By Robert A. Vella
What would be a Monday in America without more mass shootings? Trump fired the Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats and replaced him with a Mueller-hating sycophant. The physician who treated Alexei Navalny, the imprisoned political foe of Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, suspects he was poisoned in jail. The decade-long period of slow, but sustained economic growth in the U.S. has apparently come to an end as the Federal Reserve announced a return to interest rate cuts. Today is Earth Overshoot Day which marks the first time in history that we humans consume more natural resources than we can replenish.
2 mass shootings
Authorities continued their investigation overnight into whether a gunman acted alone when he opened fire at the famed Gilroy Garlic Festival Sunday evening, killing three people — including a 6-year-old boy — and injuring 12 others.
The popular food festival at the “Garlic Capital of the World” in Santa Clara County was about to close around 5:30 p.m. when at least one gunman opened fire. Authorities said police officers fatally shot the assailant, who had not been identified as of Monday morning. The motive for the shooting is unclear.
Witnesses reported hearing multiple rounds fired by a gunman armed with a rifle and dressed in what looked like a tactical vest and camouflage fatigues. They said he fired more than a dozen times before pausing and then firing again into the crowd. Police initially said 15 people had been injured in the shooting, but officials lowered that number to 12 early Monday.
The 56th annual Old Timers Day in Brooklyn was winding down on Saturday, and the final R&B band of the night was leading the crowd in a rousing rendition of “Family Reunion” by the O’Jays.
The beloved, days-long community event in Brownsville was drawing to a close under a clear summer sky.
Then gunshots rang out, sending thousands running for cover.
At least two gunmen had opened fire, killing a 38-year-old man and wounding 11 people in the crossfire, the police said.
Trump fires Coats
Dan Coats attracted President Donald Trump’s ire on more than one occasion as the director of national intelligence, describing assessments on issues from Russia to North Korea that contradicted Trump’s own. On Sunday night, his time in office came to an end: Trump said, via Twitter, that Coats was stepping down, to be replaced by Republican Representative John Ratcliffe.
Ratcliffe, a vocal skeptic of the Mueller investigation into Russian election interference, won headlines for his aggressive questioning of former Special Counsel Robert Mueller during the latter’s testimony before Congress last week.
Putin foe poisoned
MOSCOW (AP) — Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny was discharged from a hospital Monday even though his physician raised suspicions of a possible poisoning after he suffered facial swelling and a rash while in jail.
Details about Navalny’s condition were scarce after he was rushed to a hospital Sunday with what authorities said was a suspected allergy attack inside a detention facility where he was serving a 30-day sentence for calling an unsanctioned protest. The 43-year-old political foe of President Vladimir Putin was arrested several days before a major opposition rally Saturday that ended with nearly 1,400 people detained.
Tensions are running high in Moscow as dozens of protesters remained in custody and the opposition called for a new rally next weekend.
Feds to cut interest rate
WASHINGTON — The Federal Reserve this week will most likely cut interest rates for the first time since 2008, when the economy was mired in a deep recession, as the central bank tries to keep a record economic expansion from petering out.
The expected change, while likely to be small, will end an era of gradual rate increases intended to return the economy to a more “normal” state in the wake of the Great Recession, when the Fed slashed rates to near zero as it tried to rescue the economy. The Fed’s approach has largely worked — the United States economy is growing, unemployment is at a 50-year low and wages are slowly rising.
But a rate cut at this moment in the cycle sends a signal: The current economy could be as good as it gets.
Earth Overshoot Day
On July 29, we cross an alarming threshold. This date marks Earth Overshoot Day, the point each year at which humanity starts to consume the world’s natural resources faster than they can be replenished.
It’s taken us only 209 days to burn through a year’s worth of resources — everything from food and timber to land and carbon. We are using up nature 1.75 times faster than it can be replenished. To do this sustainably, we would need the resources of 1.75 Earths.
These latest figures come from Global Footprint Network, an international nonprofit that calculates our annual ecological budget and the date at which we exceed it. Once we bust through this budget, we start devouring resources at an unsustainable rate.