We start today with a remembrance of Reverend Clementa Pinckney, one of the nine victims of last night’s shooting rampage in Charleston, South Carolina. Then, what do we know about alleged killer Dylann Roof’s apparent racism? Next, the U.S. Supreme Court came out with a string of decisions today. We round them up and talk about the impacts. In our weekly Internet news roundup, we catch up on the E3 tech convention and an exciting new emoji. And finally, FitBit went public today and it’s exceeding expectations. Can the startup keep it up?
FROM THIS EPISODE
Rev. Clementa Pinckney of the Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina was one of nine people shot dead at the church last night in what authorities are calling a hate crime. The details are chilling. The shooting took place at a prayer group. The suspect, 21-year-old Dylann Roof, was apprehended in Shelby, North Carolina, roughly 250 miles from the scene of the crime. Roof reportedly spent an hour with the prayer group before he began firing, sitting next to Reverend Pinckney. Who was Pinckney, and what’s the significance of the AME Church?
Kevin Alexander Gray
"You rape our women and you're taking over our country. And you have to go.” Those are the words spoken by alleged killer Dylan Roof, according to a cousin of Reverend Pinckney, who spoke to survivors of the attack in Charleston. He reloaded his gun five times, they say. Roof was given a gun recently as a 21st birthday present from his father. There are pictures online of him wearing a jacket with a flag of apartheid-era South Africa and a flag of Rhodesia, later renamed Zimbabwe. He’s also been photographed with a Confederate States of America license plate. He has prior arrests for trespassing and drug possession, and a friend has said he was a heavy user of prescription drugs. We look at Roof’s apparent racism and what it could tell us about the nature of his crime.
The highly anticipated Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage and Obamacare were not announced today, but the court did hand down a spate of other decisions. The state of Texas will not have to issue license plates with the Confederate battle flag; a man who didn’t know he was selling illegal drugs will not go to jail; and a ruling may affect whether mentally disabled felons can be executed. We get an explainer.
Dahlia Lithwick, Slate
It’s gamer Christmas, and all the presents have been opened. The giant conference called E3 rocked the Los Angeles Convention Center this week. Microsoft, Sony and Nintendo all debuted new gaming technology. Elsewhere in the tech universe, California may have just disrupted Uber’s entire business model. We hear about these stories and more in our weekly tech roundup with Xeni Jardin.
FitBit, the most popular fitness tracker, went public today. The stock is already outpacing expectations. The San Francisco startup is valued at $4 billion. FitBit’s big day on Wall Street is good news for the business of wearables. But with lots of competition, and smartphones that can track your steps just as well as devices around your wrist, can FitBit keep it up?