
  • Elon Musk and Grimes tweaked their baby’s unusual name -- but not by much. Musk, the CEO of Tesla, and Grimes, a singer, decided to comply with California health codes and the state constitution, which says only the 26 alphabetical characters of the English language can be used, USA Today reported. Sunday on Instagram, Grimes told her followers that the couple had slightly changed their son’s name from “X Æ A-12” to “X Æ A-Xii.” “Roman numerals,” Grimes said. “Looks better tbh ... one dash is allowed.” Musk shared photos of his newborn son on May 5, a day after Grimes gave birth, People reported. After the couple announced the boy’s name, California officials said the unusual name was not allowed. “A name like ‘X Æ A-12’ would not be allowed,” Matt Conens, of the Office of Public Affairs of the California Department of Public Health, wrote in an email to USA Today. “Vital records must be completed with the 26 alphabetical characters of the English language and appropriate punctuation such as hyphens, apostrophes, periods, and commas.” Those rules are spelled out in the department’s handbook. So, what does the baby’s name mean? Grimes, whose real name is Claire Elise Boucher, said the 'X' stands for “the unknown variable,” CNN reported. 'Æ' is the Elven spelling of AI, or shorthand for artificial intelligence and the word for “love” in several languages, including Japanese. “A-12 = precursor to SR-17 (our favorite aircraft). No weapons, no defenses, just speed. Great in battle, but non-violent,” Grimes said. The 'A' in the name also represents “Archangel,” which is Grimes’ favorite song, CNN reported.
  • The Trump administration’s new strategy for coronavirus testing puts much of the burden on states while promising to provide supplies such as swabs and material to transport specimens. The plan, which was delivered Sunday to members of Congress, drew harsh criticism Monday from Democrats. In a joint letter, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Democratic leader Chuck Schumer, New Jersey Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. and Washington Sen. Patty Murray said the administration “still does not have a serious plan for increasing testing to stop the spread of the virus.” The report comes as the U.S. death toll from the pandemic is approaching 100,000. President Donald Trump, who has been eager to revive the economy by loosening coronavirus-related restrictions, vowed Monday, “Together we will vanquish the virus and America will rise from this crisis to new and even greater heights.” The 81-page document from the Department of Health and Human Services says, “State plans must establish a robust testing program that ensures adequacy of COVID-19 testing, including tests for contact tracing, and surveillance of asymptomatic persons to determine community spread.” It says the federal government will “ensure that States have the collection supplies that they need through December 2020.” To that end, the administration plans to acquire and distribute 100 million swabs and 100 million tubes of viral transport media. The HHS document, which The Washington Post first reported, recommends that all states “have an objective of testing a minimum of 2 percent of their population in May and June.” The Democratic lawmakers, who released the HHS report along with their joint letter, said it “confirms that President Trump’s national testing strategy is to deny the truth that there aren’t enough tests and supplies, reject responsibility and dump the burden onto the states.” “The Trump Administration still does not take any responsibility for ramping up our nation’s testing capacity, instead pushing the burden onto the states — forcing states to compete with each other to procure vital supplies to administer tests from the private market,” the lawmakers wrote. They also called on Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to act on the $3 trillion virus release package passed earlier this month by the House, saying it would “deliver a clear strategy and $75 billion for the testing and contact tracing necessary to stop the spread of this vicious virus.”

