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Could the police have done more?

USA TODAY logo USA TODAY 5/26/2022 Laura L. Davis, USA TODAY
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As the investigation into a massacre at an elementary school unfolds, one question keeps popping up: Did the police act quickly enough? And move over, TobyKeith. There's a new oldest living dog in town: Pebbles.

👋 It's Laura Davis. It's Thursday. And I don't know about y'all, but I'm ready for the weekend. Here's the news!

But first, ever heard of a 'sharkcano'? 🦈🌋 An underwater volcano has begun to erupt, NASA images show. And it's got neighbors: SharksThis makes sense, because I feel like if any creature would happily take up residence near an undersea volcano with a tendency to erupt – it'd be a shark.

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Frustrated onlookers urged police to charge into Texas school

The horrific scope of an elementary school shooting that killed 19 children and two teachers was coming into agonizing focus Thursday amid revelations about the attack, including that the gunman barricaded himself in a fourth-grade classroom where most victims died. And Texas officials are scrutinizing the law enforcement response as major questions are bubbling up about what police did and when. In a chaotic and heart-wrenching scene, neighbors and parents screamed and pleaded with officers to go into the school and save the children. It took between 40 minutes to an hour for Border Patrol agents to break into the classroom and kill the 18-year-old attacker. Sources close to the investigation said the review is routine after a major incident, but it has intensified in this case because of differing accounts from neighbors and witnesses.

Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, leaves flowers at a memorial site on May 26, 2022, for the victims killed in an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022. © Jae C. Hong, AP Meghan Markle, Duchess of Sussex, leaves flowers at a memorial site on May 26, 2022, for the victims killed in an elementary school shooting in Uvalde, Texas on May 24, 2022.

President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden will travel to Uvalde over the weekend to meet with the families of the victims, the White House announced.

In what could be a potential breakthrough on gun legislation, Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said Thursday that he wanted GOP lawmakers to work with Democrats on a legislative solution to address the shooting.

👉 More news: Officer seeks to reassure the public that immediate efforts were made; high school graduation ceremonies postponed. Thursday's latest updates.

College sports, Title IX and the dark illusion of gender equity

Fifty years after the passage of Title IX, the landmark law banning sex discrimination in education, colleges and universities are circumventing its intent by manipulating athletic rosters to appear more balanced. By packing their women’s teams with extra players who never compete, among other things, schools across the nation collectively conjured the illusion of thousands more female athletic opportunities, a USA TODAY investigation found. Read more from the investigation.

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Kevin Spacey facing sexual assault charges overseas

England's Crown Prosecution Service has authorized four counts of sexual assault charges against disgraced Academy Award-winner Kevin Spacey, the agency announced Thursday. Spacey, 62, faces a total of five authorized charges against three men for incidents that allegedly happened between 2005 and 2013, including causing a person to engage in penetrative sexual activity without consent. Spacey did not respond when reporters caught up with him outside a federal courthouse in New York, where he testified Thursday in a civil lawsuit filed against him by his original accuser, actor Anthony Rapp. Unlike criminal charges in the U.S., prosecutors under English and Welsh law take the findings of a police investigation and then authorize charges to be filed when and if a defendant is physically in England and under arrest, a CPS spokesperson confirmed to USA TODAY. 

Kevin Spacey leaves court after testifying in a civil lawsuit, May 26, 2022, in New York. © John Minchillo, AP Kevin Spacey leaves court after testifying in a civil lawsuit, May 26, 2022, in New York.

Real quick

Gangster-movie icon Ray Liotta dies at 67

Ray Liotta, who became a gangster-movie icon in "Goodfellas" and brought an old-time baseball legend back to life in "Field of Dreams," has died. He was 67. His publicist, Jennifer Allen, said Liotta died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic while filming the movie "Dangerous Waters." His fiancée, Jacy Nittolo, was on location with him. Born in Newark, New Jersey, the actor had a breakthrough role in Martin Scorsese's mob classic "Goodfellas" playing real-life criminal Henry Hill opposite Robert De Niro and Joe Pesci, and often was featured in crime films, including the recent "Sopranos" spinoff "The Many Saints of Newark."

Ray Liotta attends the "Shades Of Blue" premiere at the Callao cinema on April 5, 2016 in Madrid, Spain. © Carlos Alvarez, Getty Images Ray Liotta attends the "Shades Of Blue" premiere at the Callao cinema on April 5, 2016 in Madrid, Spain.

Toy fox terrier claims oldest-living dog title

Turns out, TobyKeith the Chihuahua wasn't the oldest living dog after all. Weeks after the 21-year-old Chihuahua set the internet ablaze after being named the world's oldest living dog, a new pup has officially snatched his crown. Her name is Pebbles. The 4-pound Toy fox terrier now holds the title for world's oldest living dog at 22 years, 59 days, as of Thursday, according to Guinness World Records. Pebbles' owners, Bobby and Julie Gregory, of Greenville County, South Carolina, decided to apply for the title after seeing TobyKeith on the news and realizing that Pebbles was older. Although Pebbles can get cranky when awakened, the couple said, she usually has a calm demeanor and loves attention. She also enjoys country music while sleeping and is a fan of warm weather. Me too, Pebbles.

Pebbles the Toy Fox Terrier named world's oldest dog living at 22. © Guinness World Records Pebbles the Toy Fox Terrier named world's oldest dog living at 22.

A break from the news

  • 🏓 15 awesome lawn games to stay entertained in your backyard.
  • 👩‍💻 Bookmark: How to wipe your phone or computer if it's lost or stolen.
  • 🤷‍♀️ Does TikTok’s 'pomegranate pump' actually work? The answer may surprise you.

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