Good Morning. We’re covering a mass shooting near Chicago, Russia’s new strategy in eastern Ukraine and the trial of a mysterious Chinese tycoon.
A mass shooting near Chicago
At least six people have been killed in a mass shooting at an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Ill., on an affluent, mostly white suburb north of Chicago. The police said at least two dozen more people were injured yesterday. Here are live updates on the shooting.
Police officers recovered a gun and are searching for a suspect. A perimeter was put in place around the downtown area. The police said the gunman had used a rifle and shot from a rooftop.
“By all means, at this point, this appears to be completely random,” a top law enforcement official said.
Context: Top Biden administration officials are concerned with the stubborn, postpandemic rise in violent crime. Both Republicans and some leading Democrats, like Mayor Eric Adams of New York City, are embracing a law-and-order approach before the midterm elections.
Background: Warm weather typically signals an onslaught of violence. In recent years, holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July have proved deadly. Here are live updates from the holiday.
Russia gains in Ukraine’s east
Moscow now controls large parts of Ukraine’s Donbas region. Russia’s victories in the strategic cities of Sievierodonetsk and Lysychansk gave it complete control over Luhansk, the first province to fall to Moscow since it took over Crimea in 2014.
The development is a key victory in Russia’s reframed strategy after its stinging defeat around Kyiv, the capital, in the spring. It also demonstrates the success of Moscow’s grinding strategy based upon incremental advances with an overwhelming amount of backing — often in the form of artillery.
Better Understand the Russia-Ukraine War
Among Ukrainians, a creeping sense of resignation is mounting. But as Russia turns its focus farther inside Ukraine, it is unclear how long its forces can sustain the taxing assault. Here are live updates.
Details: Ukrainian soldiers say that Russian shelling lasts for about five days before Russian forces begin testing Ukrainian lines with foot soldiers and tanks.
Support: US veterans are training Ukrainians near the front lines, despite warnings from the Pentagon.
dissent: A flurry of high-profile arrests in Russia suggests the Kremlin is further silencing opposition voices.
A Chinese billionaire on trial
Five years ago, the tycoon Xiao Jianhua mysteriously disappeared from a luxury hotel in Hong Kong.
Now, Xiao, a Chinese Canadian billionaire, has been put on trial. The Chinese authorities have not released details of the charges against Xiao, once a trusted financier to Beijing’s political elite. Over time, Xiao built a fortune worth as much as $5.8 billion, thanks in part to his high-level political connections.
For years, there was no official word about his whereabouts. The secrecy surrounding Xiao’s case may be related in part to the sensitivity of the information he probably holds.
July 4, 2022, 4:00 pm ET
Analysis: Xiao’s case epitomizes the ruling Communist Party’s efforts to rein in an earlier era of freewheeling capitalism and crack down on the debt-fueled excess that drove China’s recent economic growth.
Background: At one point Xiao owns stakes in more than 30 Chinese financial institutions. But Tomorrow Group, the holding company behind Xiao’s sprawling business empire, eventually became so big that it threatened the stability of China’s financial system.
Context: Xi Jinping’s campaign against corruption has targeted other tycoons. Lai Xiaomin, the former chairman of a financial firm, was executed last year. Xi also sought to rein in the country’s powerful tech titans, including Jack Ma, the charismatic founder of the e-commerce firm Alibaba.
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The photographer Tanveer Badal traveled with a renowned Egyptologist to the pyramids of Giza. Unexpectedly, it rained. The photos are stunning.
New York City bounces back
My colleague Dodai Stewart spent five days traveling to each of New York City’s five boroughs. Everywhere she went, she wondered: What’s the vibe right now?
“Even though the coronavirus pulled the emergency brake and forced the city to a screeching halt, New York soon lurched right back into motion,” Dodai writes. Optimism is in the air.
“It feels like everybody is trying to rush and do things for ‘just in case,'” said Yolanda Hopson, a 55-year-old Bronx resident sitting serenely on her shaded stoop. “Everybody is living on ‘just in case’ now.”