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News brief: Colorado Springs shooting, climate summit ends, World Cup begins

A MARTÍNEZ, HOST:

Police in Colorado Springs, Colo., are investigating why a gunman opened fire in an LGBTQ nightclub late Saturday night.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Five people were killed, 25 others were hurt in the attack at Club Q before patrons subdued that gunman.

MARTÍNEZ: Colorado Public Radio's Dan Boyce is here to catch us up on the latest. Dan, let's go over the timeline from Saturday first because all this happened really fast.

DAN BOYCE, BYLINE: Yeah. You know, it really did. So police, they received the first 911 call at 11:56 on Saturday night that a man had entered the club with multiple firearms and had begun shooting people with a rifle. Now, the first officer arrived within four minutes. And 22-year-old Anderson Lee Aldrich was in custody just two minutes after that. Still, by that point, more than 20 people had been shot and, as you say, five of them fatally.

MARTÍNEZ: And we'd heard that people in the club actually subdued him before police got there.

BOYCE: Yeah. It's a remarkable showing of courage. Officials say at least two individuals fought with Aldrich, you know, hand to hand, shortly after he entered, and they were able to stop his advance. Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers says they did that through one of them grabbing a handgun the suspect was carrying and then hitting him with it.

MARTÍNEZ: Wow. Do we have any names of any victims?

BOYCE: At this point, officials have not released any names of victims, nor of those people who confronted Aldridge. My newsroom has confirmed one of those killed was a bartender at the club. Twenty-eight-year-old Daniel Aston was a trans man who was also performing on Saturday night.

MARTÍNEZ: The suspect, we know, remains in the hospital and in police custody. What more do we know about him?

BOYCE: Police say he was hospitalized because he was hurt in that fight with the club patrons who stopped him. We don't know the extent of his injuries, and police say they did not shoot him. We do not yet have any word on a motive from investigators, but it may not be his first run-in with local law enforcement. A man by the same name and age was booked in our county jail last year. He had threatened his mother with homemade bombs, weapons and ammunition. Officials did not tell us Sunday how that case was resolved, nor have they actually confirmed that this is the Anderson Lee Aldrich, that it's the same man as the Club Q shooting suspect. Again, though, it's the same name and age.

MARTÍNEZ: All right. Now, what about Club Q itself and also the LGBTQ community in Colorado Springs? How are they handling things?

BOYCE: Well, the club is closed until further notice. I visited yesterday, and it was taped off. And, you know, there was one of these large makeshift memorials with flowers and signs, well-wishers and many club regulars. See; Club Q is really the biggest hub for the gay community here, and the people who go there, they know each other. So of course, they're deeply shaken. And one of the hardest elements now is they still don't know which of their friends may have been killed. Still, I spoke with Shenika Mosley. She first moved to Colorado Springs 14 years ago when she was in military service. And she says she hopes the public does not take the wrong lesson about her city, often known for its conservative politics.

SHENIKA MOSLEY: I have not been held back in any job. I've not been treated any type of way by any friends or by anyone in the community because I'm gay. And so I just don't want people to think that Colorado Springs is, like, anti-gay. Like, I feel like, honestly, like Colorado Springs is one of the safest places for us.

BOYCE: But Mosley does worry Club Q will never quite feel like the same place again. And now Colorado is holding candlelight vigils for the victims, like we've done for Columbine, the Aurora theater shooting, the Boulder grocery store shooting just last year and others. This state has seen more than its share of tragedies like this.

MARTÍNEZ: That's Dan Boyce from Colorado Public Radio. Dan, thank you.

BOYCE: You're welcome.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTÍNEZ: World leaders have reached a new agreement on climate change after negotiations ran into overtime at the climate summit in Egypt over the weekend.

MARTIN: The deal includes a historic step to help developing countries pay for the rising costs of climate disasters. But will it do enough to stop climate change?

MARTÍNEZ: Lauren Sommer's here from NPR's climate desk to help answer that question. All right. Lauren, so this was a make-or-break moment for developing countries who say richer countries are not doing enough on climate change. Did they get what they want out of these talks?

LAUREN SOMMER, BYLINE: This was a pretty big step forward for them. You know, developing countries arrived at these negotiations with a very clear demand. They want compensation for the costs of the disasters they're experiencing, things like rising sea levels and extreme storms and floods. Sherry Rehman, Pakistan's climate minister, arrived at the talks after flooding in her country displaced millions of people and caused more than $30 billion in damage.

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SHERRY REHMAN: Because if the planet is burning up, we are burning up in the front line. We are the ground zero of that climate change. So we are seeing that burn while we are not contributing to that burn.

SOMMER: You know, unlike richer countries, developing countries have done little to cause climate change. Their pollution is low. So that's why they fought for compensation for this loss and damage, as it's called.

MARTÍNEZ: OK, so will richer countries, such as the U.S., actually start to pay out for that soon?

SOMMER: Not exactly soon. Over the next year, countries will meet to figure out what a new fund for climate damages might look like. And there are already tensions over who will pay for it because the U.S. and Europe, they're the biggest emitters, historically. China is the world's largest emitter now, and China pushed back against this idea of being on the hook for these payments because, under the U.N. framework, they're still considered a developing country. The U.S. will also have a challenge getting money for this with a divided Congress because Republicans are not likely to support paying for this kind of climate aid.

