Top News Stories For Today – Nov 7, 2017
How Texas shooter bought gun
Before he slaughtered 26 people in a small town church, Sutherland Springs shooter Devin Kelley was court-martialed for assault on his wife and assault on their child. He received a bad conduct discharge some time after. Kelley had enough warning signs in his record that he was denied a license to carry a gun in the state, Governor Abbott said, citing the state’s Department of Public Safety. Still, Kelley was able to purchase the rifle he used in the shooting from a sporting goods store in San Antonio in April 2016. Like most states, Texas does not have an assault weapons ban in place. Kelley used a Ruger AR-556 rifle in his rampage. The AR-556 is a type of AR-15, a military-style rifle. Though definitions differ, it is usually considered an assault rifle, or an assault weapon, and is fully legal to purchase in Texas.
The youngest victim in this shooting is 17 month, and the oldest 77 year. Authorities said 4% of the small town’s population was killed in the shooting, with assault rifle. Kelley had emptied 15 magazines of his assault rifle– about 450 rounds. The pastor’s wife, Sherri Pomeroy said: “Most of our church family is gone, our building is probably beyond repair.” CNN
Iran denies alleged ties to al-Qaida
Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Qasimi denies Iran’s alleged connection to al-Qaida, and calls the claim an “empty media whirlwind” by the US Central Intelligence Agency. Officials said such claims are a “shameless” attempt to falsify 9/11 records by the CIA.
Qasimi’s statement followed the recent release by the CIA of documents that were seized at Osama bin Laden’s house in Pakistani city of Abbottabad where he was killed in a US raid in 2011. Among the 470,000 files released was a 19-page document written in Arabic by an unidentified al-Qaida figure detailing the history of a relationship between Iran and al-Qaida. The document says Iran would assist and finance any entity willing to attack US targets anywhere in the world as long as Iran’s interference was kept anonymous. VOA
Former Trump adviser tells about 2016 Russia trip
A former foreign policy adviser to President Donald Trump’s campaign has acknowledged in testimony to Congress that he had contact with a high-level Russian official while on a trip to Russia last year, according to a transcript released Monday.
Page told the panel he had informed some members of the Trump campaign about the trip, including then-Sen. Jeff Sessions. The testimony could raise more questions about the extent of Sessions’ knowledge about interactions between Trump campaign aides and Russians. Page has insisted – and continued to insist in the interview – that the trip was personal and not campaign related. VOA
Trump urges North Korea to ‘come to the table’
President Trump started his visit to the Korean peninsula on Tuesday by calling for North Korea to “come to the table” and “make a deal” to curb its nuclear weapons program. The statement marked a shift from the tough stance reflected in other recent statements toward Pyongyang, including Trump’s threat to unleash “fire and fury” on the North if it threatens the US or its allies. “Ultimately, it’ll all work out,” Trump said, noting he had seen “a lot of progress” regarding North Korea lately.
During Trump’s first day in South Korea, his South Korean counterpart, Moon Jae-in, said the two leaders had “agreed to resolve the North Korea nuclear issue in peaceful manner” to “bring permanent peace” to the peninsula. The Associated Press, The Week
Election in Virginia, New Jersey top 2017 elections
Voters in Virginia and New Jersey are picking new governors on Tuesday, the headline races in an off-year election that also features a race to fill Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s (R) seat in Utah’s 3rd congressional district, New York’s mayor’s office, and a state race that will determine party control of Washington State’s Senate.
In New Jersey, Democrat Phil Murphy holds a double-digit lead over Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno (R), but the race in Virginia between Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam (D) and former RNC chairman Ed Gillespie is close. In New York City, Mayor Bill de Blasio (D) is expected to win re-election, and Provo Mayor John Curtis (R) is ahead in the Utah race against Democrat Kathie Allen. CNN, The Associated Press, The Week
Climate change in Mongolia
The Trump administration is unique in that some officials continue to ask for more evidence that humans are contributing to a warming planet. This, despite a government report issued last week that concludes that human activity is the primary cause of a warming planet.
But if that report isn’t proof enough, there are places on the planet, like Mongolia, where climate change is visibly destroying entire landscapes, VOA news report. VOA
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