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🌺 Happy Mother's Day to all the moms in AM Nation. And thank you to Barbara Allen for being a "mother of many" — as her dad, my Grandpa Powers, used to joke. She had four, and my siblings and I still have a blast together.

  • Mom's news rituals helped awaken my own. And to think of all the time she spent taking me to the Los Alamitos News-Enterprise ... the Long Beach Press-Telegram ... the Orange County Register ... the L.A. Times (again and again!) ... to KFWB, her all-news station, in Hollywood ... to Channel 4.
  • It all helped wire me for this fascinating, fun, full life. So when you have a kid with a fascination: Ya never know!
1 big thing: School boards are the next battleground

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The fracas over school reopening is fueling a surge of candidates for school boards across the country, Axios' Stef Kight writes.

  • Why it matters: What was long a nonpartisan, hyper-local role is now at center of a swirling debate, as conservative and progressive parents clash over when and how to reopen classrooms

Grassroots conservative groups are getting involved in school board races all across the country.

  • "Patriots for Delaware" endorsed five pro-school-reopening candidates for the state's May 11th elections.
  • Parents in Pennsylvania formed a PAC to support school board candidates running to keep kids in school in person.
  • In El Paso, the Facebook group "Let Schools Ring" supported Leslie Hoard, who reportedly questioned the use of masks in school and supported school reopening. Hoard lost.
  • A group called "Moms for Liberty" has been pressuring the school board in Brevard County, Fla., to drop its mask mandate for students.

What we’re watching: The next flashpoint for local school boards is the debate over critical race theory, an academic movement focusing on systemic racism in U.S. laws.

  • The issue has already become divisive in Texas, Utah and Oregon, and it could drive even more interest in school board elections.

Share this story.

2. "Double extortion" in ransomware attack
The Colonial Pipeline spans 5,000+ miles. Map: AP

The hackers who shut down Colonial Pipeline, the biggest U.S. gasoline pipeline, "began their blitz against the company a day earlier, stealing a large amount of data before locking computers with ransomware and demanding payment," Bloomberg News reports.

  • "The intruders, who are part of a cybercrime gang called DarkSide, took nearly 100 gigabytes of data out of the Alpharetta, Georgia-based company’s network in just two hours on Thursday."

It was a "double-extortion scheme," Bloomberg says:

  • Colonial was threatened that stolen data would be leaked on the web + information that the hackers had encrypted inside the network would stay locked unless the company paid a ransom.
3. 🎬 Tonight on "Axios on HBO": Ron Klain

Photo: "Axios on HBO"

Tonight on "Axios on HBO" (6 p.m. ET, on HBO and HBO Max):

  • White House chief of staff Ron Klain talks jobs, vaccines, infrastructure and more, during his first in-person interview since his Lincoln Memorial live shot in March.

👀 In this preview clip, I ask Klain about his spicy tweets.

4. We're still here

The debris was from this April 29 launch in China's Hainan Province. Photo: Ju Zhenhua/Xinhua via AP

Remnants of China's biggest rocket landed in the Indian Ocean, ending days of speculation over where the debris would hit, Reuters reports.

  • Most of its components destroyed upon reentry.
5. Trio of Saturday mass shootings
Courtesy N.Y. Post

The U.S. was hit yesterday with shootings in Times Square (3 bystanders shot, including a 4-year-old girl who was toy shopping) ... a mall near Miami (3 hurt) ... and a townhome near Baltimore (4 dead, 1 hurt).

  • N.Y. Times: "463 people have been shot in the city this year ... up from 239 over the same period in 2019 and 259 in 2020."

Latest from NYC ... Miami ... Baltimore.

6. Dartmouth's "data-mining dragnet"

Dartmouth College in Hanover, N.H., circa 1819. Drawing: MPI via Getty Images

Dartmouth's medical school is using surveillance software, installed for remote learning, to accuse 17 students of cheating during exams, based on supposed activity on pages the test-takers weren't supposed to be looking at, the N.Y. Times reports in this fascinating story.

  • Why it matters: "Dartmouth’s drive to root out cheating provides a sobering case study of how the coronavirus has accelerated colleges’ reliance on technology, normalizing student tracking in ways that are likely to endure after the pandemic."

