Israeli-Palestinian fighting, Preakness strife, Shauvot: 5 things to know this weekend

Israel unleashes its deadliest strike in this latest eruption of fighting as unrest spreads 

An Israeli air raid in Gaza City killed at least 10 Palestinians, mostly children, early Saturday in the deadliest single strike since the battle with Gaza’s militant Hamas rulers erupted earlier this week. Both sides pressed for an advantage as cease-fire efforts gathered strength. The latest outburst of violence began in Jerusalem and has spread across the region, with Jewish-Arab clashes and rioting in mixed cities of Israel. There were also Palestinian protests Friday in the occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces killed 11 people. Palestinians were set to mark Nakba day Saturday, when they commemorate the estimated 700,000 people who fled or were driven from their homes in what is now Israel during the 1948 war surrounding its creation, raising the possibility of more unrest. U.S. diplomat Hady Amr is in the region as part of Washington’s efforts to de-escalate the conflict and the U.N. Security Council is scheduled to meet Sunday.

  • From friendly to frosty:Biden and Netanyahu’s decadeslong relationship tested by current crisis
  • Fact check:Viral video doesn’t show Hamas staging child’s funeral
  • Previous coverage: Graphics show rising violence as Israelis use airstrikes against Palestinian rocket attacks

Here are some major events leading to the current violence we see happening with what some are calling an all-out war between Hamas and Israel.

USA TODAY

Amidst controversy, Kentucky Derby winner favored in Preakness 

The 145th Preakness Stakes will be run Saturday from Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore with an added dose of controversy. Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit tested positive for a substance that is not allowed to be used on race day after winning the Run for the Roses two weeks ago, putting his victory in doubt and leading to plenty of criticism of trainer Bob Baffert (and a lawsuit). If a second test comes back positive, the horse could be stripped of his Derby win. It stands for now, and Medina Spirit will open as the favorite and break from the No. 3 spot in the gate. Post time for the race, which will be broadcast by NBC, is 6:50 p.m. ET.

  • Why Medina Spirit isstill allowed to run in the Preakness
  • Why your horse can — and can’t — win the Preakness Stakes
  • Columnist Dan Wolken: Medina Spirit saga exposes horse racing’s incompetence on doping
  • ‘Should probably have poured it down the sink’:Legendary trainer D. Wayne Lukas defends Bob Baffert
  • ‘Shall’ Medina Spirit be disqualified?Kentucky Derby case could hinge on one word

Medina Spirit's victory in the Kentucky Derby is in jeopardy because of a positive postrace drug test, one that prompted Churchill Downs to suspend Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert immediately on Sunday in the latest scandal to plague the sport. (May 9)

AP Domestic

Jewish people celebrate Shavuot 

When you think of Jewish holidays, a few may come to mind. Hanukkah, Passover, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, maybe. But what about Shavuot? The holiday – which means “weeks” in Hebrew, and is referred to as the “Feast of Weeks” – celebrates the Jews receiving the Torah (the Jewish bible) from God on Mount Sinai. It is the end of a seven-week count called the Omer that starts during Passover, the holiday where Jews partake in seders and remember how they were freed from Egyptian slavery. This year, it begins Sunday evening and lasts until Tuesday evening.

  • What a Passover seder was likeover Zoom
  • This is America:A personal reflection on another pandemic Ramadan

It's the second year Americans are celebrating Easter, Ramadan and Passover from home.

USA TODAY

Basketball Hall of Fame to induct possibly its greatest class ever

The late Kobe Bryant will headline the class of 2020 when it is finally inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. Michael Jordan will present Bryant, and his widow Vanessa Bryant is expected to speak on his behalf. The enshrinement ceremony, which was postponed from last summer by the COVID-19 pandemic, honors arguably the greatest class in the Hall of Fame’s history. Also being inducted this weekend: Tim Duncan, the quiet, unassuming superstar who led the San Antonio Spurs to five NBA championships; Kevin Garnett, the ultra-intense defensive stalwart who helped lead the Boston Celtics to the 2008 title; and Tamika Catchings, the WNBA legend who also won four Olympic gold medals.

  • New inductee: Kevin Garnett’s fiery intensity fueled a career that led into the Hall of Fame
  • Picture perfect career:Hall of Fame only part of Tamika Catchings’ journey

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