Racism in America, Wall Street woes, and the Jeffrey Epstein latest: The Morning Rundown

We delve into the impact of escalating racist rhetoric, the fallout of Wall Street's worst day this year, and cover the latest news on Epstein's death.
Image: People embrace at a memorial for the victims of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 6, 2019.
People embrace at a memorial for the victims of a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 6, 2019.Callaghan O'Hare / Reuters

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By Alexander Smith

Good morning, NBC News readers.

We delve into the impact of escalating racist rhetoric and violence across the United States, pick through the fallout of Wall Street's worst day this year, and cover the latest news on Jeffrey Epstein's death.

Here's all that and everything else we're watching today.


The growing toll of racism in America

People at a memorial outside the Walmart in El Paso where 22 people were killed in a mass shooting.Mario Tama / Getty Images

For some Americans who are members of minority groups the intersection of hate and violence has become a looming source of fear, particularly after the El Paso shooting.

Immigrants, Muslims and people of color who spoke to NBC News say they’ve watched with growing alarm as racist rhetoric has become more commonplace, both on the internet and in their communities, leading to a rise in hate crimes three years running.

"When we think about trauma, often we think about individual incidents — someone being raped or seeing combat — but in fact, trauma is cumulative," one psychologist said.


Flags at half-staff on Epstein's private island

For four days after the apparent jailhouse suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, American flags on his private island were at half-staff. That's according to a boat captain who captured images of Little St. James in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

"They’re doing this as a remembrance, but the irony is he'll only be remembered for the deviance," said the sailor, who believes the island's staff lowered the flags.

Meanwhile, the body of Epstein, 66, who faced charges of trafficking and sexually abusing underage girls, was claimed from the medical examiner's office by an "associate."


Dow slump sparks recession predictions

In what economists warned was a worrying omen, Wall Street suffered its worst day so far this year. Movements in the bond market signaled the sharpest indication yet of an approaching recession.

President Donald Trump blamed the Federal Reserve for Wednesday's market plunge, calling Fed Chairman Jerome Powell "clueless."

But there the pain isn't limited to the U.S. New economic data showed sluggish growth in China and Germany, underscoring the effects of Trump's ongoing trade war with Beijing and the unresolved crisis around Brexit.

A trader at the New York Stock Exchange. Richard Drew / AP

Steve King's mouth causes GOP headache

Republicans would like Rep. Steve King to stop talking now, but he shows little sign of obliging, writes NBC News' Jonathan Allen in an analysis piece.

The Iowa congressman, already stripped of his committee assignments for comments about white supremacy, drew calls for his ouster from Congress by members of both parties after he said rape and incest have been essential to the propagation of humanity.

"If Steve King actually cares about the conservative movement, he would resign from Congress today," a Republican strategist said.


Six police officers hurt in Philadelphia shootout

Officers found themselves locked in a shootout with a suspect for eight hours after they attempted to serve a narcotics warrant in a north Philadelphia neighborhood.

Six officers were wounded in the standoff before the suspect surrendered early Thursday. At one point, two officers were trapped in the same home as the alleged shooter before being freed by a SWAT team, officials said.

Officers near the Philadelphia home. Mark Makela / Getty Images

U.S. moves to seize detained Iranian tanker

Washington has moved to take control of an Iranian oil tanker impounded last month in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, according to its government.

The ship, the Grace 1, was seized in a British Royal Navy operation, suspected of violating European Union sanctions on oil shipments to Syria.


Bird-strike downs Russian jet in corn field

Twenty three people were injured but none killed after a Russian passenger jet hit a flock of birds and made an emergency landing shortly after takeoff, officials said.

The Ural Airlines Airbus 321 passenger plane near Zhukovsky International Airport in Moscow. Reuters

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Plus

THINK about it

Uber's goal to be the "Amazon of transportation" should worry everyone, says writer Paris Marx in an opinion piece, citing concerns about emissions, data-sharing, and anti-competitive practices.

Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.

Science + Tech = MACH

To use the famous Star Trek misquote, it's dust, Jim, but not as we know it. Cosmic dust found in Antarctic snow was likely birthed in a distant supernova millions of years ago. Its interstellar journey eventually brought the material to Earth, where scientists discovered the ancient grains.


Quote of the day

"My objective was, and always will be, to stand up for people’s jobs and livelihoods across the country ... That said, the buck stops with me."

— Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accepts he breached rules by trying to influence a corporate legal case.


One viral thing

"VSCO girls" is the the aesthetic derived from the photo editing app VSCO, which lets people share photos and make preset filters to help keep their images looking uniform. It's taken over Gen Z-dominated corners of the internet such as Instagram and the short-form video app TikTok.

You'll probably catch a VSCO girl wearing a scrunchie, Birkenstocks and drinking from a Hydroflask.Chelsea Stahl / NBC News

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: alexander.smith@nbcuni.com.

If you would like to receive the Morning Rundown in your inbox Monday to Friday, please sign-up here.

