News Wrap: Buffalo grand jury formally charges suspect for racist rampage that killed 10

In our news wrap Wednesday, a grand jury in Buffalo formally charged a white 18-year-old suspect for the massacre of 10 Black people at a supermarket, Sheryl Sandberg is stepping down as chief operating officer for Meta, Shanghai residents celebrated the end of a COVID lockdown, President Biden held a roundtable with baby formula makers and Adm. Linda Fagan became Commandant of the Coast Guard.

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  • Nick Schifrin:

    Twin funerals in Uvalde, Texas, today for a woman who tried to protect her students and her husband, who died two days later.

    Mourners at a Catholic Church paid final respects to Irma Garcia, one of two teachers killed by a gunman, and to her husband, Joe. He had a fatal heart attack.

    Also today, the school district police chief, Pete Arredondo, stopped cooperating with state authorities. They're investigating his decision to delay officers going in after the gunman.

    We will return to this after the news summary.

    A grand jury in Buffalo New York has formally charged an 18-year-old white suspect in last month's killings at a supermarket. Payton Gendron is accused of fatally shooting 10 people, all of them Black, in a rampage fueled by racism. The charges today ranged from domestic terrorism motivated by hate to first-degree murder.

    The U.S. and Germany announced they will send new advanced weapons to Ukraine to try and blunt the Russian offensive in the east. The U.S. package includes rockets that can strike targets 45 miles away. Germany is sending air defense missiles.

    In Washington, Secretary of State Antony Blinken and NATO's secretary-general dismissed Russian threats that the weapons could widen the war.

    Antony Blinken, U.S. Secretary of State: Specifically, with regard to weapon systems being provided, the Ukrainians have given us assurances that they will not use these systems against targets on Russian territory. There is a strong trust bond between Ukraine and the United States, as well as with our allies and partners.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    In Ukraine today, Russian forces occupied more of Severodonetsk, the final Ukrainian held-city in Luhansk. Ukrainian officials said evacuations and aid shipments into the city are no longer possible.

    On the pandemic, the people of Shanghai were partially released from a two-month lockdown in China's largest city. Traffic reappeared for the first time since April. Excited residents ventured outside, returning to sidewalks and subways.

  • Guoqing Zhang, Shanghai Resident (through translator):

    It's my first time getting on the subway since the lockdown, and I feel pretty good. It's not that crowded, nor that deserted. And it looks like people are not nervous. It's pretty good.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    Meanwhile, the World Health Organization warned that a COVID outbreak in North Korea appears to be getting worse. Officials appealed to the North for more information.

    Back in this country, President Biden defended his response to the shortage of baby formula. He said no one realized initially how bad it would be when a plant in Michigan closed from contamination.

    At a virtual roundtable, the president announced new formula shipments from abroad and said the administration's efforts were in high gear.

    The number two executive at Facebook's parent, Meta, is stepping down. Sheryl Sandberg announced today she's leaving after 14 years as chief operating officer. Sandberg helped build the company into a powerhouse, but also drew criticism for underplaying how Facebook was exploited during the 2016 elections and the January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

    Admiral Linda Fagan became the commandant of the U.S. Coast Guard today, the first woman to lead a U.S. military service. She formally took over during a ceremony in Washington with President Biden. And she saluted an earlier commandant who opened Coast Guard doors.

  • Admiral Linda Fagan, U.S. Coast Guard Commandant:

    Owen Siler was the one who had the courage to integrate the service academies and make that decision to integrate the Coast Guard Academy back in the summer 1975.

    In '76, the first women arrived. They graduated in '80. And I arrived a year later to the Coast Guard Academy. If it was not for Owen Siler's courage, I do not believe I would be standing here today.

  • Nick Schifrin:

    Fagan has been the Coast Guard's vice commandant since last June.

    In court news today, the man who shot President Reagan 41 years ago will gain his full freedom on June the 15th. A federal judge in Washington ruled John Hinckley is no longer a danger to himself or others. He's now 67 and spent more than 20 years in a mental hospital before being allowed to live outside with limits on his travel and activity online.

    And, on Wall Street, stocks retreated after strong economic data raised new concerns that the Federal Reserve will be aggressive in raising interest rates. The Dow Jones industrial average lost nearly 177 points to close it 32813. The Nasdaq fell 87 points. The S&P 500 slipped 31.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": we examine gun safety reforms abroad and how the rest of the world sees American gun massacres; a conversation with a White House adviser about today's new shipments of heavy weapons to Ukraine; the battle over freedom of speech and limitations on social media content; plus much more.

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