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Two mass shootings devastate the United States, Saudi Arabia grants travel rights to women, and the best quotes from female candidates during the second Democratic presidential debate.
After a flood of accusations regarding the “tech bro” culture at ride-hailing company Uber, many women pivoted to Lyft: a company that differentiated itself by selling a “woke” image. But now, Lyft is coming under fire from women who say the company hasn’t properly handled allegations of sexual harassment at the hands of its drivers. Nearly a dozen women across the country told The Washington Post that Lyft’s response to allegations were inadequate, and activists also say the app offers fewer safety features than Uber’s.
“Lyft constantly says that safety is its number one priority, but I think in reality image is its top priority,” said Allison Tielking, a student entering her senior year at Stanford. “I think all these reports are treated more as inconveniences where the news needs to get brushed under the rug.”
In the second mass shooting in less than 24 hours, at least nine people were killed and 26 others injured in Dayton, Ohio, on Sunday morning. The shooter, 24-year-old Connor Stephen Betts, opened fire in Dayton’s historic Oregon District at 1:07 a.m., according to authorities. The shooter was neutralized by officers in under a minute and fatally shot.
Megan K. Betts, the 22-year-old sister of the suspect, was one of the victims in the shooting. She had spent the last couple of months interning as a tour guide in Montana. “She was full of life and really passionate,” Daniel Cottrell, her former supervisor, told The Post. “She was a very caring individual.”
At a news conference Sunday morning, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley applauded authorities’ quick response to the shooting — and emphasized the tragic loss of life that nonetheless occurred in less than a minute. She said: “I just question, when is enough enough?”
The Dayton shooting came less than 24 hours after a gunman, identified by authorities as 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, opened fire at a Walmart and shopping center in El Paso, killing at least 20 people. The shooting was the eighth-deadliest in modern U.S. history. Authorities say they are “seriously considering” bringing hate crime charges in the case, which they are treating as a “domestic terrorism case.” They are continuing to investigate a motive behind the shooting and have examined a manifesto posted online that included screeds against immigrants.
The tragedies add to the dozens of mass shootings that have occurred in the United States in 2019, including a shooting last week in Gilroy, Calif., that left three people dead. The recent shootings led to calls for tighter gun control laws and sparked concern about domestic terrorism carried out by white supremacists.
Following recent high-profile cases in which Saudi women fled their families, Saudi Arabia said Friday it will allow women to travel without the permission of a male relative. A royal decree now allows any citizen to obtain a passport, and Saudi Arabia’s new ambassador to the United States, Princess Reema bint Bandar, wrote on Twitter that women would be allowed to travel independently.
This is the latest move by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to loosen social restrictions on women in the country; in 2017, for example, he lifted the ban on women driving. At the same time, he has cracked down on dissenters. Several women’s rights activists remain imprisoned as they face trial on charges related to their activism.
Ever since March — when the U.S. women’s national soccer team filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation alleging gender discrimination — their fight for equal pay has dominated headlines. Last week, U.S. Soccer Federation President Carlos Cordeiro said that, according to an analysis of 10 years of financial data, players on the women’s team had actually earned more than their male counterparts. Many USWNT players, meanwhile, disputed the claims.
The U.S. men’s soccer team was quick to support the women’s team and issued its own statement dismissing the claims. “The women’s national team players deserve equal pay and are right to pursue a legal remedy from the courts or Congress,” the statement read.
Meanwhile, the women’s team’s head coach, Jill Ellis, announced she is stepping down from the post. In July, Ellis became the first national team coach (men’s or women’s) in 81 years to win consecutive World Cup championships. Ellis said she would like to see the federation hire a woman: “I think there are a lot of qualified females. You also hope by doing it people have trust a female can do this.”
On July 30 and 31, 20 Democratic presidential candidates debated everything from health care to climate change to immigration in Detroit. Here are some memorable moments from the six female candidates.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) addressed her electability, taking aim at critics who say she’s too progressive to win in 2020: “We can’t choose a candidate we don’t believe in just because we’re too scared to do anything else.”
In her closing statement, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) told a story about a high school swimmer who got addicted to opioids and died: “What I will stand up against are the pharma companies that got her hooked on those opioids.”
One of the most talked-about moments of both nights came from author Marianne Williamson, who defended her support of reparations for slavery: “When it comes to the economic gap between blacks and whites in America, it does come from a great injustice that has never been dealt with.”
On Night 2, Sen. Kamala D. Harris (Calif.) again attacked former vice president Joe Biden’s record of working with segregationists: “Had those segregationists had their way, I would not be a member of the United States Senate.”
Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (Hawaii), meanwhile, took aim at Harris on her record as former attorney general of California: “The bottom line is, Senator Harris, when you were in a position to make a difference and an impact in people’s lives, you did not.”
Speaking on the issue of race, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (N.Y.) said that it was her job to lift up a diverse set of voices while acknowledging her privilege as a white woman: “I can talk to those white women in the suburbs that voted for Trump and explain to them what white privilege actually is.”
• In a piece for USA Today, Olympic figure skater Ashley Wagner allegedformer figure skater John Coughlin kissed and groped her in 2008, when she was 17.
• After Banana Republic introduced a line of hijabs, Muslim shoppers debated whether the action constituted inclusion or appropriation.
• India’s parliament approved a bill that criminalizes “triple talaq,” a Muslim practice in which a man can instantly divorce his wife by saying the word “talaq,” which means divorce in Arabic, three times.
Earlier this year, sprinter Allyson Felix became an important voice in advocating for better maternity policies after publishing a New York Times op-ed, which denounced Nike’s maternity practices. Felix was driven to write the piece after undergoing a harrowing delivery of her daughter and receiving a greatly reduced sponsorship offer from Nike after the birth.
Last week, Felix told The Washington Post that while she is “not one to shake things up,” the birth of her daughter, Camryn, has changed her mindset about activism. She announced that Athleta, which has never before backed an athlete, will become her primary sponsor. “They’re excited to celebrate me as a whole athlete,” she said. “That’s not just my performance, but being a mother and an activist as well.”
Here’s a healthy habit that hydrates and energizes me, providing minerals and detoxing benefits: drinking yerba mate. This is a green tea from South America that has now spread globally. I drink it from a gourd with loose leaves and a metal straw, hot or cold with juice. My favorite organic brand is Anna Park.
—Maria Alconada-Brooks, Lily art director