Don’t panic

States are halting the use of the J&J COVID-19 vaccine because of reported blood clots, and Dr. Fauci wants us to keep our cool. In the wake of the police killing of Daunte Wright, the police chief and the officer who shot Wright have resigned. And an asteroid the size of a small car just breezed by Earth. 

? It’s Laura. Here’s the news, coming at you faster than the 2021 GW4 asteroid.

But first, it was a monkey reptile dinosaur, and it could fly. The dawning of each day marks an opportunity to bring new horrors to light — and today is no exception. I’ll let the smarty-pants scientists take it from here. Meet the ‘Monkeydactyl,’ a dinosaur that could have the oldest recorded opposable thumbs.

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States push pause on J&J shots

The risk of a blood clot is less than one in a million, according to the guy who knows more about vaccines than I do (Dr. Anthony Fauci), so don’t panic, he says. California, New York, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania and Florida were among more than a dozen states to almost immediately follow the guidance from the FDA and CDC to halt their use of Johnson & Johnson’s one-shot vaccine Tuesday. Health officials are recommending the pause “out of an abundance of caution” because of rare but dangerous blood clots. Under investigation are six cases involving vaccinated women who developed blood clots six to 13 days after vaccination. One woman died, and another remains in critical condition. The CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices on Wednesday to further review the cases and assess their potential significance.

  • What do I do if I’ve gotten the J&J shot already?Your questions answered.

Police chief and officer both resign

As Daunte Wright’s family grieves, both the police chief and officer who shot the 20-year-old Black man submitted their resignations, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota Mayor Mike Elliott announced Tuesday. Kim Potter, a 48-year-old officer and a 26-year veteran of the department, was identified as the one who shot Wright. She was not asked to resign, but submitted her letter of resignation Tuesday along with Police Chief Tim Gannon. City Manager Curt Boganey was also fired. “We want to send the message to the community that we’re taking this situation very seriously,” Elliott said. Wright’s death has shaken a city already unsettled with protests rocking the area Monday night, resulting in about 40 arrests. Brooklyn Center is about 10 miles north of Minneapolis where the trial of former police officer Derek Chauvin in the death of George Floyd was in its third week of testimony.

  • ‘Another senseless tragedy’: Barack and Michelle Obama, Beyoncé, Kerry Washington and others speak out on Daunte Wright killing. 

People gather around a sculpture of a raised fist during a vigil for Daunte Wright on April 12, 2021 in Brooklyn Center, Minnesota. Wright was shot and killed yesterday by Brooklyn Center police during a traffic stop. The fist sculpture first appeared over the summer at the memorial for George Floyd, the artist Jordan Powell-Karis brought it to the site where Wright was killed today. (Photo: Stephen Maturen, Getty Images)

What everyone’s talking about

  • ‘What is that in the sky?’: A rare fireball lit up the night skies over Florida. You gotta see the videos.
  • COVID-19 vaccine freebies like gift cards, Krispy Kreme doughnuts:Are they a good or bad way to encourage shots?
  • Grimes unveils her tattoos of ‘beautiful alien scars.’ See the photo here.
  • The show must go on: ‘American Idol’ frontrunner drops out; Paula Abdul makes a ‘nostalgic’ return.
  • A venomous snake – with no known antivenom – bit an employee at the San Diego Zoo.

The prosecution rests

The prosecution rested its case Tuesday, making way for the defense to begin calling its witnesses to the stand in the murder trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, charged in the death of George Floyd. So pack a bag, jury members. Closing arguments could begin Monday, which is when the jury would be sequestered. Hennepin County District Court Judge Peter Cahill said he expects the defense to finish its evidence by the end of the week. 

