What We’re Following
Slain in Iowa: Two police officers in the Des Moines area were shot in their patrol cars this morning in separate “ambush-style” attacks 20 minutes apart. The suspect in custody is Scott Michael Greene, a 46-year-old white man. Though the shootings come at a time of racially charged tension between police and communities throughout the U.S., both of the officers were also white, and the shooter’s motives are unclear. Our news team is live-blogging the latest.
Actions and Words: Authorities in Greenville, Mississippi, are investigating as a hate crime the burning of a black church defaced with graffiti reading “Vote Trump.” Though it’s not clear yet that the fire and graffiti were related or that the fire was arson—a crime that’s very difficult to prove—the burning of black churches has historically been an act of terrorism. Meanwhile in the Netherlands, the far-right politician Geert Wilders is being tried for hate speech after he called for “fewer Moroccans” in the country during a political rally. The trial is intended to define a boundary between hate speech and free speech for politicians.
Health and Safety: Back in the U.S., Donald Trump yesterday convened a “meeting talking about health care,” at which medical professionals spoke in support of the nominee’s health plan. But the specifics of that plan aren’t very clear. Despite his promise of a solution for “repealing and replacing Obamacare,” Trump’s plan seems to boil down to people simply paying their own medical bills outright. That’s not to say the current system is perfect—far from it. For example, though one of Obamacare’s biggest achievements has been expanding access to birth control, gaps in insurance coverage and states’ failure to expand Medicaid mean millions of low-income women still aren’t able to get it.