Police have praised the individuals who tackled a gunman after he opened fire at an LGBTQ nightclub in Colorado Springs for their “incredible act of heroism” that stopped the tragedy that killed at least five people from being even worse.
The mayor of Colorado Springs, John Suthers, told CNN that one or two individuals in the club moved quickly to “subdue” the shooter. At least 25 people were also injured in the attack.
Suthers said police were on the scene by midnight and the incident was over by 12.02am.
“That’s largely because of the intervention of at least one, possibly two, very heroic individuals who subdued this guy,” he said. “[They] appear to have taken his handgun … and used it to disable him … not shoot him but hit him with the gun.
“But for that, as tragic as this incident is, it’s a horrible crime, it could have been much, much worse but for these heroic actors.”
Who was the gunman? Police allege that 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich went into Club Q at about 11.55pm on Saturday and immediately began shooting with a rifle.
Do we know anything about the victims yet? According to reports, bartenders Daniel Davis Aston and Derrick Rump were two of the victims.
Was the suspect motivated by hate against LGBTQ people? A motive has not officially been established yet. However, the attack took place at Club Q, a club that has a weekly drag show on Saturday evenings and had a drag brunch scheduled for Sunday morning, which was also the transgender day of remembrance. The attack came amid growing fears of violence and intimidation toward drag queens.
World still ‘on brink of climate catastrophe’ after Cop27 deal
The world still stands “on the brink of climate catastrophe” after the deal reached at the Cop27 UN climate summit on Sunday, and the biggest economies must make fresh commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions, climate experts and campaigners have warned.
The agreement reached in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, came after a marathon final negotiating session that ran 40 hours beyond its deadline, and was hailed for providing poor countries for the first time with financial assistance known as loss and damage. A fund will be set up by rich governments for the rescue and rebuilding of vulnerable areas stricken by climate disaster, a key demand of developing countries for the last 30 years of climate talks.
But the outcome was widely judged a failure on efforts to cut carbon dioxide, after oil-producing countries and high emitters weakened and removed key commitments on greenhouse gases and phasing out fossil fuels.
Mary Robinson, the chair of the Elders Group of former world leaders and former president of Ireland who twice served a UN climate envoy, said: “The world remains on the brink of climate catastrophe. Progress made on [cutting emissions] has been too slow.
Why wasn’t the deal stronger? Oil-producing countries had thwarted attempts to strengthen the deal, said Laurence Tubiana, one of the architects of the 2015 Paris climate agreement, now chief executive of the European Climate Foundation. “The influence of the fossil fuel industry was found across the board,” she said. She blamed the host country, Egypt, for allowing its regional alliances to sway the final decision, a claim hotly denied by the hosts.
Amy Coney Barrett urged to step away from gay rights case because of faith affiliation
Former members of Amy Coney Barrett’s secretive faith group, the People of Praise, are calling on the US supreme court justice to recuse herself from an upcoming case involving gay rights, saying her continued affiliation with the Christian group means she has participated in discriminatory policies against LGBTQ+ people.
The former members are part of a network of “survivors” of the controversial group who say Barrett’s “lifelong and continued” membership make her too biased to fairly adjudicate an upcoming case that will decide whether private business owners have a right to decline services to potential clients based on their sexual orientation.
The former members point to Barrett’s former role on the board of Trinity Schools Inc, a private group of Christian schools that is affiliated with the People of Praise and, in effect, barred the admission of children of same-sex parents.
A faculty guide published in 2015, the year Barrett joined the board, said “blatant sexual immorality” – which the guide said included “homosexual acts” – had “no place in the culture of Trinity Schools”. The discriminatory policies were in place before and after Barrett joined.
What is the upcoming case about? The case centers on a Christian website developer, Lori Smith, who has claimed an anti-discrimination law in Colorado has violated her right to free speech over same-sex marriage, which she says goes against her religious faith. Smith has said the Colorado law has forced her to “create messages that go against my deeply held beliefs” since she cannot legally turn away gay couples seeking her website services.
When does the case go to the supreme court? The justices will hear oral arguments in the case of 303 Creative LLC v Elenis on 5 December.
In other news …
Iran has arrested two prominent actors who expressed solidarity with the country’s protest movement and removed their headscarves in public, according to state media. Hengameh Ghaziani and Katayoun Riahi were both summoned by prosecutors looking into their “provocative” social media posts.
Russian forces launched almost 400 strikes yesterday in Ukraine’s east as part of a campaign of artillery fire, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said. Russia’s surge in missile strikes in Ukraine is partly designed to exhaust Kyiv’s supplies of air defenses and achieve dominance of the skies, a Pentagon official said.
