By Ian Simpson WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The father of a Virginia journalist killed in an on-air shooting said on Thursday he would become a crusader for gun control, but analysts said there was little likelihood of legislation on the federal level any time soon, despite changes in some states. Two journalists, reporter Alison Parker and cameraman Adam Ward of Roanoke CBS affiliate WDBJ7, were shot during a live interview on Wednesday by a disgruntled former station employee who later killed himself. The woman who was being interviewed was wounded and hospitalized. Parker's father, Andy Parker, urged state and federal lawmakers to take action on gun control, especially to keep firearms out of the hands of people who were mentally unstable. "I'm not going to rest until I see something happen. We've got to have our legislators and congressmen step up to the plate and stop being cowards about this," Parker told CNN, describing himself as a supporter of the constitutional right to keep and bear arms. He said the National Rifle Association, the powerful U.S. gun lobby, likely would contend that his daughter and Ward would have been safe if they themselves had been armed. "It wouldn't have made any difference," Parker said. "How many Alisons is this going to happen to before we stop it?" The United States had about 34,000 firearms deaths in 2013, with almost two-thirds of them suicides, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sarah Trumble, a senior policy counsel for the Third Way, a Washington think tank, said prospects for gun control had little chance in the Republican-controlled Congress, despite intense media focus on the Virginia killings. "There's no playbook for what to do here," she said, but added that changes were more likely in states than at a federal level. "The states are really where the action is." The last time there was a push at the federal level for tighter gun control was following the massacre of 26 people, mostly children, at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012. President Barack Obama supported legislation that would have extended background checks for gun buyers and banned rapid-firing assault weapons. But despite national revulsion over the Newtown killings it was rejected in April 2013 by the U.S. Senate, including by some lawmakers in Obama's Democratic Party. After Wednesday's shooting, Obama reiterated his frustration over the issue of gun violence, saying the United States needs to do "a better job of making sure that people who have problems, people who shouldn't have guns, don't have them." MEASURES GO AHEAD Although the issue is stalled at a national level, gun control measures have gone ahead in the last two years in several U.S. states, with 18 now requiring background checks for the sale of handguns, said Colin Goddard, senior policy adviser for Everytown, a gun control advocacy group backed by former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Among other gains for advocates of gun control are a 2014 referendum in Washington state for background checks on gun sales in which backers of the initiative outspent the NRA. Oregon's governor in May signed legislation for background checks on almost all buyers. Nevada voters will go to the polls in a similar referendum next year. In Maine, Goddard said Everytown had started a campaign to get a background checks question on the ballot. But gun rights advocates notched a victory in the state last month when it became the fifth to allow gun owners to carry concealed weapons without a permit. In Virginia, where the NRA is headquartered, Democratic Governor Terry McAuliffe called for gun controls after Wednesday's shooting. But gun control legislation is unlikely to pass the Republican-dominated legislature, said Stephen Farnsworth, a pollster at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, Virginia. "It's a very gun-friendly legislature and the shootings this week will do little to change that," Farnsworth said. He added that polls have shown more support for gun control among state residents than among politicians. Wednesday's shootings were particularly shocking because they happened on air, and because of social media posts about the attack by Vester Flanagan, 41, the man police said carried out the shooting. His posts illustrated a trend of people wanting to commit murders and post images of the killings online to gain notoriety, Parker's boyfriend, Chris Hurst, told NBC. (Reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Frances Kerry)
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Fresh off his inauguration Wednesday, President Biden began his term with executive orders on measures ranging from curbing the coronavirus pandemic to addressing racial inequality, many of which roll back measures enacted by former President Donald Trump’s administration.
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Republicans built up QAnon backer Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, but now are they afraid of what they created?
On the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the combative Georgia Republican known for her association with QAnon, was back on Twitter after a 12-hour suspension, and back to making waves.
- CBS News
Vice presidents since Vice President Walter Mondale have been living in the residence at the Naval Observatory in Washington, D.C.
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Donald Trump bragged about his tax cuts and attempted to take credit for an anticipated economic boom under President Biden to the smattering of supporters his team was able to corral for the event.
Capt. Scott Moss, who led the NOSC in Knoxville, was relieved of command by Capt. Dale Maxey.
- The Week
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) is genuinely undecided on how he will vote in former President Donald Trump's second Senate impeachment trial, his close allies say, but a faction of Senate Republicans are warning him if he votes to convict, the backlash will be swift and severe, CNN reports. "If he does, I don't know if he can stay as leader," one senior GOP senator told CNN, portraying that as a sentiment shared by several of his colleagues. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) said he could not support McConnell if he voted against Trump.McConnell has publicly shifted against Trump since a pro-Trump mob ransacked Congress on Jan. 6. "The mob was fed lies," McConnell said Tuesday. "They were provoked by the president and other powerful people." McConnell is part of "a small but notable faction of high-profile Republicans are taking a stronger stance against Trump or distancing themselves from him," The Associated Press notes, but "Trump is expected to remain politically active, including trying to exact revenge by backing primary challenges against Republicans he believed scorned him in his final days," especially the 10 House Republicans who voted to impeach him."In the House, a group of Trump loyalists are seeking to strip Wyoming Rep. Liz Cheney of her GOP leadership post for supporting impeachment," CNN reports, "a predicament some Republican senators privately believe could hound McConnell if he seeks to end Trump's political career."The logistics and timing of Trump's impeachment trial are up in the air, though multiple Capitol Hill sources tell Politico's Playbook team it could end up being as short as three days, barring Trump calling witnesses. In the end, CNN reports, "Republicans who know McConnell well believe he will take the temperature of the Senate GOP conference and ultimately make a decision based in part on the views of his colleagues and the mood of the country when it comes time to cast the key vote."More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Joe Biden needs to get real
The United Nations Office for Coordination for Humanitarian Affairs said on Wednesday it has halted programs in Venezuela that provide cash transfers to the poor via local nonprofit organizations. The U.N. office known as OCHA is asking the government of President Nicolas Maduro to establish clear rules regarding cash transfers. "We're working with pertinent authorities so that the (cash transfer programs) are in line with the country's financial/banking regulatory framework with the aim of reactivating them, guaranteeing the safety of humanitarian workers and continuing to support ... vulnerable people," OCHA said in an email.
