GUNMAN KILLS 16 IN CANADA’S WORST MASS SHOOTING EVER
TORONTO (AP) — A gunman disguised as a police officer shot people in their homes and set fires in a rampage across the Canadian province of Nova Scotia that killed 16 people. It’s the deadly mass attack in Canada’s.
Officials say the suspected shooter was also dead.
A police officer was among those killed. Several bodies were found inside and outside one home in the small, rural town of Portapique, about 60 miles north of Halifax. Bodies were also found at other locations. The assault began late Saturday, and authorities believe the shooter may have targeted his first victims but then began attacking randomly.
Overnight, police began advising residents of the town — already on lockdown because of the coronavirus — to lock their doors and stay in their basements. Several homes in the area were set on fire.
Police identified the man believed to be the shooter as Gabriel Wortman, 51, who was thought to live part-time in Portapique. Authorities said he wore a police uniform at one point and made his car look like a Royal Canadian Mounted Police cruiser.
Mass shootings are relatively rare in Canada. It is now illegal to possess an unregistered handgun or any kind of rapid-fire weapon in Canada.
ONLINE VOTING EFFORTS SPURRED IN WAKE OF CORONAVIRUS CRISIS
ATLANTA (AP) — Scrambling to address voting concerns during a pandemic, election officials across the country are eliminating polling places or scaling back opportunities for people to cast ballots in person — a move raising concerns among voting rights groups and some Democrats who say some voters could be disenfranchised.
In Nevada, election officials will open only one polling place per county for its June primary. In Florida, county officials warn they may have to consolidate polling places across the state. In Ohio's primary next week, only the disabled and the homeless will be allowed to vote in person.
The closures come as many state officials are encouraging voters to vote by mail — and expanding opportunities to do so. Many election officials and health experts see mail-in and absentee voting as the best way to keep voters from spreading the coronavirus and to address a shortage of poll workers who can work without risking their health.
But advocates say some states are moving so quickly to embrace the shift to mail that they are not doing enough to accommodate certain voters, including the disabled, people who lack regular mail service, groups with little history of absentee voting or those who are simply unable to keep up with last-minute election changes and mail-in deadlines.
“Not everyone can or should vote by mail,” said Stacey Abrams, a former Democratic candidate for Georgia governor who now runs Fair Fight Action, a voting rights group.
COVID-19 AND ITS TOLL ON BLACK AMERICANS
UNDATED (AP) — As a clearer picture emerges of COVID-19’s deadly toll on black Americans, leaders are demanding a reckoning of the systemic policies they say have made many African Americans far more vulnerable to the virus, including inequity in access to health care and economic opportunity.
A growing chorus of medical professionals, activists and political figures is pressuring the federal government to not just release comprehensive racial demographic data of the country’s coronavirus victims, but also to outline clear strategies to blunt the devastation on African Americans and other communities of color.
On Friday, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released its first breakdown of COVID-19 case data by race, showing that 30% of patients whose race was known were black. The federal data is missing racial information for 75% of all cases, however, and did not include any demographic breakdown of deaths.
The latest Associated Press analysis of available state and local data shows that nearly one-third of those who have died are African American, with black people representing about 14% of the population in the areas covered in the analysis.
Health conditions that exist at higher rates in the black community -- obesity, diabetes and asthma -- make African Americans more susceptible to the virus. Blacks also are more likely to be uninsured — and often report medical professionals take their ailments less seriously when they seek treatment.
CORONAVIRUS CAUSES USE OF FOOD BANKS TO RAMP UP
FRANKLIN, Tenn. (AP) — Brooklyn Dotson needed food. Her first unemployment check had yet to arrive after she was let go by the warehouse where she used to work.
So the 25-year-old Nashville woman scrounged up some gas money and drove 30 miles to the GraceWorks Ministries food pantry in Franklin, Tennessee. There, at the pantry's new drive-thru, workers wearing masks and gloves loaded her van with about $350 worth of groceries.
Food pantries stay busy even in the best of economic times; the coronavirus pandemic has prompted a spike in demand as millions of people like Dotson find themselves furloughed, laid off or with businesses that have suffered huge financial blows.
“About 50% of the people coming through our lines have never been here before,” said GraceWorks President and CEO Valencia A. Breckenridge.
Just as demand is skyrocketing, however, many of the food banks’ sources are drying up. Restaurants, hotels and resorts — many of which are shuttered or sharply limiting their operations — are no longer supplying them with food, while other suppliers are busy restocking grocery shelves. Farmers have switched from shipping vegetables and meats in bulk to individual packaging for grocery stores.
“It is a perfect storm scenario,” said Katie Fitzgerald, chief operating officer for Feeding America, a nationwide association of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries.
MAN HIJACKS DALLAS-AREA PUBLIC BUS
ROWLETT, Texas (AP) — A man opened fire on a Dallas-area public bus yesterday, hijacking it with two people aboard and leading officers on a chase that ended in a shootout in which the man was killed and three officers were wounded.
Police say a man boarded a Dallas Area Rapid Transit bus in Richardson, just north of Dallas, at around 11 a.m. and opened fire, shattering windows.
A rep for the transit agency says the man took the driver hostage and fired at DART officers who tried to stop the vehicle while police from other agencies joined the pursuit.
Police say officers eventually used a spike strip to stop the vehicle along the freeway in the suburb of Rowlett.
The man continued firing as he exited the bus after it stopped, and officers returned fire, killing him.
BIDEN WINS WYOMING’S DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL CAUCUS
CHEYENNE, Wyo. (AP) — Joe Biden has won Wyoming’s Democratic presidential caucus, which had been postponed for two weeks and scaled back to just mail-in ballots because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The results, reported yesterday by state party officials, come less than two weeks after Bernie Sanders dropped out and endorsed Biden, the only candidate still actively seeking the Democratic nomination. Voting began when it was still a two-candidate race.
Biden beat Sanders 72% to 28%. A total of 15,428 votes were cast.
Biden gets 12 delegates and Sanders gets two.