A Texas gunman who killed 19 children and two teachers this week was inside the school for about 40 minutes before being killed by border patrol agents. Conflicting reports have emerged about the law enforcement response in the crucial moments after the 18-year-old shooter entered the building.
Border patrol agents had trouble breaching the classroom door and had to get a staff member to open the room with a key, a law enforcement official familiar with the investigation told the Associated Press.
Witnesses described a scene of desperation, with officers gathering outside the school but not entering the building. “Go in there! Go in there!” a nearby woman reportedly shouted at the officers soon after the attack began, but they did not.
The father of a fourth grader who was killed raised the idea of running inside himself when he thought law enforcement was not going to act.
The border patrol chief, Raul Ortiz, told CNN that dozens of on- and off-duty agents responded to the shooting, and that as soon as officers arrived, “they didn’t hesitate”.
Meanwhile, the National Rifle Association, which has blocked any meaningful gun control legislation in recent years, is still planning to hold its annual meeting tomorrow, just hours away from Uvalde in Houston, Texas. Donald Trump, the Texas senator, Ted Cruz, and the Texas governor, Greg Abbott, plan to attend, along with a number of protesters.
Biden signs police reform executive order on anniversary of George Floyd’s murder
On the second anniversary of the murder of George Floyd – and with Congress deadlocked on the issue – Joe Biden signed an executive order he promised would usher in the “most significant police reform in decades”.
The order directs federal agencies to revise use-of-force policies, banning tactics such as chokeholds, restricting practices such as no-knock warrants and promoting de-escalation techniques.
It also calls for the creation of a national standard for accrediting police departments; a national database to track police misconduct; further restriction on the transfer of military equipment to police departments; and a requirement for agencies to implement new tools to screen for inherent bias among officers as well as recruits, including those who promote unlawful violence or harbor white supremacist views.
Millions risk losing healthcare when Covid emergency declaration expires
During the pandemic, the federal government required states to continuously enroll Medicaid recipients into the program. The federal government provided $100.4bn in new funds to cover the costs of doing so, halting coverage gaps and loss of eligibility for those who rely on healthcare coverage through Medicaid.
With the pandemic public health emergency declaration ending on 15 July, an estimated 5.3 million to 14.2 million individuals could lose their Medicaid coverage, according to an analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
In other news …
The Republican congressman Jim Jordan has demanded to see the material about him before complying with the subpoena issued by the House select committee investigating the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
The self-published romance novelist who wrote How to Murder Your Husband was convicted of fatally shooting her husband.
Elon Musk has secured additional funding to purchase Twitter, according to financial filings made public yesterday.
A cramped ship carrying 800 Haitians that was trying to reach the US has instead made it to Cuba.
Walmart has apologized for selling Juneteenth-themed ice-cream – Juneteenth commemorates the emancipation of enslaved people.
Stat of the day: more than 60,000 asylum seekers have entered Canada through irregular routes from the US since 2017
The Safe Third Country agreement between the US and Canada stipulates that people seeking asylum in either country must seek refugee protection in whichever country they first arrive and will be turned away from ports of entry to the other country. But this agreement does not apply to irregular crossings – if an asylum seeker were to cross on foot from New York to Quebec, for example – and since 2017, tens of thousands have been using this loophole to seek a better life in Canada.
Don’t miss this: ‘It’s a nightmare’
Nargis Orokzai fled Afghanistan on 27 August, shortly before the Taliban seized control of the country again. She now lives in a picturesque Bavarian town in Germany, spending her time learning the language of her country and enjoying the freedoms she knows she would not have back home. But like the millions of Afghans who fled last year, she left behind family members – her mother – she knows she may never see again.
Climate check: too hot to handle
With the climate crisis, the heat is getting worse in parts of Pakistan and India, with temperatures hitting a record-breaking 51C (123.8F) during a heatwave in Jacobabad, Pakistan, last week. “Now there are no trees or other facilities including water, due to which the heat is becoming unbearable. I’m scared that this heat will take our lives in the coming years,” said Muhammad Akbar, 40, who has had heatstroke at least three times in his life.
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Last Thing: anxious times
In these times of high anxiety, four writers with anxious minds share how they cope. “I’m not sure who I’d be if I weren’t anxious – and it is important to remember that almost everyone deals with anxiety at some point in their life,” said the actor and mental health advocate Mara Wilson. “There’s no shame in getting professional help, just as you wouldn’t feel ashamed about getting treatment for asthma or a broken arm.”
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