5 things to know on Thursday


Biden will sign the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act

President Joe Biden will sign the COVID-19 Hate Crimes Act on Thursday, during a ceremony at the White House, according to his official schedule. The house overwhelmingly adopted a bill Tuesday sending it to Biden’s desk. As reports of hate incidents against Asian Americans have skyrocketed for more than a year, the law is designed to combat attacks and racism. After a mass shooting in Georgia in March killed eight people – six of them of Asian descent – lawmakers from both houses of Congress have called for swift action on the law, which will become law in May, the month of Asia-Pacific American heritage.

Israel welcomes European officials as calls for a ceasefire grow

The Israeli Foreign Ministry says ministers from Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia will arrive in the country on Thursday. The ministry said Wednesday that diplomats were called upon to “express their solidarity and support” to Israel during its campaign against Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip. The visit comes as Israel faces growing international pressure to de-escalate hostilities after 10 days of heavy fighting in Gaza. That pressure includes President Joe Biden, who in his strongest statement so far on the conflict told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that he expected to expect “significant de-escalation today on the road to a ceasefire,” said the White House. Netanyahu, however, vowed to continue a fierce military offensive in the Gaza Strip, saying he was “determined to continue this operation until its goal is achieved”.

Apple introduces new features for Global Awareness Awareness Day

Thursday is Global Awareness Accessibility Day, which promotes digital access and inclusion for people living with disabilities. To mark the day, Apple will introduce SignTime, which allows customers to communicate with AppleCare and other retail services using American Sign Language in the United States, British Sign Language in the United Kingdom, and French Sign Language in France via a web browser. Customers visiting Apple Stores in these countries can also use SignTime to remotely access a sign language interpreter without booking it ahead of time. It’s one of several new accessibility features on the go for Apple’s iPhone, Apple Watches and iPad.

‘That show from the 70’s’, actor ‘The Ranch’ Danny Masterson faces rape charges in court

A Los Angeles judge will determine if there is enough evidence that “That ’70s Show” and “The Ranch” star Danny Masterson will be tried on charges of raping three women in the early 2000s. Graphic testimony at a preliminary hearing on Wednesday, he saw a woman who was identified in court only as Christina B., who had been in a relationship with Masterson for five years, says she woke up one night and found himself raping her. On Tuesday, another woman identifying only as Jen B., she testified that she was slipping and coming out of consciousness when she found Masterson raping her. “The first thing I remember is grabbing him by the hair to pull him,” she said. Masterson, 45, pleaded not guilty, and his lawyer, Thomas Mesereau, said he would prove his client’s innocence.

The PGA Championship is presented in South Carolina

103. PGA Championship starts on Thursday from the oceanfront Golf Resort of Kiawah Island in South Carolina. Collin Morikawa won last year’s event played in August over the COVID-19 pandemic. The tournament will open along with 2021 Master Champion Hideki Matsuyam and US Open 2020 winner Bryson DeChambeau. Tiger Woods, the most recognizable golfer, is still recovering from injuries sustained in a car accident and will not play.

Contribution: Associated Press

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