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Trump backs effort to improve gun background checks
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:58:56 -0500

Trump backs effort to improve gun background checksBy Jeff Mason and Timothy Gardner PALM BEACH, Fla./WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said on Monday that President Donald Trump supports efforts to improve federal background checks for gun purchases, days after a shooting at a Florida school killed 17 people. Trump spoke to Senator John Cornyn, a Republican, on Friday about a bipartisan bill that he and Democratic Senator Chris Murphy introduced to improve federal compliance with criminal background checks, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.


Pennsylvania top court releases new U.S. congressional voting map for state
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:49:17 -0500

Pennsylvania top court releases new U.S. congressional voting map for stateThe new map was posted on the Pennsylvania Supreme Court's website after the court's Democratic majority voted last month to invalidate the previous map as an unconstitutional gerrymander. The court ruled that Republican lawmakers marginalized Democratic voters to win more seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Pennsylvania is a hotly contested swing state, and the redistricting is expected to boost Democrats' chances of winning several U.S. House seats in the state in the November elections.


Kentucky accuses Cardinal Health of contributing to opioid epidemic
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 15:12:29 -0500

Kentucky accuses Cardinal Health of contributing to opioid epidemicAttorney General Andy Beshear in the lawsuit accused Cardinal of unfair, misleading and deceptive business practices that he said led to the excessive distribution of opioids in Kentucky. The lawsuit alleged that Dublin, Ohio-based Cardinal Health, one of the country's largest wholesale drug distributors, ignored red flags that prescription opioids were being diverted for illegal uses, allowing it to profit in the process. It comes amid a wave of lawsuits by cities, counties and states seeking to hold corporations responsible for the drug abuse epidemic.


Suspect in Florida school shooting back in court for status hearing
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 14:24:27 -0500

Suspect in Florida school shooting back in court for status hearingThe former student accused of last week's deadly shooting rampage at a Florida high school returned to court on Monday for a status hearing, and the judge ordered that a defense motion filed last week remain sealed from public view. Nikolas Cruz, wearing a red, jail-issued uniform, sat during the short hearing in Fort Lauderdale without showing any emotion, his head bowed. Cruz is facing 17 counts of premeditated murder after the attack last Wednesday at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, near Fort Lauderdale.


Driver of van slated to be in Trump motorcade detained for having gun
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 12:25:01 -0500

Driver of van slated to be in Trump motorcade detained for having gunThe driver of a van carrying journalists covering President Donald Trump was detained on Monday after Secret Service officials found a gun in his bag during a security sweep before the vehicle was to drive onto the president's Florida property. The Secret Service said no one had been put in danger. "The individual was found to be in lawful possession of a prohibited item (firearm) outside the secure area at a Secret Service security screening checkpoint," the Secret Service said in a statement.


Kremlin says charges over U.S. election tampering prove nothing
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 09:15:38 -0500

Kremlin says charges over U.S. election tampering prove nothingThe Kremlin said on Monday that U.S. charges against 13 Russians and several Russian companies accused of meddling in the 2016 U.S. presidential election campaign contained zero proof of Russian state involvement. The comments were the Kremlin's first reaction to charges drawn up by the office of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller which centered on a Russian businessman nicknamed 'Putin's cook' by the Russian media who U.S. officials say has extensive ties to the country's military and political establishment.


Russia looms large as U.S. election officials prep for 2018
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 07:21:54 -0500

Russia looms large as U.S. election officials prep for 2018Ten months before the United States votes in its first major election since the 2016 presidential contest, U.S. state election officials huddled in Washington this weekend to swap strategies on dealing with an uninvited guest: Russia. A pair of conferences usually devoted to staid topics about election administration were instead packed with sessions dedicated to fending off election cyber attacks from Russia or others, as federal authorities tried to portray confidence while pleading with some states to take the threat more seriously. "Everyone in this room understands that what we are facing from foreign adversaries, particularly Russia, is real," Chris Krebs, a senior cybersecurity official at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), told an audience of secretaries of state, who in many states oversee elections.


