December 3, 2023

good morning. We cover a mass shooting near Chicago, Russia’s new strategy in eastern Ukraine and the trial of a mysterious Chinese businessman.

At least six people were killed in a mass shooting on an Independence Day parade in Highland Park, Illinois, an affluent mostly white suburb north of Chicago. Police said at least twenty people were injured yesterday. Below are live updates on the shooting.

Police officers found a pistol and are looking for a suspect. A perimeter has been laid out around the downtown area. Police said the gunman used a rifle and fired from a rooftop.

“By all means, at this point, this appears to be completely random,” a senior law enforcement official said.

context: Senior Biden administration officials are concerned about the stubborn rise in violent crime in the post-pandemic era. Both Republicans and some prominent Democrats, such as New York City Mayor Eric Adams, are adopting a law and order approach ahead of the midterm elections.

background: Hot weather usually indicates an onslaught of violence. In recent years, holidays like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July have proven deadly. Here are live updates from the holiday.

Moscow now controls large parts of Ukraine’s Donbass region. Russia’s victories in the strategic cities of Severodonetsk and Lychansk gave it complete control of Luhansk, the first province to fall to Moscow since it seized Crimea in 2014.

This development is a major victory in Russia’s reconstituted strategy after its acrimonious defeat around the capital, Kyiv, in the spring. It also illustrates the success of Moscow’s milling strategy of incremental advances with an enormous amount of support – often in the form of artillery.

A creeping feeling of resignation is rising among Ukrainians. But with Russia shifting its focus further inside Ukraine, it is unclear how long its forces can continue the tax offensive. Here are live updates.

details: Ukrainian soldiers say the Russian bombardment lasted about five days before Russian forces began testing Ukrainian lines with foot soldiers and tanks.

the support: American veterans are training Ukrainians near the front lines, despite warnings from the Pentagon.

opposition: The high-profile wave of arrests in Russia suggests that the Kremlin is working to further silence dissent.

Five years ago, billionaire Xiao Jianhua mysteriously disappeared from a luxury hotel in Hong Kong.

Now, Xiao, a Canadian-Chinese billionaire, has been put on trial. Chinese authorities have not released details of the charges against Xiao, who was once a trusted financier of Beijing’s political elite. Over time, Xiao has amassed a fortune amounting to $5.8 billion, thanks in part to his high-ranking political connections.

For years, there was no official news about his whereabouts. The secrecy surrounding Xiao’s case may be partly related to the sensitivity of the information he might have.

Analytics: The Xiao case epitomizes the ruling Communist Party’s efforts to rein in an earlier era of liberal capitalism and crack down on the debt-fueled excess debt that drove China’s recent economic growth.

background: at one point, Xiao has stakes in more than 30 Chinese financial institutions. But Tomorrow Group, the holding company behind Xiao’s sprawling business empire, eventually became so large that it threatened the stability of China’s financial system.

context: Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign targeted other emperors. Lai Xiaomin, the former head of a financial company, was executed last year. Xi has also sought to rein in the country’s powerful tech giants, including Jack Ma, the charismatic founder of e-commerce company Alibaba.

Photographer Tanweer Badal traveled with a famous Egyptologist to the Pyramids of Giza. It rained unexpectedly. The pictures are amazing.

My colleague Doday Stewart spent five days traveling in each of the five boroughs of New York City. Wherever I went, I wondered: What’s the weather like now?

“Although the coronavirus put the emergency brakes on hold and forced the city to a screeching halt, New York quickly got back in motion,” Doday wrote. Optimism in the air.

“It feels like everyone is trying to rush and do things for ‘just in case,'” said Yolanda Hobson, a 55-year-old Bronx resident sitting quietly on the shaded slope.

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