Daily Briefing

10 things you need to know today: August 4, 2019

Tim O'Donnell
El Paso shooting.


At least 20 reportedly dead in El Paso shooting

At least 20 people were reportedly killed on Saturday in a shooting at a shopping center in El Paso and at least 40 people were reportedly injured. A gunman opened fire at a crowded Walmart in the border city. The suspect, a 21-year-old hailing from a Dallas suburb identified as Patrick Crusius was taken into custody by police. Authorities said they are investigating an anti-immigrant manifesto posted online describing an attack in response to "the Hispanic invasion of Texas." Police believe the manifesto may have been written by Crusius, who is white. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott called the shooting a "heinous and senseless act." [The New York Times, The Associated Press]


At least 9 killed in mass shooting in Dayton

At least nine people were killed and 26 others were injured after a shooting in Dayton early on Sunday morning. The suspect, who was wearing body armor and has yet to be identified, was reportedly shot and killed by police. Police believe the suspect acted alone, but the investigation is ongoing with help from the FBI. The shooting took place around 1 a.m. in Dayton's Oregon District, a popular downtown area. The incident was reportedly over quickly, despite the high number of casualties, because officers were already patrolling the area when the gunshots began. The shooting occurred just 13 hours after another mass shooting in El Paso which resulted in at least 20 deaths. The shootings were reportedly the 21st and 22nd mass killings in the U.S. in 2019. [The Associated Press, CNN]


2020 Democrats decry gun violence

A mass shooting in El Paso that resulted in at least 20 deaths on Saturday prompted the 2020 Democratic presidential candidates to express outrage over gun violence and make calls for new gun legislation, often blaming the National Rifle Association and its supporters in Congress. "All over the world, people are looking at the United States and wondering what is going on?," Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said. Former Vice President Joe Biden called America's mass shootings "a sickness," while Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) promised to issue an executive order within her first 100 days in office to impose gun control. Former Rep. Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), who is from El Paso, suspended campaigning to fly home. [The Associated Press]


Police reportedly detain over 800 protesters in Moscow

Police reportedly violently detained 828 people following an unsanctioned rally in Moscow on Saturday, independent political watchdog OVD-Info reported. The Russian Interior Ministry pegged the number at around 600 arrests. Among those detained was prominent opposition activist Lyubov Sobol, who along with an unknown number of people, was later released by police. Saturday's arrests come just one week after police detained more than 1,300 protesters in a similar demonstration. Moscow's citizens have been protesting since authorities banned opposition candidates, including Sobol, from running in a municipal election in September. The protesters, many of whom are aligned with jailed opposition leader Alexei Navalny, say local officials fear that they will defeat pro-Kremlin candidates in the upcoming elections. "This is the last chance for us to try to say something," Viktor Shenderovich, a prominent political satirist, said. [RFERL, ABC News]


Hong Kong protests continue ahead of planned strike

Thousands of pro-democracy protesters continued demonstrating in Hong Kong on Sunday, capping off the movement's ninth straight weekend of protests. Sunday's demonstration followed Saturday's rally where protesters clashed with riot police officers, whom they have accused of police brutality throughout the protests. Sunday's protests also reportedly resulted in police firing tear gas to disperse the assembled. As usual, Sunday's events began peacefully, but some demonstrators later reportedly used what appeared to be slingshots to hurl rocks, bricks, and other objects at a police station, shattering multiple glass windows. The marchers also continued to block roads. The protesters are planning for a city-wide strike on Monday that could potentially disrupt daily life in Hong Kong significantly. [The New York Times, The Associated Press]


Cummings says Trump 'welcome' to visit his district

House Oversight Committee Chair Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) opened up on Saturday about President Trump's tweets last weekend criticizing him and Baltimore, which is part of Cummings' district. Trump described Baltimore as "rat and rodent infested" and said no human being would want to live there. Cummings, though, reportedly invited Trump to visit Baltimore while he was speaking at an opening of a new public park in the city. He said the president is "welcome to our district," and also extended a broad invitation to everyone. "Come to Baltimore," he said. "Do not just criticize us, but come to Baltimore and I promise you, you will be welcomed." Cummings also refused to directly call for Trump's impeachment, saying he was "trying to be fair" to the president. [Politico, The Hill]


Sudan's opposition, military council initial power-sharing agreement

Sudan's pro-democracy opposition movement officially signed a power-sharing agreement with the ruling military council on Sunday after agreeing to terms on Saturday. Representatives from both sides initialed the constitutional declaration which establishes a joint military and civilian council set to rule for a little over three years until free elections can be held. Under the agreement, the opposition would appoint a cabinet, and a legislative assembly would also form. A military leader will reportedly head the sovereign council for the first 21 months and a civilian leader will then take over for the next 18 before the planned elections. The opposition has made it clear, however, that they do not intend to stop investigating the violent responses to the opposition's protesters in preceding months. [The Associated Press, Reuters]


Iran reportedly seizes oil tanker in the Gulf

Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps reportedly seized a foreign oil tanker that was "smuggling" 700,000 liters of fuel to Arab states, Iran's state media reported on Sunday. The Iranian forces also reportedly detained seven crew members from different countries. IRGC commander Ramezan Zirahi was quoted as saying the seizure "was in coordination with Iran's judiciary authorities and based on their order." The U.S. Fifth Fleet, which is based in Bahrain, was unable to confirm the reports. But, if true, it would be the latest move amid ongoing tensions between Iran and several Western states that have risen since the U.S. left the 2015 nuclear pact last year. In July, British forces seized an Iranian tanker near Gibraltar, accusing it of violating sanctions. Iran retaliated by later seizing a British-flagged tanker in the Strait of Hormuz, which it is still holding. [Reuters, Al Jazeera]


Visitors warned to evacuate Kashmir

India deployed more troops to the highly militarized disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir, which sits on the frontier between India and Pakistan, amid rising tensions with Pakistan, and the country's Foreign Office issued new advice to avoid all travel in the area on Saturday. Thousands of visitors were ordered to evacuate the area. Indian troops reportedly fired along the Line of Control on Sunday, wounding a woman, Pakistani police said. Pakistan and India both claim Kashmir in its entirety. The latest measures have reportedly stoked fear in Kashmir that New Delhi is planning to do away with an Indian constitutional provision that forbids Indians from outside Kashmir from buying land in the Muslim-majority territory. [The Guardian, The Associated Press]


Former NFL stars enshrined in Canton

A new class entered the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday evening in Canton, Ohio, at Tom Benson Stadium. The class of 2019 consisted of eight members, including former players Denver Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey, Kansas City Chiefs tight end Tony Gonzalez, Baltimore Ravens safety Ed Reed, New England Patriots cornerback Ty Law, New York Jets center Kevin Mawae, and Chiefs safety Johnny Robinson. Broncos owner Pat Bowlen and Dallas Cowboys executive Gil Brandt were also enshrined in Canton. Together, the six players combined for 55 Pro Bowls during their careers in the National Football League. [ESPN]