Top news stories for today – June 16, 2016
Obama to visit Orlando
President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden will travel to Orlando on Thursday to offer comfort and support to a community grieving after Sunday’s mass shooting at a gay nightclub, which left 49 dead and 53 wounded, the White House said Wednesday.
Obama and Biden will meet with the families of victims, “and stand in solidarity with the Orlando community,” the White House said. Obama plans to speak publicly to make clear that the country stands with the city and its LGBT community as they grieve, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said. Orlando Sentinel, Voice of America
Orlando gunman checked Facebook
On Wednesday, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) released a letter with what he said were posts from five Facebook accounts believed to be linked to Omar Mateen, the gunman who shot dead 49 people at an Orlando gay nightclub early Sunday morning.
“America and Russia stop bombing the Islamic state..I pledge my alliance to [ISIS leader] abu bakr al Baghdadi,” Mateen wrote, according to Johnson. “The real muslims will never accept the filthy ways of the west,” he reportedly wrote later, and in his final post, “in the next few days you will see attacks from the Islamic state in the usa.” Mateen also searched Facebook for “Pulse Orlando” and “shooting” during the attack, suggesting he was searching to see if his attack was making waves on social media. The Associated Press, The Washington Post
Filibuster wins gun vote promise
At 2:11 a.m. in Washington, D.C., Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) yielded the floor after a talking filibuster that began Wednesday just after 11 a.m. Murphy, who was joined by several colleagues during his 15-hour verbal fight for more gun laws, ended his filibuster by saying it’s not brave to stand up to the NRA for popular legislation, it’s brave to sacrifice your life for one of your second-grade students, as a teacher did during the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Murphy’s home state.
“Ask yourself what can you do to ensure Orlando or Sandy Hook never happens again,” he said. Before his filibuster ended, Murphy said that Republicans have committed to holding votes on more strenuous gun background checks and restrictions for people on terrorism watch lists. Twitter, The Week
EgyptAir wreckage found
The Egyptian government says it has found wreckage of EgyptAir Flight 804, which crashed into the Mediterranean Sea last month. Images taken of the wreckage were provided to an Egyptian investigative committee, the Civil Aviation Ministry said Wednesday.
Wreckage was found in several places. The ministry did not specify the size or the location of the parts that were found. The Airbus A320, which had 66 people aboard, crashed in the Mediterranean on May 19 on a flight from Paris to Cairo. CNN
US Presidential election
Hillary Clinton reportedly vetting Elizabeth Warren: Hillary Clinton’s campaign isn’t considering Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) as her running mate, but Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) is being vetted, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing “people familiar with the process.” The winnowing, led by Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, is in its early stages and is using only publicly available information so far. Warren, 66, and Sanders, 74, both represent the populist left faction of the Democratic Party. Sanders, for his part, “isn’t particularly interested in the job, nor is he expecting to be offered it,” The Journal reports, citing a senior Sanders adviser. Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid has found a loophole that would prevent Gov. Charlie Baker (R-Mass.) from naming a Republican to Warren’s seat for too long. The Wall Street Journal, The Boston Globe
Clinton leads Trump in new poll: A new national poll shows Hillary Clinton carrying a six-point lead over Donald Trump with both presidential primaries now in the rearview mirror, though both major party presumptive nominees remain challenged by controversies weighing on their campaigns. According to a CBS poll released Thursday, Clinton leads Trump 43% to 37% — numbers that are down significantly for both candidates from a couple months ago, when they garnered closer to 50% and 40%, respectively. CNN
Clinton calls Trump unfit for White House: Hillary Clinton is continuing to frame Donald Trump as unfit to be commander-in-chief in an era of international unrest. She said “not one of Donald Trump’s reckless ideas” would have prevented the Orlando massacre. She plans to make the case for why Donald Trump is “temperamentally unfit” to manage the nation’s economy and pledged to end a tax loophole for wealthy Americans by executive action if necessary in a preview of a second major policy address, scheduled for next week, that casts Trump as dangerous and unqualified. USA Today
Trump to meet NRA: Donald Trump announced Wednesday that he would meet with the National Rifle Association to discuss keeping people from the no-fly list and terrorist watch list from buying guns. The gun rights group, which has endorsed Trump, released a statement on Wednesday that said its position would remain the same, which is that that such restrictions would be “ineffective, unconstitutional, or both.” USA Today