It’s getting hot in here

Could Earth’s temperature hit the limit of the Paris climate agreement? Chicago is changing its policy on foot chases following fatal shootings by police. And scientists thought this tortoise had been extinct for 100 years, but “Fern” showed up and surprised them all.

👋 It’s Laura. Like the Earth’s climate, Thursday’s news is hot, hot, hot.

But first, check out this spring break alligator. 🐊 This dude just wanted to escape the swamps of Louisiana and chill on the beach in Texas. I get it, gator.

The Short List is a snappy USA TODAY news roundup. Subscribe to the newsletter here or text messages here.

Global warming ‘wake-up call’ 

A couple of degrees might not sound like a lot, but we’re getting close to the limit. The odds of the planet continuing to warm over the next several years have increased, meteorologists from the World Meteorological Organization said Thursday. In fact, within the next five years, there’s now a 40% chance that Earth’s annual average temperature will temporarily edge above a limit set by the Paris climate agreement. “Increasing temperatures mean more melting ice, higher sea levels, more heat waves and other extreme weather, and greater impacts on food security, health, the environment and sustainable development,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said. “It is yet another wake-up call that the world needs to fast-track commitments to slash greenhouse gas emissions and achieve carbon neutrality.” The chance of temporarily hitting the 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 degrees Fahrenheit) increase limit has roughly doubled compared to last year’s predictions.

  • What does the Paris agreement do? Seeks to keep global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
  • How are we doing? Not great. National commitments to cut emissions, known as nationally determined contributions, currently fall far short of what is needed to achieve this target.
  • There’s more: The WMO forecast for the next several years also predicts a 90% chance that the world will set yet another record for the hottest year by the end of 2025, and that the Atlantic will continue to brew more potentially dangerous hurricanes than it used to.

In this Aug. 16, 2019 file photo, icebergs float away as the sun rises near Kulusuk, Greenland. According to a study released on Thursday, Aug. 20, 2020, Greenland lost a record amount of ice during an extra warm 2019, with the melt massive enough to cover California in more than four feet of water. (Photo: Felipe Dana, AP)

9th victim dies after San Jose shooting

After announcing the death of a ninth victim in a shooting spree at a light-rail yard, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo called on the community to do “what we must: support our families and coworkers in pain, and assist their journey to healing.” Light-rail operators, mechanics, linemen and an assistant superintendent were among the victims of Wednesday’s shooting spree at a Valley Transportation Authority facility.

The victims were identified as:

  • Paul Delacruz Megia, 42
  • Taptejdeep Singh, 36
  • Adrian Balleza, 29
  • Jose Dejesus Hernandez, 35
  • Timothy Michael Romo, 49
  • Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40
  • Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63
  • Lars Kepler Lane, 63
  • Alex Ward Fritch, 49

The shooter, also an employee whose ex-wife says had struggled with anger issues, died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police spokesman Russell Davis said. Authorities are still trying to determine a motive. 

  • He tried to warn his co-workers, then he was shot: Loved ones mourn victims of shooting at San Jose rail yard.
  • Who is San Jose suspect Samuel Cassidy? Ex-wife details anger problems, authorities probe whether fires linked to shooting that killed 8.
  • “They did not wait”: Officers rushed into San Jose rail yard as gunshots were still ringing out.

Emergency responders gather at the scene of a shooting where several people were reported dead including the shooter on May 26, 2021 at the San Jose Railyard in San Jose, California. (Photo: Amy Osborne, AFP via Getty Images)

What everyone’s talking about

  • The One With The Reunion: The ‘Friends’ reunion is everything fans hoped it would be.
  • Royal movie date: Prince William and Duchess Kate watch ‘Cruella’ from one of Prince Philip’s Land Rovers.
  • ‘Once Upon a One More Time’: Coming to Broadway, a feminist musical about Disney princesses features Britney Spears’ songs. 
  • ‘Frontal assault on the First Amendment’: Facebook, YouTube lawsuitchallenges Florida’s social media law.
  • White woman who called police on Black bird-watcher in Central Park sues former employer over her firing.
  • A Montana tribal councilwoman was beaten and ‘left for dead,’ her family says. No one has been charged.

Reward reaches $300K in search for shooter of 6-year-old boy

Pushing the reward to more than five times its original amount, donations helped boost the reward fund for tips leading to an arrest in the fatal shooting of a 6-year-old boy in an apparent road rage incident last week in California to at least $300,000. Supervisor Don Wagner said efforts by the family of the boy, identified as Aiden Leos, and the community have spurred additional donations. Aiden was sitting in the back seat of his mother’s car as she drove him to kindergarten when another driver shot him, authorities said. Aiden was pronounced dead at a nearby hospital. Hours after Aiden was shot, his sister, Alexis Cloonan, tearfully pleaded for the public’s help in the search for the shooter. “He’s only 6, and he was so sweet,” she said. “He was very, very loving boy, so please help us find who did this to him.”

