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  • Trump moves to limit transgender individuals from military service news

    By Idrees Ali and Eric Beech WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump signed a memorandum on Friday that bans some transgender individuals from serving in the U.S. military, but gives the armed forces latitude in implementing policies. The memorandum said transgender individuals with a history of gender dysphoria, defined as "those who may require substantial medical treatment, including through medical drugs or surgery," are disqualified from military service "except under certain limited circumstances." It added that the secretaries of defense and homeland security "may exercise their authority to implement any appropriate policies concerning military service by transgender individuals." The White House said Defense Secretary Jim Mattis had found that individuals with a history or diagnosis of gender dysphoria presented a risk to military effectiveness.

    Sat, 24 Mar 2018 00:29:26 -0400
  • California police shooting of unarmed black man forcing look at policies news

    By Sharon Bernstein and Alex Dobuzinskis SACRAMENTO/LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Did police tell an unarmed black man who they were before shooting him to death in a dark backyard in Sacramento, California? Two Sacramento police officers, responding to a report of someone shattering car windows, killed Stephon Alonzo Clark, 22, on Sunday in a hail of bullets. Clark's family, through their attorney Benjamin Crump, disputed the police account that Clark was breaking windows.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 22:18:36 -0400
  • Puerto Rico board postpones certification of island's fiscal plans

    The board said it would also reschedule the plans to transform the island's deficit for its power and water authorities, Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) and the Puerto Rico Aqueduct and Sewers Authority (PRASA). Natalie Jaresko, who leads the oversight board's executive team, told Reuters she had expected the revised fiscal reform plans submitted by Puerto Rico's government to be certified on Monday. Puerto Rico's benchmark bond price hit a 22-week high earlier this week as creditors anticipated the approval of this plan at the board's scheduled meeting on Monday in San Juan.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 21:31:05 -0400
  • Family disputes California police account in shooting of black man

    The family of an unarmed black man shot to death by police officers in the backyard of his grandparents' house in Sacramento, California, disputes the police account that he had earlier been breaking windows, the family's attorney said on Friday. Two officers, responding to a report of someone shattering car windows, fatally shot Stephon Clark, 22, on Sunday night. Police on Wednesday released body camera and helicopter video of the shooting in Sacramento, the state capital, sparking street protests the next day.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 20:56:51 -0400
  • Flaming minivan at U.S. air base in California carried propane tanks

    A minivan that burst into flames as it breached the main gate of Travis Air Force Base in northern California earlier this week was carrying several propane tanks and gasoline cans that the driver apparently ignited himself, law enforcement officials said on Friday. The driver, identified as Hafiz Kazi, 51, a native of India living in the United States since 1993, was pronounced dead at the scene of Wednesday's incident, about 50 miles (80 km) northeast of San Francisco, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "I wouldn't classify it as a suspected terror attack," Sean Ragan, the FBI special agent in charge of the bureau's Sacramento field office, said at a news conference.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 20:31:48 -0400
  • Iowa family of four found dead in Mexico news

    The bodies of Kevin Sharp, 41, his 38-year-old wife Amy, and their children Sterling, 12, and Adrianna, 7, of Creston, Iowa, were discovered by authorities in Akumal, Mexico, the Iowa city's police department said in a statement. Akumal, a small coastal resort on the Yucatan Peninsula about an hour south of Cancun in the Riviera Maya, is known for its white sand beaches and warm-water bay. Ashli Peterson, a relative, posted on Facebook on Thursday night that the family was not on their scheduled Wednesday flight from Cancun to St. Louis, Missouri.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 18:59:14 -0400
  • Trump signs budget deal after raising government shutdown threat news

    By Steve Holland and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump signed Congress' newly passed $1.3 trillion spending bill on Friday, ending several hours of confusion spurred by a tweeted veto threat that raised the specter of a government shutdown. Trump said he had signed the bill, despite his qualms on some issues, because a $60 billion increase in military spending had convinced him it was a worthwhile compromise. "But I say to Congress I will never sign another bill like this again," he told reporters.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 18:22:11 -0400
  • Family disputes California police account in shooting of black man news

    The family of an unarmed black man shot to death by police officers in the backyard of his grandparents' house in Sacramento, California, disputes the police account that he had earlier been breaking windows, the family's attorney said on Friday. Two officers, responding to a report of someone shattering car windows, fatally shot Stephon Clark, 22, on Sunday night. "This family completely rejects anything that the Sacramento Police Department tried to claim to justify this execution of their loved one," said Benjamin Crump, the family's attorney.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 18:13:04 -0400
  • Car in U.S. Air Force base crash was loaded with propane tanks: source

