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Need To Know.
Tragedy in El Paso.
At least 20 people are dead and 26 others injured after a gunman opened fire inside an El Paso, Texas, Walmart in what officials are calling an act of domestic terrorism. It was the country's deadliest mass shooting thus far in 2019 and one of the ten worst in modern US history (see list). The 21-year-old shooter was captured on surveillance footage entering the store carrying an assault-style rifle and wearing headphones and earmuffs - police ultimately apprehended the suspect alive. A four-page, heavily anti-immigrant, white nationalist manifesto uploaded to the popular alt-right website 8chan minutes before the shooting is believed to have been authored by the suspect. Officials say the gunman traveled from his hometown nearly nine hours away to El Paso, which sits on the US-Mexico border and is 80% Hispanic. You can see the list of victims - which reportedly included a 25-year-old mom who died shielding her 2-month-old - as details become available here. The suspect will likely face the death penalty if convicted. 

The notorious website 8chan has become a home for violent extremists - read how its founder wants it shut down (paywall, NYT). 
...And Another in Dayton.
Just over 12 hours after the El Paso attack, a heavily-armed man killed 9 and injured 27 others after opening fire outside a bar in Dayton, Ohio. It was the country's third-deadliest mass shooting thus far in 2019, and appears unrelated to Saturday morning's attack. According to officials, police engaged and killed the 24-year-old suspect less than one minute after the first shot. However the shooter still inflicted significant damage due to the use of a high-capacity rifle outfitted with a double drum magazine (see police photo). Reports say the suspect was traveling with a group of people, including his 22-year-old sister, before peeling off and returning with the weapon, a face mask, and body armor. The suspect's sister was killed in the attack, though police have not found evidence that she was a primary target. A motive has yet to be identified - unlike in El Paso, no manifesto or forewarning has been uncovered. 

Officials believe the death toll could've been much higher - officers stopped the suspect (video, warning graphic content) just as he tried to enter the bar, having driven the crowd inside. 
Sweeping Budget Deal Done.
President Trump signed a two-year budget deal into law on Friday, a sweeping measure that raises defense and discretionary spending by $100B over current levels. The measure brings the annual federal budget to around $4.75T, and effectively ends the 2011 sequestration law put in effect after the Obama-era stimulus. The deal also suspends the debt ceiling through July 2021, pushing an often-contentious issue past the 2020 elections. The bill helps avoid the type of fiscal showdowns that have plagued Congress in recent years, though a government shutdown is still possible if legislators can't pass appropriations bills before a September 30th deadline. 2019 began amid the longest government shutdown in US history, lasting 35 days. With about $3.8T in revenues each year, the measure is expected to add an estimated $2T to the federal debt, which currently stands at $22T (see data). 

Separately, the White House withdrew plans to nominate Rep. John Ratcliffe (R, TX-4) as Director of National Intelligence after receiving tepid support from GOP senators.
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- Neil Armstrong
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