By Robert A. Vella
Just hours after another mass shooting in Texas, the GOP-controlled state government enacted new laws preventing schools, some foster homes, rental properties, churches, and officially-declared disaster areas from barring the possession of firearms. This latest tragedy, however, contradicted the Republican philosophy of arming the population to increase public safety since the over twenty victims included three law enforcement officers and an infant. The child wasn’t armed, apparently, but that may change with the next Texas law.
China’s ethnic cleansing campaign against Muslims is ramping-up with mass detentions and “reeducation camps.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin “Bibi” Netanyahu is trying to bolster his political prospects by courting right-wing Zionists with promises to annex the contested West Bank Jewish settlements. About three million Palestinians reside in the territory which was divided into three areas (A, B, and C) by the 1990s Oslo Accords.
A new report on President Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, which established “opportunity zones” in urban areas, reveals the exact opposite effect of what was ostensibly intended but it did – unsurprisingly – enrich his family and business partners.
Texas guts gun laws after mass shooting
HOUSTON — Five people were killed and at least 21 others were injured in a brazen daylight drive-by mass shooting in the West Texas cities of Midland and Odessa on Saturday, as a gunman drove on the highways and streets opening fire on residents, motorists and shoppers, the authorities said.
The attack at the start of Labor Day weekend terrified sister cities 20 miles apart with a combined population of 263,000, less than a month after gunmen killed 31 people in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, in back-to-back massacres that stunned the nation and revived the debate in Washington over gun control.
The chief of the Odessa Police Department, Michael Gerke, said at a news conference on Saturday that the attack had begun after a traffic stop. The gunman fled the police and hijacked a postal truck, firing at civilians as he made his way into Odessa.
Three law enforcement officers and a toddler were among those wounded, before the police shot and killed the gunman, a man in his mid-30s, near a movie theater on the outskirts of Odessa. The police said the gunman’s motive was not immediately clear.
A series of new firearm laws will go into effect in Texas on Sunday just hours after a shooting left five people dead in the western part of the state.
The laws will further loosen gun restrictions in a state that’s had four of the 10 deadliest mass shootings in modern US history. They will make it easier to have guns just a month after a shooter stormed a Walmart in El Paso and killed 22 people.
China imprisons Muslims
The Chinese government has built a vast network of re-education camps and a pervasive system of surveillance to monitor and subdue millions from Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region.
Now China is also turning to an older, harsher method of control: filling prisons in Xinjiang.
The region in northwest China has experienced a record surge in arrests, trials and prison sentences in the past two years, according to a New York Times analysis of previously unreported official data.
Bibi courts Zionists
(Bloomberg) — Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, running in an election that could be the fight of his political life, said he hopes to annex all Jewish West Bank settlements.
Israel will build more settlements and won’t uproot settlers, Netanyahu said Sunday in a speech in the West Bank settlement of Elkana.
The annexation of captured West Bank territory, long considered taboo in Israeli politics because of the international outcry it would spark, has recently become the clarion call of the Israeli right. With polls showing Netanyahu having no easy path to forming a coalition government after the Sept. 17 ballot, backing annexation might help him cement his nationalist credentials with right-wingers who have other options beyond his Likud party.
“What’s happening right now is he’s focusing his messaging to those in the religious Zionist camp, because he fears he’s losing in the polls to groups like Yemina and Otzma Yehudit,” Hebrew University lecturer Yonatan Freeman said, referring to other nationalist factions.
Trump tax cut
But the Trump administration’s signature plan to lift them — a multibillion-dollar tax break that is supposed to help low-income areas — has fueled a wave of developments financed by and built for the wealthiest Americans.
Among the early beneficiaries of the tax incentive are billionaire financiers like Leon Cooperman and business magnates like Sidney Kohl — and Mr. Trump’s family members and advisers.