- The Independent
It remains unclear whether the halt to construction will be permanent
- Associated Press
A powerful earthquake shook parts of the southern Philippines on Thursday night, but authorities said it was too deep to cause major damage and no tsunami warning was issued. The quake measured magnitude 7.0 and was located 95.8 kilometers (60 miles) below the sea and about 210 kilometers (130 miles) southeast of Pondaguitan in Davao Occidental province, the U.S. Geological Survey said. In Davao city, President Rodrigo Duterte’s hometown, some residents ran out of their houses as the ground shook and power cables and business signs swayed, but there were no reports of damage or injuries.
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The fantasy ended at noon on Jan. 20, when President Biden took the oath of office, while the erstwhile QAnon hero, now just Donald Trump, ex-president, skulked off to his estate in Florida without even a Twitter account to his name.
The United States on Tuesday sanctioned a network of oil trading firms, individuals and vessels that have helped Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA sell crude mainly to Asia despite Washington's sanctions on the South American nation. The measure targets a network that the U.S. Treasury Department says helped the administration of President Nicolas Maduro, whose 2018 re-election Washington called a sham, broker the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in Venezuelan oil.
- The Independent
Ms Harris is expected to move into the 128-year-old residence once a number of repairs have been made
- Associated Press
China on Thursday expressed hope the Biden administration will improve prospects for people of both countries and give a boost to relations after an especially rocky patch, while getting in a few final digs at former Trump officials. “I think after this very difficult and extraordinary time, both the Chinese and American people deserve a better future,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters at a daily briefing. “Many people of insight in the international community are looking forward to the early return of Sino-U.S. relations to the correct track in making due contributions to jointly address the major and urgent challenges facing the world today,” Hua said.
- Architectural Digest
800 feet up in the sky, the Dreamy 6,000 square foot space offers panoramic views from the East River to the HudsonOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- The Week
Amanda Gorman, the youngest inaugural poet in U.S. history, earned rave reviews on Wednesday for her recitation of her poem, "The Hill We Climb." America's first National Youth Poet Laureate, the 22-year-old told The New York Times that being asked to write a poem about national unity for the inauguration was "probably one of the most important things I'll ever do in my career."Then again, it might not be. As Gorman told the Times in 2017, she actually has bigger ambitions: "This is a long, long, faraway goal, but 2036 I am running for office to be president of the United States," she told the reporter. "So you can put that in your iCloud calendar."Watch Gorman recite "The Hill We Climb" at the inauguration below. > "We are striving to forge our union with purpose. To compose a country committed to all cultures, colours, characters, and conditions of man"> > America's first national youth poet laureate Amanda Gorman performs at Joe Biden's inauguration ceremonyhttps://t.co/0WNTs8Qq66 pic.twitter.com/w8bFWoTebE> > -- BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com 7 brutally funny cartoons about Trump's White House exit Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Joe Biden needs to get real
The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved Avril Haines as the Director of National Intelligence, the nation's top intelligence job, making her the first of President Joe Biden's nominees to be approved. The vote was 84-10, with all the "no" votes coming from Republicans. Both Democrats and leading Republicans issued statements praising the nominee.
- The Telegraph
Donald Trump spent his first night as a private citizen settling into his new home at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, where he has reportedly already begun preparing for his upcoming impeachment hearing. Mr Trump’s final engagement in Washington DC as president was attending his farewell at Joint Base Andrews in DC, which was attended only by some 250 of his most loyal aides and supporters. Notably absent were close White House aides and his own vice president Mike Pence. The former president then left for Florida as President Joe Biden was being sworn in, where he received a much warmer welcome. Supporters lined Mr Trump’s route to Mar-a-Lago, waving “Trump 2020” flags and signs reading “welcome home!”, while others screamed “I love you” as his motorcade drove past. Some still refused to accept the results of the election.
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Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, said during his Senate confirmation hearing that he would execute Biden’s plan to stop building the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Mayorkas also said that CBP and ICE play “critical roles” in the federal government and that he wouldn’t abolish them.
- Associated Press
India began supplying coronavirus vaccines to its neighboring countries on Wednesday, as the world’s largest vaccine making nation strikes a balance between maintaining enough doses to inoculate its own people and helping developing countries without the capacity to produce their own shots. India's Foreign Ministry said the country would send 150,000 shots of the AstraZeneca/Oxford University vaccine, manufactured locally by Serum Institute of India, to Bhutan and 100,000 shots to the Maldives on Wednesday. India's ambassador to Nepal, Vinay Mohan Kwatra, said Wednesday that New Delhi would supply Nepal with 1 million doses free of charge, with the first to arrive as early as Thursday.
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Former Presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama delivered a recorded message to President Biden on Wednesday night.