Nation and world news at a glance
Teen and woman killed in shooting at St. Louis high school
A gunman killed at least two people at a St. Louis high school Monday when he opened fire as the school day was getting underway. Officials said at least seven others were injured in the attack at Central Visual and Performing Arts High School. Police identified the gunman as Orlando Harris, 19, who attended the school until last year. It was not immediately clear how Harris was able to enter the school. A police official said the building was locked before Harris arrived. Police responded to the school several minutes after 911 calls and entered the building quickly, the official said Monday evening.
Officer pleads guilty to manslaughter in George Floyd’s death
A former Minneapolis police officer who helped to pin George Floyd down as he gasped for air under the knee of another officer pleaded guilty to manslaughter Monday, forgoing a trial in exchange for an agreement to drop a more serious murder charge. J. Alexander Kueng, a rookie officer who had joined the Minneapolis Police Department with what he said were hopes of improving it from within, placed his knee on Floyd for several minutes in May 2020 while Floyd protested that he could not breathe and eventually lost consciousness. The death of Floyd, who was Black, set off protests around the world over racism and police abuse.
Prosecutors pressure Trump aides to testify in documents case
Federal prosecutors investigating former President Donald Trump’s handling of national security documents he took from the White House have increased pressure on key witnesses in the hopes of gaining their testimony, according to people briefed on the matter. A key focus is Walt Nauta, who worked in the White House as a military valet and cook when Trump was president and later for him at Mar-a-Lago, Trump’s residence in Florida. Prosecutors are also trying to force an aide to Trump, Kash Patel, to answer questions before a grand jury about how the documents were taken to Mar-a-Lago and how Trump and others dealt with requests to return them.
Chinese officers charged in plot to obstruct US Huawei probe
Two suspected Chinese intelligence officers have been charged with attempting to obstruct the U.S. criminal investigation and prosecution of Chinese tech giant Huawei. The Justice Department announced on Monday that the two men are charged with trying to direct a person they believed was a government cooperator to provide inside information about the Huawei investigation. But the person was a double agent, working with the FBI. Eleven other Chinese have been charged with various additional offenses that FBI Director Christopher Wray said show that China’s “economic assaults and their rights violations are part of the same problem.” Washington has long accused Beijing of meddling in U.S. political affairs and stealing secrets and intellectual property.
Biden targets Nicaragua’s gold in new move against Ortega
The Biden administration is ratcheting up pressure on President Daniel Ortega’s authoritarian rule in Nicaragua, banning Americans from doing business in the nation’s gold industry, threatening trade restrictions and stripping the U.S. visas of some 500 government insiders. The actions are the latest and perhaps most aggressive attempt by the U.S. to hold the former Sandinista guerrilla leader accountable for his continued attacks on human rights and democracy in the Central American country as well his continued security cooperation with Russia.
Sunak wins contest to lead UK and confront economic storm
Rishi Sunak prevailed in a three-day race for leader of Britain’s Conservative Party on Monday, a remarkable political comeback that doubled as a historical milestone, making him the first person of color to become prime minister in British history. The 42-year-old son of Indian immigrants, Sunak won the contest to replace the short-lived prime minister, Liz Truss, when his only remaining opponent, Penny Mordaunt, withdrew. Sunak, a former chancellor of the Exchequer, is expected to pull Britain back to more mainstream policies after Truss’ failed experiment in trickle-down economics, which rattled financial markets and badly damaged Britain’s fiscal reputation.
Russian officials flee kherson as Russian troops dig in for a battle
The first city to fall to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine was in turmoil Monday as its Moscow-appointed officials began fleeing to safer territory, while Russian soldiers appeared to be digging in for a fight against advancing Ukrainian forces. Government offices in Kherson have been emptied of essential equipment. Civilians have been told by proxy officials loyal to the Kremlin to take “documents, money, valuables and clothes” and evacuate, according to Ukrainian officials and accounts from Ukrainian activists who have spoken to residents. And months after residents began complying with Moscow’s demands that they adopt a new currency, some merchants in Kherson had a new message for customers: No more rubles.
Japan steps up push to get public buy-in to digital IDs
Japan has stepped up its push to catch up on digitization by telling a reluctant public they have to sign on or possibly lose access to their public health insurance. The My Number initiative aims to get the devoutly analog country to go digital by assigning numbers to people, similar to Social Security numbers in the U.S. or ID cards in many other countries. The system kicked in from 2016, linking the numbers to taxes and pensions, but it never fully caught on. Now Japanese are being told to apply for plastic microchip-equipped My Number cards to link to drivers licenses and health insurance cards. The existing system is to be phased out in two years.
By wire sources