Daily briefing

10 things you need to know today: October 2, 2017

Gunman kills at least 50 at Las Vegas concert, Catalan leaders push for independence after chaotic referendum, and more


Gunman kills at least 50 in Las Vegas

A gunman opened fire on people at an outdoor concert near the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas late Sunday, killing at least 50 people and injuring more than 200 in one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. The shooting happened as country singer Jason Aldean was performing at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival. A video posted online showed concertgoers ducking after gunfire erupted and the music stopped. Someone shouted, "Stay down!" "It was a horror show," said concertgoer Ivetta Saldana, who took cover in a sewer. Several SWAT teams responded. Authorities said officers killed one suspect, a Las Vegas man identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, on the 32nd floor of the hotel. Police were searching for "a companion" identified as Marilou Danley, a 4-foot-11 Asian woman.


Catalan voters back independence in vote marred by police crackdown

Catalonia's regional government declared Sunday that voters had overwhelmingly backed independence in a referendum held in defiance of Spain's national government. More than 750 people were injured Sunday in a crackdown by Spanish police, who fired rubber bullets at voters and seized ballot boxes. Dozens of Spanish police officers also reportedly were hurt, Spain's interior ministry said. The central government in Madrid said the referendum had been disrupted. The national government has repeatedly called the referendum a violation of the country's constitution and warned against going through with it. Catalonia's regional government plans a closed-door Cabinet meeting Monday to discuss its next step toward declaring independence, which its leaders said was justified because 90 percent of the 2.24 million who cast ballots backed secession.


Trump continues feud with San Juan mayor ahead of Puerto Rico visit

President Trump on Sunday continued his feud with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz over the federal response to Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico, dismissing criticism from "politically motivated ingrates" who questioned the "great job" the federal government had done responding to an "almost impossible situation." Cruz said Friday that the Trump administration was "killing us with the inefficiency" of its response to the storm, which knocked out power to the entire U.S. territory of 3.4 million two weeks ago. She said Sunday that all she did "was ask for help," and that "there's only one goal, and it's saving lives." Trump is scheduled to visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday.


Trump says Tillerson 'wasting his time' talking with North Korea

President Trump tweeted Sunday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was "wasting his time" by trying to negotiate directly with North Korea to get the combative communist regime to curb its nuclear and missile programs. Tillerson said Saturday after meetings in Beijing with Chinese leaders that the Trump administration was maintaining direct contact with Pyongyang to see whether it would enter into formal talks. Tillerson did not provide details on the administration's communication with North Korea, although his spokeswoman said after Tillerson left China that Pyongyang had "shown no indication that they are interested in or are ready for talks regarding denuclearization."


Two women killed in knife attack at Marseille train station

A man with a knife fatally stabbed two women to death at a Marseille, France, train station on Sunday. Witnesses said the man shouted "Allahu akbar!" (Arabic for "God is great") during the attack. The Islamic State group claimed responsibility, saying the attacker was one of its "soldiers." French soldiers fatally shot the alleged attacker. Investigators were trying to confirm any links to ISIS or any other Islamist terrorist group. Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said police have video showing the attacker stabbing a woman and running away, then returning and stabbing another woman. He then runs toward soldiers rushing into the station before they shoot him dead. A similar attack occurred in Canada over the weekend, and investigators in both cases suspect terrorism.


Three Americans win Nobel Prize for medicine

Three U.S.-born scientists — Jeffrey C. Hall, Michael Rosbash, and Michael W. Young — were named as the winners of the 2017 Nobel Prize in physiology or medicine for their studies of molecular mechanisms controlling our biological clocks, the Nobel Assembly at Sweden's Karolinska Institute said Monday. "Their discoveries explain how plants, animals, and humans adapt their biological rhythm so that it is synchronized with the Earth's revolutions," the prize committee said as it awarded the prize of 9 million Swedish crowns ($1.1 million). Hall and Rosbash worked at Brandeis, and Young at Rockefeller University. Medicine is the first Nobel awarded each year. It is followed by prizes for economics, literature, physics, chemistry, and peace.


Facebook to hand over Russia-linked ads to Congress

Facebook plans Monday to give congressional investigators more than 3,000 political ads purchased by Russia-linked groups during the 2016 election campaign. Facebook faced pressure from leading lawmakers to release the material. Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the highest ranking Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, believes the ads could yield information on how Russia sought to influence last year's presidential election, a spokesperson said. "I think we may just be seeing the tip of the iceberg. [Facebook has] had a fairly narrow search," Warner said last month. The Senate Intelligence Committee has invited Facebook, Google, and Twitter to testify at a Nov. 1 hearing, although none of the companies have yet said they would attend.


First same-sex couples legally wed in Germany

City halls across Germany, typically closed on the weekend, opened their doors on Sunday to let same-sex couples get married on the day the country's law permitting gay marriage took effect. Two men, Bodo Mende, 60, and Karl Kreile, 59, became the first same-sex couple to legally marry at a civil ceremony in Berlin's City Hall. "This is an emotional moment with great symbolism," Kreile told reporters. "The transition to the term 'marriage' shows that the German state recognizes us as real equals." Germany has allowed civil unions between same-sex couples since 2001, but it wasn't until June that national lawmakers made Germany the 15th European nation to permit them to marry.


NFL players continue protests at Sunday games

NFL players continued their protests against racial injustice on Sunday, but fewer took a knee during the national anthem this week than last. About 40 players participated this week, compared to more than 150 last week in a surge of support that came after President Trump urged team owners to fire any "son of a bitch" kneeling during the anthem, which Trump called disrespectful to the flag. Then-49ers-quarterback Colin Kaepernick started the movement last year to protest against police treatment of African-Americans. Players on some teams took a knee before the anthem but stood while it was played, while others raised fists during or after the anthem and still others stood with linked arms.


Magazine publisher Si Newhouse dies at 89

Publisher S.I. "Si" Newhouse Jr., chairman emeritus of Condé Nast, died Sunday after a long illness. He was 89. Newhouse and his younger brother, Donald, inherited Advance Publications from their father, Samuel Newhouse. Si Newhouse ran the company's magazine division, Condé Nast, which includes Vogue, Vanity Fair, and The New Yorker. The Newhouse brothers expanded the media empire into one of the nation's largest privately held companies. Si Newhouse steered the magazines but also was known for giving high-profile editors broad editorial control. "Today is a day of emotion, of genuine loss," said his family in a statement. "Si was always the first person to come to the office, arriving well before dawn and bringing to each day a visionary creative spirit coupled with no-nonsense business acumen."


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