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Gun Control, China, Toni Morrison: Your Tuesday Evening Briefing

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Good evening. Here’s the latest.

ImageCreditCalla Kessler/The New York Times

1. Republicans may be coalescing around a gun control measure. But not an assault-weapons ban or background checks.

In the wake of the mass shooting in his state, Ohio’s governor proposed adopting a version of a “red flag” law, allowing the authorities to take firearms from a person deemed dangerous by a court. And House Republicans, under pressure to respond to the weekend’s back-to-back attacks, appear to be embracing a similar federal measure.

If signed into law, it would be the most significant gun safety legislation enacted in 20 years. Here’s how red-flag laws work.

State law in Ohio and Texas allowed the military-style firearms used in the Dayton and El Paso shootings over the weekend. A memorial for victims was set up near the scene of the El Paso shooting, above.


ImageCreditNoah Berger/Associated Press

2. The F.B.I. opened a domestic terrorism investigation into the July 28 mass shooting at a California garlic festival, above.

The 19-year-old gunman, who killed three people before turning the gun on himself, had been exploring “competing” violent ideologies and had a broad “target list,” the bureau said, listing religious institutions, Democratic and Republican political organizations, and federal buildings.

The bureau also said that the Dayton gunman had been exploring “violent ideologies” before the shooting. Here’s the latest on the three attacks and a roundup of readers’ responses.

On Wednesday, President Trump heads to Dayton and El Paso.

From the editors: A print headline in the first edition of Tuesday’s front page about Mr. Trump’s statement addressing the shootings sparked criticism from many readers. Our deputy managing editor Matt Purdy agrees that the first headline failed and offers insight into our editorial process.


ImageCreditChina Stringer Network/Reuters

3. China’s latest trade-war gamble: its own economy.

U.S. stocks recovered after Monday’s plunge, but President Xi Jinping’s decision to let the renminbi weaken past a key level this week highlighted his willingness to toe a hard line even at the risk of serious economic damage. His strategy, which could run up a huge debt load without the growth to justify it, may indicate that he has few cards left to play.

Amid the intensifying trade dispute and a slowing Chinese economy, many private businesses are running low on cash, functioning instead with the financial equivalent of I.O.U.s.


ImageCreditDamon Winter/The New York Times

4. Toni Morrison, the towering novelist of the black experience in America, died at 88.

The first African-American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, Ms. Morrison was the author of 11 novels including “Song of Solomon,” which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1977, and “Beloved,” which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1988.

Her Nobel award cited her novels’ “visionary force and poetic import” that gave “life to an essential aspect of American reality.”

These are some of Ms. Morrison’s best — and most essential — books. Let us know what they meant to you.



5. Here’s a big gulp: Water crises loom for a quarter of humanity.

From India to Iran to Botswana, 17 countries around the world are currently using almost all the water they have, according to new data. By 2030, the number of cities under extremely high water stress is expected to rise to 45 and include nearly 470 million people.

Climate change is a factor. As rainfall becomes more erratic, water supplies become less reliable. And as days grow hotter, more water evaporates from reservoirs just as demand increases.


ImageCreditMauro Pimentel/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

6. And in case you missed it, there was fallout over the deforestation of the Amazon.

President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil fired the head of a government agency that last week revealed a big increase in deforestation in the world’s largest tropical rain forest.

A separate, sad P.S. out of Brazil: Yesterday we told you about a Brazilian gang leader who tried to escape from prison by impersonating his teenage daughter. He was found dead in his prison cell, an apparent suicide.



7. Swiping for a match is starting to add up.

Paid features in the dating app Tinder that increase the odds of finding a match have made it, by one estimate, the top-grossing nongaming app in the world.

The company announced today that it added more than 500,000 subscribers worldwide in the last quarter, for a total of more than five million people paying for subscriptions. (The premium level, Tinder Gold, goes for about $30 a month.)


ImageCreditRyan Dearth for The New York Times

8. “I’m basically in this to turn the conventional meat industry on its head.”

Kate Kavanaugh, above, is part of a small but successful group of former herbivores who became what they call “ethical butchers” in hopes of revolutionizing the American food system. They have opened shops that stress animal well-being, environmental conservation and less wasteful whole-animal butchery.

And what’s the best dessert of summer (so far)? Sam Sifton, our food editor, argues that it just might be poundcake with whipped cream and a small pile of perfect, tart blueberries — the sort that always remind him of “Blueberries for Sal.” Here’s the latest from his Cooking newsletter.


ImageCreditMarco Garcia for The New York Times

9. It’s August, and your briefing writer has beaches on the brain.

So does this week’s Travel section — from a hidden gem in Rhode Island, where you can get that vacation feel in a few spare hours, to something more adventurous like Polihale Beach, 17 miles of water and dunes in Hawaii, above, where there is no potable water and often no people.

And our 52 Places traveler experienced some seaside action in Zadar, on Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast. He was overwhelmed by the crowds of tourists — until he learned to dodge them.


ImageCreditBrett Kuxhausen/Gorongosa Media

10. And finally, good news!

Last summer, a pioneer pack of 14 African wild dogs was released back into Mozambique’s Gorongosa National Park as part of an ambitious wildlife restoration effort.

The alpha female gave birth in late April to 11 pups, and, unusually, more litters in the pack followed. Now there are 50 dogs, and the newest members are thriving.

Researchers see in Gorongosa the chance to track the recovery of a complex ecosystem destroyed by Mozambique’s civil war. One wildlife expert described the park as “wild dog heaven.”

Have a restorative night.

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