  • ‘She had to hold her little boy as he died’: 6-year-old’s family, California police seeking shooter in road rage death.

Family members of 6-year-old Aiden Leos stand at a makeshift memorial Tuesday on the Walnut Avenue overpass at the 55 Freeway in Orange, Calif. (Photo: Leonard Ortiz, The Orange County Register via AP)

Real quick

  • Lori Vallow Daybell, accused of killing her 2 children, ruled unfit for trial.
  • GOP senators pitch new $928 billion infrastructure plan in latest offer to Biden.
  • Bill would make student-athletes at public colleges employees, allow them to collectively bargain.
  • Philadelphia Eagles make history, promoting Catherine Raiche to vice president of football operations.
  • National Burger Day: McDonald’s, Burger King, Wendy’s, Red Robin and more have National Burger Day deals Friday.

Chicago revises foot-chase policy following fatal police shootings

Months after a pair of high-profile killings by officers in pursuit drew national attention and prompted protests in the city, Chicago police are adopting a new foot-chase policy. Thirteen-year-old Adam Toledo, who would have celebrated his 14th birthday Wednesday, was fatally shot in the early hours of March 29, after an officer chased him down an alley on the city’s west side. Two days later, on the northwest side, Anthony Alvarez, 22, was running away from police with his back facing an officer who fired multiple times at him. 

Some key components include:

  • Under the new policy, which goes into effect June 11, foot pursuits are “appropriate only when there is probable cause for an arrest or it is believed an individual has committed, is committing or is about to commit a crime.”
  • The policy prohibits foot pursuits stemming from minor traffic offenses or for criminal offenses less than a Class A misdemeanor “unless the person poses an obvious threat to the community or any person.”
  • Officers are directed to discontinue foot pursuits if someone is injured and requires immediate medical assistance, if officers are unaware of their location, if officers engaged in the pursuit believe they would not be able to control the suspect if a confrontation were to occur, and “if the need to apprehend the subject is not worth the risk to responding officers, the public or the subject.”

“Because foot pursuits are one of the most dangerous actions that police officers can engage in, we cannot afford to wait any longer to put a policy in place that regulates them,” Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot said.

  • Evolution of a city’s account of a killing: How Chicago’s narrative changed in the fatal police shooting of Adam Toledo.
  • Adam Toledo would be 14: In his honor, his family is creating a sanctuary for at-risk youth in the Midwest.
  • ‘We failed Adam’: Body camera videos show 13-year-old Adam Toledo put hands up before fatal police shooting.

Andrea Fernanda Serrano kneels as she pays her respect to the site where 13-year-old Adam Toledo. was shot by police now marked with a mural in the Little Village neighborhood of Chicago, Friday, April 16, 2021, a day after the body camera video release of fatal police shooting of 13-year-old Adam Toledo. (Photo: Shafkat Anowar, AP)

Tortoise: ‘Surprise y’all! I’m still alive!’ 🤗

Does anybody know an eligible bachelor tortoise? The search is on for a mate for a giant tortoise thought to be extinct a century ago. Earlier this week, scientists at Yale University confirmed a giant female tortoise found in the Galapagos Islands was of the species Chelonoidis phantasticus, or Fernandina Giant Tortoise, last reported 112 years ago and thought to be “lost forever,” Galapagos Conservancy said in a press release. “One of the greatest mysteries in Galapagos has been the Fernandina Island Giant Tortoise. Rediscovering this lost species may have occurred just in the nick of time to save it,” said James Gibbs, vice president of science and conservation for the Galapagos Conservancy. Planning is underway for expeditions to find a male mate to save the species so the tortoise, named Fern, doesn’t meet the same fate as Lonesome George, a Pinta Island tortoise who died in 2012 without any offspring and was declared extinct. 💔

“Fern,” the female tortoise found on Fernandina Island in 2019. (Photo: Galapagos Conservancy)

A break from the news

  • 💞 Many of us didn’t touch during the pandemic.Is it safe to hug again? 
  • 👔 New dad, new swag: 22 amazing first Father’s Day gifts for 2021.
  • 🏖 ‘I’ve never seen sand so white in my life’: ‘Dr. Beach’ picks an amazing Hawaii beach as the best in US. See the rest of his picks here.

This is a compilation of stories from across the USA TODAY Network. Want this news roundup in your inbox every night? Sign up for The Short List newsletter here.

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