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Trump survives assassination attempt at campaign rally after major security lapse

In the moments after the shooting, Trump was swarmed and covered up by his security agents. He quickly emerged from the scrum, his face streaked with blood, and pumped his fist in the air, mouthing the words "Fight! F

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Butler: Donald Trump was shot in the ear in an attempted assassination during a campaign rally on Saturday, an attack that will likely reshape this year’s U.S. presidential race while raising sharp questions about security provided to the Republican candidate.

In the moments after the shooting, Trump was swarmed and covered up by his security agents. He quickly emerged from the scrum, his face streaked with blood, and pumped his fist in the air, mouthing the words "Fight! Fight! Fight!"

The Trump campaign later said he was "doing well" and appeared to have suffered no major injury besides a wound on his upper right ear.

Early on Sunday the FBI identified 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks of Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, as the "subject involved" in what it termed an attempted assassination. He was a registered Republican, according to state voter records.

The suspect was shot dead by Secret Service agents, the agency said, after he opened fire from the roof of a building about 140 metres from the stage where Trump was speaking. An AR-15-style semiautomatic rifle was recovered near his body.

One person who attended the rally was killed and two other spectators were critically wounded, the Secret Service said.

Law enforcement officials told reporters they had not yet identified a motive for the attack.

Trump, 78, had just started his speech when the shots rang out. He grabbed his right ear with his right hand, then brought his hand down to look at it before dropping to his knees behind the podium before Secret Service agents covered him.

He emerged about a minute later, his red "Make America Great Again" hat knocked off. He could be heard saying "wait, wait," before pumping his fist in the air. Agents then rushed him to a black SUV.

"I was shot with a bullet that pierced the upper part of my right ear," Trump said later on his Truth Social platform following the shooting in Butler, Pennsylvania, about 30 miles (50 km) north of Pittsburgh. "Much bleeding took place."

Trump left the Butler area under Secret Service protection and later arrived at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

The attack was the first shooting of a U.S. president or major party candidate since the 1981 attempted assassination of Republican President Ronald Reagan.

It raised immediate questions about security failures by the Secret Service, which provides former presidents including Trump with lifetime protection. The FBI said it had taken the lead in investigating the attack.

The shooting occurred less than four months before the Nov. 5 election, when Trump faces an election rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden. Most opinion polls including those by Reuters/Ipsos show the two locked in a close contest.

Investors said that the attack and Trump's defiant response would likely increase his chances of winning back the White House, and trades betting on his victory will increase this coming week.

Trump is due to receive his party's formal nomination at the Republican National Convention, which kicks off in Milwaukee on Monday.

FOUR SHOTS AND THE CROWD DUCKS

Ron Moose, a Trump supporter at the rally, said he heard about four shots. "I saw the crowd go down and then Trump ducked, also real quick," he said. "Then the Secret Service all jumped and protected him as soon as they could. We are talking within a second they were all protecting him."

The BBC interviewed a man who said he saw a man armed with a rifle crawling up a roof near the event. The self-described eyewitness, who the BBC did not identify, said he and the people he was with started pointing at the man, trying to alert security.

The shots appeared to come from outside the area secured by the Secret Service, the agency said.

At a briefing late on Saturday, FBI officials told reporters it was surprising that the suspect was able to fire multiple shots. The Secret Service did not have a representative at that briefing.

Hours after the attack, the Oversight Committee in the Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives summoned U.S. Secret Service Director Kimberly Cheatle to testify at a hearing scheduled for July 22.

"Americans demand answers about the assassination attempt of President Trump," the panel said in a statement on social media.

Trump supporters blasted the Secret Service.

"How was a sniper with a full rifle kit allowed to bear crawl onto the closest roof to a presidential nominee," asked conservative activist Jack Posobiec on social media site X.

REPUBLICANS, DEMOCRATS DECRY VIOLENCE

Leading Republicans and Democrats quickly condemned the violence, as did foreign leaders.

"There’s no place for this kind of violence in America. We must unite as one nation to condemn it," Biden said in a statement.

