The U.S. at a glance ...
Waiting in line for weed
Tonto National Forest
DiNardo: Spared death
No fan of Iran deal(AP (2), Newscom, AP)
Carson City, Nev.
Marijuana emergency: Nevada state officials approved emergency regulations last week to help solve the acute marijuana shortage that developed just days after the state legalized recreational weed. Lines of customers have snaked outside the doors of the state’s 47 licensed dispensaries since legal marijuana was made available for sale on July 1, with a reported 40,000 transactions in the first weekend. The surge in demand caught sellers off guard, and with display cases emptying, they lobbied for a change to strict weed-distribution rules. Under the referendum approved by voters in November, only liquor wholesalers can move weed from growers to the dispensaries, and none were licensed when the law took effect. After the Nevada Tax Commission unanimously voted last week to expand the distribution licenses, dispensaries were able to restock. Nevada officials expect marijuana sales to generate $100 million in tax revenue over the next two years.
Deadly flash flood: A massive flash flood smashed through a popular Arizona swimming hole last week, leaving at least nine people dead, including five children. More than 100 people were enjoying a Saturday afternoon at the Cold Springs swimming hole in Tonto National Forest when a 40-foot-wide torrent of muddy water and debris suddenly swept through the narrow canyon. Heavy thunderstorms upstream sent boulders and logs the size of cars hurtling down the creek bed at 45 miles per hour toward unsuspecting swimmers. The victims included Maria Raya-Garcia of Phoenix, who was celebrating her 26th birthday, as well as her three children, ages 3, 5, and 7. Raya’s husband, Hector Miguel Garnica, is still missing. “They had no warning,” said fire chief Ron Sattelmaier. “They heard a roar and it was on top of them.”
Outrage over police shooting: A police officer shot and killed a woman who had called 911 for help—perhaps because he was “startled by a loud sound,’’ the officer’s partner said. Justine Damond, a 40-year-old yoga instructor and immigrant from Australia, was shot by a responding officer after calling 911 to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home. As Damond approached the driver’s side window of the squad car, she was shot by the officer in the passenger seat, Mohamed Noor. Neither officer had his body camera turned on, and Noor refused to talk to investigators. The officer in the driver’s seat, Matthew Harrity, said he and Noor heard a loud sound in the alley just before the shooting. Damond’s death caused outrage here and in her native Sydney. “How can a woman out in the street in her pajamas seeking assistance from the police be shot like that?” said Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.
Balch Springs, Texas
Officer indicted: A white former police officer was indicted for murder this week for the killing of an unarmed black 15-year-old who was leaving a house party. Authorities say Roy Oliver II, 37, was responding to complaints of underage drinking on April 29 when he shot Jordan Edwards, a popular high school freshman, in the head with an AR-15 rifle as the teen sat in the front passenger seat of a car with his two teenage brothers and two friends. Police initially said the shooting occurred after the teens drove toward Oliver “in an aggressive manner,” causing the officer to fear for his safety. But police were forced to change their account when body camera footage showed the car was driving away from Oliver when he shot Edwards. Oliver, who was fired from the police force in May over the incident, maintained this week that his actions were reasonable.
Grisly murder confession: The 20-yearold scion of a wealthy Pennsylvania family confessed last week to the brutal murders of four missing men, cutting a deal with prosecutors to avoid the death penalty. Authorities say Cosmo DiNardo lured the men, ages 19 to 22, to his family’s remote farm in early July with the promise of marijuana deals. Along with his cousin, 20-yearold Sean Kratz, who has also been charged with murder, DiNardo shot the men—running over one of them with a backhoe. Three of the victims were put in a large tank, set on fire, then buried 12 feet underground. People who know DiNardo said he has a bullying streak and once spent time in a mental institution. Victims’ family members said they supported the decision to waive the death penalty. “Death is too good for these two,” said Mark Potash, the father of 22-year-old victim Mark Sturgis.
Iran sanctions: The Trump administration slapped new sanctions on Iran this week, one day after President Trump grudgingly accepted that Tehran was abiding by the terms of the landmark 2015 nuclear accord. By law, the president must notify Congress every 90 days as to whether Iran is honoring the deal, which limited Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for the lifting of many international sanctions. Trump has castigated the Obama-era agreement as a capitulation to Tehran and had to be persuaded by his national security team this week not to back out of the deal, which was also signed by Britain, China, France, Russia, and Germany. The Trump administration said that while Iran was in compliance with the deal, Tehran’s non-nuclear activities breached “the spirit” of the agreement. The new sanctions target 18 businesses and individuals in Iran that the White House said are involved in “malign activities,” including missile development and software theft. ■