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Need To Know.
El Paso Death Toll Rises.
The number of people killed in a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas over the weekend rose to 22, as two more victims succumbed to injuries sustained during the attack. The shooting, which came just 12 hours before a separate rampage in Dayton, Ohio (9 killed, 27 injured), is being investigated as domestic terrorism. The incidents were the first and third-worst mass shootings in the US in 2019, and the El Paso attack was one of the top ten worst mass shootings in the US since World War II. President Trump condemned white nationalism in remarks from the White House yesterday, voicing support for the victims and first responders, but without mention of any major policy reforms. An overture he tweeted just hours before the press conference suggesting tying stricter background checks to immigration reform was also not mentioned. The President's remarks focused on addressing mental illness, the media, and video games - critics contend that the El Paso shooter used the President's own rhetoric to justify the attack (paywall, WashPo).
India's government revoked the special status of its part of the Kashmir region yesterday, ending nearly seven decades of relative autonomy. The Hindu nationalist government reportedly sent in troops, disconnected internet connections, and severed phone service in the Muslim-majority state in an effort to preempt unrest. The region sits in the mountains between India, Pakistan, China, and Afghanistan (see map), and has been a hotbed of territorial disputes since Pakistan was created in 1947. An addition to the Indian constitution, Article 370, granted India's part of the region (known formally as Jammu and Kashmir, or J&K) a large degree of self-rule. Since the late 1970s, the area has seen a number of separatist movements emerge, and current Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi vowed to bring the state back under control of the central government as part of his reelection campaign.
China Plays Hardball.
US stock markets plunged about 3% yesterday on news that China lowered the value of its currency against the dollar. It was the sixth straight day of losses for US markets and the worst trading day of the year for Wall Street (S&P 500 -3.0%, Dow -2.9%, Nasdaq -3.5%). China also reportedly instructed companies to suspend purchases of US agricultural products, which represent a roughly $20B market for US producers. The Chinese government keeps tight control over its currency - a lower value against the dollar means that US imports into China become more expensive and less competitive. In this case, China lowered the renminbi (or Chinese yuan) past the symbolic milepost of 7 to 1, the lowest the currency has been pushed in over a decade. The move comes on the heels of an announcement that the US is prepping a 10% tariff on $300B in US imports, and analysts believe China is girding for a protracted trade battle.
The US designated China as a currency manipulator in response, though the practical effect of the designation is small, with the US seeking mediation from the International Monetary Fund.
> Singer R. Kelly charged in Minnesota with two counts of engaging in prostitution with a minor stemming from 2001 incident; Kelly is currently in federal custody on separate sexual assault charges (More)
> 8-time NBA All-Star Vince Carter, 42, signs deal with Atlanta Hawks to play 22nd season; would be longest career in NBA history and first player to play in four separate decades (More)
>Moana star Auli’i Cravalho, Queen Latifah, and reggae singer Shaggy tapped to star in ABC's live musical adaptation of The Little Mermaid (More)
Science & Technology.
> Scientists identify key proteins involved in the creation of sound-detecting cells in the inner ear; could lead to therapies for irreversible deafness (More)
> Security platform Cloudflare drops alt-right website 8chan after El Paso attack, leaving it vulnerable to hacks; site has fostered extremist communities, with El Paso shooter posting manifesto moments before attack (More)
> IBM cyber analysis team says destructive malware attacks rose 200% in the first half of 2019; half were targeted at the manufacturing sector (More)
Business & Markets.
> New Media (owner of 150+ local newspapers) & Gannett (USA Today and ~100 others) to merge in $1.4 billion deal; will create largest newspaper business, owning 1 in 6 US newspapers (More)
> Federal Reserve to develop real-time payment system to ease bill payments and money transfers, aims to launch in 2023-2024 timeframe (More)
>Earnings Season: Meat and poultry giant Tyson Foods shares surge 5% to all-time-high on strong earnings and future expectations of profits from hog disease in China; DOJ launching price-fixing probe against Tyson and other poultry giants (More)
Politics & World Affairs.
> Cesar Sayoc, Florida man who sent 16 mailbombs to prominent Democratic figures in fall 2018, sentenced to 20 years in jail; all packages were intercepted and none exploded (More)
> US applies new sanctions to Venezuela's Maduro government, freezing assets of anyone or any company that does business with blacklisted officials; falls short of outright trade embargo (More)
> Pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong enter fifth straight day, with demonstrators engaged in ongoing clashes with police; flights canceled and roads blocked as crowds target transportation system (More)
Grieving in a Fishbowl.
Atlantic/CIR | Olivia Merrion. Humans are designed to work through stages of intense grief following significant trauma. Here, listen to survivors of mass shootings discuss what it's like to grieve - or try - while the national media descends on you. (Watch)
Typos That Change Lives.
Guardian | Tom Lamont. In an increasingly automated age, humans - expected to execute as flawlessly as their digital counterparts - are quickly becoming the weak link. From accidentally administering fatal drugs, to accusing the wrong person of sex crimes, to spurring unexpected romance, here's how typos are changing lives. (Read)
Historybook: Actress Lucille Ball born (1911); Pop artist Andy Warhol born (1928); US drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima, killing 70,000 (1945); Voting Rights Act signed (1965); Curiosity rover lands on Mars (2012).
"Love yourself first and everything else falls into line." - Lucille Ball
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