Biden's campaign was pausing its television ads and halting all other outbound communication, a campaign official said.

The attack heightened longstanding worries that political violence could erupt during the presidential campaign and after the election. The concerns in part reflect the electorate's polarization, with the country appearing bitterly divided into two camps with divergent political and social visions.

"This horrific act of political violence at a peaceful campaign rally has no place in this country and should be unanimously and forcefully condemned," Republican House Speaker Mike Johnson said on social media.

Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said he was horrified by what happened and was relieved Trump was safe. "Political violence has no place in our country," he said.

Americans fear rising political violence, recent Reuters/Ipsos polling shows, with two out of three respondents to a May survey saying they worried violence could follow the election.

Some of Trump's Republican allies said they believed the attack was politically motivated.

"For weeks Democrat leaders have been fueling ludicrous hysteria that Donald Trump winning re-election would be the end of democracy in America," said U.S. Representative Steve Scalise, the No. 2 House Republican, who survived a politically motivated shooting in 2017.

"Clearly we’ve seen far left lunatics act on violent rhetoric in the past. This incendiary rhetoric must stop."

Trump, who served as president from 2017-2021, easily bested his rivals for the Republican nomination early in the campaign. He unified his party around him after its support wavered briefly when his supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, attempting to overturn his 2020 election defeat.

The businessman and former reality television star entered the year facing a raft of legal worries, including four separate criminal prosecutions.

He was found guilty in late May of trying to cover up hush money payments to a porn star. But the other three prosecutions he faces -- including two for his attempts to overturn his defeat -- have been ground to a halt by various factors, including a Supreme Court decision early this month that found him to be partly immune to prosecution.

Trump contends, without giving evidence, that all four prosecutions have been orchestrated by Biden to try to prevent him from returning to power.

Get weekly news and analysis on the U.S. elections and how it matters to the world with the newsletter On the Campaign Trail. Sign up here.

Courtesy: Reuters

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No, a smartphone won’t turn your child into a zombie

If you weren’t astutely aware already: Kids live in the same tech-dominated, phone-addled world that the rest of us do. Babies as young as 6 months old spend over an hour a day in front of screens. The average tween gets their first phone before they turn 12.…

