5 things to know for April 14: Subway shooting, Ukraine, Covid, Groceries, South Africa
(CNN) — Amazon says that for the first time in company history it will charge sellers a 5% fuel and inflation surcharge. So, if it seems like your favorite Amazon items are getting pricier, it could be because businesses are trying to pass along those rising expenses to customers.
Here’s what you need to know to Get Up to Speed and On with Your Day.
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1. Subway shooting
Frank James, the man arrested on suspicion of setting off smoke grenades and shooting 10 people at a Brooklyn subway station Tuesday morning, will make his first appearance in court later today, authorities said. James was charged in federal court with violating a law that prohibits terrorist and other violent attacks against a mass transportation system. If convicted, he could spend life in prison. Yesterday, James was declared a suspect in the shooting and New York City officials issued an emergency alert to residents saying he was “wanted” and asking for tips. The 62-year-old called in a tip to the Crime Stoppers hotline that led to his own capture, two law enforcement sources told CNN. The shooting left at least 29 people with injuries ranging from gunshot wounds to smoke inhalation, but none of the injuries appear to be life-threatening, officials said.
It has been 50 days since Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded his neighbor Ukraine, and US officials say the strength of the Russian military appears to be waning against the Ukrainian resistance. In the latest blow against Moscow, Ukraine claims one of the Russian Navy’s most important warships has been hit by cruise missiles fired from Ukraine. Russia, however, says the ship was evacuated due to a fire. On the ground, Ukraine says the last remaining defenders of the besieged city of Mariupol were recently able to join forces, further bolstering their resistance against Russia. This comes as President Joe Biden yesterday told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky the US was sending his nation an additional $800 million worth of weapons, ammunition and other security assistance.
The mask mandate aboard planes, trains and buses in the US has been extended until May 3, the federal government confirmed yesterday. The CDC said the order will remain in place to allow the agency to “assess the potential impact the rise of cases has on severe disease, including hospitalizations and deaths, and health care system capacity.” The mandate had been set to expire on April 18. Flight crew unions initially applauded the extension for protecting staff unable to avoid close contact with passengers, but some major airline CEOs have said they want it to end. The US is now averaging 38,345 new Covid-19 cases per day, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, but this daily rate is still one of the lowest since mid-July.
4. Grocery prices
In the year ending in March, food prices rose 8.8% — the biggest 12-month increase since 1981, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced this week. As for the types of foods that have become notably more expensive, flour jumped 14.2%, milk rose 13.3%, eggs went up 11.2% and fruits and vegetables went up 8.5%. Bacon increased 18.2% and butter went up 6%. Prices are spiking across the board as food supplies tighten due to several factors, including droughts impacting crops and disruptions in the market caused by the war in Ukraine. A few items did become slightly cheaper last month though. Doughnuts, peanut butter and ham all declined less than 2%.
5. South Africa floods
At least 306 people were killed in South Africa yesterday after floods washed away roads and destroyed homes along the country’s eastern coast. The regional government called it “one of the worst weather storms in the history” of the KwaZulu-Natal province. The region has experienced extreme rainfall and damaging winds this week, particularly in the city of Durban, the government said in a Facebook post. Photos of the devastation show a bridge near Durban that was swept away and several shipping containers that were toppled in deep water due to the storm system. The extreme weather comes just months after heavy rainfall and floods hit additional parts of southern Africa, killing 230 people and affecting 1 million others.
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Elon Musk has made an offer to buy Twitter. According to an SEC filing, Musk has offered to acquire all the shares in Twitter he does not own for $54.20 per share, valuing the company at $43.4 billion. That represents a 38% premium over the closing price on April 1, the last trading day before Musk disclosed that he had become Twitter’s biggest shareholder.
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That’s how much Google said it will invest in US offices and data centers around the country this year. The big investment on office space comes as Google has called for many of its employees to work in an office three days a week after two years of being fully remote. As part of the announcement yesterday, Google said it expects to create at least 12,000 new full-time jobs at the company this year.
“I had to do something to gain his respect.”
— Alleged rioter Dustin Thompson, testifying yesterday that he believed he had received “presidential orders” from then-President Donald Trump to storm the US Capitol on January 6, 2021. Thompson has claimed that he believed he was acting at the behest of Trump, who told the crowd at a rally that day to march to the Capitol and “fight like hell.” The trial is being seen as a major test of that defense, which dozens of riot suspects have adopted so far, and could influence how others argue in court.
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