Biden calls for tougher gun laws: ‘How much more carnage?’
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has made an impassioned plea for Congress to act on gun control. In an address to the nation on Thursday night, he called on lawmakers to reinstate limits on the sale of assault-type weapons and high-capacity magazines after a series of mass shootings around the country. Biden is trying to pressure Congress to pass tougher laws, though those efforts have failed in the wake of past violence. The speech follows recent mass shootings in Tulsa, Oklahoma; Uvalde, Texas and Buffalo, New York.
Texas senator: School police chief was unaware of 911 calls
UVALDE, Texas (AP) — A Texas state senator says the commander at the scene of a school shooting in Texas was not notified of panicked calls to 911 from inside the building from school. Sen. Roland Gutierrez told a press conference Thursday that calls for help from people inside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde had not been passed on to the school district’s police chief, Pete Arredondo. The Democratic senator who represents the city called it a “system failure” that the calls went to the city police but were not communicated to Arredondo. The head of the Texas Department of Public Safety said police did not confront the shooter any faster because Arredondo believed the situation had escalated from an active shootout to a hostage situation. Nineteen children and two teachers died.
Police: Tulsa shooter targeted surgeon he blamed on pain
Police say a man who blamed his surgeon for lingering pain after recent back surgery bought an AR-style rifle hours before opening fire on a Tulsa doctor’s office, killing the surgeon and three others before to shoot himself. Tulsa Police Chief Wendell Franklin identified the shooter as 45-year-old Michael Louis. He says the shooter had recently had back surgery and had called a clinic several times complaining of pain. Franklin says the doctor who performed the operation, Dr. Preston Phillips, was killed on Wednesday, along with Dr. Stephanie Husen, receptionist Amanda Glenn and visitor William Love.
Queen Elizabeth II to miss Jubilee service amid ‘discomfort’
LONDON (AP) — Buckingham Palace said Queen Elizabeth II will not attend a church service to mark her Platinum Jubilee after experiencing “discomfort” at events on Thursday. The palace says that with “great reluctance”, the 96-year-old monarch decided to skip Friday’s service at St Paul’s Cathedral. The palace says “the Queen enjoyed today’s birthday parade very much, but felt some discomfort”. Britain is celebrating the monarch’s 70 years on the throne with four days of events over a long holiday weekend. Elizabeth is Britain’s longest-reigning monarch and the first to serve for seven decades. Many royal supporters camped overnight in London hoping to catch a glimpse of the Queen.
January 6 panel sets prime-time hearing date for findings
WASHINGTON (AP) — The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection on Capitol Hill will release its findings in a primetime hearing next week, embarking on what lawmakers hope will be one of the largest surveillance efforts in American history. The six hearings, which are due to begin on June 9 and are expected to last until the end of June, will be the first time the committee will disclose what it uncovered during a sprawling 10-month investigation that has affected almost every aspects of the insurgency. More than 1,000 people were interviewed by the panel, and only brief excerpts of that testimony have been released to the public, mostly through court documents.
Novavax hopes its COVID vaccine will win over the FDA and vaccine holders
GAITHERSBURG, Md. (AP) — Americans may soon get a new COVID-19 vaccine option — a more traditional type of vaccine known as a protein vaccine. The Food and Drug Administration is evaluating the vaccine made by Novavax. It’s late in the pandemic for a new choice. But with millions still unvaccinated — or in need of a booster — the Maryland-based company hopes to find a niche. Its vaccine is made very differently from the widely used Pfizer and Moderna vaccines. Novavax COVID-19 injections are licensed in many other countries, but US customs clearance is a major hurdle.
Debt cleared for Corinthian students as bigger decisions loom
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has yet to make a decision on how he will handle the student debt problem, but his administration is trying to put an end to one of the most notorious cases of fraud. in American higher education. The Department of Education writes off $5.8 billion in federal debt for more than 560,000 borrowers who attended Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit chain that operated from 1995 to 2015. The company was once one of largest of its kind, with over 100 campuses and over 110,000 students, but it collapsed in scandal. Vice President Kamala Harris said the announcement “will put real money in the pockets of real people.”
Plunged into crisis, Peru neglects the destruction of Amazon
RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Peru has entered one of the worst political crises in its history and the protection of its Amazon rainforest is failing, according to a report released today. Peru is home to the second largest part of the Amazon rainforest after Brazil. The country had pledged to stop deforestation by 2021. The Peruvian Amazon is huge, bigger than Ukraine. It holds the headwaters of the Amazon River and is a transition zone between the Andes mountains and the rainforest lowlands, rich in microclimate and ecology variations. Last year ranked sixth in deforestation records, according to Monitoring of the Andean Amazon Project, MAAP.
Lawyer: Heard has been ‘demonized’ by the Depp team and social media
FAIRFAX, Va. (AP) — Amber Heard’s attorney says she was “demonized” by ex-husband Johnny Depp’s legal team and excoriated on social media during a sensational defamation lawsuit which ended with a jury ordering him to pay Depp $15 million. Lawyer Elaine Bredehoft also said she believes the jury was swayed by a relentless barrage of social media posts condemning her and supporting Depp. Bredehoft said Heard plans to appeal. Wednesday’s ruling capped a grim six-week trial. Virginia jurors found Depp had been defamed by three statements in an op-ed written by Heard in which she said she had been abused. But they also discovered that Heard had been defamed by one of Depp’s lawyers.
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