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‘America is killing itself’: world reacts with horror and incomprehension to Texas shooting

The international press responds scathingly to the tolerance for gun violence in the US: ‘nothing fundamentally changes’

Politicians and media around the world have reacted with horror, incomprehension and weary resignation to news that an 18-year-old gunman had murdered 19 children and two teachers in America’s 27th school shooting so far this year.

The politicians mostly observed formalities; commentators, not so much.
In devastated Ukraine, President Volodymyr Zelenskiy said he was “deeply saddened by the murder of innocent children”, adding that his people “share the pain of the relatives and friends of the victims, and of all Americans”.

France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, described the massacre as “cowardly” and said the French shared Americans’ “shock and grief – and the rage of those who are fighting to end the violence”. Pope Francis said he was “heartbroken”.

In London, the British prime minister, Boris Johnson, said the country’s “thoughts are with all those affected by this horrific attack”, while the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, said she was “horrified by the news”. Her thoughts were “with the people of Texas”.

The press, however, did not mince words.

“There’s carnage in a US school, relatives’ endless distress, a grave presidential speech – then nothing, till the next one,” said Le Monde in a savage editorial. “If there is still an American exceptionalism, it is to tolerate its schools being regularly transformed into shooting ranges, sticky with blood.”

Neither the Uvalde killer, nor the gunman who took 10 lives in Buffalo, nor the one who killed one and wounded five in a California church faced “any legal safeguards that might have complicated access to the firearms they used”, the French daily said.

“America is killing itself, and the Republican party is looking elsewhere. The defence of the second amendment, in its most absolutist sense, is now a quasi-sacred duty, escaping all questioning. Always more weapons: that is Republicans’ only credo.”

Americans, Le Monde said, “bought nearly 20 million firearms in 2021, the second highest sales in history. They also experienced more than 20,000 firearms deaths, not counting suicides. Yet Republicans are plainly unable to establish a causal link.”

In the Netherlands, NRC Handelsblad made much the same points. It has become, the paper said, “a ritual, to which America is more accustomed than any other nation”: a governor urging togetherness, a president quoting the Bible, politicians accusing each other of politicising, “and the countdown to the next one begins”.

Regardless of “generous donations” from the NRA gun lobby, the paper said, “the right to bear arms has solidified and hardened into dogma in a polarised American society” – and with a six-to-three conservative majority on the supreme court, it was a right that might be extended rather than restricted.

Germany’s Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) noted that this year would mark the 10th anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre, when “the American nation came together in its shock for a historic moment”. Sadly, it did not change anything.

Now, the paper said, “another gunman has bought, apparently legally, two semi-automatic rifles and used them to murder 19 children and two adults shortly after his 18th birthday – three years before he was allowed to drink beer”.

It is not just “a coalition of gun enthusiasts, gun sellers and fearful citizens, welded together by the NRA, that stands in the way of regulation”, the paper said.

“The real stroke of genius was to reinterpret the second amendment right as the only true badge of constitutional loyalty and a requirement for preserving the American way of life. In America, in 2022, the fact that 19 pupils were murdered by a heavily armed 18-year-old two days before the summer holidays will not change anything.”

The Suddeutsche Zeitung said it “probably takes numbers to grasp, if only faintly, what nobody will ever be able to actually understand”: this was Americas 215th firearms incident this year in which at least four people were killed or injured. Last year, there were 693. Since 2013, 2,858 children had been killed or injured.

Spain’s El País had an equally weary analysis. “Mass shootings are such an essential part of US life they have their own rules,” wrote its correspondent, Iker Seisdedos. And each one prompts “an artificial reopening of the debate on gun control”.

The US has 4% of the world’s population, but almost half the pistols and rifles registered on the planet, he said: “It’s a recurring drama, to which America’s lawmakers seem unwilling to put an end – even though they could.”

The most personal response was from Steffen Kretz, a US correspondent for Danish public radio DR. Hours after the latest tragedy, he said, he got a letter from the school his seven-year-old daughter attends promising special help for pupils on Wednesday.

“Only in the US,” write Kretz, “does a seven-year-old attend school to learn about school shootings. Only in the US do children who only just learned to ride a bike have to practise hiding under school desks in case a bad man with a gun comes.”

Every time “a maniac enters a school and spreads death and destruction in a place that should be safe and secure”, he wrote, “the same debate begins. And so far it has led only led to the same result: nothing fundamentally changes.”

The sheer number of weapons in the US, and the power of the NRA, mean this will “probably continue. America’s love-hate relationship with firearms has become an example of how money and lobby groups have corrupted the political system.”So when Kretz’s daughter meets her friends on Wednesday, they will have to process the fact that the 19 Texas victims were “children their age, whose only fault was to be at school that day. There will be a debate, with arguments everyone knows. Next week, the focus will be elsewhere. Until it happens again.”