Mike Pence said the FBI “sent the wrong message” with its search of Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence in August to retake government secrets that were stored there without authorization. The former vice-president made those remarks yesterday in an interview with the host of NBC’s Meet the Press, Chuck Todd.
China reported the deaths of three people in Beijing over the weekend as its first fatalities from coronavirus in six months, with cases rising despite a stringent zero-Covid policy. China is the last major economy still welded to a no-tolerance policy on the virus.
Disney has reappointed Bob Iger as its chief executive in a surprise decision as the entertainment company ousted his hand-picked replacement, Bob Chapek, after less than three years in the job. Iger retired from leading Disney in 2020, after delaying his exit several times to guide the company through Covid.
Qatar World Cup – get daily updates with First Thing
Introducing a new daily update on the World Cup, written for First Thing readers by US sports editor Tom Lutz. On top of the daily summary you can find here, the Guardian has 14 journalists on the ground in Qatar and we’ll have reports and analysis from all 64 games. We’ll also be covering the political and social issues around the tournament, which you can find here.
The World Cup kicked off yesterday although much of the focus has been on the host country’s human rights record rather than the soccer itself. Qatar has been attacked for its treatment of migrant workers, allegations of corruption in the bidding process for the tournament and its record on LGBTQ and women’s rights. That led to the Fifa president Gianni Infantino’s bizarre defense of Qatar on Saturday, in which he depicted himself as a Christ-like figure standing up for the poor and downtrodden.
Things weren’t much better for the hosts on the field, as they lost the first match of the tournament to Ecuador. That came after an opening ceremony that featured the actor Morgan Freeman, a member of Korean boyband BTS and a cameo appearance from Russia, who have been banned from the tournament. Away from the stadium there was chaos as organizers allowed too many fans to enter viewing parties before kick-off.
Fox Sports didn’t see any problems though. TIt was criticized by fans for lavishing praise on Qatar and failing to mention human rights concerns in its opening broadcast. Qatar Airways, the country’s state-owned airline, happens to be a major sponsor of Fox’s World Cup coverage.
Here’s what to watch out for:
The tournament runs for four weeks, culminating in the final on 18 December. There are eight groups of four teams, with the top two teams from each group advancing to the knockout stage. Argentina, Brazil and France are the favorites. The US, in a group with England, Wales and Iran, have an outside chance of making the quarter-finals but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if they fail to win a game.
The US start their campaign today. US deputy sports editor Bryan Graham is in Qatar and will be following the Americans throughout the tournament. He says they have a talented young team but injuries and a lack of form may cause them to struggle. They face Wales in their opener at 2pm ET, and you can follow the match with our liveblog, which will start an hour before kickoff here. We’ll also have a match report at full-time and Bryan’s thoughts on the game. The day’s other games feature England v Iran (8am ET), and Senegal v Netherlands (11am ET). We’ll have live coverage of both matches here.
Don’t miss this: ‘Why am I talking to 10 guys?’ The rise and fall of dating apps
Swiping, benching, ghosting … Dating apps can be so cold, writes Annie Lord. We find connections and then we let them fall through our hands, we choose nights out with friends instead of date nights, we work too hard to make time to go out at all, we delete dating apps, redownload them and try again, then ignore the people we match with. It’s not my fault and it’s not the fault of the men I’m approaching. It’s dating as a whole. It’s in crisis. Now that disgruntled singles are realising the best way to meet someone is in real life, will a new world of “offline dating” bring people back together?
Climate check: Pacific leaders celebrate Cop27 victory on loss and damage fund after decades of advocacy
Pacific leaders and climate activists are celebrating the establishment of a loss and damage financing mechanism in the Cop27 agreement, three decades after they raised the need for such a provision. A loss and damage fund, which would provide financial assistance to poor nations stricken by climate disaster, has been a key ask of Pacific countries – which are among the most vulnerable to the impacts of the climate crisis – for decades in climate negotiations. It was first raised more than 30 years ago by Vanuatu, which the UN has ranked as the country most vulnerable to natural disasters.
Last Thing: Christie’s cancels T rex skeleton auction after doubts raised
Christie’s has called off the auction of a Tyrannosaurus rex skeleton days before it was due to go under the hammer in Hong Kong after a US fossil company raised doubts about parts of the skeleton named “Shen”. Christie’s said in a statement that Shen – a 3,100lb (1,400kg) skeleton – had been withdrawn from its fall auctions week, which starts in Hong Kong on Friday. “The consignor has now decided to loan the specimen to a museum for public display,” it said. Questions have been raised over whether bones from a replica of another T rex skeleton had been used to complete Shen.
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