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If you weren’t astutely aware already: Kids live in the same tech-dominated, phone-addled world that the rest of us do. Babies as young as 6 months old spend over an hour a day in front of screens. The average tween gets their first phone before they turn 12. Recently, the US Surgeon General went so far as to call for warning labels on social media platforms to inform parents about the apps’ mental health impacts on young people. Deciding how to introduce children to tech and the kinds of boundaries to draw around their use is no longer a matter of if but when. The available research on smartphones’ effects on children is somewhat mixed, which can make it confusing for parents trying to make decisions when it comes to their kids’ tech exposure. Studies show when 1-year-olds spend more than four hours a day looking at screens, they have developmental delays and issues with communication, fine motor skills, and problem-solving at ages 2 and 4 (although only 4 percent of the study’s participants were exposed to more than four hours of screen time a day). As little as one hour on mobile devices has been linked to behavioral issues and inability to pay attention, according to a study among Japanese first graders. Constant use of devices prevents children from getting bored and letting their young minds wander. Frequent internet use can impede a child’s ability to create interpersonal relationships. In his new book The Anxious Generation: How the Great Rewiring of Childhood Is Causing an Epidemic of Mental Illness, social psychologist Jonathan Haidt argues that a “phone-based childhood” is to blame for negative mental health outcomes in kids. These findings about negative impacts may be alarming, but they don’t present the entire picture. A May 2023 advisory from the American Psychological Association, reviewing the available evidence to date, found that “using social media is not inherently beneficial or harmful to young people.” In fact, there may be a silver lining: Rather than completely sequester and alienate young users, technology use can actually help adolescents form social connections and explore their identities. Still, experts say children should have limits and rules when it comes to their tech use. There are no clear, one-size-fits-all answers about when kids should be given their first phones or the amount of monitoring they need as they grow older. Parents will need to make decisions based on their values, judgment, and priorities. Ask yourself — and your kids — why they need a phone When it comes time to decide whether to give your child their own phone, it’s important to interrogate the reason why. If that reason is to assuage your own anxiety, it’s worth reconsidering, says Emily Cherkin, founder of the Screentime Consultant and author of The Screentime Solution: A Judgment-Free Guide to Becoming a Tech-Intentional Family. Many parents mean well; they want to know where their children are or be able to get in touch in case of an emergency. But they are far more likely to encounter other dangers on smartphones. “The work that parents have to do is to dial down our anxiety about what I call the scary, but not the dangerous,” Cherkin says. “What’s scary is kidnapping, but it’s not dangerous. It’s so, so, so unlikely. Dangerous is youth mental health and bullying.” If your “why” is truly communication-related, Cherkin suggests giving your kid a flip phone. When kids are old enough to start clamoring for their own device, it’s worth hearing them out, says Linda Charmaraman, a senior research scientist and founder and director of the Youth, Media, and Wellbeing Research Lab at Wellesley Centers for Women at Wellesley College. They could have any range of answers that touch on peer pressure, a desire to connect with friends, or an interest in learning more about their interests. But you also have to weigh those considerations against how tech fits in with your family’s values, Cherkin says. Pick two or three of your most important values — respectfulness, responsibility, or honesty, for example — and create a screen time boundary that corresponds. “If you value togetherness and communication, and everyone has a phone in their hand at the dinner table, that’s not in alignment with your value,” Cherkin says. Cherkin has found families who have strong communication, trust, and familial relationships are more likely to find a screen time balance that works for them, rather than those who impose hard and fast time limits. At the same time, it’s reasonable to set rules based on values, such as no phones at dinner time (so everyone can catch up) and at bedtime (because you want your kids to get a good night’s sleep). Crucially, parents must also follow these rules, too. “Children hate hypocrisy,” Cherkin says. “They can smell that out. Then it’s a lot harder to get their buy-in because it’s like, ‘Well, you’ve told me not to do this.’” If you can’t commit to completely separating from your phone at night, for instance, make sure to put it on a table on the other side of the room or just outside your bedroom door. Make a smartphone contract While some parenting movements — like Wait Until 8th — suggest waiting until the end of eighth grade to give a child a smartphone, experts suggest using your best judgment based on your child’s personality and those aforementioned family values. Experts say that children under 13 should not have access to social media. In a study of youth social media use, Charmaraman found teens aged 13 and up were more responsible, less secretive, and engaged in less cyberbullying than users under 10 years old. Sheryl Ziegler, a licensed clinical child psychologist, also suggests adjusting any privacy or security settings before you hand over a smartphone. Go to the parental controls setting on the device (Apple has many built-in features on its products) and any apps. (For example, Snapchat’s Family Center allows parents to see who their