UberEATS deliveryman wanted in fatal shooting
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 06:46:47 -0500

UberEATS deliveryman wanted in fatal shootingThe 30-year-old man was shot multiple times after exchanging words with the driver in Atlanta's Buckhead neighborhood at about 11:30 p.m. Saturday, police told Atlanta's NBC affiliate WXIA, channel 11. The UberEats driver then fled in his vehicle and the wounded man died at a local hospital, police told local media.


Russian alleged election interference not working: McMaster
Mon, 19 Feb 2018 05:25:30 -0500

Russian alleged election interference not working: McMasterMoscow's efforts to meddle in Western elections are backfiring, serving instead to strengthen and unify a broad range of people against Russia, top U.S. security official H.R. McMaster said on Saturday, a day after Washington indicted 13 Russian individuals and three Russian companies. Russian officials denied the allegations, and one senior diplomat dismissed the charges as "fantasies" being used by some in Washington for political gain in a deeply divided United States after the election of Donald Trump as president.


Students plan protests, Washington march, to demand gun control after mass shooting
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 22:14:15 -0500

Students plan protests, Washington march, to demand gun control after mass shootingBy Zachary Fagenson and Katanga Johnson PARKLAND, Fla. (Reuters) - Stunned by the deadliest high school shooting in U.S. history, students mobilized across the country on Sunday to organize rallies and a national walkout in support of stronger gun laws, challenging politicians they say have failed to protect them. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a former student is accused of murdering 17 people on Wednesday using an assault-style rifle, joined others on social media to plan the events, including a Washington march. "I felt like it was our time to take a stand," said Lane Murdock, 15, of Connecticut.


Student survivors of Florida shooting slam Trump over FBI tweets
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 17:31:39 -0500

Student survivors of Florida shooting slam Trump over FBI tweetsBy Katanga Johnson PARKLAND, Fla (Reuters) - Student survivors of the deadliest-ever shooting at a U.S. high school reacted angrily on Sunday after U.S. President Donald Trump said the FBI may have been too distracted with a Russia probe to follow leads that could have prevented the massacre. "Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter," Trump tweeted late Saturday. "They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion." Trump offered no evidence that there was any connection between the investigation of Russian meddling and the FBI's failure to prevent the Florida shooting.


Trump: FBI missed signs on Florida shooting due to Russia probe
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 16:30:49 -0500

Trump: FBI missed signs on Florida shooting due to Russia probeBy Michelle Price WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Donald Trump attacked the FBI and lawmakers probing suspected Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election and said an excessive focus on Russia led federal investigators to miss signs that could have prevented a deadly mass shooting at a Florida high school. In a series of tweets over the weekend sent from his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, Trump said congressional investigations and political "hatred" showed that Russia had succeeded in sowing "discord, disruption and chaos" in the United States.


Stunned by massacre, U.S. students demand tighter gun controls
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 14:55:21 -0500

Stunned by massacre, U.S. students demand tighter gun controlsStunned by last week's bloodiest high school shooting in U.S. history, students across the country were mobilizing on Sunday for stronger gun laws, while Florida officials contemplated when to reopen their badly shaken school. Students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where a former student is accused of murdering 17 people on Wednesday, joined others on social media to plan rallies, a Washington march and a national walk-out aimed at getting the attention of an adult population many say has failed to protect them. Murdock, a 15-old sophomore who lives 20 miles (32 km) from Sandy Hook Elementary School where 20 children and six adults were shot dead five years ago, drew more than 36,000 signatures on an online petition Sunday morning calling on students to walk out of their high schools on April 20.


Russian alleged election interference not working: McMaster
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 13:04:33 -0500

Russian alleged election interference not working: McMasterBy Andrea Shalal MUNICH (Reuters) - Moscow's efforts to meddle in Western elections are backfiring, serving instead to strengthen and unify a broad range of people against Russia, top U.S. security official H.R. McMaster said on Saturday, a day after Washington indicted 13 Russian individuals and three Russian companies. Russian officials denied the allegations, and one senior diplomat dismissed the charges as "fantasies" being used by some in Washington for political gain in a deeply divided United States after the election of Donald Trump as president.


