Photo: Meyrick Villarica/EyeEm/Getty Images

A global helium shortage is forcing Party City to close 45 stores nationally, but it could also impact scientists and medical professionals who rely on the gas for equipment and research, reports NBC.

Why it matters: Without helium, doctors wouldn't be able to give their patients noninvasive MRI scans, and scientists need chemical element to pressurize fuel tanks for space travel and satellite instruments, per USA Today. Some scientists are even suggesting a total ban on party balloons to help with the shortage.

As for the inflated decorations, prices have been increasing steadily over the years and Party City has been putting the cost on customers, per NBC. Party City is currently negotiating a contract with a new helium supplier, reports the Philadelphia Inquirer.

The backdrop: Nearly 75% of the helium comes from sites in Qatar, Wyoming and Texas, per CNBC. However, Saudi Arabia imposed a blockade on Qatar that has forced the nation to stop all exports of the gas, and further strained access.

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Two officers shot in Louisville amid Breonna Taylor protests

Police officers stand guard during a protest in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo: Ben Hendren/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Louisville Metro Police Department said two officers were shot downtown in the Kentucky city late Wednesday, just hours after a grand jury announced an indictment in the Breonna Taylor case.

Details: A police spokesperson told a press briefing a suspect was in custody and that the injuries of both officers were not life-threatening. One officer was "alert and stable" and the other was undergoing surgery, he said.

Updated 54 mins ago - Politics & Policy

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"Not enough": Protesters react to no murder charges in Breonna Taylor case

A grand jury on Wednesday indicted Brett Hankison, one of the Louisville police officers who entered Breonna Taylor's home in March, on three counts of wanton endangerment for firing shots blindly into neighboring apartments.

Details: Angering protesters, the grand jury did not indict any of the three officers involved in the botched drug raid on homicide or manslaughter charges related to the death of Taylor.

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