MARTÍNEZ: But a Republican delegation did go to these climate talks to argue that there's a place for fossil fuels. So what did the global agreement have to say about oil and gas?

SOMMER: There was a big push at these talks to get countries to commit to phasing down all fossil fuels. The U.S. supported it. So did many developing countries, about 80 in all. In the end, though, it was not part of the agreement, and that caused a lot of frustration, like from Frans Timmermans, who leads the climate delegation for the European Union.

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FRANS TIMMERMANS: We should have done much more. Our citizens expect us to lead. That means far more rapidly reduce emissions. That's how you limit climate change.

SOMMER: The pushback came from Saudi Arabia and other oil-producing countries that didn't want fossil fuels singled out.

MARTÍNEZ: And I guess the big question is then whether global leaders did enough at these talks. So are emissions going to fall fast enough to make an actual difference on climate change?

SOMMER: Yeah, the short answer is no. The world was not on track when the talks began, and they're not on track leaving this summit. In a best-case scenario, if the world follows through on their promises, emissions will be about 10% lower in 2030 than they would be without any reductions. But the science says emissions need to fall by 45% by then, and that's to avoid impacts that get much more dangerous with more warming, you know, things like rising oceans and powerful storms. So, you know, this just ups the stakes for next year because the longer countries wait, the steeper the emissions cuts will need to be if countries want to avoid more catastrophic damage from rising temperatures.

MARTÍNEZ: That's Lauren Sommer from NPR's climate desk. Lauren, thanks.

SOMMER: Thanks.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MARTÍNEZ: All right, U.S. soccer fans have been waiting eight years to cheer on the men's national team at a World Cup, and that day has finally arrived.

MARTIN: Woo woo (ph). That's me, cheering.

MARTÍNEZ: (Laughter).

MARTIN: After missing the last World Cup, the U.S. men play Wales today in their opening match of the 2022 tournament. It's happening in Qatar. There's a whole lot of excitement but a lot of questions, too, about a young, talented, yet inexperienced American team.

MARTÍNEZ: NPR's Tom Goldman is in Doha, Qatar, covering all things World Cup. Tom, this would have been a field interview I would have gladly joined you on, but since I'm not there, you are. U.S. versus Wales - what are we expecting from both teams today?

TOM GOLDMAN, BYLINE: I have no idea.

MARTÍNEZ: (Laughter).

GOLDMAN: I have traveled all this way to tell you that. And anyone who tells you they do, they're lying, OK? Because both these teams are so new to this, we really don't know what's going to happen. Wales is in its first World Cup since 1958, although this current team has done well in recent years at the European Championships, so it is battle tested in major events. For the U.S., only one player of the 26 on the roster has played in a World Cup. That's defender DeAndre Yedlin. America is the second-youngest team in this tournament, although a number of players play for top European clubs and have international experience.

One among many questions, A, marks who scores the goals up front. Usually it's the task of a forward striker, such as Wales' best player and top scorer, veteran Gareth Bale. But throughout U.S. World Cup qualifying, of the 18 goals scored in 14 matches, only four of those goals were from a forward-slash-striker. Will star Christian Pulisic assert himself - Haji Wright, Gio Reyna to name a few? Of course, the U.S. wants goals scored regardless of where they come from.

MARTÍNEZ: You must score to win. Now, it's being said the group that the U.S. and Wales are in is the toughest of the eight four-team groups in this tournament. Does that make this first match even more important?

GOLDMAN: Yeah, it's considered the toughest because the average FIFA ranking for the four teams - U.S., Wales, England and Iran - is 15th, and that's the highest average of all the groups. There certainly are better teams in other groups, but statistically speaking, Group B is it. Now, England is considered the best in B. So if England beats Iran today - favored to do so - and gets the three points for victory, yes, that puts pressure on the U.S. and Wales to come out with a win today to keep up or at least the one point for a draw.

MARTÍNEZ: Now, this is actually Day 2 of the tournament. It started yesterday with Qatar facing the country of my parents, the country of my grandparents and their parents, Ecuador. Things have not gone well, though, for the host country on and off the pitch.

GOLDMAN: And congratulations to all of them because they beat Qatar 2-0, and Ecuador pretty much cruised. It was a disturbing scene for organizers. The number of Qatar fans who left early by the end of the match, large parts of the stadium were empty. Qatar had done so much to prepare its team because that team is very much the public face of this country's success or failure at this event.

They brought in top coaches, developed players, top training facilities, and it all went pfft (ph) in 90-plus minutes yesterday, with the criticism still being directed at Qatar and FIFA on so many fronts, from LGBTQ rights to migrant labor abuses to no beer in the stadiums and the newest controversy, A, Euro team captains reportedly abandoning the plan to wear rainbow armbands supporting diversity because they might receive a yellow card as punishment. With all that, the egg laid by Qatar's national team yesterday seemed to reflect the mess this World Cup is, at least at the start. We've got a month to go for things to get better or worse.

MARTÍNEZ: It's only Day 1. It's only Day 1 - or Day 2, I guess. NPR's Tom Goldman in Doha, Qatar. Tom, thanks.

GOLDMAN: You're welcome. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Rachel Martin is a host of Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
A Martínez is one of the hosts of Morning Edition and Up First. He came to NPR in 2021 and is based out of NPR West.