There’s a lot going on right now! Here are the main stories you need to know about.

Classified documents are on the internet, gun violence continues to devastate communities, and President Biden visits Ireland.


(Top left): The scene of the recent Louisville bank shooting, Michael Clevenger/AP. (Bottom left): The Pentagon, Daniel Slim/AFP via Getty Images. (Right): President Biden in Ballina, Ireland, Kenny Holston/The New York Times

Leaked Classified Documents

Airman 1st Class Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old serving with the Massachusetts Air National Guard, was arrested and charged with retaining and distributing classified and national defense information. He allegedly shared sensitive documents on one of Discord’s video game chatroom servers. The leaked documents exposed secret assessments on various national security issues, including the war in Ukraine, the U.S.’ geopolitical interests, and more. The leak has raised concerns about the extent of access to sensitive information granted to low-level personnel like Teixeira, who had top-secret clearance as an information technology specialist. Over 1.25 million people in the United States currently hold top-secret clearance. Congress is set to review the clearance system in light of recent leaks, and the Senate Intelligence Committee will hold hearings on the topic. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered an immediate review of how classified information is handled and secured in response to the leak, directing all military facilities that handle classified information to report to him within 45 days—by Friday, June 2nd— on their procedures for accessing, sharing, storing, and destroying classified information. Air Force Secretary Frank Kendall directed the Air Force inspector general to investigate the Air National Guard unit based in Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where Teixeira served. Additionally, the Air Force will conduct a service-wide review of how each command handles classified information. As these investigations unfold, authorities will look to identify the lapses in security protocols and implement necessary measures to prevent future leaks.

Recent Shootings

Just a week apart, earlier this month, five people were killed at a shooting in Louisville, Kentucky, and four others were killed in Dadeville, Alabama.

In Louisville, a 25-year old man, Connor Sturgeon, shot and killed five of his colleagues at Old National Bank on April 10. He livestreamed the attack on Instagram. Before the attack, Sturgeon had been told he would be fired and wrote a note to his parents and a friend suggesting that he would open fire at the bank. Officers arrived at the scene three minutes after the shooting began, and Sturgeon was killed by the police when they were exchanging fire. Eight more were injured, including two police officers and six civilians. Three victims were released from the hospital later that day. Three remained at that point with non-life threatening injuries, and two were critically wounded.

In Dadeville, Alabama, a small town of about 3,000 people just 60 miles northeast of Montgomery, four people were killed and at least 32 others were hurt while celebrating the sweet sixteen of teenager Alexis Dowdell. Among the four killed, all between 17 and 23, was Alexis’ older brother, who died trying to protect her from gunfire. Since the attack, two teenagers and a 20-year-old have been arrested and charged with four counts of reckless murder. Officials declined to discuss potential motives.

According to the Gun Violence Archive there have already been 165 mass shootings this year, and, given that we are only over a hundred days into 2023, gun violence is one of the most pressing issues in the United States right now. Responding to these shootings, President Biden has repeatedly called for an assault-weapons ban, which the United States had in place until 2004. However, Republican congressional opposition has stalled these efforts on the federal level, though Democrats have passed similar legislation in states like Illinois and Washington over the past few months.

President Biden in Ireland

On April 11, President Joe Biden made a four-day visit to the United Kingdom and Ireland, a country that holds great personal value for him as an Irish Catholic as his anticipated re-election announcement grows closer. He started with a visit to northern Ireland, part of the United Kingdom, to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, an accord that helped stop the region’s violent factional divisions between Protestant and Catholic gangs. After that, he made a days-long visit to the Republic of Ireland, making stops that had more personal than political significance for him. Though he did touch upon prominent geopolitical issues while in the capital, Dublin — including joint Irish and American efforts to stave off the Russian invasion of Ukraine — the most memorable moments came when he ventured outside of the capital. He visited both County Louth, the ancestral home of his maternal lineage, and County Mayo, that of his paternal side. There, the president visited churches, harbors, and town squares once trodden upon by his ancestors while being greeted by enthusiastic crowds, with many proud to see a U.S. president of Irish heritage. The largest public reception he received was in Ballina, in County Mayo, where an estimated 27,000 locals cheered him on for minutes on end as Biden strode onstage for a nighttime speech. The nostalgic visit served as a celebratory and emotional respite for the President ahead of what will likely be a hotly-contested campaign at home.