They’d gathered for Sunday services. Police say at least 26 people are dead and more than 20 injured after a man began shooting at the First Baptist Church in the small, rural town of Sutherland Springs, Texas, about 30 miles east of San Antonio. The suspected shooter, identified as Devin Kelley, 26, was wearing a ballistic vest. An armed resident confronted the shooter and gave chase after he fled. Kelley was found dead in his car from a gunshot wound. According to the FBI, his motives are as yet unknown.
The Presidential Daily Brief
She knows how to fight. As the first woman with a disability elected to Congress, Duckworth has made a career of overcoming obstacles. The retired U.S. Army lieutenant colonel served as a helicopter pilot in Iraq, where she was shot down in 2004, resulting in the loss of both of her legs and partial use of her right arm. But she’s still serving: As a senator for Illinois, Duckworth works to protect the rights of U.S. veterans and service members, as well as the disabled. Today she joins the ranks of past curators like Katie Couric and Paul Ryan to share her take on today’s must-know news.
The war on terror and the nature of conflict has changed since Congress passed the current Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) just after 9/11, but congressional instructions to the troops being put in harm’s way have not. That puts our service members — and our nation’s security — in jeopardy. The countless American sons and daughters we’re leaving in danger need and deserve clear guidance and objective parameters of what their job is. This isn’t partisan; it’s about time we had an honest debate over the need to pass a new AUMF.
America’s commander-in-chief should show a steady hand and sound judgment when it comes to mitigating the threat of nuclear war, not tweet at the likes of Kim Jong Un or engage in irresponsible verbal attacks that escalate an already dangerous situation. I lost my legs fighting a war I didn’t support, so I want to ensure that those in power understand the true costs of war — not just in dollars, but in human lives — before they consider a potentially devastating conflict.
He did it again. Trump broke another campaign promise — this time to support those who wear the uniform and defend our great nation. Last week, he chose to protect big financial institutions at the expense of veterans and service members by overturning the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s forced arbitration rule. Now service members who have been victims of financial abuse cannot pursue justice through the same legal system they fought to defend, which is shameful. Our heroes who risk their lives to defend our freedom deserve nothing but support from our nation’s leadership — not broken promises.
Know This: At least 11 princes have been arrested in Saudi Arabia, in what’s being seen as a move to consolidate the power of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. New Zealand has renewed its offer to take in some of the refugees detained by Australia at its decommissioned Manus Island facility, but Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has refused. And Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri has unexpectedly resigned, saying he fears assassination.
Remember This Name: Monkeypox. That’s one of the incurable diseases CDC scientists are currently tracking, hoping to keep this cousin of smallpox — which kills about 10 percent of those infected — from spreading across the globe after a flare-up in Africa this year.
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Far too many girls are told they don’t belong in math or science — that STEM fields are a better fit for boys. But it’s simply not true. Without women in scientific roles, we wouldn’t have innovative thinkers like Gitanjali Rao, who’s addressing the problem of lead poisoning in Michigan. America needs more women and girls in high-demand industries like health care, advanced manufacturing, clean energy and information technology. The future of our economy — and our drinking water — depends upon it.
I may not be a mother of dragons, but I’ve secretly always hoped for my own dragon egg. I’m pretty envious of Tommy Hardy — the 13-year-old from Massachusetts got to ride on his very own wheelchair-turned-dragon for Halloween. Meanwhile, I only have my regular wheelchair and hand-crank bike. Don’t get me wrong — training for the Chicago marathon with my team on my hand-crank bike is one of my favorite activities. But I’m afraid Tommy will be far better prepared with his pet dragon once winter arrives.
People living with disabilities face a number of challenges most folks can’t even imagine. My life, for example, is very different than most of my colleagues. Getting around can be difficult. Everyday tasks are no longer so simple. Fortunately, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) makes my life possible. The truth is that everyone, whether they know it or not, is just a bad day away from needing the protections of the ADA. Disability rights are civil rights, and we need to do everything we can to protect this vital piece of legislation.
Service members who sacrifice their lives to protect our nation deserve our utmost admiration and respect. As do their families. Yet, recent national debates about military families tend to miss the point, using Gold Star family members as tools for political gain, which is disgraceful. These debates also belie a much bigger problem: Americans are too far removed from our military to understand the true costs of war. Gold Star families aren’t pawns, and we should all be able to agree on that no matter what we believe politically.
My daughter, Abigail, who turns 3 this month, might be the funniest person I know. She is creative, imaginative and ambitious, and I hope her confidence only grows with age. That’s something I think most parents can agree with, and yet far too many young girls struggle with self-confidence. That hurts our girls, our boys and our families — it hurts all of us. I don’t want my daughter to grow up afraid to speak out — I want her to grow into a woman proud to be bold, to be funny and to lead.