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Top 8 today

Top eight stories for today including British Prime Minister Boris Johnson signed security declarations with Sweden and Finland ensuring military support should they be attacked while deciding whether to join NATO; A New York judge ruled it is too late to delay legislative primary elections even though districts may be gerrymandered; The CDC estimated roughly 108,000 Americans died from overdosing last year, and more.

National

Americans overdosing on drugs at new record high

One person died from a drug overdose every five minutes in the United States in 2021, according to data released Wednesday by federal regulators tracking the nation’s escalating opioid epidemic. 

Deb Walker visits the grave of her daughter, Brooke Goodwin, on Dec. 9, 2021, in Chester, Vt. Goodwin, 23, died in March of 2021 of a fatal overdose of the powerful opioid fentanyl and xylazine, an animal tranquilizer that is making its way into the illicit drug supply. (AP Photo/Lisa Rathke, File)

Modern views on women absent in draft that would overturn Roe

To decide if the Supreme Court should overturn Roe v. Wade, Justice Samuel Alito asks for the conservative supermajority, whether America has a historic tradition of allowing women to control their own reproductive health.

Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito testifies before the House Appropriations Committee on Capitol Hill in Washington on March 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)

Regional

Texas election officials testify on new rules at the polls

Texas lawmakers returned to the state Capitol on Wednesday to examine the reasons for election result delays and the effectiveness of new requirements for poll watchers.  

Texas House Elections Committee Chairman Briscoe Cain, R-Deer Park, left, and Vice Chairwoman Jessica Gonzalez, D-Dallas, hear testimony from election officials on ways to improve result reporting and poll watcher training on Wednesday, May 11, 2021. (Kirk McDaniel/ Courthouse News)

Redrawn NY Assembly districts approved for June primaries

The newly redrawn New York state Assembly districts may be gerrymandered but it is now too late to delay primary elections, a judge tasked with overseeing the state’s messy electoral redistricting maps ruled Wednesday.

Maps of New York's 10th congressional district are pictured before and after redistricting after the 2020 census. (Exhibits courtesy of Courthouse News)

Wisconsin election audit contract extended despite stalled investigation

Republican leaders in the Wisconsin Legislature have renewed their commitment to pay a retired state Supreme Court justice thousands per month in taxpayer money to investigate fraud in the 2020 presidential election, all but ensuring the controversial audit, currently on hold, will proceed into a second year.

Wisconsin Assembly Speaker Robin Vos, R-Rochester, speaks at the Wisconsin State Capitol in Madison on Jan. 12, 2021. (Amber Arnold/Wisconsin State Journal via AP, File)

International

Sweden and Finland bolster defense with UK pledge

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Wednesday signed two separate security declarations with Sweden and Finland, promising support if the two northern European countries should come under military attack.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, left, talks with Finland's President Sauli Niinisto at the Presidential Palace in Helsinki, Finland, on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, Pool)

Ukraine war grinds on, Russia slowly advances against tough resistance  

Russian forces on Wednesday continued to make slow advances in eastern Ukraine, but Ukraine was fighting back hard with counterattacks near Kharkiv and strikes on a key Black Sea island held by Russia as its encircled troops inside a Mariupol steelworks refuse to surrender. 

Volunteers exhume the bodies of civilians killed by Russian shelling in the village of Stepaky, Ukraine, close to Kharkiv, on Wednesday, May 11, 2022. (AP Photo/Andrii Marienko)

Ex-Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi loses dispute over bank shares

Siding with the European Central Bank, the European General Court agreed Wednesday that Silvio Berlusconi’s shares in an Italian bank can be confiscated because of a tax evasion conviction. 

Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi, center, talks to the media while leaving a hospital in Milan, Italy, in September 2020. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno, File)

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