Madison Cawthorn, NATO applications and US soccer. Wednesday’s news. – USA TODAY

A closely watched primary race in Pennsylvania is still without a result. Finland and Sweden have officially applied for NATO membership. And U.S. Soccer will pay its women’s and men’s teams equally.

👋 Happy Wednesday! It’s Julius, with today’s news. 

But first, NYU is feeling ’22. 🎓 Grammy-winning singer and songwriter Taylor Swift delivered the NYU commencement speech and received an honorary degree from the university.

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A recount could loom in Pa. GOP Senate primary; Cawthorn loses in N.C.

One of the most anticipated races of this week’s midterm primary elections is still without a result. Pennsylvania may be headed toward a recount for the GOP Senate primary featuring Dr. Mehmet Oz, who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump. Oz  and businessman David McCormick were separated by less than 1 percentage point, with conservative commentator Kathy Barnette in third, for the Pennsylvania GOP Senate nomination. The winner faces Lt. Gov. John Fetterman, who won the Democratic nomination for the Senate seat in Pennsylvania, days after he suffered a stroke just a few days ago. In a North Carolina primary race, controversial Rep. Madison Cawthorn conceded to state Sen. Chuck Edwards, who had the backing of prominent state Republicans who disliked the incumbent.

Many Black Americans are experiencing grief, trauma after Buffalo shooting

In the days after a white gunman opened fire at a Buffalo supermarket in a Black neighborhood Saturday and killed 10 people, Max Anderson, deputy director of the advocacy organization Open Buffalo, says the targeting of this predominately Black community by a shooter who allegedly espoused racist ideology has rattled him and many other Black people across the nation, reigniting what experts call a collective loss. From lynchings and church bombings to the murder of George Floyd at the hands of police and beyond, hate crimes have a cumulative impact. It shatters trust and can fuel collective anxiety, depression, hopelessness and post-traumatic stress, experts say. Studies show race-based traumatic stress can result from experiences with hate crimes and racism and can lead to symptoms such as physical pain, insomnia and hypervigilance, according to Mental Health America.

What everyone’s talking about

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Finland and Sweden formally apply for NATO membership

Finland and Sweden have formally applied to join NATO, a move driven by security concerns over Russia’s war in Ukraine. The application must now be weighed by the 30 member countries, and all must agree for membership to be approved. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has expressed reservations about Finland and Sweden joining. If those objections can be worked out, expedited membership could be granted within a few months. President Joe Biden expressed strong support for the “historic” applications from Finland and Sweden for membership in NATO. While the applications are being considered, the U.S. will work with both countries “to remain vigilant against any threats to our shared security, and to deter and confront aggression or the threat of aggression.”

USMNT and USWNT to be paid equally under new deal

U.S. Soccer and its women’s and men’s national teams announced new contracts Wednesday that will pay the squads equally – including a split of World Cup prize money. The deals are the culmination of a decades-long fight by the USWNT, U.S. Soccer’s most successful team, for equal compensation and fair treatment, and further recognition by the federation that American soccer is stronger when everyone is unified. Under the new deal, this year’s pool for the USWNT would be $7.2 million, a 54 percent increase from 2018. The new collective bargaining agreements run through 2028, ensuring labor peace for two full World Cup cycles. That is significant, considering the U.S. is co-hosting the 2026 men’s tournament with Canada and Mexico.

Real quick

Ex-police officer pleads guilty to manslaughter in George Floyd’s death

Former Minneapolis police officer Thomas Lane pleaded guilty Wednesday to a state charge of aiding and abetting second-degree manslaughter in the killing of George Floyd. As part of the plea deal, Lane will have a count of aiding and abetting second-degree unintentional murder dismissed. Lane, along with J. Alexander Kueng and Tou Thao, has already been convicted on federal counts of willfully violating Floyd’s rights during the May 2020 restraint that led to Floyd’s death. The state is recommending a sentence of three years for Lane, and has agreed to allow him to serve the time in federal prison. 

A break from the news

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