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Video of Gun Owner's Assault on an AR-15 Goes Viral After Florida Mass Shooting

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 06:55
A video of a man cutting his semi-automatic weapon in half has gone viral following last week's mass shooting at a Florida high school, prompting a social media movement decrying easy access to high-powered assault rifles. Scott Pappalardo of New York state is the star of a clip posted on Facebook that had been viewed by over 20 million people and shared more than 360,000 times as of Tuesday afternoon. It shows him taking a power saw to the barrel of an AR-15 assault rifle, saying he...
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Clooney, Winfrey, Spielberg, Katzenberg Offer $500K Each for Gun Control March

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 05:12
George Clooney, Oprah Winfrey, Steven Spielberg and Jeffrey Katzenberg said Tuesday that they would each donate $500,000 to the "March for Our Lives" rally in Washington in support of gun control following last week's shooting at a Florida high school that left 17 dead. Clooney and his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, were the first to make the financial pledge and also said they would march alongside the students behind the rally on March 24. Students from Marjory...
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US: North Korea Canceled Planned Meeting With VP Pence

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 05:00
Vice President Mike Pence was all set to hold a history-making meeting with North Korean officials during the Winter Olympics in South Korea, but Kim Jong Un's government canceled at the last minute, the Trump administration said Tuesday. A potential meeting between Pence and the North Koreans had been the most highly anticipated moment of the vice president's visit to Pyeongchang, South Korea, where he led the U.S delegation to the opening ceremonies. Ahead of Pence's visit,...
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West Point Posthumously Admits Student Killed in Florida High School Shooting

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 04:30
Peter Wang, 15, killed in last week's shooting at a Florida high school, was buried Tuesday. He died a hero — holding a door open for others to escape the carnage at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, sacrificing his life for others. Peter was a freshman member of the Army Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps at the school. His lifelong dream was to attend the famed U.S. Military Academy at West Point. To honor Peter's bravery and sacrifice, West...
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Report: Hawaii Wasn't Ready to Handle Missile Threat Alert

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 03:16
Hawaii's nuclear missile scare showed that the state began testing alerts before fully developing a plan to address the ballistic missile threat and that a public outreach campaign months earlier wasn't effective, said a report released Tuesday. The state Department of Defense, the agency that oversees Hawaii’s emergency management, released the internal review after an alert was sent to cellphones, televisions and radio stations across the state last month.  The...
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S. Korea to Announce Joint Military Drill Plan With US Before April

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 02:47
South Korea and the United States will announce plans before April for joint military drills that had been postponed until after the Winter Olympics and Paralympics, South Korea's defense minister said Tuesday. After the postponement of the regular drills, North Korea agreed to hold the first official talks with Seoul in more than two years and to send athletes to the games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, easing a standoff over the North's development of nuclear weapons capable of...
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Trump Awards Medal of Valor to 12 Public Safety Officers

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 02:40
A dozen public safety officers received the nation's highest honor for bravery from President Donald Trump on Tuesday, including six individuals who responded after a married couple shot and killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California, more than two years ago. "Through your service and sacrifice, we are reminded that America's greatest treasure is her people," Trump said at a White House ceremony before he clasped the Medal of Valor around each man's neck....
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Trump Orders Justice Department to Ban Bump Stocks

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 01:30
The U.S. administration is looking to tighten some regulations involving guns, with President Donald Trump formally recommending the banning of devices that turn firearms into more lethal weapons. The White House is also saying age restrictions are on the table for the most popular semi-automatic rifle in the country. The administration indicated it is open to universal background checks for gun owners.   “Just a few moments ago, I signed a memorandum directing the attorney general...
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US Attorney General Creates Task Force to Study Cyberthreats

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 01:27
U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has ordered the creation of a task force to examine how his Justice Department can better combat a wide cross section of global cyberthreats, including efforts to interfere with elections or damage critical infrastructure. The announcement on Tuesday of the new task force came amid renewed concerns about how Russia and foreign adversaries may attempt to use cybertools to disrupt the 2018 midterm elections, which are less than 10 months...
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Florida Lawmakers Reject Ban on Assault Rifles

Wed, 02/21/2018 - 00:15
Florida high school students say they will not let state lawmakers' rejection of a bill to ban assault rifles stop them from taking their fight to the state capital.   With the gallery filled with students Tuesday, the Republican-led Florida House turned down a Democratic proposal to ban the guns. Republicans accused the Democrats of forcing the issue after Nikolas Cruz, 19, allegedly used an AR-15 to kill 17 people at a Parkland, Florida, high school last week. Lizzie...
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Trump Denounces Women Who Accused Him of Sex Abuse

