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Senate to vote on abortion bill, key inflation report, Indigenous schools: 5 things to know Wednesday

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Senate to vote on bill that would make abortion legal nationally

Senate Democrats will vote Wednesday on a bill that would make Roe v. Wade the law of the land and divert a Supreme Court decision that could leave states the sole authority on whether to restrict abortion. The Women's Health Protection Act of 2022 would make abortion legal nationally, superseding legislation passed by states to severely restrict or completely ban the procedure. The decision to move swiftly on the legislation follows the leak of a draft opinion from the Supreme Court on May 2 that suggests the nation's highest court will overturn the landmark case that guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion. The bill does not have enough votes to pass into law yet, but it marks Democrats' first legislative attempt to enshrine the right to abortion into law since the leak.

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Inflation stays elevated, but eases from 40-year high

Inflation stayed elevated in April but eased off its 40-year high, signaling that a stomach-churning surge in consumer prices since last summer may have peaked. The consumer price index increased 8.3% annually, down from 8.5% in March, as a drop in gasoline prices offset a continuing run-up in food, rent and other costs, the Labor Department said Wednesday. April’s pullback in the annual reading was the first since last August and halted five straight months of fresh 40-year highs. In remarks Tuesday, President Biden called inflation the nation's top economic challenge, blaming the twin crises of a "once-in-a-century pandemic" and the war in Ukraine.

Ukrainians stop Russian gas shipments, make gains in east; House passes aid package

Ukraine's natural gas pipeline operator has stopped Russian shipments through a key hub in the east of the country. Wednesday's move was the first time natural gas supply has been affected by the war that began in February. It may force Russia to shift flows of gas through areas controlled by Ukraine to reach clients in Europe. On Tuesday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said the military was gradually pushing Russian troops away from Kharkiv in northeastern Ukraine. The Ukrainian General Staff said its forces drove Russians out of four villages to the northeast of Kharkiv as it tries to push them back toward the Russian border. In other news, one U.S. official reports that Russia appears to be at least two weeks behind schedule in its attempt to wrest the eastern Donbas region from Ukraine. This progress comes as the House of Representatives on Tuesday night passed a package of about $40 billion in additional aid for Ukraine, $7 billion more than President Joe Biden's request to Congress.

UN Security Council to meet on North Korea's nuclear testing

The United States scheduled an emergency United Nations Security Council meeting Wednesday after North Korea tested a ballistic missile that was likely fired from a submarine last week. The test represented North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s recent vow to ramp up nuclear weapons development. The United States currently holds the rotating presidency of the Security Council, and it set the meeting to discuss North Korea’s latest launches. North Korea has fired missiles 15 times so far this year. North Korea's launch came just ahead of Tuesday’s inauguration of South Korean President-elect Yoon Suk Yeol, who promised to take a tough approach toward North Korea’s nuclear weapons.

Interior Department report will begin to reveal truths about Indigenous schools

The Interior Department says it will release the first volume of a report Wednesday that will begin to uncover the truth about the federal government's past oversight of Native American boarding schools. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced an initiative last June to investigate the troubled legacy of boarding schools, which the government established and supported for decades. Indigenous children routinely were taken from their communities and forced into schools that sought to strip them of their language and culture. The Interior report was prompted by the discovery of hundreds of unmarked graves at former residential school sites in Canada that brought back painful memories for Indigenous communities. At least 367 boarding schools for Native Americans operated in the U.S., many of them in Oklahoma where tribes were relocated, Arizona, Alaska, New Mexico and South Dakota, according to research by the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition.

Contributing: The Associated Press

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Senate abortion vote, key inflation report: 5 things to know Wednesday