Today’s edition of quick hits.
* On balance, the latest news on inflation isn’t bad: “Consumer prices climbed 4.9% in April — the first time annual inflation has landed below 5% in two years. ... The latest report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed other favorable trends: Food prices climbed just 7.7% over the 12-month period — the eighth-straight month of slower price growth. And on a monthly basis, food prices actually declined.”
* An FDA advisory board today recommended making a birth control pill available without a prescription: “The 17-0 vote by two advisory panels came despite serious reservations from agency officials about the quality of the data used to support switching the birth control pill, called Opill, from prescription to over the counter. The agency did not have concerns about the safety and effectiveness of the drug.”
* Speaking of reproductive health: “Vermont’s Republican governor signed abortion and gender affirming shield bills into law Wednesday that are the first in the country to explicitly include protecting access to a medication widely used in abortions even if the U.S. Food and Drug Administration withdraws its approval of the pill, mifepristone. The bills protect providers from discipline for providing legally protected reproductive and gender affirming health care services.”
* Santos’ plea: “Rep. George Santos, R-N.Y., pleaded not guilty at a Long Island courthouse on Wednesday to a 13-count federal indictment against him that was unsealed by the Department of Justice.”
* Biden hits the road: “President Joe Biden on Wednesday blasted Republican-demanded spending cuts as ‘devastating,’ making his case in a campaign-style speech to voters as lawmakers met in Washington on raising the government’s borrowing limit to avoid a potentially catastrophic U.S. default.”
* On Capitol Hill: “Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., cast her first two votes on the Senate floor on Wednesday afternoon following a nearly three-month absence due to health issues. ... Feinstein told reporters that she feels ‘much better,’ but she did not answer questions about why she decided to return or respond to calls from critics to resign.”
* A big announcement from the FBI: “Federal law enforcement officials said Tuesday that they have hacked and disabled a complex Russian cyberespionage operation that allegedly was used for about 20 years to steal sensitive government materials from the United States and its allies.”
* All is not well in Florida: “In further signs of drastic, hard-right changes to the once-liberal New College of Florida, the former coronavirus adviser to former president Donald Trump has been announced as a commencement speaker at the college next week. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis effectively seized control of the college on Jan. 6, when he appointed six new members to its board of trustees who subsequently fired the president and appointed interim president. ... Dr. Scott Atlas will address graduates on May 19 at the Sarasota campus, the Tampa Bay Times confirmed, describing Dr. Atlas as a ‘controversial radiologist.’”
See you tomorrow.