    A car that breached the main gate to Travis Air Force Base in northern California and burst into flames earlier this week was carrying a cargo of propane tanks that the driver apparently ignited himself, a law enforcement official familiar with the case said on Friday. Investigators believe the driver, determined to be a local resident, deliberately set off the blast as he drove through the base entrance, according to the law enforcement source, who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the probe. The law enforcement official said that no shots were fired by guards or base personnel during the incident.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 18:11:57 -0400
  • Justice Department to ban bump stocks news

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Justice Department is proposing rule changes that will effectively ban bump stocks, devices that allow semi-automatic weapons to fire like a machinegun, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said on Friday. "After the senseless attack in Las Vegas, this proposed rule is a critical step in our effort to reduce the threat of gun violence that is in keeping with the Constitution and the laws passed by Congress," Sessions said in a statement. (Reporting by Eric Walsh)

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 17:06:31 -0400
  • Advocates praise U.S. federal flood insurance funding

    By Ginger Gibson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Advocates who have been pushing for renewal of the U.S. federal flood insurance programs in the wake of last year's devastating hurricanes and floods praised Congress for extending the program through July 31. The SmarterSafter Coalition, a group of insurance, taxpayer, environmental and housing organizations, repeated its call that a permanent fix is needed. The extension of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was included in the $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill signed on Friday by President Donald Trump.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 16:35:59 -0400
  • Virginia man threatens U.S. congressman's life after venting about marijuana news

    A Virginia man was arrested on Friday, after a discussion about marijuana policy in the district office of U.S. Representative Scott Taylor devolved into violent threats, the U.S. Justice Department said. Wallace Grove Godwin, 69, allegedly told two staffers for Taylor on Thursday afternoon after a discussion about marijuana did not go his way that he was planning to attend a Saturday event with the congressman and get his shotgun and "do something about this," according to the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. "I will just handle this myself," a Capitol Police special agent quotes Godwin as saying, in an affidavit filed in the case.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 15:20:48 -0400
  • Trump says will sue drug companies over opioids news

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said his administration will be suing some drug companies as part of its fight against the opioid drug crisis, without giving more detail. "We'll be suing certain drug companies for what they've done with the opioids and we'll be bringing suits at a federal level," Trump told reporters at the White House days after outlining several steps to combat the epidemic. (Reporting by Steve Holland and Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott)

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 14:06:35 -0400
  • Parkland students scarred, determined after lives changed forever news

    PARKLAND, Fla. (Reuters) - Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students Madeline Gaffney, Diego Pfeiffer and Kayla Sanseverino were normal teens focused on homework and college applications before last month's mass shooting catapulted them into the U.S. debate on gun rights.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 13:38:26 -0400
  • Assault victim can sue UCLA for failing to protect her: California court

    "Considering the unique features of the collegiate environment, we hold that universities have a special relationship with their students and a duty to protect them from foreseeable violence during curricular activities," the California Supreme Court said, allowing Katherine Rosen to proceed with her lawsuit. The decision overturned dismissal of Rosen's case by an appeals court in 2015, which said colleges "are not liable for the criminal wrongdoing of mentally-ill third parties, regardless of whether such conduct might be in some sense foreseeable." The case will now return to a lower court for further deliberations. Rosen was doing classwork in a chemistry laboratory in 2009 when fellow student Damon Thompson stabbed her in the neck and chest with a kitchen knife.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 13:37:03 -0400
  • U.S. charges, sanctions Iranians for global cyber attacks on behalf of Tehran news

    By Dustin Volz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States on Friday charged and sanctioned nine Iranians and an Iranian company for attempting to hack into hundreds of universities worldwide, dozens of companies and parts of the U.S. government, including its main energy regulator, on behalf of Tehran's government. The cyber attacks, beginning in at least 2013, pilfered more than 31 terabytes of academic data and intellectual property from 144 U.S. universities and 176 universities in 21 other countries, the U.S. Department of Justice said, describing the campaign as one of the largest state-sponsored hacks ever prosecuted. The U.S. Treasury Department said that it was placing sanctions on the nine people and the Mabna Institute, a company U.S. prosecutors characterized as designed to help Iranian research organizations steal information.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 13:20:46 -0400
  • Trump announces news conference on spending bill

