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Monday Morning Briefing: El Paso lands in heart of debates over gun violence and immigration

U.S.

Two mass shootings that killed 29 people in Texas and Ohio reverberated across the political arena, with some Democratic presidential candidates accusing President Donald Trump of stoking racial divisions while he said “hate has no place in our country.” The two mass shootings within 13 hours of each other left 20 people dead in Texas and killed nine people in Ohio, carnage that shocked a country that has become grimly accustomed to mass shootings and heightened concerns about domestic terrorism. Here are some of the bloodiest and most notable U.S. mass shootings in recent decades, ranked by death toll. This is not a complete list of all major U.S. mass shootings.

Saturday’s massacre in El Paso has landed the mostly peaceful and heavily Hispanic city of about 684,000 at the intersection of two of the nation’s most politically volatile issues: immigration and gun violence. U.S. authorities investigating what drove a young man from the Dallas area to kill 20 people at a Walmart store hundreds of miles away in the border city of El Paso said they are treating it as a case of domestic terrorism. Mexico’s attorney general is considering litigation alleging that the mass shooting in El Paso, in which seven Mexicans were among the 20 people killed, was terrorism, the country’s foreign minister said.

World

Hong Kong police fired tear gas at protesters as a general strike plunged the Asian financial hub into fresh chaos, paralyzing transport and bringing the city to an unprecedented standstill for much of the morning. As some train and bus services resumed, tens of thousands of demonstrators fanned out across several districts, where protests again degenerated into running clashes with riot police. Police said they have arrested 420 people since June 9.

India revoked the special status of Kashmir in a bid to fully integrate its only Muslim-majority region with the rest of the country, the most far-reaching political move on the troubled Himalayan territory in nearly seven decades. Pakistan said it “strongly condemns” India’s decision to revoke the special status for its portion of the Kashmir region claimed by both countries. The scenic mountain region is divided between India, which rules the populous Kashmir Valley and the Hindu-dominated region around Jammu city, Pakistan, which controls a wedge of territory in the west, and China, which holds a thinly populated high-altitude area in the north. Here are some facts about the region and the constitutional change.

Scottish voters would back independence and they want another referendum in the next two years, a poll showed, indicating that the UK could be wrenched apart shortly after it leaves the EU. Asked how they would vote in an independence referendum, 46% of the 1,019 surveyed Scottish voters said they would vote for independence and 43% said they would vote against, according to a poll by Michael Ashcroft, a Conservative who opposed Boris Johnson’s successful bid to be prime minister.

Tech

A new locally-developed app helps Palestinian drivers in the occupied West Bank negotiate traffic at Israeli military checkpoints and uncover routes to towns mainstream providers often miss. Launched in June and designed by Palestinians, Doroob Navigator crowd-sources road closures and traffic data from users. It aims to supplant apps like Google Maps and Waze, which rarely account for Israeli restrictions and struggle to navigate between Palestinian cities.

Israeli army in no rush to go fully robotic. Israel, a world leader in hi-tech, is around 30 years away from its ambition of deploying robot forces, and for now will chose between three prototypes of semi-automated armored vehicles to cocoon its troops in battle, defense officials said. Israel has long eyed a future robot army as a means of reducing the use of soldiers on its combustible fronts with Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, just as its air force has increasingly relied on pilotless drones.

'Battle Mode' Huawei sees China smartphone sales surge. When 23-year-old Chinese student Aaron Huang started his hunt for an Android replacement for his Apple iPhone in April this year, it was clear which brand was trying hardest to win him over. Promotional campaigns by Huawei and from local retailers supporting the brand were everywhere, said Huang, adding he was influenced by domestic media coverage that portrayed the United States as unfairly targeting the Chinese tech giant in its trade war. “I felt like I should choose Huawei,” he said.

There’s a sense of panic within Japan Inc and the government - the world’s No. 3 economy doesn’t have enough experts in artificial intelligence and it’s time to do something about it. SoftBank Group CEO Masayoshi Son last month bemoaned the state of play, calling Japan a ‘developing country’ in the most important current tech revolution. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in June unveiled a plan to train 250,000 people in AI skills annually by 2025, albeit one criticized as unrealistic due to a shortage of teachers. Tech heavyweights like Sony are hiking pay for the right hires and boosting recruitment of foreign engineers.

Business

HSBC axes CEO Flint in shock shift to speed up strategy

HSBC ousted John Flint as chief executive after just 18 months in a shock move the chairman of Europe’s biggest bank said was needed to speed up progress on priority areas such as the turnaround of its U.S. business.

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Trade friction hits stocks, yuan slumps to lowest in over a decade

Global stocks fell for a sixth day as an escalation of trade tensions between the United States and China spooked markets and the yuan fell to its lowest levels in over a decade.

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Japanese car sales slump in South Korea as diplomatic row worsens

Sales of Japanese-branded autos in South Korea slumped in July amid a worsening diplomatic row between the two countries that has led to consumer boycotts and efforts by Seoul to cut the economy’s reliance on imports from Japan.

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