10 things you need to know today: July 9, 2016

Lone Dallas shooter was an Army Reservist who 'wanted to kill white people,' protests of police brutality organized nationwide, and more

A memorial for the five police officers killed in Dallas
(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

1. Lone Dallas shooter was an Army Reservist who 'wanted to kill white people'

On Friday, authorities identified the Dallas shooting suspect killed in a standoff with police as Micah Xavier Johnson. The 25-year-old lived outside of Dallas, and the Pentagon has confirmed he served as an enlisted soldier in the U.S. Army Reserves for nearly six years. Johnson told authorities he was "upset" about the "recent police shootings," and he "wanted to kill white people, especially white officers." Twelve police officers and two civilians were shot at the end of a peaceful protest against officer-related shootings late Thursday evening. Five officers died. Johnson is believed to have acted alone, but since then police say officers have been targeted by gunmen who may have had similar motives in Tennessee, Missouri, and Georgia.

The Wall Street Journal CBS News

2. Protests of police brutality organized nationwide

Thousands of Americans participated in demonstrations opposing police brutality and demanding accountability Friday night, following the recent deaths of two African-American men, Alton Sterling and Philando Castile, at the hands of law enforcement. Rallies were organized in New York City, Atlanta, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Phoenix, St. Paul, Ferguson, and elsewhere. Contributing to the controversy was the decision of the Dallas Police Department to kill Micah Xavier Johnson, the suspect in Thursday evening's attack which left five Dallas officers dead, using a remotely-detonated bomb transported by a robot.

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Huffington Post The Week

3. Clinton denies FBI claim she was 'extremely careless' with her emails

Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton rejected on Friday FBI Director James Comey's characterization of her email use habits while secretary of state. "I think the professionals with whom I communicated were very careful about how they handled classified material — as I was over the course of those four years," she said in an interview with CNN. Clinton categorically Comey's statement that she was "extremely careless" and "negligent" but did not act "with the necessary criminal intent" to bring criminal charges.

The Hill

4. NATO allies pledge funding of local forces in Afghanistan for 3 more years

During a two-day NATO summit in Warsaw, Poland, this week, the United States' allies agreed to send $1 billion annually to Afghan security forces for three more years, a decision that comes despite their citizens' disinterest in ongoing intervention in the Mideast nation. The Pentagon already funnels $3.45 billion to Afghanistan's army each year, and the White House said Wednesday at least 8,400 U.S. troops will stay in Afghanistan indefinitely. President Obama announced Friday he will cut his Europe trip for the summit short to visit Dallas, where five police officers were killed Thursday evening.

Reuters Politico

5. 10 states sue federal government over transgender bathroom rules

On Friday, 10 states — Arkansas, Kansas, Michigan, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Wyoming — filed a lawsuit against the federal government over its rule allowing transgender students in public schools to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity, rather than their biological gender. The lawsuit, filed in Nebraska's federal court, accuses the U.S. Education Department and the Justice Department of taking away local authority and bypassing the established process for changing a law. President Obama insists that the rule, issued in May, is simply a set of guidelines on how to interpret existing laws.

Associated Press Reuters

6. Newt Gingrich: 'It is more dangerous to be black in America'

"It is more dangerous to be black in America," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said in a CNN interview Friday, "in that they are substantially more likely to end up in a situation where the police don't respect you and where you could easily get killed. And sometimes for whites it's difficult to appreciate how real that is and how it's an everyday danger." He added, "If you are a normal, white American, the truth is you don't understand being black in America, and you instinctively underestimate the level of discrimination and the level of additional risk."

USA Today

7. First Zika-related death in continental United States confirmed

Officials of Salt Lake County, Utah, have announced the first confirmed death related to the Zika virus within the continental United States. The patient, believed to have contracted the virus while visiting a Zika-affected area this year, was elderly and suffered from an underlying condition. "We know [Zika] contributed to the death," said medical official Dagmar Vitek, "but we don't know if it was the sole cause." The mosquitoes which transmit Zika are not present in the region where the patient lived, and no locally transmitted infections have been reported in the United States.

The Washington Post

8. House passes opioid bill 407 to 5

The House of Representatives voted 407 to 5 to pass a bill addressing opioid addiction on Friday after Democrats dropped their demand for an additional $1 billion for drug treatment services. The overwhelming, bipartisan support all but ensures its quick passage through the Senate in the near future, though the White House has said President Obama may not sign the legislation if it is presented to him without funding attached. In its current form, the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act approves nearly $200 million for opioid education and treatment but does not specify a funding source.

The Hill Miami Herald

9. Potential British prime minister suggests motherhood makes her a better candidate

The race to be the next British prime minister has come down to two candidates, Andrea Leadsom and Theresa May, both members of the Conservative Party. Now, Leadsom has stirred up controversy by arguing motherhood makes her the better choice. "I feel being a mum means you have a very real stake in the future of our country," she said, noting that May is childless. After coming under criticism for her remarks, Leadsom backtracked Saturday, saying "everyone has an equal stake in our society."

BBC News Reuters

10. North Korean submarine missile launch fails

North Korea fired a ballistic missile from a submarine on Saturday, the South Korean military reports, but the weapon appears to have failed almost immediately. The missile's engine did ignite, but it traveled only a few kilometers before exploding in midair. The launch was condemned by South Korea, Japan, and the United States as a violation of U.N. sanctions. It comes soon after North Korea labeled new U.S. sanctions on despotic leader Kim Jong Un a "declaration of war."


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Bonnie Kristian

Bonnie Kristian was a deputy editor and acting editor-in-chief of TheWeek.com. She is a columnist at Christianity Today and author of Untrustworthy: The Knowledge Crisis Breaking Our Brains, Polluting Our Politics, and Corrupting Christian Community (forthcoming 2022) and A Flexible Faith: Rethinking What It Means to Follow Jesus Today (2018). Her writing has also appeared at Time Magazine, CNN, USA Today, Newsweek, the Los Angeles Times, and The American Conservative, among other outlets.