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump on Friday said there would be a 1 p.m. news conference at the White House on Congress' massive $1.3 trillion spending bill, after earlier threatening to veto the measure. (Reporting by Susan Heavey)

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 12:39:12 -0400
  • Girl shot at Maryland high school dies from wound

    Jaelynn Willey's death shortly before midnight on Thursday came as hundreds of thousands of Americans were preparing to march nationwide on Saturday to press lawmakers for tighter gun controls. The march will be led by survivors of a Florida high school shooting in February that claimed 17 lives, who have reignited efforts to tighten gun laws after decades of shooting sprees at U.S. schools and colleges. Willey, the second oldest of nine children, died surrounded by her family, the St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 12:22:51 -0400
  • Celebrity cash, kudos boost 'March for Our Lives' gun control campaign news

    By Jill Serjeant LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Oprah Winfrey calls them "warriors of the light," actor Bill Murray says the young Florida gun control campaigners remind him of the students who rallied to end the Vietnam War, and George Clooney has donated $500,000 to their cause. The April 2 cover of Time magazine will feature five students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida who have organized rallies, walk-outs and challenged U.S. lawmakers since the February 14 mass shooting at the school that left 17 students and staff dead.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 11:57:01 -0400
  • Buckets of rocks are Pennsylvania schools' last defense against shooters

    A rural Pennsylvania school district has equipped all 200 of its classrooms with buckets of rocks that students and teachers could use as a "last line of defense" in the event of a school shooting, the district's superintendent said on Friday. The buckets are just one of the measures that Blue Mountain School District in Orwigsburg, Pennsylvania, has put in place this academic year, along with security cameras, secured building entrances and fortified classroom doors, Superintendent David Helsel said in a telephone interview. "We didn't want our students to be helpless victims," Helsel said.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 11:34:30 -0400
  • Ex-Playboy model tells CNN she 'was in love' with Trump news

    Former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who claims to have had a 10-month affair with U.S. President Donald Trump starting in 2006, told CNN’S Anderson Cooper 360 in an interview broadcast on Thursday night that she was in love with Trump. Asked if Trump ever said he loved her, McDougal said, "All the time. The White House has said that Trump denies having an affair with McDougal.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 08:08:47 -0400
  • New York firefighter killed in blaze on set of Bruce Willis movie news

    Firefighter Michael Davidson, 37, was injured in the fire that broke out on Thursday and later died in a hospital, the New York Fire Department said on Facebook. "Horrific tragedy," Mark Levine, a New York City councilman, wrote on Twitter.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 07:38:03 -0400
  • Maryland Republicans take electoral map fight to U.S. high court news

    By Lawrence Hurley THURMONT, Md. (Reuters) - When Maryland Democrats drew new U.S. House of Representatives district maps in 2011, long-time Republican voter Bill Eyler found himself removed from a conservative rural district and inserted into a liberal one encompassing Washington suburbs. Eyler, a retired business owner in the small town of Thurmont roughly 55 miles north of the U.S. capital, said he thinks he and others like him were being targeted by the Democrats because of their party affiliation. "There's nothing we can do or say or vote that will make any difference," Eyler said in an interview.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 07:02:32 -0400
  • Exclusive: Trump official quietly drops payday loan case, mulls others - sources news

    By Patrick Rucker WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top cop for U.S. consumer finance has decided not to sue a payday loan collector and is weighing whether to drop cases against three payday lenders, said five people with direct knowledge of the matter. The move shows how Mick Mulvaney, named interim head of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) by U.S. President Donald Trump, is putting his mark on an agency conceived to stamp out abusive lending. The payday loan cases are among about a dozen that Richard Cordray, the former agency chief, approved for litigation before he resigned in November.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 06:07:58 -0400
  • Investigators seek clues whether Austin bomber worked alone news

    Federal investigators were on Friday seeking clues about what motivated the 23-year-old man they say was responsible for the deadly Texas bombing spree and whether he had help building or planting his bombs. Mark Conditt, an unemployed man from the Austin suburb of Pflugerville, was behind bombings that killed two people and wounded five others over three weeks before he killed himself as police officers moved in on him on Wednesday, police in the Texas capital said. Police said Conditt confessed to the bombings in a 25-minute video made on his cellphone hours before he blew himself up.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 05:22:25 -0400
  • Video of police shooting unarmed black man sparks protests in Sacramento news

