In Chesapeake, Virginia, a gunman shot dead at least six people inside a Walmart Tuesday night. CNN reports the suspect is believed to be an employee or former employee of the store. There are reports he opened fire on other Walmart workers in a break room. Authorities have confirmed the shooter also died, possibly of a self-inflicted gunshot.
The shooting at the Walmart comes just three days after a gunman shot dead five people at Club Q, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Colorado Springs. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been more than 600 mass shootings in the United States this year.
House Democrats investigating Donald Trump may soon have access to six years of his tax returns. On Tuesday, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the former president’s attempt to block the Treasury Department from turning over his tax returns. The court’s ruling ends a three-year legal battle but comes just weeks before the Democrats lose control of the House.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has accused Russia of turning the cold winter weather into a “weapon of mass destruction” by attacking Ukraine’s energy infrastructure. Millions of Ukrainians are expected to go months without heat or electricity following recent Russian strikes. The head of the Ukrainian power grid warned Tuesday of mass blackouts.
Volodymyr Kudrytskyi: “For you to understand the scale of these attacks and what we have to deal with, practically all thermal and hydro generations, meaning major power stations, have been damaged by missile attacks.”
In other news on the war, Russia has denounced Ukrainian security forces for raiding a 1,000-year-old Russian Orthodox Christian monastery in Kyiv as part of a probe into whether the religious site is being used to assist Russia’s war efforts. Over the past nine months, Ukrainian forces have arrested at least 33 Orthodox priests on suspicion of aiding Russia.
In Moscow, Russian President Vladmir Putin met Tuesday with Cuban President Miguel Díaz-Canel, who criticized U.S. sanctions targeting Russia.
President Miguel Díaz-Canel: “Cuba actively condemns sanctions that unilaterally and unfairly are imposed over the Russian Federation. The reasons for the current conflict in this zone must be sought in the aggressive policy of the United States and the expansion of NATO toward Russian borders.”
Turkey is threatening to launch a ground invasion of northern Syria as part of its ongoing assault on Kurdish groups in the area following a deadly bombing in Istanbul on November 13. Turkey is claiming it has killed 184 Kurds in recent attacks on northern Syria and Iraq. Meanwhile, Iran is escalating its own crackdown on Kurdish areas. One Kurdish human rights group estimates 42 people have been killed over the last week. We will have more on Iran after headlines.
Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro has formally filed a petition with Brazilian election authorities contesting the results of last month’s runoff election, which he lost to former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Bolsonaro has asked Brazil’s Superior Electoral Court to toss out votes cast on older electronic voting machines, claiming — without proof — that the machines were faulty. Bolsonaro’s request is expected to be rejected but could raise tensions in Brazil ahead of Lula’s inauguration on January 1.
In Colombia, new peace talks have begun between the Colombian government and the country’s last remaining leftist guerrilla group, the National Liberation Army, or ELN. Colombia’s first-ever leftist President Gustavo Petro, who is a former member of the guerrilla group M-19, pushed for the negotiations to resume for the first time since 2019 in an effort to end nearly 60 years of conflict. This is Danilo Rueda, Colombia’s high peace commissioner.
Danilo Rueda: “We believe that respect for differences unites us toward a common purpose: respect for life, respect for freedom and respect for the changes necessary to overcome a set of rights issues and inequalities that have been denied to so many sectors of the Colombian society. And this internal exercise that we are beginning to develop is what gives us certainty.”
In Jerusalem, at least one person has died and 14 were injured after bombs exploded at two crowded bus stops this morning. Israeli authorities believe the bombs were likely detonated remotely. One of the blasts killed a 16-year-old Israeli-Canadian yeshiva student named Aryeh Shechopek. The attack in Jerusalem came hours after Israeli forces shot dead a 16-year-old Palestinian boy named Ahmed Shehada in the occupied West Bank. Palestinian officials say the teenager was shot in the heart during an Israeli military raid. So far this year, Israeli forces have killed at least 200 Palestinians, including more than 50 children.
In China, hundreds of workers at the world’s largest iPhone factory have clashed with Chinese police after walking off the job. Tension has been rising at the Foxconn plant over strict COVID-19 lockdowns and unpaid wages. Videos posted on social media show workers being tear-gassed and beaten outside the plant.
The Biden administration has extended a pause on federal student loan payments until the end of June as a court battle drags on over Biden’s plan to cancel up to $20,000 of student debt per borrower. In a statement, Education Secretary Miguel Cardona said, “We’re extending the payment pause because it would be deeply unfair to ask borrowers to pay a debt that they wouldn’t have to pay, were it not for the baseless lawsuits brought by Republican officials and special interests.”
The city of Atlanta has agreed to pay $1 million to the family of Rayshard Brooks, an unarmed 27-year-old Black man who was shot dead by the police in 2020. The incident began when officers found him sleeping in his car in the parking lot of a Wendy’s restaurant. Police shot him in the back as he attempted to run away from them after grabbing one of their Tasers. One officer was heard on a bodycam video saying, “I got him.”
A coalition of over 400 immigrant justice and human rights groups are urging the Biden administration to grant temporary protected status, or TPS, to more people from Haiti as the island nation faces a political and economic crisis with violence increasing in the streets. The efforts led by the Haitian Bridge Alliance are calling for current beneficiaries of TPS to be given more time in the program and for Biden officials to expand the relief to Haitians who fled to the United States after July 2021. The program temporarily shields immigrants from deportation and grants them permission to work in the U.S. TPS for Haitians is currently set to expire in three months, in February 2023.
In labor news, the head of the American Federation of Teachers, Randi Weingarten, is denouncing former secretary of state and possible presidential candidate Mike Pompeo after he claimed that she was “the most dangerous person in the world.” Weingarten said she suspects Pompeo made the comment in an appeal to billionaire Republican funders who want to dismantle public education.
Randi Weingarten: “This is the kind of rhetoric that creates the incitement and the hate and the divisiveness that we’re seeing in America and around the world today. Let me be clear: What the AFT does and what teachers do every day in classrooms is that they’re the antidote to this kind of destructive rhetoric.”
In labor news, Starbucks is closing the first shop to unionize in Seattle — the coffee chain’s home city. This is the fourth unionized Starbucks store in Seattle to be shut down since nationwide unionization efforts started. Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz warned in a video more stores would be closed soon, claiming safety concerns. But union leaders say the closures are part of the company’s ongoing retaliation campaign against workers organizing.
Bloomberg is reporting Elon Musk’s fortune has shrunk by over $100 billion this year due to the falling value of Tesla shares. Despite losing $100 billion, the new owner of Twitter remains the world’s richest person.