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Saturday marks five years since a gunman rained bullets into an outdoor country music festival crowd on the Las Vegas Strip. The grim drumbeat of mass shootings has only continued in the years since, from New York to Colorado to Texas. Northeastern University professor James Alan Fox oversees a database maintained by The Associated Press, USA Today and Northeastern University and says there's also been a horrifying uptick in the number of mass shootings with an especially high number of people killed. The news takes a toll on survivors of the Las Vegas slaying, but a strong sense of community has also developed.
The Supreme Court begins a new term on Monday at a time of diminished public confidence and justices sparring openly over the institution’s legitimacy. The court seems poised to push American law to the right on issues of race, voting and the environment. Back in June, the conservative majority overturned nearly 50 years of constitutional protections for abortion rights. Now, the court is diving back in with an aggressive agenda that appears likely to split the six conservative justices from the three liberals. Joining the nine-member court is new Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the court’s first Black woman.
Western countries are leading a simultaneous push at the U.N.’s top human rights body to scrutinize human rights in two of the world’s most influential countries: China and Russia. The West wants to increase the attention given to allegations of abuses in China's western Xinjiang region and the Russian government's crackdown on dissent and protest against its war in Ukraine. Diplomats and rights advocates acknowledge that going after the two powers at the same Human Rights Council meeting carries risks and challenges, and say the outcome of votes on the issues by the end of the council's session on Oct. 7 is likely to resonate widely.
Women are gathering across Michigan to strategize how to preserve abortion rights in their state. The small, personal conversations are playing out alongside more traditional get-out-the-vote efforts, with major stakes for both abortion rights and the mostly Democratic candidates who support them. Michigan is one of a handful of places where abortion rights will be on the ballot in November, after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June and left the issue to states to decide. A 1931 ban has been on hold since a state court judge’s ruling, but it is no guarantee that the procedure won’t one day be outlawed unless voters approve a state constitutional amendment.
FILE - China's ambassador in Geneva ambassador Chen Xu makes a media statement criticising the U.S. for attacking China's candidate to head a United Nations agency that tracks intellectual property in the digital age, in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 26, 2020. Like rarely before, Western countries are leading a push among the 47 member nations of the U.N.’s top human rights body to single out and scrutinize human rights in China — over allegations of abuses in western Xinjiang — and Russia, where a domestic crackdown on dissent over the Ukraine war has stifled independent media and activist groups. (AP Photo/File)
FILE - Russian ambassador Gennady Gatilov speaks at the opening of the 49th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, Feb. 28, 2022. Like rarely before, Western countries are leading a push among the 47 member nations of the U.N.’s top human rights body to single out and scrutinize human rights in China — over allegations of abuses in western Xinjiang — and Russia, where a domestic crackdown on dissent over the Ukraine war has stifled independent media and activist groups. (Fabrice Coffrini/Keystone via AP, Pool, File)
FILE - Uyghurs and other members of the faithful leave after prayers at the Id Kah Mosque in Kashgar in western China's Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, as seen during a government organized trip for foreign journalists, Monday, April 19, 2021 . Like rarely before, Western countries are leading a push among the 47 member nations of the U.N.’s top human rights body to single out and scrutinize human rights in China — over allegations of abuses in western Xinjiang — and Russia, where a domestic crackdown on dissent over the Ukraine war has stifled independent media and activist groups. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein, File)
Civil rights lawyer John Burris is Northern California's go-to attorney when it comes to police brutality. At age 77, he continues to travel the state to appear with victims big and small to allege violations against law enforcement. Burris helped Rodney King win a $3.8 million jury verdict in 1994 for the brutal beating he received by four LAPD officers. The beating was captured on video and opened mainstream America to what was a common occurrence in Black America. The Oakland attorney marvels at the changes in the public's attitude toward police but says people still need to press for reform.
A father whose 6-year-old daughter was killed in the Sandy Hook school shooting says his family gets hit by another round of abuse whenever conspiracy theorist Alex Jones says something on his show about the massacre. Robbie Parker testified Thursday on the 11th day of Jones' defamation trial in Connecticut. Jones and his company have been found liable for damages to several Sandy Hook families suing Jones for his calling the shooting a hoax. The jury will be deciding how much he should pay them. Parker and other relatives have testified about years of harassment, including in-person confrontations and death and rape threats by hoax believers. The trial continues Tuesday.