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We’re covering two weekend shootings in the U.S., another tanker captured by Iran and the effects of Europe’s heat wave.
Two days, two shootings, at least 29 dead
More than two dozen people were killed over the weekend in shootings in two U.S. cities, underscoring the scale of gun violence in the country.
Federal investigators are treating a shooting on Saturday at a Walmart in El Paso, Tex., as an act of domestic terrorism. At least 20 people were killed and 26 wounded. Less than 24 hours later, a gunman opened fire in Dayton, Ohio, killing at least nine people and wounding 27 others.
The back-to-back attacks bring the number of mass shootings in the U.S. this year to 32.
White male suspects: In El Paso, a 21-year-old Texan named Patrick Crusius surrendered to the police, and the authorities were investigating a hate-filled, anti-immigrant manifesto that he may have posted online minutes before the attack detailing “the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
In Dayton, a heavily armed gunman wearing body armor, identified as a 24-year-old resident named Connor Betts, was shot dead by the police.
Go deeper: The number of attacks by white extremists in the global West is growing, and at least a third of the killers since 2011 drew inspiration from other perpetrators, according to a Times analysis. An international comparison shows that the high rate of mass shootings in the U.S. stems from the country’s astronomical number of guns.
8chan: The online messaging board where the manifesto was posted before the El Paso attack has become a megaphone for mass shooters and a recruiting platform for white nationalists. Its founder wants to “shut the site down.”
Putin’s rival in Ukraine courts Russian speakers
Ukraine’s relationship with Russia is the pivot around which many of Europe’s most pressing security problems revolve.
Volodymyr Zelensky, the former comedian who became Ukraine’s president in May, has approached the relationship with a combination of assertiveness and strategic generosity, reaching out to Russian speakers whom his nationalist predecessor could not hope to win over.
Context: Mr. Putin responded to Mr. Zelensky’s election by offering Russian passports to Russian-speaking residents of separatist areas of eastern Ukraine, a potentially ominous move because further military intervention could then be justified as protecting Russian citizens.
Mr. Zelensky countered with an appeal to the Russian opposition. “We know perfectly well what a Russian passport provides,” he said. “The right to be arrested for a peaceful protest” and “the right not to have free and competitive elections.”
He offered Ukrainian passports to “the Russian people who suffer most of all” from repressive government.
Iran seizes another tanker
The country’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps seized a foreign tanker in the Persian Gulf, state television reported, including the ship’s seven crew members. Iran didn’t identify the ship’s operator.
This is the third tanker Iran has captured in the past month — and the second it has accused of “smuggling” fuel — while the U.S. ramps up its “maximum pressure” campaign in an attempt to force the country to renegotiate the 2015 nuclear deal.
Tehran has also reneged on the commitments in that deal, which President Trump abandoned last year.
Go deeper: China and other countries have been importing more oil from Iran than was previously known, according to a Times investigation, in clear defiance of U.S. sanctions.
Consumer debt spirals in Russia
Millions of Russians are increasingly swiping their credit cards or relying on payday lenders and going into debt.
Growth in consumer lending — as Russians cope with hard times brought on by slumping oil prices and Western sanctions — has alarmed some economic policy officials. While spending has lifted the economy, with ballooning consumer debt, it could help start a recession.
Details: Since the onset of Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine and the ensuing sanctions, total outstanding personal debt among Russians has roughly doubled, according to the country’s central bank. The country’s population was virtually debt-free a generation ago.
Context: Many first-time credit card users in Russia have little experience managing debt. And with Russia facing other economic woes, these spenders are also seeing their inflation-adjusted salaries decline.
If you have 5 minutes, this is worth itEurope’s heat wave, fueled by climate change
The heat wave that has enveloped Europe moved over Greenland, causing the surface of the island’s vast ice sheet to melt at near-record levels.
Researchers at World Weather Attribution, a group that conducts rapid analyses of weather events to see if they are influenced by climate change, said the heat wave was hotter by about 2.5 to 5 degrees Fahrenheit due to climate change.
