Top News Stories for Today

Top news stories for today – July 9, 2016

Dallas shooter was Army Reservist

Dallas shooter was Army ReservistOn Friday, authorities identified the Dallas shooting suspect killed in a standoff with police as Micah X. Johnson. The 25-year-old lived outside of Dallas, and the Pentagon has confirmed that he served as an enlisted soldier in the US Army Reserves for nearly six years.

Before being killed by an explosive device carried by a police robot, Johnson told authorities that he was “upset” about Black Lives Matter and the “recent police shootings,” and that he “wanted to kill white people, especially white officers.” Police say they found bomb-making materials, rifles, ammunition, ballistic vests, and “a journal of combat tactics” during a search of Johnson’s home.

Twelve police officers and two civilians were shot at the end of a peaceful protest against officer-related shootings late Thursday evening. Five officers died. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Friday that it appears only one gunman was involved. NBC News, The Atlantic, The Week



America’s leaders mourn Dallas officers

Snipers kill 5 police officers in Dallas (photo cnn)As US leaders mourned the five officers killed in Dallas late Thursday evening, they also bemoaned the shortcomings of the criminal justice system. President Obama called the “vicious, calculated, and despicable” shooting “symptomatic of a broader set of racial disparities in our criminal justice system.”

Similarly, Attorney General Loretta Lynch used the tragedy to underscore the broader importance of continuing to work to “build trust between communities and law enforcement.” Both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump canceled campaign events Friday. “I mourn for the officers shot while doing their sacred duty to protect peaceful protesters,” Clinton tweeted. “We must restore law and order,” Trump said in a statement. Time, CBS News, The Week



Shootings reported in 3 other states

Shootings reported in 3 other statesAfter a sniper allegedly killed five police officers in Dallas on Thursday night, authorities reported shootings in three other states.

In Bristol, Tennessee, police say a man who indiscriminately shot four people, killing a newspaper delivery worker, Thursday morning might have done so because he was “troubled” by recent police shootings of African-Americans.

A man in Valdosta, Georgia, was also said to have called 911 to report a break-in on Friday, then shot the responding police officer. And in Ballwin, Missouri, a police officer was reportedly “ambushed” when he pulled over a speeding car on Friday. In all three cases, no officer was killed. ABC News, The Associated Press, The Week



 US Jobs report shows strong hiring in June

US adds 242,000 jobs in February (photo - US added 287,000 new jobs in June, marking the biggest increase since last fall and offering reassurance that the economy has rebounded after a soft patch earlier in the year.

Economists polled by MarketWatch had predicted an increase of 170,000 nonfarm jobs, including about 35,000 Verizon employees returning to work after a lengthy strike. The unemployment rate rose to 4.9% from 4.7% as more people entered the labor force in search of work. The labor-force participation edged up a tick to 62.7%, the government said Friday.

Average hourly wages rose 0.1% to $25.61. Hourly pay increased 2.6% from June 2015 to June 2016, matching the highest level of the recovery. Employment gains for May and April, meanwhile, were little changed. The government said a meager 11,000 new jobs were created in May instead of 38,000. April’s gain was raised to 144,000 from 123,000, however.  MarketWatch



US Rep. Corrine Brown indicted for fraud

US Rep. Corrine Brown indicted for fraudUS Rep. Corrine Brown, 69, of Florida Democrat, and her Chief of Staff Elias “Ronnie” Simmons, 50, were indicted for charges of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy, obstruction and filing of false tax returns. Both of them pleaded not guilty Friday to multiple fraud charges.

She has represented a Jacksonville-based congressional district since 1993 — one of the first three African-Americans elected to Congress from Florida since Reconstruction— and is seeking re-election in a newly redrawn district. Later Friday, Brown released a statement saying she was temporarily stepping down as ranking member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, in accordance with House rules.

House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi, who called the charges against Brown “deeply saddening,” said that for more than two decades “Brown has served her constituents in Florida with passion and energy. She has been a champion for America’s veterans.” Associated Press

US Presidential election

Clinton, Trump cancel events in light of Dallas shootings: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump announced Friday they have canceled events in light of the attack on Dallas police officers, though Clinton plans to address the tragedy later in the day at an African Methodist Episcopal conference in Philadelphia. USA Today

After Dallas, concerns grow about GOP convention in Cleveland: Cleveland’s preparation for the GOP convention, which starts July 18, was already under scrutiny, as activists worried about the possibilities for violence among protesters and in police interactions with demonstrators. The stakes for security rose Thursday when a sniper attacked police officers in Dallas, killing five. That took place at a Black Lives Matter gathering protesting the deaths of black men shot this week by police in Louisiana and Minnesota. USA Today

Newt Gingrich says ‘It is more dangerous to be black in America’: Gingrich — a potential running mate for presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said Friday “it is more dangerous to be black in America” than white, on CNN commentator Van Jones’ Facebook Live stream in a conversation on race and law enforcement. He said that every time black Americans walk up to a car or go into a building where there is a robbery they run the risk of being killed by police. But he also added that law enforcement officers are as “on the front line of saving civilization as our military.” USA Today

Database shows Trump lawsuits surpass 4,000: Nailing down the number of legal battles involving Donald Trump and his businesses is a moving target, and the USA TODAY Network’s ongoing review of his empire’s litigation continues surfacing new cases. In early June, the analysis had found at least 3,500 cases — a figure that has now surpassed 4,000 — and today we’re releasing a new interactive tool that lets you explore more than three decades of court actions by and against Trump and his companies. USA Today