“Those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.”
–George Bernard Shaw
Colorado Shooting Update
The 21-year-old male suspect charged with ten counts of murder after Monday’s mass shooting at a grocery store in Boulder, CO, made his first appearance in court yesterday.
Prosecutors indicated they would file more charges in the coming weeks. The suspect is facing an additional charge of attempted murder for allegedly shooting at a police officer, who was unhurt.
His public defender asked the judge to delay the case’s next hearing for weeks to give the defense time “to fully assess [her client’s] mental illness,” which was not previously disclosed.
The judge agreed to set the next hearing in “about 60 to 90 days,” ruling the suspect would remain in jail without bond until then.
What Do We Know?
The suspect in Monday’s shooting bought the gun he used – an AR-style pistol – six days prior, according to Boulder police. Officials have not publicly disclosed where or how he purchased the firearm.
The city in 2018 banned the sale and possession of semiautomatic firearms it defined as “assault weapons,” as well as high-capacity magazines.
The ban was put on hold earlier this month after a judge ruled that under state law, local governments can’t prohibit the sale of firearms.
However, law enforcement officials said the Boulder law wouldn’t have applied to the suspect’s purchase because he didn’t buy the gun in that city.
President Biden on Tuesday called on Congress to enact legislation to “ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country,” calling on the Senate to “immediately pass” two House-approved bills that would expand background checks for firearm sales.
A law enforcement officialtold CNN it appeared there was nothing in the federal system that would have prohibited the suspect from buying a firearm.
Republicans argue many Democratic proposals would do little to address gun violence while infringing on Second Amendment rights.
They said Tuesday that expanding background checks wouldn’t be sufficient to prevent mass shootings because in many cases the shooters successfully cleared a background check.
Senators have no excuse for inaction on guns. Tell them to save lives.
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💉 COVID Vaccine Update
At the current pace, Bloomberg estimates it will take another 4 months to cover 75% of the U.S. population.
A number of states accelerated their timeline for extending vaccine eligibility to all adults yesterday, including FL, CA, CT, NH, NC, and RI. See where your state stands.
📢 Biden Press Conference
President Biden held his first official press conference yesterday. Full video.
Biden opened the hour-long session by announcing a new goal of 200M vaccines administered by the end of his first 100 days in office.
He also addressed a wide range of issues including immigration, foreign policy (especially China & Afghanistan), the Senate filibuster, and his intention to run for reelection in 2024 with VP Kamala Harris.
The Supreme Court published two decisions yesterday:
In a unanimous ruling, the court said Ford could be sued for allegedly defective vehicles involved in accidents, rejecting the company’s argument it could be sued only in states where the vehicles were actually designed, manufactured, or sold. (From the Left |From the Right)
In the second case, the court ruled 5-3 that police can be sued for violating the 4th Amendment’s protection against unreasonable seizures when they use excessive force trying to apprehend a subject – even if the subject gets away. (From the Left |From the Right)
🌪️ A tornado killed at least five people and injured several others in Alabama yesterday. The National Weather Service’s Storm Prediction Center issued a category 5 out of 5 “high risk” for severe thunderstorms in the southeastern U.S. (map).
🦅 The number of American bald eagles has quadrupled since 2009, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. There are now more than 300k birds across the contiguous U.S.
Criticism of H&M surged Wednesday on Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, amplified by mentions from multiple state-media accounts.
As of Thursday, the company and its stores had been wiped from China’s leading e-commerce, ride-hailing, daily-deals, and map applications. Two Chinese celebrities also severed ties with the brand.
More: The Global Times, a state-run newspaper, also criticized similar statements about Xinjiang from Nike, Adidas, New Balance, Burberry, and Zara, though none of the companies were subject to the same across-the-board removal as H&M.
The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell to 684k last week, according to the Department of Labor, the fewest since the pandemic started.
It marks a decrease from 781k the previous week. The four-week moving average, which smooths out volatility, also fell to a pandemic low of 736k.
More: A total of 18.9M people continued to collect jobless benefits last week. Roughly one-third of those recipients are in extended federal aid programs, meaning they’ve been unemployed for over six months.
🧠 In the Know:
🏀 March Madness Round 3: Both the men’s and women’s tournaments kick off the Sweet Sixteen round tomorrow.
“It’s just like magic. As soon as the kids see her, they’re like, ‘Okay, glasses are amazing.'”
Danielle Crull is a pediatric optician in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. Most of her patients are between two to five years old – and many of them experience anxiety over wearing glasses for the first time.
💉 Shot in the Dark… a new report from the nonprofit Center for Countering Digital Hate found a majority of the anti-vax content emerging on social media over the past two months originated from just 12 people, dubbed the “Disinformation Dozen.”
⚓ Lost at Sea… in July 2019, U.S. Navy destroyers off the coast of Southern California’s Channel Islands were swarmed for several days by unidentified drones with flashing lights that were able to stay aloft for longer than commercially available unpiloted aircraft.
🃏 Let Your Hair Down
In a standard deck of playing cards, which is the only king to not have a moustache?
A) King of Spades B) King of Hearts C) King of Diamonds D) King of Clubs
(keep scrolling for the answer)
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