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US women’s basketball dominates on international stage – KRQE News 13

KRQE NEWS 13 – Breaking News, Albuquerque News, New Mexico News, Weather, and Videos
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by: DOUG FEINBERG, Associated Press
Posted: Oct 1, 2022 / 12:54 PM MDT
Updated: Oct 1, 2022 / 01:04 PM MDT
by: DOUG FEINBERG, Associated Press
Posted: Oct 1, 2022 / 12:54 PM MDT
Updated: Oct 1, 2022 / 01:04 PM MDT
SYDNEY (AP) — A’ja Wilson and Breanna Stewart are keenly aware of the legacy of success they are part of with the U.S. women’s basketball team.
They don’t plan on letting the incredible run end any time soon.
“I don’t think we’re showing signs of stopping, that’s for sure,” Stewart said. “We have a lot of people are entering their prime or are in their prime.”
Wilson and Stewart helped the U.S. to a fourth consecutive World Cup championship Saturday with an 83-61 win over China, setting a record margin for a gold-medal game.
“Everyone knows that when you come here, when you wear USA across your chest the (pressure) that comes with it,” Stewart said. “It’s just embracing that. All the legends before us and what they’ve done, how they’ve won. Each team is different and we need to make our imprint on history.”
This team left its mark on the World Cup as one of the most dominant teams in the Americans’ storied history, winning four straight gold medals and 30 games in a row in the tournament. Next up for this group is the 2024 Olympics in Paris. The Americans will be trying for an eighth consecutive gold medal there.
“This is something that’s special to us. It’s not lost on us what’s been done since 1996. I hear about it all the time,” U.S. coach Cheryl Reeve said. “What I wanted to do is make sure this journey was fun. Because I think there’s some times when you have pressure to win or the perceived pressure, it takes the enjoyment out of it.”
What started with Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi has now been passed down to Wilson and Stewart. With Alyssa Thomas the oldest player at 30, the domination could continue for years to come.
“It’s been an incredible journey just to continue to lay that foundation down like so many of the greats in front of us have,” Wilson said. “Now it’s our turn to step up and be in that situation.”
The U.S. (8-0) finished the World Cup averaging 98.8 points — just short of the mark held by the 1994 team that averaged 99.1. They won by an average of 40.8 points, topping the amount by the 2010 team.
“Maybe around the world they kind of looked at it and said, ‘Hey now’s the time to get the USA,’” Reeve said. “I think what we showed is that our league, the WNBA and professional basketball players in the United States are really, really good.”
As they’ve done all tournament, the Americans did it on both ends of the court, playing stellar defense as well as using a high-powered offense.
The game was a sellout with nearly 16,000 fans — the biggest crowd to attend a women’s World Cup game since the inaugural tournament in 1953 in Chile.
“You can’t say people don’t support women’s basketball,” Stewart said of the crowd. “If you look at all these people in this arena tonight. There was a lot of people cheering for us and against us, but they’re here watching women’s basketball.”
While the U.S. will be the heavy favorite to win the gold in Paris, there are new teams emerging. China won its first medal since the 1994 World Cup, and Canada reached the medal round for the first-time since 1986.
“I think every team will learn from this experience. You gain a lot of knowledge in the World Cup,” Reeve said.
___
More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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New York Liberty, WNBA players populate World Cup rosters – The Associated Press – en Español

SYDNEY (AP) — New York has long been known as a melting pot, a city of diversity.
That moniker also works for the city’s WNBA franchise, the New York Liberty, which has seven players competing in the women’s World Cup for five different countries.
Overall, there are 27 players in Sydney who competed this season in the WNBA, plus a few others like Lauren Jackson, who either played in the past or were drafted but haven’t competed in the league yet.
Before the U.S.-China game, Betnijah Laney and Han Xu exchanged a hug. The two Liberty players are on opposite teams a few weeks after their WNBA season ended with a playoff loss to Chicago in the opening round.
“That’s one of my favorite parts about the New York team, we are so international and we’ve got such great talent from all over the world,” Australian Sami Whitcomb said. “I think that represents our fan base as well. It’s really amazing to come here and still get to see your teammates.”
Laney and Sabrina Ionescu are with the U.S. Han is playing for China. Bec Allen and Whitcomb are with Australia along with New York coach Sandy Brondello and her husband Olaf Lange, who lead the host nation. Draftee Sika Kone is on Mali and fellow draftee Marine Fauthoux plays for France.
“It’s really cool to have teammates here and compete against each other. It’s a great experience for all of us,” Laney said. “It’s definitely something that’s pretty cool to have the diversity and to come together. It does extend to our fan base.”
Whitcomb said that the Liberty players talked about the potential of them all coming to Sydney for the World Cup.
“How fun it would be to have so many of us over here and we were all going to see each other,” she said. “We didn’t know how many people would make the teams, so it’s amazing.”
All the teams are staying in the same hotel near the arena. Whitcomb said the Liberty teammates have been getting coffee with each other in between games.
“It just goes to show we’re very international that’s for sure,” Brondello said. “To get two players on the USA team that’s always hard to break into but I’m proud of those two. They’ve worked so hard to get there and you know the Aussies go without saying but Han is doing a great job as well.”
There’d be an eighth Liberty player in the tournament, but Marine Johannes got hurt right before it began.
New York isn’t the only WNBA team well represented in Sydney: Seattle has five active players as well as Jackson. The Storm’s coach, Noelle Quinn, is an assistant with Canada. The Chicago Sky and Las Vegas Aces have four players each.
The players all also share a common dining room for meals, giving them chances to interact off the court.
“I’m happy to see my teammates playing in the World Cup,” Han said. “Before I only had two teammates but now I have a lot of them on different teams and it’s nice to see them around.”
___
More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Zelenskyy calls Russia a state sponsor of terrorism; Biden calls on U.N. to stand with Ukraine – CNBC

Zelenskyy calls Russia a state sponsor of terrorism; Biden calls on U.N. to stand with Ukraine  CNBC
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