Here’s what else is happening
London: A teenager was arrested on Sunday on suspicion of attempted murder after a 6-year-old boy was thrown off the 10th-floor viewing platform at the Tate Modern museum, the police said. The victim was airlifted to a hospital in critical condition.
Hong Kong: Protesters disrupted service on six subway and rail lines and airlines canceled more than 200 flights Monday after antigovernment activists called for a general strike and rallies across the city.
HSBC: The bank announced the surprise departure of its chief executive officer, John Flint, on Sunday night, saying it needed a change at the top to address “a challenging global environment.” It came just a year and a half into his term.
Islamic State: Less than five months after the military defeat of the terrorist group in Syria, a United Nations report is warning that the group’s leaders could launch international terrorist attacks before the end of the year, including those intended to “exacerbate existing dissent and unrest” in European nations.
I.M.F.: The European Union nominated Kristalina Georgieva, a Bulgarian economist, to replace Christine Lagarde as managing director of the International Monetary Fund after a tense selection process.
Sudan: The ruling military council and pro-democracy protesters initialed a constitutional declaration aimed at paving the way for a transition to civilian rule after the ouster of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir and months of unrest.
Snapshot: Above, Franky Zapata, the French inventor of a jet-powered hoverboard, on Sunday. He used his device, which he calls the Flyboard Air, to cross the English Channel in about 22 minutes.
From Opinion: James Comey, the former F.B.I. director, wrote that President Trump “must stop trying to unleash and exploit the radioactive energy of racism.”
Women’s British Open: Hinako Shibuno of Japan wrapped up a stunning major championship debut by rolling in a birdie putt on the 18th hole to win by one shot over the American Lizette Salas.
What we’re reading: This essay in Air Mail, a news site for world travelers. Lynda Richardson, a Travel editor, writes: “I was engrossed by Elena Ferrante’s four-book series, the Neapolitan novels — and surprised to learn in this piece that her powerful voice falls flat for many Italian women.”
Now, a break from the news
Cook: Runny-yolked, crisp-edged Parmesan eggs will perk up just about any dinner.
Read: Our critic recalls a summer spent as an apprentice to the Broadway pioneer Hal Prince, who died last week at 91. Prince’s outsize contributions to American theater included “West Side Story” and “Cabaret.”
Watch: The director David Leitch narrates a sequence from “Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw.”
Smarter Living: A new social environment can be a significant obstacle to navigate when starting a new job. Research shows that building relationships with co-workers and chatting with supervisors can promote workplace harmony and even good personal health. So accept those early offers of coffee or lunch and steer clear of gossip, and skirt or deflect tricky personal questions.
We also have 10 tips to help you have a cleaner, safer, more relaxing hotel stay.
And now for the Back Story on …High heels
Women’s footwear with high elevation at the heel accounts for almost 14 percent of the value of the global $250 billion shoe industry. The shoes are a fixture at footwear trade shows around the world, including at this week’s New York Shoe Show.
But high heels actually began life as a men’s shoe. One theory says they were designed to help mounted soldiers keep their feet in the stirrups. Persians, the stories go, brought the innovation to Europe in the 15th century.
Since then, the shoes have been associated with male aristocracy (17th century), witchcraft (18th), female sex appeal (19th on) — and back, foot and calf injuries and strain.
High heels are a cultural conundrum for many women who recognize both their debilitating effects and their supposed allure. And they’re a statement piece among some gender-fluid folks.
They’re also tools for activists. Mostly men compete in Madrid Pride’s annual high-heel race (minimum height: 4 inches). And some U.S. cities host awareness-raising “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” high-heel events for men.
That’s it for this briefing. See you next time.
Alisha Haridasani Gupta helped compile today’s briefings. Mark Josephson and Eleanor Stanford wrote the break from the news. Victoria Shannon, on the Briefings team, wrote today’s Back Story. You can reach the team at email@example.com.
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