    By Sharon Bernstein SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Reuters) - Newly released video footage of police killing an unarmed black man in a barrage of gunfire in Sacramento, California, left the mayor "horrified" and sparked street protests on Thursday that gridlocked traffic in the state capital for hours. Police said the video, captured by body cameras worn by officers involved in Sunday night's confrontation, showed the victim, Stephon Clark, 22, holding an object that later turned out to be a cell phone as he was shot 20 times. More than 200 demonstrators gathered on Thursday to denounce the shooting in a protest organized by the Black Lives Matter movement.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 01:16:21 -0400
  • Factbox: What is in the $1.3 trillion spending bill before the Congress

    The U.S. Congress is aiming to pass a $1.3 trillion spending bill and send it to President Donald Trump before a midnight Friday deadline to fund the U.S. government until Oct. 1 and avoid a shutdown. The House of Representatives on Thursday approved the massive deal by a 256-167 vote, sending it to the Senate for its approval.

    Fri, 23 Mar 2018 01:06:05 -0400
  • Maryland high school shooting victim to be taken off life support: mother

    Melissa Willey told a news briefing at Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly, Maryland, that she would take her daughter, Jaelynn Willey, off life support because she was brain dead. A tearful Melissa Willey held one of her younger children as her husband, Daniel, stood beside her while she spoke about Jaelynn, the second eldest of her nine children. Austin Rollins, a 17-year-old student at Great Mills High School, is suspected of bringing his father's handgun to the school on Tuesday morning and shooting Willey in a hallway, according to the St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 23:22:22 -0400
  • Southern California evacuation orders lifted as mudslide threat eases

    By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Authorities in Southern California lifted evacuation orders on Thursday for more than 60,000 people living adjacent to fire-scarred foothills and mountain slopes along the Santa Barbara coast as rains and the threat of dangerous mudslides abated. The evacuation was put into effect on Tuesday in the same general area where torrential rains in January unleashed cascades of mud, boulders and other debris that killed 21 people, injured dozens of others and damaged or destroyed hundreds of homes. Most of that devastation occurred in the affluent hillside community of Montecito, 85 miles (137 km) northwest of Los Angeles, in a region where vast swaths of the coastal landscape were stripped of vegetation by huge wildfires in December.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 22:00:01 -0400
  • U.S. Missile Defense Agency budget boosted to $11.5 billion

    The U.S. Missile Defense Agency saw its 2018 budget jump to its highest level on record at $11.5 billion in an appropriations bill on Thursday as the agency's head said he was exploring the use of armed drones to counteract North Korea. The bill in the U.S. House of Representatives increases defense funding and gives the MDA a 40 percent lift, $3.3 billion more than its fiscal 2017 enacted level, amid rising tensions over North Korea's nuclear missile program. The House approved a $1.3 trillion spending bill to fund federal agencies and avert a government shutdown ahead of a midnight Friday deadline.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 21:12:11 -0400
  • Daughter of Uber autonomous vehicle victim retains lawyer news

    The daughter of the woman killed by an Uber [UBER.UL] self-driving vehicle in Arizona has retained a personal injury lawyer, underlying the potential high stakes of the first fatality caused by an autonomous vehicle. The law firm of Bellah Perez in Glendale, Arizona, said in a statement on Thursday it was representing the daughter of Elaine Herzberg, who died on Sunday night after being hit by the Uber self-driving SUV in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe. "As the first pedestrian death involving an Uber autonomous vehicle, the incident has sparked a national debate about the safety of self-driving cars, exposing the technology's blind spots and raising questions of liability," the law firm said.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 20:45:09 -0400
  • Citi sets restrictions on gun sales by retail clients news

    In an emailed statement Citi said it will require those clients only sell firearms to customers who have passed a background check, restrict firearms sales for buyers under 21, and not sell so-called "bump stocks" or high-capacity magazines. Major retailers and at least one online lender have taken similar steps since the shooting brought new calls for gun safety measures and tighter restrictions.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 18:54:34 -0400
  • Texas bomber's roommates released by police after questioning news

