Texas shaken by mass shootings
Thirteen people have been killed in mass shootings in Texas in the past two weeks. The mass murders have fueled a new openness to gun regulation among some Texans, but Republican lawmakers have shown no interest in taking action to address the violence.
In fact, Texas has increased access to guns during the past two years even as the state endured more than a dozen mass killings, including a shooting at a school in Uvalde, where a gunman killed 19 children and two adults. The state did away with its permit requirements to carry handguns. It also lowered the age to carry handguns to 18 from 21.
While less supportive of stricter gun regulation than Americans as a whole, Texans support some limited gun control measures, polls show. Over the past few years views on guns among Republican voters in Texas have appeared to moderate somewhat.
But Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, said that there would be no new effort by his administration to limit access to firearms, because it would not work.
Recent shootings: On Sunday, a gunman killed eight people in a mall outside Dallas, before the police killed him. The gunman may have espoused white supremacist ideology; authorities are examining a social media profile, rife with hate-filled rants against women and Black people, that they believe belonged to him. A week earlier, five people were killed after they asked their neighbor to stop shooting in his front yard.
The national picture: A nonprofit group has counted more than 200 mass shootings in the U.S. this year.
Russia prepares for a counteroffensive
With heavy fighting expected very soon, Russian officials in some occupied areas of Ukraine have ordered evacuations. But some Ukrainians there are staying, and residents described an atmosphere of confusion, defiance and scarcity.
About 70,000 people were expected to move from the Zaporizhzhia region after officials issued evacuation orders for 18 towns and villages. The region is one of the areas along the long front line where Ukraine could try to break through the Russian defenses.
But while the evacuation was described as mandatory, there appeared to be little effort to force people to leave. In Zaporizhzhia, in fact, few people appeared to be heeding the orders. More than a dozen people there, and in the Kherson region, told our colleagues that gas stations were running dry, grocery store shelves were emptying and A.T.M.s were out of cash.
Fighting: In Zaporizhzhia, there was no indication of a Russian withdrawal, Ukrainian military officials and Western military analysts said. Instead, Russia’s troops are expanding defensive fortifications — a sign that they are digging in for coming battles.
Other updates from the war:
Russia launched a large wave of attack drones at Kyiv overnight. Ukraine said it had shot all of them down.
Russia’s celebrations for Victory Day today have been scaled back because of security concerns. President Vladimir Putin is scheduled to address the nation.
China hospital fire exposes elder care shortfall
A fire at a hospital in southern Beijing last month left at least 29 dead, many of them older people with disabilities who had been at the facility for months, and in some cases years. The hospital was not licensed to provide long-term elder care.
The tragedy exposed a serious problem: the country’s supply of nursing home beds has not kept pace with its rapidly aging population. The authorities have recognized the urgency of addressing the shortage, but many obstacles remain.
The stigma against retirement facilities abounds in a culture that emphasizes children’s duties toward their parents. Public facilities have long waiting lists, and private ones can be prohibitively expensive. In addition, getting a facility licensed to offer elder care in the first place is a complicated bureaucratic process, leading some private companies to operate underground.
THE LATEST NEWS
At least 22 people, many of them children, died in the Indian state of Kerala when a tourist boat capsized.
China’s foreign minister met with the U.S. ambassador to China in Beijing yesterday, a sign of a possible thaw in relations.
Other Big Stories
As Britain’s coronation celebrations ended, there were signs that both the nation and its royal family were preparing for a new era.
Israel’s court crisis is at the front line of a longstanding dispute between ultra-Orthodox Jews and those who support religious pluralism and secularism.
Floods and landslides have killed more than 400 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. More rain is expected in the coming days.
Wildfires have burned almost 1 million acres in Western Canada.
Here is King Charles’s official portrait. The photographer had just minutes to capture the image.
A Morning Read
For canine experts, an invitation to be a judge at the Westminster Dog Show is an honor and a serious responsibility. In all, more than 2,500 dogs are competing, with the Best in Show prize to be awarded today in New York City.
“It’s harder to become a dog judge than a brain surgeon, to tell you the truth,” a veteran judge said.
ARTS AND IDEAS
Preserving the “heartbeat” of Hawaii
In the imaginations of many outside Hawaii, hula may conjure images of coconut bras and cellophane skirts, a misunderstanding perpetuated by pop cultural representations in film and television.
But hula is an ancient and often sacred dance, one of the ways Native Hawaiians documented their history, mythology, religion and knowledge. And the Merrie Monarch Festival is hula’s Olympics.
For the last 60 years, the festival, held in the sleepy town of Hilo, has helped reclaim Hawaii’s native culture, language and identity. The festivities honor King David Kalakaua, who assumed the throne of Hawaii in 1871, and is credited with reviving many ancient practices, most notably, hula, which he called “the heartbeat of the Hawaiian people.”
PLAY, WATCH, EAT
What to Cook
Lime and habaneros make this saltfish buljol, a Caribbean cod dish, taste spiky and bright.
What to Watch
In “Slava Ukraini,” Bernard-Henri Lévy documents the war in the second half of 2022.
What to Read
“King: A Life” is the first major biography of Martin Luther King, Jr., in decades.
Tips to help a teen with insomnia.
Now Time to Play
Play the Mini Crossword, and a clue: Pig food (four letters).
Here are the Wordle and the Spelling Bee.
You can find all our puzzles here.
That’s it for today’s briefing. See you tomorrow. — Amelia and Justin
P.S. The Times won two Pulitzers for our reporting in Ukraine and on Jeff Bezos.
“The Daily” is on the U.S. Supreme Court.
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