kids are chatting with.) Turn off all notifications to avoid distraction during homework or a movie. Download only the apps you permit them to use. If they want to download any additional apps, they need to ask permission first, Ziegler says. It’s also essential to establish clear-cut rules before your child gets their own device. Ziegler suggests modifying the template created by Common Sense Media — a nonprofit focused on media and technology safety for children — to your family’s needs. You and your child should be in agreement on privacy and safety, the amount of time they’re allowed to spend on the device (including during the summer), and pledge to consistently communicate about what they’re doing on the device. These rules can be applied even when kids start using family devices, Ziegler says. There is no hard and fast rule for how much time kids should spend on their devices. If they have school-issued laptops and they prefer to study on their iPads, that means they spend most of their waking hours looking at a screen. Take stock of how long kids are spending in front of a device versus other activities, like hanging out with friends, homework, or extracurriculars. “The younger the child,” Cherkin says, “the lower we want that number” on screens. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends children under 2 years old have no screen time (other than video chatting with a relative) and children between the ages of 2 and 5 be limited to one hour of quality children’s programming. Ziegler recommends children ages 6 to 12 get no more than two hours a day of screen time. Parents will need to monitor the quality of that time, too: Watching a movie with the family is different from scrolling TikTok for two hours straight. Keep certain rooms and times of day phone-free. Experts agree children should not have phones in their bedrooms overnight. Devorah Heitner, author of Growing Up in Public: Coming of Age in the Digital World, suggests keeping phones away before they go to school and during homework time, too. You might also suggest they go phone-free while hanging out with friends and family. Be transparent with your kids about why you’re making the contract, Ziegler says. “I like to tell kids the reason why I’m going to be doing that is it’s going to be really hard for you to [turn the device off] because it’s so fun and these things were created to keep you on here as long as possible,” she says. There should be an understanding that you don’t expect your kids to be perfect and that they will mess up. Remind them that you don’t want to bust them for doing something wrong, but you’ll be there to help them navigate sticky situations. This way they’ll feel comfortable coming to you if they said something rude in a text that got back to another student, for instance. When they inevitably sneak out of their room in the middle of the night and grab their phone, don’t let anger take over. Ziegler suggests saying, “I get it, you really wanted to get back on the group chat. This is a sign to me, and to you, that we need to take a break. We’re going to give it a rest all day tomorrow.” Keep having conversations about safety, privacy, and online behavior Whether or not your child has their own phone, it’s important to get deeply familiar with how they’re browsing the internet and engaging with social media, Heitner says. Ask your kids what games and programs they use at school and on shared devices at home. This can range from Roblox to Google Docs. Take time to watch videos from your child’s favorite influencer, Heitner suggests, to determine whether their content is trustworthy and appropriate. Ask your child to explain how, say, Discord works or to show you a funny video on TikTok so you can see how your kids are spending their time on various platforms. “These are ways into having conversations with kids about what they’re seeing,” Heitner says. You might observe how negative the comments section is on a particular YouTube video. You could ask your kid, “How does it make you feel to see that? What would you do if somebody made a comment like that to you?” Another way to have conversations around the dangers of certain apps includes reading the terms and conditions, Cherkin says. As tedious as it may seem, reading through them with your kids can illustrate how the platform handles their data. You could say, “It says here in the Snapchat agreement that they actually don’t guarantee that your snap is deleted if you say you’ve deleted it. They’re essentially tricking you.” “I would say as young as 4, you could talk about the trickiness of tech,” Cherkin says. Discussions around online privacy and safety should be ongoing. You can start at the most straightforward tips — don’t share passwords or personal information online, for example — and progress to more difficult topics. Ask your children how they communicate with friends online. “If I call [someone] a loser with 60 exclamation points [online], I just called my friend a loser with 60 exclamation points,” Heitner says. “That's going to have an impact on our relationship even though they’re not in the room with me ... It's really important to lean into teaching kids that we're all human beings behind these screens, and we want to act like nice people, and if someone isn't being nice, we have the freedom to leave and to not pursue further interactions.” If your adolescents are going to be on apps like Instagram and TikTok, make sure they know not to post images of other people without their consent, Charmaraman says. Teach your kids strategies if they start to feel distress online. Can they change the subject in the group chat if things get really negative? If things get too upsetting, could they leave it entirely? Encourage your kids to reach out to you if any of their peers or people they chat with online mention bullying or self-harm, Heitner says. Help them anticipate inevitable feelings of exclusion or social comparison, Heitner continues. Explain that