A breath of fresh air

Thanks to new CDC guidelines for vaccinated people, you’ll likely see your friends’ faces (outside of Zoom) a lot more. And an autopsy commissioned by Andrew Brown Jr.’s family reveals where, and how many times, he was shot. 

It’s Julius. Let’s dive right into today’s news.

But first, a clam worm invasion: Marine worms, commonly known as clam worms, swarmed coastal waters in South Carolina, part of an annual massive mating ritual. 

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Is it safe to take your mask off? It depends, CDC says

Fully vaccinated Americans don’t need to wear a mask outside, except in crowded settings where they are required, new guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say. Public health officials said fully vaccinated individuals can unmask while walking, running, hiking or biking outdoors alone or with members of their household. The CDC still recommends fully vaccinated people wear a mask in indoor public settings and at outdoor public settings or venues where masks are required. Individuals are considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the second dose of either the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccines, or two weeks after receiving the single-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

  • Masks on planes: Flight attendants say mandate should be extended
  • Masks in schools: Florida education commissioner tells schools to make masks optional for 2021-22 school year

A person wearing a mask walks by a banner encouraging the use of face coverings in Washington, DC on April 16, 2021. (Photo: W.G. DUNLOP, AFP via Getty Images)

Andrew Brown Jr. was shot 5 times, including fatal shot in back of head, autopsy shows

Andrew Brown Jr. was shot five times, including a fatal shot to the back of the head, by North Carolina sheriff’s deputies, an independent autopsy commissioned by his family shows. Brown was shot four times in his right arm and once in the back of his head as deputies in Pasquotank County were serving a warrant last week, said Wayne Kendall, an attorney for Brown’s family. After viewing the autopsy report — and redacted body camera footage Monday — Khalil Ferebee, one of Brown’s children, said again that his dad was “executed.” Kendall added that the autopsy report is consistent with what the family saw on the partial video.

  • Partial body camera footage: Brown’s family says police ‘executed’ him, then  showed only a 20-second video clip from a body camera.
  • Family seeks answers: Why did police fatally shoot Andrew Brown Jr.? 

Hundreds of demonstrators, including Rev. Raymond Johnson, take to the streets in Elizabeth City, N.C. on Monday, April 26, 2021, to protest the killing of Andrew Brown Jr. by North Carolina sheriff's deputies and to demand the full body camera footage be released. (Photo: Stephen M. Katz, AP)

What everyone’s talking about

  • A LeBron James rookie card was sold for $5.2 million,tying an all-time record for any sports card. 
  • Glenn Close explained which parts of her viral ‘Da Butt’ momentat the Oscars were scripted. 
  • A couple begged Ford to buy back their defective Fiesta.Years later, the company is paying them $49K.
  • The North Carolina couple attacked by a bobcat in a viral videoreceived 35 shots afterward.

Two riot suspects charged in assault of Capitol officer Brian Sicknick

Two riot suspects are accused of “lying in wait” and dousing police with chemical spray, including Capitol Police officer Brian Sicknick, during the deadly breach of the Capitol in January. Prosecutors claimed that the alleged assault involving Julian Khater, 32, and George Tanios, 37, temporarily blinded and staggered Sicknick, along with two other officers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gilead Light characterized the suspects’ actions as “pre-meditated violence at point-blank” range. Neither suspect is charged with Sicknick’s death, but could face decades in prison if convicted on 10 criminal counts, including conspiracy to attack officers.

  • US Capitol officer Brian Sicknick died of strokes the day after riot, a medical examiner ruled.

Biden to sign executive order increasing minimum wage for federal contractors

President Joe Biden is moving to boost the hourly pay of hundreds of thousands of federal contract workers. He is set to sign an executive order requiring employers to pay a $15 hourly minimum wage to workers covered under a federal contract, an increase from the current rate of $10.95 an hour. A senior administration official who described Biden’s plan to reporters said the higher wage would boost the pay for workers who are considered critical to federal government functions, such as cleaning professionals and maintenance workers, nursing assistants who care for the nation’s veterans, cafeteria and food service workers who provide meals to military members, and laborers who build and repair federal infrastructure. The $15 minimum wage must be included in all federal contracts by March 30.

Real quick 

  • A posthumous pardon request has been submitted for George Floyd in an arrest by an ex-Houston police officer in 2004.
  • Kentucky Derby trainers received $7.4 millionin PPP money during the pandemic. 
  • A Colorado police officer joked about excessive force used in arrest of 73-year-old woman, a video shows. 
  • State lawmakers opposed to COVID-19 vaccine mandates have filed a flurry of bills this session. Some worry about the message those bills send.
  • Former NFL linebacker Geno Hayes has died at age 33 from liver disease. 

Chicago sues gun store tied to hundreds of firearms recovered from crime scenes

The city of Chicago filed a lawsuit against an Indiana gun store it claims is one of the primary sources of illegal firearms for the city’s criminal market. The lawsuit accuses Westforth Sports Inc., in Gary, Indiana, of engaging “in a pattern of illegal sales that has resulted in the flow of hundreds, if not thousands, of illegal firearms into the City of Chicago.” The suit also seeks “long overdue accountability” in the form of unspecified damages and an order requiring the store to cease practices contributing to gun trafficking. Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot explained the decision to sue the store, stressing the importance of “holding accountable all those who contribute to gun violence here, regardless of where they are located.”

A break from the news

  • 📱 A change in Siri’s voice and Apple Maps upgrades: Here’s what’s new in the iOS 14.5 update. 
  • 🌱 Here’s how to keep up your yard during the Brood X cicada emergence.
  • 🌯 Chipotle is giving out burritos to nurses and health care workers. Here’s how to sign up.

This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Want this news roundup in your inbox every night? Sign up for The Short List newsletter here.

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