US gun legislation, Justice Dept., loophole, shows,mandatory background checks
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US Will Require Background Checks for Gun Shows and Online Firearm Sales (Maria)

The author writes, “The sale of firearms on the internet and at gun shows in the US will in future be subject to mandatory background checks, the justice department said on Thursday as it announced a ‘historic’ new action to keep weapons out of the hands of criminals. The closing of the so-called gun show loophole, which exempts private transactions from restrictions that apply to licensed dealers, has long been a goal of the Biden administration. … ‘Under this regulation, it will not matter if guns are sold on the internet, at a gun show, or at a brick-and-mortar store: if you sell guns predominantly to earn a profit, you must be licensed, and you must conduct background checks,’ Attorney General Merrick Garland told reporters on a press call announcing the measure.”

Retired Military Officials Issue Grave Warning About Trump’s Claim To Absolute Immunity (DonkeyHotey)

The author writes, “A group of 19 retired four-star generals and admirals and former secretaries of the Army, Navy and Air Force filed a brief with the Supreme Court on Monday, saying former President Donald Trump’s claim of ‘absolute immunity’ from criminal prosecution is ‘an assault’ on the military’s ‘foundational commitments’ to the rule of law and civilian control. In a bid for the dismissal of federal charges against him for trying to overturn the 2020 election, Trump has claimed that presidents have ‘absolute immunity’ from criminal prosecution for all acts taken while in office, unless they have been impeached and convicted for those acts. A federal appeals court rejected his argument on Feb. 6, but he appealed that decision to the Supreme Court, which will hear arguments on April 25.”

Biden Could Be Left Off General Election Ballot in Ohio, Republican Official Warns (Reader Jim)

The author writes, “The Ohio secretary of state has sent a letter to the Ohio Democratic party warning that Joe Biden could be left off the November election ballot in 2024 unless the Democratic National Convention meets earlier or statutory requirements in the state are changed or exempted. According to a letter sent from the Ohio secretary of state, Frank LaRose, a Republican, to Ohio Democratic party chair Liz Walters, the Democratic National Convention scheduled for 19 August where the party officially nominates its candidate for president is past the 7 August deadline to certify presidential candidates on the Ohio ballot.”

Occupy Brussels! Viktor Orbán’s Plan for Europe (Sean)

From Politico: “Hungary, in Viktor Orbán’s words, is preparing for war. ‘We need to go deeper, occupy positions, gather allies and fix the European Union,’ the 60-year-old Hungarian prime minister declared in an interview at the end of last year. ‘It’s not enough to be angry. We need to take over Brussels.’ Orbán has long railed against the EU, using it as a scapegoat to rile up populist support and casting his country’s relationship with Brussels as an us-versus-them battle to hammer home a right-wing ideology grounded in nationalism and traditional family values. But in recent years — and in particular since his reelection for a fifth term in April 2022 — there’s been a shift in Orbán’s tone and a change in his approach to the EU.”

Chevron Owns This City’s News Site. Many Stories Aren’t Told. (Laura)

From Floodlight News: “Open flames shot upward from four smokestacks at the Chevron refinery on the western edge of Richmond, Calif. Soon, black smoke blanketed the sky. News spread quickly that day last November, but by word of mouth, says Denny Khamphanthong, a 29-year-old Richmond resident. … The city’s primary local news source, The Richmond Standard, didn’t cover the flare. Nor had it reported on a 2021 Chevron refinery pipeline rupture that dumped nearly 800 gallons of diesel fuel into San Francisco Bay. Chevron is the city’s largest employer, largest taxpayer, and largest polluter. Yet when it comes to writing about Chevron, The Richmond Standard consistently toes the company line. And there’s a reason for that: Chevron owns The Richmond Standard.”

Why Are So Many Young People Getting Cancer? (Dana)

From Vox: “When Princess Catherine, formerly Kate Middleton, revealed her cancer diagnosis in a surprise social media video last month, it answered one mystery that had been consuming the media: why the Princess of Wales had largely disappeared from view. But Catherine’s story connects to another mystery, one that has been disturbing doctors for the past decade. Like the 42-year-old princess, people all over the world are developing cancer at younger ages. Adults in the prime of their lives, often otherwise outwardly healthy, are dying of aggressive cancers that appear to develop more quickly and be more deadly than in the past, for reasons that scientists cannot adequately explain.”

See How the Eclipse Transformed America, City by City (Gerry)

The authors write, “For weeks, if not months, those who have seen one repeated to anyone who would listen: There’s nothing like experiencing the totality of a solar eclipse. For some of them, this was a second time in six and a half years experiencing the eerie calm when the moon passes in front of the sun, at least for a few minutes. And yet, they were just as awestruck. For others, it was a likely last opportunity to witness such a celestial phenomenon for two decades. It inspired gasps and smiles, solemnity and excitement. Here is how it looked as the moon’s shadow crossed three countries and 13 U.S. states, with the time of totality in Eastern time.”


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