Father who forgave son for family's murder asks Texas to spare his life
Sun, 18 Feb 2018 08:08:30 -0500

Father who forgave son for family's murder asks Texas to spare his lifeA Texas man who survived a deadly domestic attack hatched by his son is pushing the state to grant clemency to the condemned man, although it has never spared a death row inmate solely at the formal request of the victim's family. In the 31 states with capital punishment, district attorneys make the decision whether to seek death, balancing the punishment that they consider best serves society with the wishes of the victim's family. In this case, the local Texas prosecutors pursued death and jurors decided Bart Whitaker, 38, deserved to be executed.


Firearms debate rages as Florida rally coincides with gun show
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 17:14:10 -0500

Firearms debate rages as Florida rally coincides with gun showBy Katanga Johnson and Zachary Fagenson MIAMI (Reuters) - Student survivors of a mass shooting that killed 17 people at a Florida high school called for gun restrictions on Saturday during an angry and somber rally, but attendees at a nearby gun show said firearms could not be blamed for the massacre. Wednesday's shooting in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Parkland fueled the long-running U.S. debate between supporters of tougher controls on firearms and advocates for gun rights, which are protected by the U.S. Constitution's Second Amendment. Many at a rally in Fort Lauderdale that was organized to demand tougher gun laws rejected comments by U.S. President Donald Trump and others that mental illness was the main factor behind the slaughter at Margory Stoneman Douglas High School.


Facebook plans to use U.S. mail to verify IDs of election ad buyers
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 16:14:34 -0500

Facebook plans to use U.S. mail to verify IDs of election ad buyersBy Dustin Volz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc will start using postcards sent by U.S. mail later this year to verify the identities and location of people who want to purchase U.S. election-related advertising on its site, a senior company executive said on Saturday. The postcard verification is Facebook's latest effort to respond to criticism from lawmakers, security experts and election integrity watchdog groups that it and other social media companies failed to detect and later responded slowly to Russia's use of their platforms to spread divisive political content, including disinformation, during the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Facebook revealed the plans a day after U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller unsealed an indictment accusing 13 Russians and three Russian companies of conducting a criminal and espionage conspiracy using social media to interfere in the election by boosting Republican Donald Trump and denigrating Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.


Florida school massacre suspect on authorities' radar in 2016: report
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 14:43:30 -0500

Florida school massacre suspect on authorities' radar in 2016: reportA teenager accused of shooting to death 17 people at a Florida high school was investigated by police and state officials as far back as 2016 after slashing his arm in a social media video, and saying he wanted to buy a gun, but authorities determined he was receiving sufficient support, a newspaper said on Saturday. Nikolas Cruz, 19, is charged with committing multiple murders on Wednesday at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, a Miami suburb. More vigils and funerals were scheduled for this weekend in and around Parkland.


Russian alleged election interference not working: McMaster
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 12:30:31 -0500

Russian alleged election interference not working: McMasterBy Andrea Shalal MUNICH (Reuters) - Moscow's efforts to meddle in Western elections are backfiring, serving instead to strengthen and unify a broad range of people against Russia, top U.S. security official H.R. McMaster said on Saturday, a day after Washington indicted 13 Russian individuals and three Russian companies. Russian officials denied the allegations, and one senior diplomat dismissed the charges as "fantasies" being used by some in Washington for political gain in a deeply divided United States after the election of Donald Trump as president.


Moscow says no evidence behind U.S. indictment of Russians for alleged election meddling
Sat, 17 Feb 2018 08:28:57 -0500

Moscow says no evidence behind U.S. indictment of Russians for alleged election meddlingMOSCOW (Reuters) - No evidence is behind the U.S. indictment of Russian nationals for alleged election interference and Moscow has given multiple explanations on what Washington called "Russian meddling efforts", RIA news agency cited the Russian presidential envoy as saying on Saturday. The office of U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller has charged 13 Russians and three Russian companies, including the St. Petersburg-based Internet Research Agency, known for its trolling on social media. (Writing by Denis Pinchuk; Editing by David Holmes)



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