On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: 10 dead in Canada stabbing spree
Suspects remain at-large. Plus, reporter Ken Tran gives an early preview of this fall’s midterm elections, energy problems continue in Europe related to the conflict in Ukraine, reporter Cady Stanton talks about this week’s record heat in California and NASA once again delays its Artemis 1 rocket launch.
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Good morning. I’m Taylor Wilson and this is 5 Things you need to know Monday, the 5th September, 2022. Today, mass stabbing attacks in Canada, plus a preview of this fall’s midterms, and more.
Here are some of the top headlines:
A series of stabbings has left at least 10 people dead, and another 15 injured, in the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. Authorities said the stabbings took place at multiple locations at an indigenous community, the James Smith Cree Nation, and in the village of Weldon, about two hours northeast of Saskatoon, the province’s largest city. Rhonda Blackmore, assistant commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Saskatchewan, said some of the victims appear to have been targeted by suspects, while others may have been attacked at random.
We are still looking for the two suspects. We are asking residents across Saskatchewan, and our neighboring provinces, to be vigilant. At this stage in our investigation, we believe some of the victims have been targeted by the suspect, and others have been attacked randomly. The two suspects are Damien Sanderson and Myles Sanderson. Damien Sanderson is described as a 31-year-old male, 5’7, 155 pounds, with black hair and brown eyes. Myles Sanderson is a 30-year-old male, 6’1, 240 pounds, with brown hair and brown eyes. Their pictures are available on social media channels and websites. If Damien and Myles are listening, or receive this information, I would ask that they turn themselves in to police immediately. They are considered armed and dangerous. They are believed to be in a black Nissan Rogue SUV, with Saskatchewan license plate 119 MPI.
This is among the deadliest mass killings in Canadian history. The deadliest gun massacre happened in 2020, when a man disguised as a police officer, shot people in their homes and set fires across the province of Nova Scotia, killing 22. In 2019, a man used a van to kill 10 pedestrians in Toronto.
Midterm elections are a little over two months away, and the table’s been set for almost every general election after this summer’s series of primaries. Producer, PJ Elliott, spoke with reporter Ken Tran, to get a sense of what’s to come in the Senate races.
Ken, is there a chance that we could see another 50/50 split for the next two years in the Senate?
It’s certainly looking entirely possible now. I mean, before analysts projected it to be close to a blow-out victory for Republicans, because of a very low approval rating for President Joe Biden, and overall dissatisfaction with Democrats. But after a series of legislative wins in Congress, including the Inflation Reduction Act, the PACT Act, the GIPS Act, and also post Dobbs decision, where voters seem to be more energized now that abortions on the table for democratic voters, Democrats’ prospects are looking a lot better of possibly retaining the Senate.
So what are some key races to watch this November?
So in one battleground state Georgia, which has not been a battleground state until the 2020 election with Joe Biden’s surprising win, Senator Rafael Warnock is up for the election, after serving two years after winning the special election in 2020. And he’s up against college football legend, Herschel Walker, who’s never run for political office before, so this is his first time. And Walker has been endorsed by Trump, and he’s also running surprisingly a tight race against Warnock, despite being a political novice, and also being seen as a weak candidate by some Republicans over his competency. It seems that his name recognition could be enough to bring him over that finish line in November, but obviously we’ll have to wait to see. In another race in Arizona, Senator Mark Kelly, a Democrat, is up for reelection, also after serving two years after winning a special election. He’s up against Senator Blake Masters, a venture capitalist, and also backed by tech billionaire Peter Thiel. Masters also has Trump’s backing, and that’s partly because he supported Trump’s false claims of election fraud. He said in an interview with NBC News, for example, he would have objected to the certification of the 2020 election if he was a senator. Masters is another candidate who could be precarious for Republicans who really do want to reclaim the Senate majority.
New Hampshire is another one, where we don’t know who actually the Republican nominee is yet, but New Hampshire historically also a very purple state, a weird state, some called it. Senator Maggie Hassan is most likely up against General Don Bolduc, another candidate who has espoused Trump’s false claims of election fraud. But Bolduc boasts name recognition from running previously in 2020 after a failed Senate primary bid, and Republican voters seem to be most energized around him, according to polls, but we’ll have to see who the candidate is there.
All right, Ken. One last one here for you. Are there any races that experts say could be a surprise flip?
So one state that could be a surprise flip is in Wisconsin. Republican Senator Ron Johnson is one of only a few Republican senators that’s defending projected competitive seats. He’s running against Lieutenant Governor Mandela Barnes, who would be the first state’s Black senator if elected. Biden won the state by only less than one percentage point, so Wisconsin really could be a coin flip, the pinnacle of a coin flip, going into November. So, that’s another race to watch. Barnes is currently leading Johnson by a pretty sizable amount, seven percentage points according to some polls. But obviously that’s polling, you never know what can happen in November, so we’ll have to keep an eye on that when we get closer.