Thanks, Alexander Smith

Good morning, NBC News readers.

We delve into the impact of escalating racist rhetoric and violence across the United States, pick through the fallout of Wall Street's worst day this year, and cover the latest news on Jeffrey Epstein's death.

Here's all that and everything else we're watching today.

The growing toll of racism in America

People at a memorial outside the Walmart in El Paso where 22 people were killed in a mass shooting. (Mario Tama / Getty Images)

For some Americans who are members of minority groups the intersection of hate and violence has become a looming source of fear, particularly after the El Paso shooting.

Immigrants, Muslims and people of color who spoke to NBC News say they’ve watched with growing alarm as racist rhetoric has become more commonplace, both on the internet and in their communities, leading to a rise in hate crimes three years running.

"When we think about trauma, often we think about individual incidents — someone being raped or seeing combat — but in fact, trauma is cumulative," one psychologist said.

Flags at half-staff on Epstein's private island

For four days after the apparent jailhouse suicide of Jeffrey Epstein, American flags on his private island were at half-staff. That's according to a boat captain who captured images of Little St. James in the U.S. Virgin Islands. "They’re doing this as a remembrance, but the irony is he'll only be remembered for the deviance," said the sailor, who believes the island's staff lowered the flags. Meanwhile, the body of Epstein, 66, who faced charges of trafficking and sexually abusing underage girls, was claimed from the medical examiner's office by an "associate."

Dow slump sparks recession predictions

In what economists warned was a worrying omen, Wall Street suffered its worst day so far this year. Movements in the bond market signaled the sharpest indication yet of an approaching recession.

President Donald Trump blamed the Federal Reserve for Wednesday's market plunge, calling Fed Chairman Jerome Powell "clueless."

But there the pain isn't limited to the U.S. New economic data showed sluggish growth in China and Germany, underscoring the effects of Trump's ongoing trade war with Beijing and the unresolved crisis around Brexit.

A trader at the New York Stock Exchange. (Richard Drew / AP)

Steve King's mouth causes GOP headache

Republicans would like Rep. Steve King to stop talking now, but he shows little sign of obliging, writes NBC News' Jonathan Allen in an analysis piece.

The Iowa congressman, already stripped of his committee assignments for comments about white supremacy, drew calls for his ouster from Congress by members of both parties after he said rape and incest have been essential to the propagation of humanity.

"If Steve King actually cares about the conservative movement, he would resign from Congress today," a Republican strategist said.

Six police officers hurt in Philadelphia shootout

Officers found themselves locked in a shootout with a suspect for eight hours after they attempted to serve a narcotics warrant in a north Philadelphia neighborhood.

Six officers were wounded in the standoff before the suspect surrendered early Thursday. At one point, two officers were trapped in the same home as the alleged shooter before being freed by a SWAT team, officials said.

Officers near the Philadelphia home. (Mark Makela / Getty Images)

U.S. moves to seize detained Iranian tanker

Washington has moved to take control of an Iranian oil tanker impounded last month in Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, according to its government. The ship, the Grace 1, was seized in a British Royal Navy operation, suspected of violating European Union sanctions on oil shipments to Syria.

Bird-strike downs Russian jet in corn field

The Ural Airlines Airbus 321 passenger plane near Zhukovsky International Airport in Moscow. (Reuters)

Twenty three people were injured but none killed after a Russian passenger jet hit a flock of birds and made an emergency landing shortly after takeoff, officials said.

Want to receive the Morning Rundown in your inbox? Sign up here.

Plus

  • A man was arrested after video showed the moment comedian Andy Dick was punched in New Orleans.

THINK about it

Uber's goal to be the "Amazon of transportation" should worry everyone, says writer Paris Marx in an opinion piece, citing concerns about emissions, data-sharing, and anti-competitive practices.

Science + Tech = MACH

To use the famous Star Trek misquote, it's dust, Jim, but not as we know it. Cosmic dust found in Antarctic snow was likely birthed in a distant supernova millions of years ago. Its interstellar journey eventually brought the material to Earth, where scientists discovered the ancient grains.

Quote of the day

"My objective was, and always will be, to stand up for people’s jobs and livelihoods across the country ... That said, the buck stops with me."

— Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau accepts he breached rules by trying to influence a corporate legal case.

One viral thing

"VSCO girls" is the the aesthetic derived from the photo editing app VSCO, which lets people share photos and make preset filters to help keep their images looking uniform. It's taken over Gen Z-dominated corners of the internet such as Instagram and the short-form video app TikTok.

You'll probably catch a VSCO girl wearing a scrunchie, Birkenstocks and drinking from a Hydro Flask. (Chelsea Stahl / NBC News)

Thanks for reading the Morning Rundown.

Like a third-string quarterback elevated from the practice squad, I am today covering for Petra who is on vacation. If you have any comments — likes, dislikes — drop me an email at: alexander.smith@nbcuni.com. If you're a fan, please forward it to your family and friends. They can sign-up here.

Thanks, Alexander Smith