Today is Friday, May 14, 2021. Let's get caught up.
These headlines are in the news this morning: President Biden calls it a 'great day for America' as CDC says masks can come off for vaccinated Americans; Palestinian families flee Israeli bombardment, massing of ground troops; the WNBA returns for its 25th season tonight.
Read on for these stories, other top headlines, celebrity birthdays and more.
'Great day for America': Vaccinated can largely ditch masks
WASHINGTON (AP) — In a major step toward returning to pre-pandemic life, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention eased mask-wearing guidance for fully vaccinated people on Thursday, allowing them to stop wearing masks outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.
“Today is a great day for America,” President Joe Biden said during a Rose Garden address heralding the new guidance, an event where he and his staff went without masks. Hours earlier in the Oval Office, where Biden was meeting with vaccinated Republican lawmakers, he led the group in removing their masks when the guidance was announced.
“If you are fully vaccinated, you no longer need to wear a mask," he said, summarizing the new guidance and encouraging more Americans to roll up their sleeves. “Get vaccinated — or wear a mask until you do.” Read more:
Palestinians flee as Israeli artillery pounds northern Gaza
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — Palestinian families grabbed their children and belongings and fled neighborhoods on the outskirts of Gaza City on Friday as Israel unleashed heavy artillery fire at what it said was a large network of militant tunnels ahead of a possible ground invasion.
Israel has massed troops along the border and called up 9,000 reservists as fighting intensifies with the Islamic militant group Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip. Palestinian militants have fired some 1,800 rockets, and the Israeli military has launched more than 600 airstrikes, toppling at least three high-rise apartment buildings, and has shelled some areas with tanks stationed near the frontier. Read more:
WNBA returns, celebrating 25th anniversary season
NEW YORK (AP) — The WNBA is back and celebrating its silver anniversary.
It was a busy offseason for the longest running women's professional sports league that will tip off its 25th season Friday night.
There was a lot of player movement in the offseason, headlined by Candace Parker heading home to Chicago after playing the first 13 years of her career in Los Angeles. Read more:
Click on the links below for full versions of these stories and scroll further for a look at today in history and celebrity birthdays.
Some top headlines this morning: May 14
WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans elevated Rep. Elise Stefanik to a leadership post Friday, highlighting how the party whose lodestar has long been conservative policies increasingly views allegiance to Donald Trump as its indispensable key to electoral success.
President Joe Biden met Friday with six immigrants who benefited from an Obama-era policy that protected those brought to the U.S. illegally as children. The president is trying to turn attention toward overhauling the nation's immigration laws, but it's an issue he has made scant progress on in the first months of his presidency.
IMAGE OF THE DAY
ON THIS DATE
In 1961, Freedom Riders were attacked by violent mobs in Anniston and Birmingham, Alabama, and more events that happened on this day in history.
In 1967, Mickey Mantle hits his 500th home run, a shot off Stu Miller that lifts the New York Yankees to a 6-5 victory over the Baltimore Orio…