In Illinois, six people were killed and at least two dozen injured when a rooftop gunman armed with a high-powered rifle attacked a Fourth of July parade in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park on Monday morning. Five of the shooting victims died in the street. A sixth died at the hospital. Victims ranged in age from 8 to 85. Eyewitnesses described a scene of terror as parents scrambled to protect their children from the attack. Following an eight-hour manhunt, police arrested Robert E. Crimo III, a 21-year-old resident of Chicago’s northern suburbs. He was an aspiring musician who performed under the name Awake the Rapper. Some of his videos depict mass murder and school shootings. Crimo’s father runs Bob’s Pantry and Deli in Highland Park and ran an unsuccessful mayoral campaign against the city’s current mayor. Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker responded to the shooting on Monday.
Gov. J.B. Pritzker: “I’m furious because it does not have to be this way. And yet we as a nation, well, we continue to allow this to happen. While we celebrate the Fourth of July just once a year, mass shootings have become our weekly — yes, weekly — American tradition.”
According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have now been 315 mass shootings in the United States so far this year.
In Ohio, outrage over a police shooting in Akron prompted mass protests over the weekend as people demanded justice for 25-year-old Jayland Walker, a Black man shot dead by police after a traffic stop on June 27. The protests erupted after police released multiple body-camera videos from the shooting in response to earlier demands from family and local activists. The newly released video shows eight officers chasing Walker after he got out of his car and was running away. The video ends with the police firing about 90 rounds and hitting Walker about 60 times, according to an autopsy report. Walker was unarmed when police shot him. Lawyers for the family of Jayland Walker say that after police shot him, they handcuffed him before administering first aid. Elizabeth Paige White is a lawyer for the Walker family.
Elizabeth Paige White: “Jayland was shot more times than I can count. And that is beyond troubling. We are done dying like this.”
The city of Akron canceled its Fourth of July fireworks show Monday and has issued a downtown curfew ahead of the results of a state probe into the police killing of Jayland Walker.
In Texas, the state Supreme Court ruled Friday that a century-old law banning abortions can take effect, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark decision striking down Roe v. Wade. The Texas ruling means anyone providing an abortion could face lawsuits and financial penalties. Whole Women’s Health has since suspended abortion care at its clinics across Texas.
In Ohio, a 10-year-old girl who became pregnant after surviving rape was forced to travel to Indiana for an abortion after she was denied the procedure in her own state. Ohio’s “trigger law” ban on abortions came into effect with the Supreme Court’s historic Dobbs v. Jackson ruling on June 24; it bans abortions after six weeks of pregnancy — with no exceptions for children and victims of rape and incest.
Russian President Vladimir Putin has declared victory in the eastern Ukrainian region of Luhansk after Russian forces overran the city of Lysychansk. Ukraine’s military says it organized a tactical retreat and will focus on preventing Russia from pressing west from the occupied Donbas region. On Monday, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky called for the creation of a $750 billion postwar recovery plan for Ukraine, saying the rebuilding effort should be partially funded by Russian reparations and asset freezes.
WNBA superstar Brittney Griner has appealed to President Biden for his help securing her release from a Russian jail, after she appeared in a Moscow-area court Friday for the first time since her arrest. Griner was detained by Russian authorities on February 17 after customs officials allegedly found cannabis oil in her luggage. In a handwritten letter delivered to the White House Monday, Griner writes, “As I sit here in a Russian prison, alone with my thoughts and without the protection of my wife, family, friends, Olympic jersey, or any accomplishments, I’m terrified I might be here forever.”
The Biden administration has unveiled a draft proposal to lease new oil and gas drilling rights in federal waters off the coasts of Alaska and the Gulf of Mexico. The Interior Department unveiled the plan just ahead of the July Fourth holiday weekend. It’s the third time since November the Biden administration has announced new oil and gas leasing plans on the Friday before a holiday. The climate watchdog group Oil Change International blasted the announcement as a “stark betrayal of President Biden’s climate promises and the communities who will suffer the brunt of this drilling. … Biden is choosing to stand with Big Oil and Gas rather than the voters who elected him and who overwhelmingly want a swift transition to renewable energy.”
In Australia, some 50,000 residents of New South Wales have been ordered to evacuate their homes after torrential rains brought devastating flooding to areas around the capital Sydney. Australia’s fourth round of severe flooding in less than a year and a half came as some eight inches of rain fell in just 24 hours. Climate scientists say such extreme precipitation events are becoming more common as warming land and sea temperatures allow the atmosphere to hold more moisture.
In northern Italy, at least seven people were killed Sunday as a glacier collapsed and skidded down a popular climbing route in the Italian Alps. Rescue crews using helicopters and drones are searching for more than a dozen others who remain missing. The glacier’s collapse came as temperatures at its summit hit a record 50 degrees Fahrenheit and as Italy’s government declared a state of emergency from a severe heat wave that’s spawned drought across much of the nation and wildfires near Rome. Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi on Sunday blamed climate change for the glacier’s collapse.
Prime Minister Mario Draghi: “The drama was certainly unpredictable, but it definitely depended on the deterioration of the environment and the climate situation. Today Italy weeps for those victims.”
The Biden administration said Monday the bullet that killed Palestinian American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh likely came from Israeli military gunfire — but stopped short of saying investigators had reached a “definitive conclusion” in her killing. Abu Akleh was shot in the head on May 11 as she reported for Al Jazeera on an Israeli army raid in the occupied West Bank — even as she wore a flak jacket and helmet clearly marked ”PRESS.” Palestinian groups and several media organizations, including CNN, The New York Times and Al Jazeera, have determined Abu Akleh was killed by Israel’s military. So has the Israel human rights group B’Tselem, which accused the Biden administration of whitewashing her death. Shireen Abu Akleh’s niece, Lina Abu Akleh, responded to the State Department’s inconclusive findings Monday.
Lina Abu Akleh: “We were expecting that such an investigation would actually hold the perpetrators accountable and would carry out a transparent investigation that is free from any political pressure. However, that was not the case. … We will continue to call for justice. We will continue to call on the U.S. to carry out a transparent investigation by an independent body. In addition, we continue to call on the U.N. and the ICC to carry out an investigation and hold Israel accountable and put an end to this grotesque impunity that Israel continues to enjoy.”
Chilean President Gabriel Boric has received a draft of a new constitution, the fate of which voters will decide in a mandatory referendum on September 4.
President Gabriel Boric: “As president, it is my duty to call upon a constitutional referendum as I receive this proposal today. That is why we came. It will once again be the people who have the last word on their destiny.”
If approved, the new document will replace the Constitution created under the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet, who came to power in a 1973 coup supported by the United States. The new constitution enshrines human rights and social programs, including free universal access to healthcare, higher education and reproductive rights, as well as more robust environmental safeguards and policies to promote gender and racial equity. It also for the first time recognizes Chile’s Indigenous peoples and offers restitution for historically Indigenous lands.