U.S. Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska speaking at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Monday, May 18

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Sen. Ben Sasse Criticized for “Demoralizing,” “Weird” Commencement Speech

In a series of jokes that seemed to miss their marks, Sasse upset those studying mental health, took shots at China and made comments about people named Jeremy.

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Good morning,
Today we have stories about demand for testing in South Omaha exceeding the county’s supply, Sen. Ben Sasse under fire for comments he made during a commencement speech for graduating Fremont seniors and emerging COVID-19 symptoms appearing in children.

Your Top Local Stories

Check out an interactive version of this map on our website. 

In Omaha

Around the State

What to do during quarantine?

From our list of things to do during quarantine:

Start a “Movie Club” with Friends Over Social Media/Texting

Who needs Hollywood to tell us what to watch? Take turns picking stream-able flicks with friends and discuss. Hit up twitter.com/thereaderfilm if you need discussion questions.

What’s Happening In The United States?


  • The first coronavirus vaccine tested in people has shown early promise, creating antibodies in eight healthy people. The next stage will include 600 people. If that goes well, their third stage could start in July.

‘Straight Up Fire’ in Their Veins, New Symptom of COVID-19 in Kids

  • Severe inflammatory conditions caused by the coronavirus have started to appear in kids across the country, shaking confidence that young people were largely spared from the pandemic.

Chronic Health Conditions and Coronavirus

  • A New York Times map shows counties with high rates of chronic health conditions, largely concentrated in the South, that could be dangerously impacted by COVID-19 outbreaks.

As Testing Becomes Widespread, Some States Lack Participants

  • As some states reach or near testing targets, they’re falling short in an unexpected category: not enough people want to see if they have COVID-19.

Traveling Far To Protest Lockdowns and Maybe Spreading COVID-19, Too

  • Cell phone data shows that some traveled hundreds of miles to protest their or other states’ stay-at-home orders. Some worry the increased travel could bring infections to places that have largely been spared so far.

What’s Happening Across The World?

China Backs WHO Probe into COVID-19 Origin and Pledges $2 Billion

  • China has announced its support for the global health organization while some, like Trump, have pulled funding and publicly criticized it. Today, all 194 countries will meet virtually and tensions between the United States and China may take center stage.

Check out more coverage online at TheReader.com

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Chris Bowling

Chris has worked for The Reader since January 2020. As an investigative reporter and news editor he’s taken deep dives into topics such as police transparency, affordable housing and COVID-19. Originally...

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