What We’re Following
Russian Relations: This week, amid the growing humanitarian crisis in Syria, the U.S. threatened to suspend talks with Russia if the latter nation continued to bomb the city of Aleppo. Russia rejected the warning and the call for a cease-fire, though it did propose a “48-hour pause” in fighting to allow humanitarian aid to get through. In an interview Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry called Russia’s actions in Syria “inexcusable.” Relations between the U.S. and Russia are also tense because American intel agencies suspect that Russian hackers tried to tamper with the U.S. presidential election—but Donald Trump is reluctant to point fingers.
Reckoning With Race: Police in El Cajon, California, now say Alfred Okwera Olango, the black man who was fatally shot on Tuesday, was unarmed; the object that officers said he pointed at them turned out to be a vaping device. It’s the latest in a series of incidents with a worrying effect: Two studies released this week suggest that black Americans are losing faith in law enforcement, with 911 calls from black neighborhoods dropping precipitously after reports of an officer-involved shooting of a black man, and black citizens reporting much less confidence in police than other racial groups. Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, a civil-rights movement is underway to combat racial inequality in the public parks system, while Georgetown University is attempting to deal with its history of profiting from slavery.