A white gunman was charged with killing eight people at three Atlanta-area massage parlours in the US state of Georgia, in an attack that sent terror through the Asian American community, which has increasingly been targeted during the coronavirus pandemic. A day after the shootings, investigators were trying to unravel what might have compelled 21-year-old Robert Aaron Long to commit the worst mass killing in the U.S. in almost two years.
Long told police that Tuesday’s attack was not racially motivated. He claimed to have a “sex addiction,” and authorities said he apparently lashed out at what he saw as sources of temptation. But those statements spurred outrage and widespread scepticism given the locations and that six of the eight victims were women of Asian descent. The shootings appear to be at the “intersection of gender-based violence, misogyny and xenophobia,” said state Rep. Bee Nguyen, the first Vietnamese American to serve in the Georgia House.
The Vatican declared that the Catholic Church won’t bless same-sex unions since God “cannot bless sin.” The Vatican’s orthodoxy office, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, issued a formal response to a question about whether Catholic clergy have the authority to bless gay unions. The answer, contained in a two-page explanation published in seven languages and approved by Pope Francis, was “negative.”
The note distinguished between the church’s welcoming and blessing of gay people, which it upheld, but not their unions. It argued that such unions are not part of God’s plan and that any sacramental recognition of them could be confused with marriage. The note immediately pleased conservatives, disheartened advocates for LGBT Catholics and threw a wrench in the debate within the German church, which has been at the forefront of opening discussion on hot-button issues such the church’s teaching on homosexuality.
The UK host of this year’s climate talks said the world must be put on a path to reaching net zero by 2050, if the goal of holding global temperature rises below 1.5C is to be kept within reach. Alok Sharma, the president of the UN Cop26 climate summit, said that for the talks in Glasgow in November to be judged a success, governments must urgently set out their targets to cut greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade including announcing an end to new coal power plants and commitments to phase out existing ones.
Sharma also urged countries to end the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles. The UK’s role as host will be pivotal in the talks, seen as one of the last chances to get on track to meet the goals of the Paris agreement and limit temperature rises to well below 2C above pre-industrial levels, with an aspiration to stay below 1.5C.
Junior bankers at Goldman Sachs are facing “inhumane” conditions at the investment bank, including 100-hour work weeks and “abuse” from colleagues which has severely affected their mental health. The responses from the poll participants – 13 investment banking analysts in the US – have shed light on the gruelling demands on first-year analysts, a cohort that features some of the brightest recruits hired annually by Goldman.
The survey, presented to the bank as a slideshow in February, is now circulating on Twitter. Its contents suggest that at least one division of Goldman Sachs is still struggling with the long hours and high-pressure culture that was exposed when a 22-year-old analyst at the bank took his own life in 2015. It raises questions about whether banks have merely paid lip service to fixing certain workplace demands. The analysts in the survey said that on average they were working 95 hours a week but up to 105 hours mid-February when the poll was conducted.