5 things to know Monday

Gunman kills six at birthday party in Colorado Springs

Authorities on Monday are investigating the motive behind a deadly Colorado birthday party shooting that left seven people dead, including the suspected gunman. Authorities found six adults dead and one man seriously injured early Sunday in Colorado Springs.  The injured man later died at the hospital, the Colorado Springs Police Department said. The suspected shooter was the boyfriend of a female victim at the party at a mobile home park attended by friends, family and children. Police said children at the trailer were not hurt. The suspect walked inside and began shooting before killing himself, police said. In an initial report, police said the shooter knew the victims. 

NASA spacecraft loaded with asteroid dust to begin return journey

Back in October, NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft descended to just above the surface of the asteroid Bennu and snatched a handful of its rocky soil. On Monday, if all goes well, it will fire its rocket thrusters and begin a two-year, 200 million-mile cruise home to deliver its 2.1-ounce treasure. NASA says Bennu represents its largest sample collection since the Apollo astronauts returned with Moon rocks. Scientists hope the sample will shed light on the formation of our solar system and the development of Earth as a habitable planet. OSIRIS-REx is slated to release its sample capsule over the Utah desert – again, if all goes well – in 2023. NASA TV will air the liftoff at 4 p.m. ET.

GOP calls for Liz Cheney’s ouster get louder

Pressure from within the Republican party on Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., to step down from her House leadership role continues to grow. On Sunday, Rep. Jim Banks, R-Ind., chairman of the Republican Study Committee, the largest GOP caucus in Congress, said he opposes Cheney holding the position of GOP conference chair. “Any leader who is not focused on pushing back against the radical and dangerous Biden agenda needs to be replaced,” Banks told “Fox News Sunday.” Since the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol, Cheney has been a vocal critic of former President Donald Trump, who continues to hold massive sway within the party.

Kentucky Derby winner Bob Baffert accused of doping

In the latest scandal to plague the sport, Medina Spirit’s victory in the Kentucky Derby is in jeopardy after a positive post-race drug test. If the positive test for betamethasone – an anti-inflammatory steroid – is confirmed, Churchill Downs said that Medina Spirit will be stripped of the win, meaning Mandaloun, which lost the Derby by a half-length, would be declared the winner. Following the test results, the track suspended Hall of Fame trainer Bob Baffert from entering any horses at Churchill Downs, effective immediately. Baffert is still planning to enter the horse in Saturday’s Preakness Stakes race at Pimlico in Baltimore, which is set to draw its pole positions on Monday. Baffert called the positive test “a complete injustice,” saying Medina Spirit never has been treated with betamethasone. 

In India, COVID-19 cases soar while vaccinations slow

India’s battle with the coronavirus is growing more dire, new statistics reveal. While the world’s second most populous country is setting a record pace of infections – just over 403,000 confirmed cases reported Sunday, including 4,092 deaths – the pace of vaccination has slowed. Vaccinations per day have dropped to an average of 1.3 million in the past week, down from 3.5 million per day in April. Meanwhile, oxygen supplies at the nation’s hospitals remain low. India’s Supreme Court is setting up a national task force to conduct an “oxygen audit” to determine whether federal supplies are reaching states.