The Latest News Headlines

  • Universal Studios Orlando has announced it will reopen to the public June 5, but some passholders will get the chance to visit before then. Over the weekend, some passholders received an invite to visit the Florida theme park again June 3 or 4, WFTV reported. Universal has unveiled several new plans for how the park will implement new safety procedures. Social distancing starts when you park, with a space or two between vehicles. Everyone will be required to undergo a temperature check, and face coverings must be worn. There will also be new ride queue configurations for social distancing, and more virtual lines. Signs and announcements with the new rules throughout the park will also remind guests of the new policies. Other changes include more contactless pay options, and extra cleaning of equipment, especially at Volcano Bay.
  • The parents of Ahmaud Arbery have met with members of the Department of Justice as they investigate why it took so long to make an arrest in the murder case, their legal team said. Arbery, 25, was gunned down Feb. 23 as he went on a run near his home in Brunswick, Georgia. Travis James McMichael, 34, is charged with felony murder and aggravated assault in Arbery’s slaying. His father, Gregory Johns McMichael, 64, is charged as a party to felony murder and aggravated assault. The legal team for Arbery’s family said the meeting with U.S. attorney for Georgia’s Southern District and the family happened late last week, WSB-TV reported. >> Ahmaud Arbery: Gregory and Travis McMichael charged with murder In a statement, the attorneys for Arbery’s parents said, in part: “This would involve the consideration both civil and criminal charges against state officials and conspirators involved in the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. We left that meeting feeling satisfied that the DOJ would do their part to fully investigate all players involved in this murder and would hold those responsible accountable.” In a statement, the Department of Justice announced it is looking at federal hate crime charges in the case. “The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Georgia have been supporting and will continue fully to support and participate in the state investigation. We are assessing all of the evidence to determine whether federal hate crimes charges are appropriate. In addition, we are considering the request of the Attorney General of Georgia and have asked that he forward to federal authorities any information that he has about the handling of the investigation. We will continue to assess all information, and we will take any appropriate action that is warranted by the facts and the law.” Video of the shooting was leaked on social media earlier this month, prompting the Georgia Bureau of Investigation to take over the case. Last week, the GBI announced a third arrest in the case against William “Robbie” Bryan, the man who shot the cellphone video showing the shooting that killed Arbery. The GBI charged Bryan with murder and criminal attempt to commit false imprisonment. Critics say Glynn County District Attorney Jackie Johnson mishandled the case from the beginning, before recusing herself. But Johnson said she was barely involved because suspect Greg McMichael used to be her chief prosecutor and that her office quickly pulled out of the investigation. But as she heads into a reelection campaign, Johnson now faces many questions and both federal and state investigations. In a recent interview with radio station WIFO-FM, Johnson blamed the Glynn County police for not calling in the GBI sooner and the media for the firestorm around her. “I don't fear the truth; I fear lies,” Johnson said. “We are under a cloud now because of the national media that's based on a lie.” Bryan, along with the McMichaels, remain in jail waiting for a court date to be set for a bond hearing.
  • Twenty hikers were rescued Monday after flash flooding near a swimming hole known as the Devil’s Bathtub in southwestern Virginia, authorities said. The U.S. Forestry Service closed the Devil’s Bathtub Trail for the rest of Monday after the hikers were accounted for shortly after 10 a.m., WJHL reported. According to Duffield Fire Chief Roger Carter, the hikers were rescued on trails around the Devil’s Bathtub after they were trapped by rising waters, ending an ordeal that began Sunday at 7:15 p.m, WCYB reported. “The real challenge is the stream crossings and when you have the water come up very quickly, that’s going to trap people in places where they can’t get out and they can’t get out because the terrain is so steep and in some places, sheer vertical cliffs and then other places, they may end up on an island trapped by water on all sides of them,” Billy Chrimes, Search and Rescue Coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, told WJHL. Carter told reporters that one rescued hiker might have a twisted knee, while others have mild cases of hypothermia. Devil’s Bathtub is a naturally occurring swimming hole located in the George Washington and Jefferson National Forest. The trail leading to it is called Devil’s Fork and is a 7.2-mile round trip, CNN reported.
  • She does not have the moves of her famous father just yet, but 11-month-old Capri Bryant gave it a good try as she made her first uncertain steps. Vanessa Bryant continues to grieve the deaths of her husband and daughter -- NBA legend Kobe Bryant and 13-year-old Gianna Bryant, who died in a helicopter crash in January -- but there have been some recent happy moments for the family. Vanessa Bryant shared an Instagram video shot over the weekend of the couple’s youngest child, Capri, taking her first steps. “I’m so proud of you!” Vanessa Bryant said in the video. “I knew you were gonna do it!” “My baby!!!! So proud of my Koko Bean,” Vanessa Bryant wrote on Instagram on Monday. “Capri took her first steps from her auntie Sophie to mama today.' Kobe and Gianna Bryant were killed in a helicopter crash in Calabasas, California, in late January, along with the pilot and six other people.
  • On a day when Americans honor veterans, a Florida man got a double treat -- a parade to honor his military service and his 90th birthday, which fell on Memorial Day this year. Vincent Delmore, who served in the U.S. Army Air Corps, was expecting a quiet birthday since most of his family lives in his native Connecticut, the Naples Daily News reported. Family and friends had different ideas, organizing a parade of patrol cars and friends through his neighborhood. Family members showed up, too. “It was a complete surprise,” Delmore told the Daily News in a telephone call. “I don’t know how many (patrol) cars there were with lights on.” Family members living in Tampa and Orlando made the drive to southwest Florida to visit. It was exciting for the 90-year-old man, who joked about his age to the Daily News. “Make sure not to put my picture in the obituary section,” he told the newspaper.

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