News You Should Read Today – December 20 – 2015

Democrats debate in New Hampshire ( debate in New Hampshire

Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Bernie Sanders, and Martin O’Malley met for their third debate Saturday night in New Hampshire.

Sanders apologized to Clinton for the DNC data breach that shook the party Friday. Tensions ran high when O’Malley laid into Clinton and Sanders on gun control, prompting Clinton to demand that he “tell the truth,” and when Clinton and Sanders debated how to handle ISIS. O’Malley, 52, also took a not-so-subtle jab at his competitors’ ages, offering a “different generation’s perspective” on foreign policy.

In the night’s most bizarre moment, ABC returned from an unconventional mid-debate analysis break and restarted the debate without Clinton. Her reply once she finally came onstage: “Sorry.” The New York Times via The Week



US airstrike mistakenly killed 10 Iraqi soldiers ( airstrike mistakenly killed 10 Iraqi soldiers

An airstrike by the U.S.-led coalition this past week killed 10 Iraqi troops, the Iraqi government said Saturday, in an apparent friendly fire incident in which the U.S. defense secretary says both sides shared responsibility.

Iraqi Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi, at a news conference in Baghdad, said one Iraqi officer and nine soldiers were killed in the strike Friday, which took place south of the city of Fallujah, about 40 miles west of Baghdad.

Obeidi said the death toll announcement was a “correction” to earlier statements that one Iraqi soldier had died — statements that were disputed by soldiers who witnessed the strike.

U.S. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter said an American aircraft appeared to have conducted the strike, which he called “a mistake that involved both sides.” Carter called Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi on Saturday to express his condolences for the deaths. The Washington Post



Deaths Due to Guns, Cars Occur at Same Rate in US (Reuters)Deaths due to guns, cars occur at same rate in US

For the first time in more than 60 years, the death rate for Americans killed by firearms is as high as the mortality rate linked to motor vehicle accidents. New data released by the government’s Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that guns and car accidents each cause 103 deaths among every 1 million people.

The two death rates were far apart for decades, but improved safety equipment in cars has drastically reduced the number of fatalities from motor vehicle accidents. At the same time, the incidence of deaths caused by firearms is higher, the CDC said, but most of that increase is due to a rise in suicides involving guns.

It is easy and legal for the vast majority of people in the U.S. to buy guns, including assault rifles. The National Rifle Association, a strong lobbying group, has been successful in blocking gun control regulation, despite calls by President Barack Obama for Congress to take action against certain types of gun sales.

Some Americans maintain that the Second Amendment to the Constitution, which guarantees the right to bear arms, means there must be no restrictions. Other Americans say some restrictions are necessary in an attempt to cut down on the number of deaths by gunfire.

The Second Amendment, ratified in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights guaranteeing all Americans’ 10 basic freedoms, says: “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.” VOA



22 buildings collapse in China landslide ( buildings collapse in China landslide

Some 22 buildings have collapsed in a landslide at an industrial park in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. About 900 people have been evacuated, with four people pulled alive from rubble with minor or no injuries, the local government said. No fatalities have been reported.

Shenzhen’s fire brigade said it was working to free other trapped people. At least 22 remain missing.

Two workers’ dormitories are among the affected buildings. Li Yikang, the deputy secretary general of the Shenzhen city government, said in a televised news conference that 17 men and five women were missing. An area of 20,000 sq m (24,000 square yards) was covered with soil, the Public Security Bureau’s firefighting bureau said.

Local media reported that the soil that came loose had been dug up in the past two years in construction work and was piled up nearby. A statement on Weibo from the Shenzhen municipal government said the landslide had also triggered an explosion at a nearby gas station.

A landslide in the country’s Zhejiang province in November killed at least 25 people. BBC

GOP candidates pledge to sign anti-gay discrimination into lawGOP candidates pledge to sign anti-gay discrimination into law

Six of the Republican candidates vying for the presidency have signed a pledge promising to support legislation during their first 100 days in the White House that would use the guise of “religious liberty” to give individuals and businesses the right to openly discriminate against LGBT people.

Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Rick Santorum, and Mike Huckabee vowed to push for the passage of the First Amendment Defense Act (FADA), legislation that would prohibit the federal government from stopping discrimination by people or businesses that believe “marriage is or should be recognized as the union of one man and one woman” or that “sexual relations are properly reserved to such a marriage.”

The pledge is supported by three conservative groups: the American Principles Project, Heritage Action for America, and Family Research Council Action. Think Progress

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