He or she might be sniffing out a false positive. Is there no one you can trust? [NYT]
He or she might be sniffing out a false positive. Is there no one you can trust? [NYT]
Devastating numbers on gun violence in America
Gun violence hits America’s youth and rural states the hardest and has reached the highest levels in decades, a report released Wednesday by Democrats on Congress’ Joint Economic Committee has found.
U.S. teens and young adults, ages 15-24, are 50 times more likely to die by gun violence than they are in other economically advanced countries, according to the 50-state breakdown.
In 2017 — the year of a mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 and injured hundreds — nearly 40,000 people died from gun-related injuries, including 2,500 school children, the report said, noting that six in 10 gun deaths in the U.S. are suicides.
That year marked the first time firearms killed more people than motor vehicle accidents, the report said.
Not a measured response from Pompeo
A genuinely good point from the president
This is no time for bellicose speeches in New York
Could universal background checks actually happen?
President Donald Trump may still be thinking about supporting expanded background checks for gun sales after all.
Driving the news: A memo titled “Idea for New Unlicensed-Commercial-Sale Background Checks” was being circulated as Attorney General Bill Barr and the White House’s legislative affairs director Eric Ueland visited this week with Republicans on Capitol Hill.
Why it matters: The president was expected to say this week what, if any, gun control legislation he is prepared to support. Advocates were doubtful he would support expanded background checks because polling suggested it could hurt his standing with core supporters.
Imelda hits Houston
East Texas was facing days of heavy rains and flash flooding Wednesday as Tropical Storm Imelda, downgraded to a tropical depression, still packed a dangerous punch for millions of residents.
Tropical Storm Imelda made landfall Tuesday afternoon near Freeport, 60 miles south of Houston. Imelda, crawling north at about 5 mph, was the first named storm to slam onto Texas shores since the staggering devastation of Hurricane Harvey two years ago.
Some areas could see up to 18 inches of rain before the storm rolls away at week’s end, the National Weather Service warned. By early Wednesday, more than 10 inches of rain already had been reported in St. Bernard and Chocolate Bayou.
Big blow to the e-cig business
India banned the production, import and sale of electronic cigarettes on Wednesday, a public health decision that will dash the expansion plans of companies such as Juul Labs and Philip Morris International in the country.
The ban will be imposed through an executive order and will include jail terms of up to three years for offenders. It was not clear whether the use of such products would be prohibited.
India’s health ministry, which proposed the ban, had said it was needed to ensure e-cigarettes don’t become an “epidemic” among children and young adults.
Many fewer women are having abortions than even a few years ago
Abortion in the United States has decreased to record low levels, a decline that may be driven more by increased access to contraception and fewer women becoming pregnant than by the proliferation of laws restricting abortion in some states, according to new research.
“Abortion rates decreased in almost every state and there’s no clear pattern linking these declines to new restrictions,” said Elizabeth Nash, senior state policy manager at the Guttmacher Institute, which issued the findings in a report and policy analysis on Wednesday.
The institute, which supports abortion rights, periodically compiles abortion data by surveying hospitals and abortion clinics, and by reviewing information from health departments and other sources.
The institute estimated that there were about 862,000 abortions in 2017, nearly 200,000 fewer than in 2011. The abortion rate — the number of abortions per 1,000 women of reproductive age — dropped to 13.5 in 2017 from 16.9 in 2011, the lowest rate since abortion became legal nationwide in 1973.
Trump announces John Bolton’s replacement
This oughta solve the problem
A memo to Biden and Sanders from Jimmy Carter
Weeks shy of his 95th birthday, former President Jimmy Carter said he doesn’t believe he could have managed the most powerful office in the world at 80 years old.
Carter, who earlier this year became the longest-lived chief executive in American history, didn’t tie his comments to any of his fellow Democrats running for president in 2020, but two leading candidates, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders, would turn 80 during their terms if elected.
Biden is 76. Sanders is 78.
“I hope there’s an age limit,” Carter said with a laugh as he answered audience questions on Tuesday during his annual report at the Carter Center in Atlanta. “If I were just 80 years old, if I was 15 years younger, I don’t believe I could undertake the duties I experienced when I was president.”
Here’s your morning cringe
A chorus of mostly white women sang the gospel song “We Shall Overcome” in the California State Capitol, an anthem of the civil rights movement. Mothers rallied outside the governor’s office and marched through Capitol corridors chanting “No segregation, no discrimination, yes on education for all!” Some wore T-shirts that read “Freedom Keepers.”
But this wasn’t about racial equality. In the nation’s most diverse state, protesters opposed to childhood vaccine mandates — many from affluent coastal areas — had co-opted the civil rights mantle from the 1960s, insisting that their plight is comparable to what African Americans have suffered from segregationist policies.
The approach reflected the level of desperation among families staunchly opposed to vaccinating their children — a desperation that peaked Friday night when an activist threw a menstrual cup with what appeared to be blood at several state senators during floor session.
But the civil rights claim shocked lawmakers, especially those representing minority communities that have suffered generations of racism and economic injustice. Assemblywoman Sydney Kamlager-Dove (D-Los Angeles) called it “borderline racist” and said vaccine protesters need to revisit their history books.
Buttigieg gets a boost from fellow mayors
Fifty-eight U.S. mayors announced their endorsements of Pete Buttigieg, giving the South Bend, Ind., mayor a boost of institutional support for his presidential campaign.
In a USA Today op-ed, the current and former mayors, including some who have already publicly backed Buttigieg, called for “a great mayor in the White House.” The column — written by Mayors Steve Adler of Austin, Texas; Christopher Cabaldon of West Sacramento, Calif.; and Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio — emphasizes Buttigieg’s bipartisan credentials and executive experience.
“We endorse him from heartland towns, coastal cities, suburban communities, and every other corner of our great country,” the mayors wrote. “What’s more, in the spirit of the community of mayors, we are already offering Pete our best ideas and helping engage grassroots supporters all across the country.”
A big development in the push for free college
In one of the boldest state-led efforts to expand access to higher education, New Mexico is unveiling a plan on Wednesday to make tuition at its public colleges and universities free for all state residents, regardless of family income.
The move comes as many American families grapple with the rising cost of higher education and as discussions about free public college gain momentum in state legislatures and on the presidential debate stage. Nearly half of the states, including New York, Oregon and Tennessee, have guaranteed free two- or four-year public college to some students. But the New Mexico proposal goes further, promising four years of tuition even to students whose families can afford to pay the sticker price.
The program, which is expected to be formally announced by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham on Wednesday and still requires legislative approval, would apply to all 29 of the state’s two- and four-year public institutions. Long one of the poorest states in the country, New Mexico plans to use climbing revenues from oil production to pay for much of the costs.
Coming down to the wire in Israel
Israel’s election was too close to call early Wednesday, with neither Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu nor his main rival, the former army chief Benny Gantz, a centrist, immediately commanding enough support to form a majority coalition, according to exit polls.
But Mr. Gantz’s Blue and White party appeared to have come out ahead of Mr. Netanyahu’s conservative Likud, giving a small third party the power to decide the outcome. And his avowed desire to force a unity coalition including both their parties made it likely that, if the projections held, Mr. Gantz would be given the first chance of forming a government.
With indictments against him looming in three corruption cases, the election’s less-than-vindicating apparent outcome would put his future in grave jeopardy. As prime minister, he could stay in his post even if indicted, under Israeli law. And he could press his coalition to grant him immunity from prosecution. But as a lesser minister or ordinary lawmaker, he would have to resign if charged.
Biden continues to dominate among black voters, with Warren doing well among whites and Hispanics