Deadly attack on law enforcement –> A gathering in Dallas to protest the recent police shootings that killed black men in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and near St.Paul, Minnesota, went horribly awry last night when snipers opened fire on police and killed five — four from the Dallas police department and one mass-transit officer. Seven other officers and two civilians were wounded. It was the deadliest day for law enforcement since 9/11. Claire Cardona reports for the Dallas News.
Three suspects are in custody. A fourth was killed in a confrontation with police.
The Dallas police department has been hailed as a model for others in the nation. Last year, Radley Balko, who writes about civil liberties for The Washington Post, pointed to the city’s “community-oriented approach to policing, openness and transparency about excessive force, its rejection of law enforcement as a revenue generator, and its First Amendment-friendly approach to protest” as a factor for why the city’s crime rate had fallen to historic lows.
Job growth –> Patricia Cohen at The New York Times: “With the Republican and Democratic national conventions just weeks away, the government reported on Friday that employers added 287,000 workers in June, a vigorous rebound that helps sets the stage for the economic themes advanced by the presidential nominees. The official unemployment rate rose to 4.9 percent, from 4.7 percent. And after three months of rising wages, average hourly earnings ticked up again.”
Another record falls –> Oliver Millman for The Guardian: “The US experienced its warmest-ever June last month, with a scorching summer set to compound a string of climate-related disasters that have already claimed dozens of lives and cost billions of dollars in damage this year.” Meanwhile, Arctic sea ice also reached a record low last month.
New Arctic drilling rules –> Timothy Cama for The Hill: “The Obama administration rolled out a suite of new regulatory standards Thursday to strengthen offshore oil and natural gas safety in the unique, unforgiving Arctic Ocean. It’s the first time that the federal government has put forth specific safety rules for the Arctic, which is vastly different from more developed offshore drilling areas such as the Gulf of Mexico.” The fossil-fuel industry pushed back against the rules while environmental groups expressed disappointment that the administration didn’t completely ban drilling in the delicate region.
Bad week for Iraq –> The death toll following a car bomb attack in Baghdad Sunday is now nearing 300. Marina Koren for The Atlantic: “The explosions created a fire that engulfed the Hadi Center, a multi story building with clothing stores and eateries where many were shopping for presents for Eid al-Fitr, the holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Emergency workers have spent the last few days pulling charred bodies from the debris, pushing the death toll higher.” The attack is the deadliest in the country in more than a decade.
The war that won’t end –> As he enters the last few months of his presidency, Barack Obama this week announced his intention to leave 8,400 troops in Afgahnistan. That’s higher than his stated goal of 5,500, but far fewer than the 100,000 who were on duty there in 2010. In a statement, the president said, “I strongly believe that it is in our national security interest, especially after all the blood and treasure we’ve invested in Afghanistan over the years, that we give our Afghan partners the very best opportunity to succeed.”
Missouri governor again says “nope” to voter ID –> Jason Hancock for The Kansas City Star: “Gov. Jay Nixon on Thursday vetoed a bill establishing a photo-ID requirement to cast a ballot, calling the legislation ‘an affront to Missourians’ fundamental right to vote… Making voting more difficult for qualified voters and disenfranchising certain classes of people is wrong,’ Nixon said in a letter to lawmakers explaining his veto. In 2006, Republicans pushed through a photo ID bill that was later struck down by the Missouri Supreme Court. The court ruled that the law amounted to a ‘heavy and substantial burden on Missourians’ free exercise of the right of suffrage.’ Republicans have pushed for voter-ID every year since that Supreme Court ruling, and each time the effort has been derailed by either a court ruling or Nixon’s veto pen.”
Not friends yet –> In a meeting yesterday, GOP leadership encouraged their presidential candidate and his critics in Congress to resolve their differences. It didn’t quite work out, report Sean Sullivan and Philip Rucker for The Washington Post: “Trump’s most tense exchange was with Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ), who has been vocal in his concerns about the business mogul’s candidacy, especially his rhetoric and policies on immigration that the senator argues alienate many Latino voters and others in Arizona. When Flake stood up and introduced himself, Trump told him, ‘You’ve been very critical of me.’
“‘Yes, I’m the other senator from Arizona — the one who didn’t get captured — and I want to talk to you about statements like that,’ Flake responded, according to two Republican officials… Trump said at the meeting that he has yet to attack Flake hard but threatened to begin doing so. Flake stood up to Trump by urging him to stop attacking Mexicans. Trump predicted that Flake would lose his reelection, at which point Flake informed Trump that he was not on the ballot this year, the sources said.”
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