For Ken’s full story, find a link in today’s episode description.
Energy problems continue in Ukraine, after a reported blackout yesterday. Only one of six reactors at the Zaporizhzhia Nuclear Power Plant, Europe’s largest, was connected to the electricity grid. Much of the Zaporizhzhia region lost power yesterday, and power was also out in parts of the port city of Kherson. Russia’s main pipeline bringing natural gas to Germany also remains shut down. Fighting in Ukraine and related disputes surrounding pipelines have led to electricity and natural gas shortages across Europe.
UN nuclear agency inspectors are scheduled to brief the security council tomorrow about their inspection and visit to the Zaporizhzhia plant. They said Saturday, that the plant was disconnected from its last main external power line, though a reactor was still operating and producing electricity for cooling and other essential functions at the plant.
IAEA Director General Rafael Grossi, led a 14-member delegation to the facility last week. He did not blame either Russia or Ukraine for shelling near the plant, that’s put Europe on alert of a potential nuclear disaster. Grossi did say his big concerns are the plant’s physical integrity, its power supply, and the staff’s condition.
We have been seeing military activity around the plant, and I was able to see, myself and my team, impact holes, markings on buildings of shelling. Which means that the physical integrity of the facility has been violated, not once, but several times. And this is something irrespective of the kinetic power of whatever you are throwing at the plant. Is unacceptable in any way, under any safety and security criteria.
Energy across Europe continues to be slammed by Russia’s invasion in Ukraine. Just hours before Russian energy company, Gazprom, was set to resume natural gas delivery to Germany after a three-day stoppage. It announced on Friday that it could not do so because of leaks. Gazprom has repeatedly cited technical problems for reducing gas flows into Europe, but German officials have rejected those reasons, saying they’re cover for a political power play.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen blamed Russian President Vladimir Putin’s war against Ukraine for Europe’s energy crisis. European Union ministers are set to hold an emergency meeting on Friday, to discuss the region’s current electricity market.
California cities recorded record temperatures this weekend, as a dangerous heat wave sparked wildfires. Reporter Cady Stanton and PJ Elliott have more.
Heat starting on Friday in California, has been really record breaking across the entire holiday weekend, and has been particularly dangerous because of it coinciding with some wildfires in certain counties, as well as stress on the state’s power grid because of the heat. So there’s the Mill Fire, which is a wildfire that started on Friday, north of San Francisco, as well as the Mountain Fire in the same county, both of which have been very fast moving because of the wind, and really dangerous for firefighters. So state officials have been asking California residents to try to help avoid blackouts in the area by voluntarily using less power, which is obviously making things more complicated, because the Californians are relying on air conditioning to try to stay cool during such dangerous temperatures.
Katie going back to the wildfires for a second, has there been any significant damage caused by any of them yet?
Absolutely. So the Mill Fire, which is the fire that started on Friday, destroyed more than 100 homes in a very small town in California called Weed, and it’s burned through over 4,000 acres, and is only 25% contained as of Sunday. And the mountain fire, the additional fire near the community of Gazelle, is only 5% contained, and has burned through over 6,000 acres. So there’s been significant damage, and at least two injuries related to the Mill Fire.
As far as the heat goes, is there any relief in sight for Californians?
In some areas, some breeze off the coast will hopefully bring a little bit of relief for the afternoon, but the National Weather Service’s heat advisories actually extend through Wednesday night, so for a lot of areas, these sustained high temperatures aren’t expected to get significantly lower until long after the holiday weekend. So that’s why there’s also been the concerns about keeping the power grid in place, given that it will be day after day of record breaking really high stifling temperatures.
NASA has once again delayed the launch of its rocket for the Artemis 1 mission. They had planned to launch Saturday afternoon, but officials scrubbed the attempt, mainly because of a large hydrogen leak. A previous launch attempt earlier last week was also scrubbed. All remaining launch opportunities this window close after tomorrow, and the flight will now likely be delayed until sometime next month. Artemis 1 mission manager, Mike Sarafin.
We’ve talked about it before. This is an incredibly hard business. This is an initial test flight of this vehicle. As was said by Administrator Nelson, “We’re going to fly when we’re ready.” And as part of this initial test flight, we’re learning the vehicle, we’re learning how to operate the vehicle, and we are learning all of the things required to get us ready to fly.
This test flight is NASA’s first step toward returning astronauts to the moon around 2025. They last walked on the moon in 1972.
Thanks for listening to 5 Things. You can find us every morning on whatever your favorite podcast app is, and if you’re on Apple Podcast, please drop us a rating and review if you have a chance. Thanks to PJ Elliott for his great work on the show, and I’m back tomorrow with more of 5 Things from USA TODAY.
10 dead in Canada stabbing attack, Artemis 1 delayed again: 5 Things podcast – USA TODAY
On today’s episode of the 5 Things podcast: 10 dead in Canada stabbing spree