The White House unveiled gun control measures on Monday that require more gun sellers to get licenses and more gun buyers to undergo background checks, moves President Barack Obama said were well within his authority to implement without congressional approval.
The U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives now will require that people who sell guns at stores, at gun shows or over the Internet be licensed and conduct checks, officials said. The ATF was finalizing a rule requiring background checks for buyers of dangerous weapons from a trust, corporation or other legal entity as well.
Obama, speaking to reporters before the measures were made public, said they were consistent with the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment, which protects the right to bear arms. Obama is igniting a political firestorm by bypassing Congress with the measures, which could spark legal challenges. Republicans say Obama is misusing his powers.
Obama said the measures would not prevent every mass shooting or violent crime, but they did have the potential to save lives. The president is scheduled to give remarks about gun control at 11:40 a.m. EST (1640 GMT) on Tuesday. Newsweek
Kuwait has become the latest country to side with Saudi Arabia in its escalating tension with Iran, which stemmed from the execution of a Shiite cleric and led to an attack against the Saudi embassy in Tehran. On Tuesday, Kuwait recalled its ambassador to Tehran, citing “torching and sabotage activities” of Iranian demonstrators.
The U.N. Security Council has condemned “in the strongest terms” the attacks against the Saudi embassy in Tehran and another Saudi diplomatic mission in Iran after the execution of a Shiite cleric infuriated protesters there.
Bahrain too severed diplomatic ties with Iran. The United Arab Emirates recalled its ambassador. And Sudan expelled the Iranian ambassador and the entire Iranian diplomatic mission in the country.
But Iran’s President Hassan Rouhani took a tougher line, slamming the Saudis on Tuesday and saying that Riyadh can’t cover its crime by severing political relations with Tehran, Iran‘s official English Language Press TV news service reported. CNN
Stock markets in China finished largely even in volatile trading Tuesday, a day after falling nearly 7 percent in a selloff that spread to markets across the globe.
Markets in Shanghai and Shenzhen opened sharply lower Tuesday and were down again about 2 percent in late trading before rallying in the final hour to finish within 0.3 percent of Monday’s close.The massive losses there Monday prompted officials to stop trading.
Japan’s Nikkei, which fell 3 percent Monday, rallied to a small gain Tuesday before dipping into negative territory to close down 0.42 percent. In Hong Kong, the Hang Seng saw its early gains erased in afternoon trading with the index finishing down 0.65 percent.
Monday’s trading in the United States saw the Dow and S&P fall around 1.6 percent while the NASDAQ lost more than 2 percent. European markets were also hurt, with Germany’s DAX losing more than 4 percent and the FTSE in London falling more 2 percent.
The global selloff was sparked by another in a series of disappointing reports on Chinese manufacturing. Investors saw that as evidence that China’s economic growth is slowing down. China is the world’s second largest economy and a key market for many other nations. VOA
Sales of guns in the US are rising, just as President Barack Obama unveils control measures designed to limit the availability of weapons. Shares in gun makers Smith & Wesson and Sturm Ruger jumped on news of strong sales in the final months of last year.
On Monday, Smith & Wesson raised its sales estimate, saying the market was “stronger than originally anticipated”. The number of background checks on potential buyers – a guide to future sales – has also risen.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System said that checks were up by about 38% last month compared with December 2014. Smith & Wesson’s trading update said that for the three months ending 31 January it expected sales to be about $175m-$180m. Earlier guidance put the likely figure at between $150m and $155m. BBC
Trump’s first TV ad hits airwaves
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump’s first television ad will begin airing Tuesday in the early campaign states of Iowa and New Hampshire.
It highlights some of the most provocative parts of his presidential campaign platform, including calls for a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and a temporary ban on the entry of Muslims into the United States. The ad is the billionaire businessman’s first foray into the world of television advertising after spending 2015 dominating polls and headlines while largely avoiding major ad spending. Most of the top candidates have already hit the airwaves in Iowa and New Hampshire. USA Today
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