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First Thing: Police response to Texas school shooting criticised

Crosses with the names of victims outside Robb elementary school in Uvalde.
Crosses with the names of victims outside Robb elementary school in Uvalde. Photograph: Marco Bello/Reuters

Good morning.

Criticism is building over how Texas law enforcement agencies responded to the mass shooting at Robb elementary school in Uvalde, after authorities confirmed yesterday that the gunman remained locked inside a classroom for up to an hour as large numbers of police officers massed outside, with desperate parents begging them to take action.

  • A video recorded by residents captured the anger of parents at the spectacle of armed police standing outside the school and not going in. The video showed an officer trying to push parents back from the side of the school.

  • One mother said police put her in handcuffs for “interfering in an active investigation” when she urged them to enter the school, according to the Wall Street Journal. Authorities have disputed her account.

Victor Escalon, the south Texas regional director of the state’s department of public safety, said it was unclear if more prompt police action could have saved any of the 21 lives lost – he said most of the gunfire occurred at the beginning.

In Uvalde, residents struggle to continue on with their lives under a heavy cloud of grief. Heartbreak upon heartbreak has piled on this small community: yesterday, Guadalupe “Joe” Garcia – whose wife, 46-year-old teacher Irma Garcia, was shot and killed while protecting children in her classroom – died of a heart attack. “I truly believe Joe died of a broken heart and losing the love of his life … was too much to bear,” his wife’s cousin wrote on a GoFundMe page.

Meanwhile, today the National Rifle Association will hold its annual meeting in Houston. Donald Trump and the Texas senator Ted Cruz are expected to attend, with the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, reportedly cancelling plans to attend and visiting Uvalde instead. Here’s a look at how lawmakers in thrall to the NRA stifle gun safety laws.

Kharkiv hit by fresh strikes amid fears that city is still on Russian agenda

A damaged residential building in the North Saltovka district in Kharkiv, Ukraine.
A damaged residential building in the North Saltovka district in Kharkiv, Ukraine. Photograph: Sergey Kozlov/EPA

Nine people were killed and 17 injured in artillery attacks on the northern part of Kharkiv. Life had begun returning to normal in Ukraine’s second largest city after Russian troops were pushed back from its outlying towns and villages.

“There’s no logic to it, it’s just terror against the local population, to sow panic and to destroy critical infrastructure,” Kharkiv’s regional governor, Oleh Synehubov, said.

Kevin Spacey faces charges of four counts of sexual assault against three men

Kevin Spacey.
Kevin Spacey. Photograph: Steven Senne/AP

The actor Kevin Spacey is facing charges of four counts of sexual assault against three men for incidents that allegedly took place in London between March 2005 and August 2008, and in Gloucestershire in April 2013, the Crown Prosecution Service has said.

Spacey has previously denied the allegations against him.

Ray Liotta, star of Goodfellas and Field of Dreams, dies aged 67

Ray Liotta at the UK premiere of Marriage Story in 2019.
Ray Liotta at the UK premiere of Marriage Story in 2019. Photograph: Henry Nicholls/Reuters

Ray Liotta, the actor best known for his roles in Goodfellas and Field of Dreams, has died at the age of 67. According to his representative, Liotta died in his sleep in the Dominican Republic, where he was shooting his latest film Dangerous Waters alongside Saffron Burrows.

In other news …

Ellen DeGeneres, right, is embraced by Jennifer Aniston during the final taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Ellen DeGeneres, right, is embraced by Jennifer Aniston during the final taping of The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Photograph: Michael Rozman/AP

Stat of the day: Workplace suicides in the US are up 39% since 2000

Illustration of isolated person with workdesk.

Workplace suicides have risen dramatically since the early 2000s, with 180 cases officially reported in 2005 and 307 cases reported in 2019, the latest year with data available. The figure is probably an underestimate, as many suicides aren’t included in this data because they’re tough to classify as work-related if they occur outside the workplaces or work hours.

Don’t miss this: Where the bison roam

Bison wander along a hillside at the National Bison Range near Moiese, Montana.
Bison wander along a hillside at the National Bison Range near Moiese, Montana. Photograph: Jack Sullivan/AP

Members of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes are celebrating the tribes’ reclamation of management of the National Bison Range in Montana after more than a century of federal management and nearly two decades of negotiations. “It’s a restoration of a piece that was missing. It represents a gift of what we may care for to protect and have something for future generations,” said the tribal chairman Tom McDonald.

Climate check: Big oil no more

Zac Schwarz, Christine Arena and Tariq Fancy.
Zac Schwarz, Christine Arena and Tariq Fancy. Composite: Tariq Fancy/ Zac Schwarz/Christine Arena

Over the past decade, waves of employees have co-signed letters and quit en masse after waking up to the role their work played in contributing to climate breakdown. The Guardian spoke with three such former employees, who who revealed their experiences closing the door on fossil fuel projects, and shared advice for others who may consider following in their footsteps.

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Last Thing: Feeling fishy

Nigiri sushi with salmon.
Nigiri sushi with salmon. Photograph: Yevgen Romanenko/Getty Images

In Taiwan, hundreds of people who legally altered their name to “Salmon” in return for free sushi reportedly became stuck with it, prompting Taiwanese parliamentarians to debate changing legal limits on name changes. The promotion offered free all-you-can-eat sushi for a whole table to anyone with the Chinese characters for salmon, “gui yu”, in their name, which led to the creation of names such as “Salmon Dream” and “Dancing Salmon”.

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