    By Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Two roommates of the 23-year-old man behind this month's deadly bombing spree that unnerved Austin have been questioned and released from custody, police in the Texas capital said on Thursday. The move came as law enforcement officials searched for what motivated Mark Conditt, an unemployed man from the Austin suburb of Pflugerville, to commit the attacks that killed two people. Police say Conditt confessed to a three-week string of bombings in a 25-minute video made on his cellphone hours before he blew himself up, as law enforcement closed in on him Wednesday.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 18:46:41 -0400
  • California capital's mayor says he is 'horrified' by video of police shooting news

    Video showing the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man holding a cellphone in Sacramento, California, left the city's mayor "horrified," the official said on Thursday, as protesters gathered to denounce the shooting. Police in California's capital released video footage late on Wednesday of the shooting death of Stephon Clark, 22, on Sunday night. The shooting followed a report of car windows being broken in the area.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 18:38:09 -0400
  • Daughter of Uber autonomous vehicle victim retains lawyer news

    The daughter of the woman killed by an Uber [UBER.UL] self-driving vehicle in Arizona has retained a personal injury lawyer, underlying the potential high stakes of the first fatality caused by an autonomous vehicle. The law firm of Bellah Perez in Glendale, Arizona, said in a statement it was representing the daughter of Elaine Herzberg, who died on Sunday night after being hit by the Uber self-driving SUV in the Phoenix suburb of Tempe. "As the first pedestrian death involving an Uber autonomous vehicle, the incident has sparked a national debate about the safety of self-driving cars, exposing the technology's blind spots and raising questions of liability," the law firm said in its statement.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 18:34:21 -0400
  • Wisconsin governor ordered to hold special elections after Democratic outcry news

    The ruling coincides with a political climate favoring Democrats because President Donald Trump, a Republican, is historically unpopular in opinion polls eight months before midterm elections across the United States. Walker had argued he was not obliged to hold elections for the seats left vacant since December, but Dane County Circuit Judge Josann Reynolds said the Republican governor had misinterpreted state law and must hold votes promptly, court documents showed.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 18:28:40 -0400
  • Kansas militia members wanted to kill Muslims -prosecutor news

    Three men charged with plotting to bomb an apartment complex in western Kansas, where Muslim immigrants from Somalia lived and had a mosque, wanted to kill as many as possible and send a message they were not welcome in the United States, a prosecutor said on Thursday. Prosecutors charged Curtis Allen, Gavin Wright and Patrick Eugene Stein each with conspiring to use a weapon of mass destruction in Garden City, Kansas, and conspiring to deny others' civil rights. Wright also faces weapons-related charges and Stein is charged with lying to the FBI.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 18:20:01 -0400
  • U.S. judge tosses extortion case against Boston city officials news

    A federal judge on Thursday dismissed a criminal case against two members of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh's administration accused of illegally pressuring a music festival production company into hiring union labor. The decision by U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin came a day after he called off a trial scheduled to begin next week in the extortion case brought against the two city officials, Kenneth Brissette and Timothy Sullivan.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 18:18:34 -0400
  • U.S. airline traffic rose 3.4 percent in 2017 to all-time high: government news

    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Transportation Department said on Thursday that airlines carried 3.4 percent more passengers on U.S. domestic and international flights in 2017 for an all-time high of 965 million passengers.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 17:36:13 -0400
  • U.S. spending bill would stop employers from pocketing workers' tips

    The U.S. Congress' $1.3 trillion spending bill includes language that would forbid restaurants and other employers from pocketing employees' tips, the result of a deal between the government's top labor official and a Senate Democrat. The provision addresses worker advocates' concerns that employers could steal tips under a Labor Department proposal that could have allowed businesses to pool tips made by wait staff and other workers and share them with "back-of-the-house" employees like cooks and dishwashers. A worker advocate on Thursday applauded the language in the spending legislation released late the previous night.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 16:24:46 -0400
  • New York, New Jersey airport workers could get hike in minimum wage news

    The board that oversees major airports in New York and New Jersey voted on Thursday to consider phasing in a minimum wage increase to $19 per hour by 2023, affecting about 20,000 workers. If approved, the measure would lift wages for eligible workers at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport and LaGuardia Airport, and New Jersey's Newark Liberty International Airport.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 15:52:24 -0400
  • New York City probes Kushner Cos buildings over possible 'illegal activity' news

    The online filings by the Department of Buildings show it is investigating the possibility of "false filing" on applications by Kushner Companies for construction work. The documents, dated Wednesday, involve properties in the Brooklyn and Manhattan boroughs of New York.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 15:12:52 -0400
  • Crafts retailer Michaels to close nearly all Aaron Brothers stores