they will see friends hanging out without them and what they can do to feel better: Get off their phone, watch Netflix, walk the dog, ask their neighbor to hang out. Research shows the closer a parent is with their child, the less likely they’ll have problematic internet use. Rather than interrogating kids about what they’re doing on their phones, you might ask, “Is there anything interesting or surprising that’s come up on your phone lately?” or “I heard from so-and-so’s parents about this wild video going around. What’s your take on that?” How to think about parental monitoring apps Experts are split over whether to use parental monitoring apps, like Bark, which send parents notifications if their children’s texts, emails, or apps showcase sexual content or signs of bullying, violence, or suicidal ideation. Ziegler personally uses Bark with her teens — and the filter is, in her experience, quite comprehensive. For instance, she once received a notification that her son was looking at drug-related content on his phone only because she sent him a text reminding him to take his medication. Given the breadth of sexual, violent, or addictive content available online, Ziegler likes how Bark offers notifications in real time that she can choose to open or ignore. “The chances of you being like, ‘Every Friday night I’m gonna go check my kid’s phone’ is probably pretty small,” she says. “Physically taking their phone to look at, it feels very invasive to them.” Always be honest with your child about the level to which their activity will be monitored. Cherkin believes that engaging in absolutism or fear-based parenting will only drive kids to seek that same content behind your back. Similarly, Charmaraman suggests parents speak to their children about their phone use directly rather than monitor their activity. Adolescents will inherently find themselves in awkward positions online, Charmaraman says, because that’s the nature of adolescence. “People are just trying to figure out who they are and sometimes they say or do socially awkward things,” she says, “That’s really what you’re going to be seeing when you’re monitoring.” Know when smartphone use is becoming too much Notice how your child reacts when they’ve reached their screen time max for the day. Do they beg you for more time? Are they irritable? Are they unsure of what to do next? These are all signs they’re probably spending too much time on their phones, Ziegler says. Taking the phone away outright may not be the best course of action; your child might be afraid to open up to you because they’re scared they’ll get their phone taken away, Charmaraman says. Help them realize the root of their problems may be related to their phone or social media use. Try saying “I noticed you’re really stressed out and annoyed. I’m making a connection that it might be related to the phone, but I want to hear what your explanation for it is. Is there something else going on?” You might suggest your kid delete an overused app or block a classmate on social media. “Rather than taking away the phone completely,” Charmaraman says, “you can just say, ‘Maybe we can take a break on this one app.’” Maybe your child stays up all night watching YouTube videos on their phone. Instead of removing it from their room the next day, ease them into the transition, Charmaraman suggests: The phone stays on a nightstand one night, then the next night it’s across the room, until finally they feel comfortable with it charging overnight in another room. Model healthy phone boundaries for your kids If you want your children to live balanced lives online and off, you need to set a good example. If you’re checking emails at dinner or scrolling Instagram while waiting in line at the grocery store, they’ll learn that phone use is acceptable anywhere — and that it’s a salve for boredom. Limit your own screen use as much as possible. Should you need to take a work call during screen-free time, explain to your family that you don’t want to be distracted while hanging out with them, but you need to make one quick call and then they have your undivided attention, Cherkin says. Be open with your feelings around phone use, too. Maybe you feel dread about the upcoming election after scrolling on X. Or you find it hard to pull yourself out of a TikTok binge. Call out any unpleasant feelings “so that when our kids have struggles, we can say, ‘That persuasive design is getting you, too. It’s hard for me as a parent to put this down. I can understand why this is so frustrating,’” Cherkin says. Ultimately, parents don’t need to go into panic mode the moment their child picks up a device. So long as you set up a system of transparency and communication, kids will know to turn to you if they’re having any problems online.
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At least 17 Palestinians killed in Israeli strikes on Gaza overnight, officials say

The fatalities resulted from at least four separate Israeli airstrikes on four houses in different areas of the city.

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Cairo: At least 17 Palestinians were killed and 50 were wounded in Israeli strikes on Gaza City in the early hours of Sunday morning, civil emergency and health officials said.

The fatalities resulted from at least four separate Israeli airstrikes on four houses in different areas of the city. Residents and Palestinian health officials said the Israeli military had stepped up aerial and ground shelling.

On Saturday an Israeli airstrike killed at least 90 Palestinians in a designated humanitarian zone in Gaza, the enclave's health ministry said. The attack was the deadliest in Gaza for weeks.

Israel said the attack targeted Hamas military chief Mohammed Deif but it was uncertain whether he had been killed. Hamas said that Israeli claims it had targeted leaders of the group were false and were aimed at justifying the attack.

Courtesy: Reuters

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