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 22:22
U.S. President Donald Trump Tuesday denounced Rachel Crooks, one of 19 women who have accused Trump of sexual assault, and the Washington Post, for publishing an article about her allegations. The Post story offers her detailed account of how Trump allegedly forcibly kissed the then 22-year-old on January 11, 2006 while the two were waiting for an elevator in Trump Tower in New York. The article also describes how nothing has come of the allegations from her and the other women, despite...
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Trump Urges Republicans to Fight Pennsylvania's Congressional Map

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 19:33
President Donald Trump on Tuesday encouraged Republicans to fight Pennsylvania's new court-imposed map of congressional districts, issued a day earlier in a move expected to improve Democrats' chances at chipping away at the GOP's U.S. House majority. “Trump tweeted that Republicans should challenge the new map of Pennsylvania's 18 congressional districts all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary. “Your Original was correct! Don't let the Dems take...
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Storycorps: African-American NASCAR Driver Was Driven to Compete

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 18:51
Racecar driver Wendell Scott began his career in the Southern U.S. during an era of discrimination against African-Americans. His son Frank and grandson Warrick talked to Storycorps about Wendell’s racing days.
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Lawyer Pleads Guilty to Lying in Russia Probe Case

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 17:38
A London-based lawyer pleaded guilty Tuesday to lying to U.S. investigators about his contacts with Rick Gates, a former campaign aide to President Donald Trump, as part of the widening probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. election. The office of Special Counsel Robert Mueller disclosed the accusations against attorney Alex Van der Zwaan early Tuesday, and he pleaded guilty later in the day in a Washington court. Van der Zwaan is the son-in-law of Russian billionaire German Khan...
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NYC Still Waiting to Fill New 'Night Mayor' Position

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 16:57
New York City is still waiting to see who will become its first ever “night mayor.” The nightlife ambassador position was announced last fall by Democratic Mayor Bill de Blasio. He says the position would serve as a point of contact between city agencies and the city nightlife industry. The New York Post reports Democratic City Councilman Rafael Espinal, who sponsored legislation creating the position, says he hasn't heard any word about a confirmed appointee. Espinal says the city...
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S. Korea Opposes US Tariff Hikes, But Military Alliance Remains United

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 13:29
A looming trade dispute could cause friction in the U.S-South Korea military alliance, but leaders in Washington and Seoul maintain their economic disagreements will not impact their continued security cooperation to deal with the North Korean nuclear threat.  Trade dispute South Korean President Moon Jae-in promised on Monday to retaliate against U.S. protectionist trade polices, after the U.S. Commerce Department recommended to impose a sharp rise in steel import tariffs on 12...
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Lunar New Year Tradition Continues in US With Annual Parade

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 09:21
Many Asian countries are celebrating the Lunar New Year, also known as the Spring Festival in China and also called the Chinese New Year by many people. It is a national multi-day holiday in many Asian countries. How is this festival celebrated in the United States? VOA’s Elizabeth Lee reports from Los Angeles, a city with one of the largest Asian communities in the U.S.
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Wading the Rio Grande to a New, Undocumented, Life

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 09:21
As the U.S. Congress continues to funding a border wall between the U.S. and Mexico, a 2010 border fence separating El Paso, Texas and Juarez, Mexico has already made it harder for illegal immigrants to enter the U.S. When Jesus Sanchez came to the U.S. almost 30 years ago, it was just a matter of wading across the Rio Grande River. VOA’s Mehmet Sumer reports that Sanchez has lived in the U.S. ever since and most of that time he has been undocumented.
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Experts Say Cooperation, Engagement Can Reduce Mass Killings

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 09:20
Americans are trying to make sense of the mass shooting on Wednesday that claimed 17 lives at a Florida high school. Police say a 19-year-old former student, Nikolas Cruz, has admitted to the killings. As Mike O’Sullivan reports, school officials and experts who study violent crimes say more effort is needed to identify those at risk of committing violent acts, and limiting their access to lethal weapons
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Trump Endorses Romney in Run for US Senate Seat in Utah

Tue, 02/20/2018 - 06:30
President Donald Trump on Monday endorsed former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's run for a U.S. Senate seat in Utah, despite Romney often being critical of Trump. During the 2016 presidential campaign, Romney excoriated Trump as a "fraud" who was "playing the American public for suckers." Trump responded that Romney had "choked like a dog" in his 2012 campaign against President Barack Obama. Trump said on Twitter that Romney "will...
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