The News You Need To Read This Morning

The Ohio chemical spill, the Buffalo shooter's life sentence, and Netflix’s hellish, self-cannibalizing dating show.

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The Buffalo supermarket shooter has been sentenced to life in prison without parole

The teenage Buffalo shooter in an orange prison jumpsuit is escorted by two officers into his sentencing

The 19-year-old white man who shot and killed 10 Black people in a racist mass shooting at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, last May was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday.

Payton Gendron, who was 18 at the time of the attack, was the first person to be charged under a 2020 New York law against domestic terrorism motivated by hate, which carries an automatic sentence of life without parole. Gendron also faces separate federal hate crime charges, which could carry the death penalty if the Justice Department decides to seek it.

Investigators said that on May 14, 2022, Gendron traveled more than 200 miles to a majority-Black neighborhood in Buffalo to carry out the shooting, which he livestreamed on Twitch. Eleven of the 13 people who were shot, including all those who died, were Black.

At one point in the sentencing, a scuffle broke out and an unidentified man lunged at Gendron. The 19-year-old was quickly escorted out of the courtroom. "You don't know what we're going through!" the man shouted as he was led out of the courtroom. After a short break, Gendron was brought back inside, and the emotional hearing resumed.

Entering the second year of war in Ukraine

  • Bakhmut is the latest Ukrainian city that Russia is fighting to dominate. After months of unexpected resistance in eastern Ukraine, Russian forces have been attempting to capture Bakhmut as a symbolic victory. Ukrainian troops have been defending the city for weeks, and are bracing for a prolonged assault, the Washington Post reports.


New York Times contributors say the paper's coverage of gender issues hurts trans people. A group of more than 170 trans, nonbinary, and cisgender contributors published an open letter accusing recent Times stories of using “an eerily familiar mix of pseudoscience and euphemistic, charged language” that vilifies being trans.

Alex Murdaugh's murder trial took a 180-degree turn after questions about possible drug gang involvement in the killings. The questions led the judge to change his mind on whether jurors should hear about the defendant’s alleged botched suicide-for-hire plot.

Stroke survivors say Sen. John Fetterman's disability tools aren't "special needs." The senator returned to Congress this week after being hospitalized for testing last week to rule out a new stroke.

After the Ohio chemical spill, dying animals have residents concerned about their own safety

above a suburban neighborhood, a huge plume of black smoke rises

Earlier this month, a train carrying industrial chemicals derailed in eastern Ohio. Now, residents are raising awareness about dead and injured animals affected by the spill — and what that means for their own health risks.

On Feb. 3, a train derailed in East Palestine, Ohio; twenty of the train’s cars were carrying hazardous material, including five with vinyl chloride, a known carcinogen. The following Monday, officials began a “controlled” release to prevent an explosion. Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine said the controlled burn sent “toxic and potentially deadly” fumes into the air. Chemicals spilled into nearby streams, and the EPA said it is continuously monitoring water and air quality.

Since then, residents say many of their rescue animals and livestock have either died or fallen ill due to vinyl chloride exposure and lung inflammation. In the contaminated streams, about 3,500 fish have died, according to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources. Although the EPA says that there are no dangerous levels of chemicals in the air and residual odors don’t necessarily reflect toxicity, residents are not convinced they’re safe.

“I’ve been having headaches, chest tightness, and eye pain,” Taylor Holzer, 28, told BuzzFeed News. “What else could happen down the line for both me and [the] animals? I’m worried about cancers and organ issues.”

A packed crowd of people look up at the glowing shrine of Imam Moussa al-Kadhim at night

On the big (and small) screen

Hot reality TV stars lounge on white outdoor furniture

In Netflix’s Perfect Match, cast members from the platform’s other reality shows get a second chance at finding a partner on, yes, another Netflix reality show. The show frames finding love as something that requires strategy and competition as participants vie to break up couples and stay in the house long enough to find a match. 

A beloved You character is making a surprise return in Season 4. It looks like the rest of the season will continue following Joe’s attempt to be a better man while falling in love.

Rihanna explained why she decided to perform at the Super Bowl after previously protesting the NFL. Motherhood helped change her mind.

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