Stock Market, Shootings, Kashmir: Your Monday Evening Briefing


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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

1. “Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun.”

In an address from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, above, President Trump implored the nation to “condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy” after two mass shootings over the weekend took the lives of at least 31 people. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated.”

He did not call for major new gun laws, instead citing the threats of mental illness, the internet, social media and violent video games. Some of our readers took issue with his comments.

Democratic leaders in Congress accused Mr. Trump of failing to promote more substantive action on gun control. The Republican-controlled Senate has not acted on two gun bills, covering background checks and waiting periods, that were passed by the House in February.

2. A sudden focus on domestic terrorism.

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, more Americans have died in domestic terrorist attacks than in international terrorist attacks. And the F.B.I. says that domestic attacks are increasingly motivated by white supremacist ideology.

But even with President Trump’s promise to provide federal authorities with “whatever they need,” officials and analysts say that law enforcement agencies combating domestic terrorism may have difficulty adopting the same kind of aggressive efforts used abroad after Sept. 11. Above, F.B.I. agents gathered evidence at the Walmart attacked Saturday in El Paso.

One issue is how much more information tech companies would be willing to share with the police about their customers. Another is the politically volatile mix of race, identity and violence of domestic cases, especially during a presidential campaign.

3. A nation mourns.

More than 48 hours after the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, the authorities were still seeking to confirm identities and notify families. But some details trickled out.

Among the victims — who now number 22, after two of the wounded died in the hospital — were Jordan and Andre Anchondo. They were shopping with their 2-month-old baby, relatives said. The baby survived; his mother shielded him with her body.

Arturo Benavides, a bus driver and U.S. Army veteran, was fatally shot while waiting in line at a register, his relatives said. And Mexico’s foreign minister identified seven of the dead as residents of his country.

In Dayton, Ohio, the nine victims included the mother of a newborn, a nutrition trainer and the gunman’s sister, a 22-year-old college student described as “bubbly” and “outgoing.”


“This president’s open racism is an invitation to violence,” former Representative Beto O’Rourke of Texas wrote on Twitter. “Anyone who is surprised” by the violence, he said in a TV interview, “is part of this problem right now.” Above, Mr. O’Rourke in El Paso on Sunday.

Joining the chorus were Representative Tim Ryan of Ohio and Senators Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Kirsten Gillibrand of New York.


5. Stocks tanked on China’s weaker currency.

China let the renminbi fall past seven to the dollar, taking the trade war to a grim new level. Chinese enterprises stopped making new purchases of American farm goods and President Trump’s Treasury Department labeled China a currency manipulator.

World markets shook as investors sold stocks and sought safer places to park their money. Wall Street had its worst day of the year, with the S&P 500 dropping almost 3 percent. Above, a currency exchange business in Hong Kong.

The question now is whether Beijing will fully weaponize its currency, allowing it to weaken even more sharply to increase its competitiveness on the world market. That could prompt further retaliation by the Trump administration, which is already planning to tax nearly all Chinese imports on Sept. 1.

6. Kashmir is bracing for rioting and unrest after India’s government said it would permanently incorporate the part of the disputed territory it controls.

The mountainous valley borders Pakistan and India and has been a center of conflict between the two nuclear-armed countries since the 1947 partition of British India.

Pakistan said it would “exercise all possible options to counter the illegal steps.”

The Indian government also revoked a 70-year-old provision in the Indian constitution that had given Kashmir autonomy, and introduced a bill to strip the region of statehood and divide it into two parts under the government’s direct control.


7. A general strike disrupted Hong Kong.

Antigovernment protesters mounted their fiercest challenge to the authorities, fanning out across the Chinese territory to occupy roads and malls as their strike disrupted businesses, flights and, above, rail services.

Labor unions said hundreds of thousands may have joined the strike, which came on the third consecutive day of large-scale civil disobedience aimed at defending Hong Kong’s independence from China.

The Hong Kong government warned that the unrest was affecting the local economy. Officers fired tear gas near shopping malls and residential areas and arrested at least 82 people.


8. Piecing together an ancient war.

By linking text from one of the stone slabs above, environmental analysis and ruins, archaeologists documented a brutal attack from the year 697 in Guatemala that they called an episode of “total war.”

It was a huge, deliberately set fire that burned down an entire city, civilians included.

The research refutes the idea of Mayan warfare of that era as largely nonviolent and focused on simply taking important prisoners.


9. “This three-day hoo-ha is an important thing. But it was not a revolution.”

That’s Joan Baez reflecting on Woodstock, 50 years later. In an interview with The Times, the folk singer remembers the music festival with a mixture of glee and disappointment. It was a lot of fun, she said, but fun doesn’t change the world, and change is what motivates her.

Our music critic Jon Pareles, who was also there, has another perspective. Woodstock “lived up to that ‘peace and music’ billing,” he writes, with “a goofy solidarity” among festivalgoers.

10. And finally, how not to escape from jail.

Clauvino da Silva, a Brazilian gang leader, tried to do it by impersonating his teenage daughter. He disguised himself with the silicone mask, long black wig and pink T-shirt with doughnuts on it, pictured above.

Guards at the Bangu prison complex in Rio de Janeiro noticed that the person about to walk out the door seemed remarkably nervous — and thwarted the attempt.

Have a freethinking evening.

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