On the stand Tuesday: 

  • Officer Nicole Mackenzie, who previously testified for the prosecution, took the witness stand again to testify on excited delirium training.
  • Peter Chang, a Minneapolis Park Police officer who responded to the scene, testified that the crowd was ‘very aggressive.’
  • Shawanda Hill, Floyd’s ex-girlfriend, testified about what she observed about his physical condition before the police struggle last May. 
  • Michelle Moseng, a retired Hennepin County paramedic, and Scott Creighton, a former police officer, both spoke about Floyd’s drug-related arrest in 2019 in Minneapolis.

In this image from video, Shawanda Hill testifies as Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill presides, Tuesday, April 13, 2021, in the trial of former Minneapolis police Officer Derek Chauvin at the Hennepin County Courthouse in Minneapolis, Minn. Chauvin is charged in the May 25, 2020 death of George Floyd. (Photo: Associated Press)

Out of Afghanistan

Two decades after the 9/11 attacks on the United States that spurred the nation’s longest war, President Joe Biden plans to pull all military forces out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11, ending the U.S. presence in the Middle Eastern nation. The move will extend military presence in Afghanistan beyond the May 1 withdrawal date previously negotiated by former President Donald Trump. Biden will announce additional specifics in a White House speech Wednesday detailing “the way forward in Afghanistan,” press secretary Jen Psaki said. According to a senior administration official, Biden will work to put the “full weight” of the U.S. government behind diplomatic efforts to reach a peace agreement between the Taliban and the Afghan government.

Real quick

  • ‘The last chapter of the Piney Point story’: Florida officials will close troublesome fertilizer processing plant after fears of reservoir breach caused evacuations and pollution.
  • Salmon runs are ‘at the brink of extinction’ in the nation’s ‘most endangered river’ of 2021.
  • KimYe co-parenting: Kim Kardashian, Kanye West agree on joint custody in divorce filings. 
  • Umpire Joe West was awarded $500,000 in a defamation lawsuit against a former player who accused him of taking a bribe.
  • 25 years later, ‘prime suspect’ was arrested in the 1996 disappearance of California college student Kristin Smart.

‘A martyr for our democracy’

As members of Congress sat silently, facing the flag-draped coffin of U.S. Capitol Police Officer William “Billy” Evans, President Joe Biden paid tribute to the officer who was defined “by his dignity, his decency, his loyalty and his courage” during a solemn ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda where the officer’s body is lying in honor. Evans, an 18-year member of the force, died during an attack at the Capitol this month when a man struck two officers near the Capitol with a car, then rammed a barrier, killing Evans and leaving another officer hospitalized. Police fatally shot the attacker, 25-year-old Noah Green. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., called Evans “a martyr for our democracy” and said he joined “the pantheon of heroes” who gave their lives to defend the Capitol, including the officer killed during the Jan. 6 mob attack on the seat of the federal government.

  • Officer William Evans, killed in attack at US Capitol, described as ‘wonderful guy’

U.S. Capitol Police Officer William Evans, who died after an attack at the U.S. Capitol when a car rammed into a security barricade, lies in honor in the Capitol Rotunda. (Photo: Jessica Koscielniak, USA TODAY)

An asteroid the size of a car just buzzed by

Earth came this close to getting sideswiped by an asteroid, known as 2021 GW4, when it passed the planet at a breezy 18,700 miles per hour Monday. But don’t fret, Earthlings: At its closest, the asteroid was just over 12,000 miles away from the Earth surface. For reference, most satellites are around 22,000 miles away — and the moon is roughly 238,900 miles away. According to NASA, which estimated that the asteroid was between 3.5-7.7 meters long, space rocks are not uncommon, hitting Earth about once per year. NASA estimates that it would take a much larger asteroid — more than half a mile long — to cause worldwide effects after impact.

A break from the news

  • ?‍❤️‍?‍? Your relationship made it through the past year.What happens when the pandemic ends?
  • ? It pays to prepare: Here are 3 things to do now if you’re retiring in the next decade.
  • ?‍? Ask HR: After being laid off, my job was posted. Does my company have to rehire me?

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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