Good morning. We’re talking growing frustrations over the police’s response to the Texas school shooting, questions about the end of Russia’s war in Ukraine, and a change in US policy toward China.
Where were the police in Uvalde?
Parents and witnesses to the massacre at a Southwest Texas elementary school ask: Why didn’t armed personnel stop the gunman?
The gunman entered the school unimpeded, a state police officer said Thursday, and was inside the school for more than an hour before officers killed him. Officials said they believed most, if not all, of the 21 victims were shot within the first few minutes of his arrival.
Police accounts have changed, but today officials said officers responded “within minutes” and two police officers were shot when they tried to enter a classroom where the gunman was already firing.
But some witnesses said they furiously urged the police to storm the school earlier. Others saw officers handcuff a parent who tried to enter. Javier Cazares, whose 9-year-old daughter was killed, was outside during the attack. “They said they ran in and everything,” he said, speaking of law enforcement. “We haven’t seen that.” Here are live updates.
How will the war in Ukraine end?
The global conversation about Russia’s war in Ukraine is increasingly focused on how to end the fighting and how to define victory.
Some Western voices, including the leaders of France and Italy — and Henry Kissinger, the 98-year-old former US Secretary of State — proposed a territorial compromise.
Ukraine strongly opposes that idea. On Thursday, President Volodymyr Zelensky compared the proposal to Western Europe’s 1938 reconciliation of Nazi Germany. Other officials have pledged to fight until they liberate the entire country, including the Crimean peninsula.
Central and Eastern European leaders support full liberation and have dismissed the idea of a negotiated end to the war as dangerous. And no one knows whether President Vladimir Putin would accept anything other than total capitulation by Ukrainian troops.
To fight: Russia shelled central Kharkov, killing and wounding many. At least four civilians have also been killed in the Donetsk region, Ukrainian officials said.
Economy: As sanctions took their toll, Russia’s central bank cut interest rates and Putin began raising the minimum wage and reconciling military benefits.
The US wants to curb China
The Biden administration has concluded that it cannot change Beijing’s aggressive behavior. In a glimpse of his covert strategy, the Secretary of State said on Thursday that the US was instead trying to restrict China.
“We cannot rely on Beijing to change its course,” said Antony Blinken. “So we will shape the strategic environment around Beijing to advance our vision for an open and inclusive international system.”
The US will form coalitions with other countries to limit the Chinese Communist Party’s influence, Blinken said. He stressed that the US was not looking for another Cold War and would not seek to isolate China, and pointed to opportunities for cooperation between the world’s largest economies.
Background: US officials have concluded that decades of direct economic and diplomatic involvement have largely failed Beijing to comply with the American-led order. President Xi Jinping’s military stance and diplomatic support for Russia during the invasion of Ukraine have reinforced their conviction.
Details: Blinken pointed to the human rights violations in China, the repression of ethnic minorities and the repression of freedom of expression. He also reiterated long-standing US policy toward Taiwan, despite President Biden’s comments Monday that the US had a “commitment” to get militarily involved if China attacked.
THE LAST NEWS
Asia and the Middle East
India’s unexpected blockbuster
In the opening scene of ‘The Kashmir Files’, boys play cricket on a snowy field in the Muslim-majority region between India and Pakistan. When a Hindu boy cheers for a famous Indian cricketer, he is attacked. His abusers force him to sing, “Long live Pakistan, down with Hindustan!”
The new film, which tells the story of the expulsion of upper-caste Hindus from Kashmir in the 1980s and 1990s, is an unexpected box office pull. It has raised more than $40 million in India so far.
That was it for today’s briefing. Until next time. — Amelia
PS The Times won a Robert F. Kennedy Journalism Award for its work demonstrating that intelligence failures and civilian deaths were a hidden legacy of the US-led air war in the Middle East.
The last episode of “The Daily” is about the American primary races.
You can reach Amelia and the team at: briefing.†