The man alleged to have fatally shot seven people and wounded more than 30 others at an Independence Day parade in suburban Chicago managed to legally obtain five guns, including the murder weapon, after a 2019 suicide attempt and a threat to “kill everyone”, authorities revealed yesterday.
The new details came as Robert Crimo III, 21, was charged with seven counts of first-degree murder over the massacre. Announcing the charges at a press conference last night, the Lake County state’s attorney, Eric Rinehart, said the community of Highland Park would “never be the same” and promised the charges were just “the first of many”.
If convicted, Crimo would face a maximum sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole, Rinehart added.
At about 10.15am on Monday, when Highland Park’s Fourth of July parade was about three-quarters through, the gunman aimed his AR-15-style rifle at strangers, fired more than 70 times, and is thought to have hit 45 people, Chris Covelli, the leader of a police taskforce investigating major crimes in Lake county said.
What do we know about the victims? The death toll increased to seven after a person who has yet to be named died in hospital. More details have emerged about those who have died.
What happened to the toddler found wandering alone after the shooting? A picture of two-year-old Aiden McCarthy went viral after the attack before he was reunited with his grandparents. It has now been reported that the child’s parents were both killed in the massacre.
Global dismay as supreme court ruling leaves Biden’s climate policy in tatters
Joe Biden’s election triggered a global surge in optimism that the climate crisis would, finally, be decisively confronted. But the US supreme court’s decision last week to curtail America’s ability to cut planet-heating emissions has proved the latest blow to the president’s faltering effort on climate that is now in danger of becoming largely moribund.
The supreme court’s ruling that the US government could not use its existing powers to phase out coal-fired power generation without “clear congressional authorization” ricocheted around the world among those now accustomed to looking on in dismay at America’s seemingly endless stumbles in addressing global heating.
The decision “flies in the face of established science and will set back the US’s commitment to keep global temperature below 1.5C”, said Saleemul Huq, director of the International Centre for Climate Change and Development in Bangladesh, referring to the internationally agreed goal to limit global heating before it becomes catastrophic, manifesting in more severe heatwaves, floods, droughts and societal unrest.
What did the supreme court decide? In the 6-3 ruling, backed by the rightwing majority of justices, the supreme court did not completely negate the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) ability to regulate emissions from coal plants. But it did side with Republican-led states because of the nebulous “major questions doctrine” that demands Congress explicitly decide on significant changes to the US economy.
UK’s Boris Johnson fighting for future as several ministers resign
After limping along after the Partygate investigation, multiple sex scandals and successive policy failures, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, seems to be approaching the endgame of his time in Downing Street.
“On the brink”, “Hanging by a thread” and “Last chance saloon” are just some of the headlines in today’s newspapers describing the prime minister’s predicament, after he was deserted by two of his most senior cabinet ministers yesterday.
Johnson has been hit by further resignations this morning, including a minister who defended him on the airwaves two days ago, as his new chancellor, Nadhim Zahawi, attempted to prop him up.
Will Quince resigned as children’s minister after having been sent out to defend the government on Monday morning, following Sajid Javid, Rishi Sunak and at least 10 government aides and envoys out of the door.
Why are they all resigning? Johnson has been accused of lying about whether he had been briefed about a complaint of sexual misconduct against the Conservative MP Chris Pincher, before appointing him to a senior role. This is just the latest scandal and Johnson’s support has been ebbing away for months.
Can Johnson survive? The prime minister is limping on for now but many doubt he will be able to survive much longer.
In other news …
A wildfire that erupted in California on Fourth of July more than doubled in size overnight, consuming more than 3,000 acres by yesterday. The fast-moving Electra fire, burning through the dried grasses and steep, rugged terrain east of Sacramento, has forced hundreds of evacuations.
The governor of the eastern Donetsk region in Ukraine has urged 350,000 civilians to flee in light of an imminent Russian offensive. The call comes a day after the Russian president, Vladimir Putin, declared victory in seizing the neighbouring eastern province of Luhansk.
The families of two young girls who allegedly died as a result of a viral TikTok challenge have sued the social media platform, claiming its “dangerous” algorithms are to blame for their children’s deaths. The parents of two girls who died in a 2021 “blackout challenge” on TikTok filed the suit yesterday.
The US guitarist Carlos Santana has recovered after collapsing on stage during a concert in suburban Detroit yesterday. The audience was reportedly initially told of a serious medical problem and asked to pray for the 74-year-old musician, but Santana was treated swiftly and was seen waving to fans as he left stage.
US water probably contains more “forever chemicals” than EPA tests show. A Guardian analysis of water samples shows that the type of water testing relied on by the EPA is so limited in scope that it is probably missing significant levels of PFAS pollutants.
Stat of the day: Utah’s Great Salt Lake hits new historic low amid drought in western US
The Great Salt Lake has hit a new low for the second time in less than a year, a dire milestone as the US west continues to weather a historic megadrought. The Utah department of natural resources said the Great Salt Lake dipped over the weekend to 4,190.1ft (1,277.1 meters). That is lower than the previous wlow set in October, which at the time matched a 170-year record low. Lake levels are expected to keep dropping until fall or winter, the agency said, as conditions exacerbated by the climate crisis continued to put a strain on water levels.
Don’t miss this: Why are robots always so sad?
Popular culture often conceives of AI as an imminent threat to humanity, a Promethean horror that will rebelliously destroy its creators with ruthless efficiency. Any number of fictional characters embody this anxiety, from the Cybermen in Doctor Who to Skynet in the Terminator franchise. But there is also a different vision of an AI capable of feeling intense emotion, sadness, or existential despair. From Wall-E to Google’s LaMDA, “sentient” AI seems to shoulder the weight of the world. Maybe we humans want it that way, writes Nicholas Russell.
Climate check: On the frontline of the climate crisis in Bangladesh
Over the past few weeks, catastrophic flash floods – the worst in Bangladesh in a century – have inundated much of Sylhet, where rising waters have washed away whole towns, killing at least 68 people and displacing thousands. According to the UN, an estimated 7.2 million people across seven districts have been affected. “Every year, it gets a little worse but I don’t think anyone expected anything this extreme,” Amina Ahmed, a volunteer for the Bangladesh Red Crescent, says.
Last Thing: New Yorkers will put up with a lot – but don’t blaspheme the bodegas
A piece of advice for anyone considering a move to New York: don’t mess with bodegas. The celebrated stores – which vary widely but generally function as convenience stores, delis, food markets and coffee shops – have been a city staple for decades, inspiring unwavering loyalty from local people. Periodically, however, social media has become a hotbed of bodega-focused discourse. The latest chapter in the saga involves a young man from Michigan, who drew New Yorkers’ fury with a TikTok video mocking the shops.
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