Dartmouth is using Canvas — its learning management software, which wasn't designed as a forensic tool — to retroactively track students without their knowledge, the article reports:

Several students said they were now so afraid of being unfairly targeted in a data-mining dragnet that they had pushed the medical school to offer in-person exams with human proctors. Others said they had advised prospective medical students against coming to Dartmouth.
Some accused students said Dartmouth had hamstrung their ability to defend themselves. They said they had less than 48 hours to respond to the charges, were not provided complete data logs for the exams, were advised to plead guilty though they denied cheating or were given just two minutes to make their case in online hearings, according to six of the students and a review of documents.

Students claim methodological flaws: "Seven of the 17 accused students have had their cases dismissed. In at least one of those cases, administrators said, 'automated Canvas processes are likely to have created the data that was seen rather than deliberate activity by the user.'"

Go deeper: Read a 21-page packet posted by students.

  • N.Y. Times story (subscription), "Cheating Charges at Dartmouth Show Pitfalls of Tech Tracking."
7. ⚡ Breaking: Kentucky Derby winner flunks drug test

Medina Spirit crosses the finish line. Photo: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

New doping scandal ... Trainer Bob Baffert said this morning that Medina Spirit "tested positive for betamethasone after winning the Kentucky Derby on May 1 at Churchill Downs, a result that ... could lead to the horse’s disqualification," the Louisville Courier-Journal reports.

  • Baffert said Medina Spirit "has never been treated with betamethasone," an anti-inflammatory.

A second positive test is required before a horse is disqualified.

8. Dogecoin drops after Musk jokes: "Yeah, it's a hustle"
Data: Coindesk; Chart: Axios Visuals

On "Weekend Update" on "Saturday Night Live," guest host Elon Musk donned a bow tie and glasses as "financial expert" Lloyd Osterta to plug Dogecoin (pronounced dohjh-coin), the cryptocurrency Musk has hyped:

  • "It's the future of currency. It's an unstoppable financial vehicle that's going to take over the world."
  • After "Update" anchor Michael Che continued to feign confusion, Musk as Ostertag shrugged and said: "Yeah, it's a hustle."

📉 Dogecoin tumbled 23% in the hour after the show began, and fell further today.

9. Musk's best "SNL" lines
In an "SNL" sketch, Elon Musk does a German-ish accent as director of the "Ooli Show," an Icelandic talk show. Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Elon Musk began his gig as "Saturday Night Live" host by saying he's "pretty good at running human in emulation mode."

  • "I won't make a lot of eye contact with the cast tonight,' he joked.

Turning serious, Musk said: "I'd first like to share with you my vision for the future. I believe in a renewable energy future. I believe that humanity must become a multi-planetary, space-bearing civilization."

  • "I think if I just posted that on Twitter, I'd be fine."
Elon Musk during a "New Detective Show" sketch. Photo: Rosalind O'Connor/NBC

Musk showed humility and hubris, AP's Andrew Dalton writes:

  • "It's great to be hosting 'Saturday Night Live,' and I really mean it," said Musk, standing onstage in a black suit with black T-shirt. "Sometimes after I say something, I have to say: 'I mean that.'"
  • "I'm actually making history tonight as the first person with Asperger's syndrome to host the show," he said, to audience applause. "Or at least the first to admit it."

Musk added a boast that got his biggest laugh of the night:

  • "Look, I know I sometimes say or post strange things. But that’s just how my brain works. To anyone I've offended, I just want to say: I reinvented electric cars and I'm sending people to Mars in a rocket ship. Did you think I was also gonna be a chill, normal dude?"

📱 Watch the monologue.

10. Mother's Day smile to go
Photo: Will Heath/NBC

Above: Elon Musk with his mother — Maye, a model — during the "Saturday Night Live" monologue.

  • "I'm excited for my Mother's Day gift," she said. "I just hope it's not Dogecoin."

Below: The "SNL" cast, and musical guest Miley Cyrus, with their mothers during the "Mother's Day Message" cold open.

Photo: Will Heath/NBC

📱 Watch the cold open.

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