    The move is the latest example of how brick-and-mortar retailers are struggling to compete with e-commerce sites such as Inc. More than 15 U.S. retailers filed for bankruptcy last year. The arts and crafts retailer plans to make Aaron Brothers a store-within-a-store and to provide custom framing in all Michaels stores. Michaels owns and operates about 1,300 stores in the United States and Canada.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 15:12:21 -0400
  • Congress poised to pass modest gun control measures in spending bill news

    By Amanda Becker and Richard Cowan WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With large protests for stricter gun laws planned nationwide on Saturday, the U.S. Congress is expected to approve a massive spending bill this week with grants to help schools prevent gun violence, improvements to background checks and an assurance that a key government agency can conduct related research. The provisions are Congress' response to intensified public anger and frustration over mass shootings and follow the Feb. 14 massacre at a Florida high school in which 17 people died. "We made incremental but important progress on the issue of gun violence, a debate that this Congress must soon continue," Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer told reporters, saying "America has changed on guns." Many Democrats support closing a loophole that allows individuals to skirt government background checks by purchasing weapons at gun shows or over the internet, raising the minimum age to buy a weapon and banning assault-style rifles.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 14:41:01 -0400
  • Southern California on guard as heavy rains raise mudslide risk news

    By Alex Dobuzinskis LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Heavy rains in Southern California on Thursday threatened to cause dangerous mudslides in the hills northwest of Los Angeles, after thousands of people evacuated their homes in a region where slides killed 21 people in January. Officials in Ventura County, northwest of Los Angeles, ordered dozens of people to evacuate their homes near areas where last year's wildfires burned away grass and shrubs that normally hold soil in place and baked a hardened level of earth that keeps precipitation near the surface. The storm could drench mountainsides with up to 10 inches (25 cm) of rain before it weakens on Thursday night, said National Weather Service specialist Stuart Seto.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:29:06 -0400
  • After Florida massacre, pockets of NRA country weigh gun law reform news

    Vermont, a mostly rural New England state with a passion for hunting, has a reputation as a pro-gun stronghold, but the rising specter of school gun violence has shaken that longstanding political tradition. The state is one of two dozen where efforts to curb gun violence have gained new momentum since the Feb. 14 shooting rampage that killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, gun control advocates say.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 13:10:54 -0400
  • Thousands to march in U.S. gun protests, but will they vote? news

    The hard part will be ensuring that they go to the polls in November to vote in midterm congressional elections. "It's on us," said Sabrina Singh, a spokeswoman for the Democratic National Committee. "We have to make sure that even after young people march across the country, they take time to vote, to register and to actually turn out to do it." Organizers of the voter registration drive hope to sign up at least 25,000 people at more than 800 marches, a potentially big boost for Democrats who generally favor more stringent gun control, including over sales of assault-type weapons, bump stocks that allow semiautomatics to fire like automatic weapons, and tighter access to guns by young people and people who are mentally ill.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 12:28:28 -0400
  • Exclusive: U.S. miners' union to endorse two more Democrats in coal country news

    The United Mine Workers of America on Friday will endorse Richard Ojeda for U.S. Representative in the state's third district, as well as incumbent Senator Joe Manchin, a Democrat and former West Virginia governor, the sources said.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 10:58:39 -0400
  • Sandy Hook dad: Florida students' vote threat is gun safety 'sea change' news

    A grieving father whose child was killed in Connecticut's Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, frustrated by five years of inaction by U.S. lawmakers on gun control, said survivors of a Florida high school shooting are powering a "sea change" in public sentiment. Mark Barden, whose son Daniel was among 20 first graders and six educators killed by a gunman in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, said his family will join the student rally dubbed March For Our Lives in the nation's capitol on Saturday. The event is spearheaded by students who survived the Feb. 14 mass shooting that killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 09:41:40 -0400
  • Police say suspected Maryland school shooter used father's gun news

    Austin Rollins brought his father's Glock 9-millimeter pistol to Great Mills High School on Tuesday morning and shot the 16-year-old girl in a hallway, gravely injuring her, St. Mary's County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. The shooting in Great Mills, located about 70 miles (113 km) south of Washington, came five weeks after a high school massacre in Florida and days before a student-led march in the U.S. capital for tougher gun laws. Attempts to reach Rollins' family have not been successful.

    Thu, 22 Mar 2018 06:57:10 -0400
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