A divided Senate answers Orlando with gridlock on gun curbs
WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Senate blocked rival election-year plans to curb guns Monday, eight days after the horror of Orlando’s mass shooting intensified pressure on lawmakers to act but knotted them in gridlock anyway — even over restricting firearms for terrorists.
In largely party-line votes, senators rejected one proposal from each side to keep extremists from acquiring guns and a second shoring up the government’s system of required background checks for many firearms purchases.
With the chamber’s visitors’ galleries unusually crowded for a Monday evening — including relatives of victims of past mass shootings and people wearing orange T-shirts saying #ENOUGH gun violence — each measure fell short of the 60 votes needed to progress. Democrats called the GOP proposals unacceptably weak while Republicans said the Democratic plans were too restrictive.
The stalemate underscored the pressure on each party to stand firm on the emotional gun issue going into November’s presidential and congressional elections. It also highlighted the potency of the National Rifle Association, which urged its huge and fiercely loyal membership to lobby senators to oppose the Democratic bills.
“Republicans say, ‘Hey look, we tried,'” said Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. “And all the time, their cheerleaders, the bosses at the NRA, are cheering them.”
Trump fires his campaign manager in dramatic shake-up
NEW YORK (AP) — Donald Trump abruptly fired campaign manager Corey Lewandowski on Monday in a dramatic shake-up designed to calm panicked Republican leaders and end an internal power struggle plaguing the billionaire businessman’s unconventional White House bid.
In dismissing his longtime campaign chief — just a month before the party’s national convention — Trump signaled, at least for a day, a departure from the seat-of-the-pants style that has fueled his unlikely rise in Republican politics. Perhaps more than anyone else in Trump’s inner circle, the ousted aide has preached a simple mantra: “Let Trump be Trump.”
“I have no regrets,” Lewandowski told CNN just hours after he was escorted out of Trump’s Manhattan campaign headquarters. Still, the former conservative activist seemed to acknowledge the limitations of his approach, which has sparked widespread concern among the GOP’s top donors, operatives, elected officials, and even some of Trump’s family members.
“The campaign needs to continue to grow to be successful,” he said.
Trump, the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, described Lewandowski as a “good man” who helped “a small, beautiful, well-unified campaign” during the primary season.
10 Things to Know for Tuesday
Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about Tuesday:
1. DIVIDED SENATE BLOCKS PLAN TO CURB GUNS EIGHT DAYS AFTER ORLANDO MASSACRE
Rejected were one proposal from each side to keep extremists from acquiring guns and another shoring up the government’s existing system of required background checks for many firearms purchases.
2. TRUMP ABRUPTLY FIRES LONGTIME CAMPAIGN CHIEF IN DRAMATIC SHAKE-UP
Corey Lewandowski’s dismissal signals, for now, a departure from the seat-of-the-pants style that has fueled Trump’s unlikely rise in Republican politics.
911 transcript: Orlando gunman said he was Islamic soldier
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Orlando gunman Omar Mateen identified himself as an Islamic soldier in calls with authorities during his rampage and warned a crisis negotiator that in coming days “you’re going to see more of this type of action going on,” according to transcripts released by the FBI on Monday.
The partial transcripts were of a 911 call made by Mateen and three conversations he had with the police crisis negotiators during the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, in which 49 people died and dozens were wounded.
Those communications, along with Facebook posts and searches Mateen made around the time of the shootings, add to the public understanding of the final hours of Mateen’s life and to the possible motivations behind the rampage.
The first call came more than a half-hour after shots rang out, when Mateen told a 911 operator, “Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God,” he told the dispatcher, referring to God in Arabic.
“I let you know, I’m in Orlando and I did the shootings.”
Hillary Clinton’s VP search moves into more intense phase
WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton’s search for a running mate is moving into a more intense phase, according to several Democrats, as aides contact a pared-down pool of candidates to ask for reams of personal information and set up interviews with the presumptive Democratic nominee’s vetting team.
Those on the shortlist include Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a favorite of progressives who has emerged as a blistering critic of presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump; Virginia Sen. Tim Kaine, a well-liked lawmaker from an important general election battleground state; and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro of Texas, a rising star in the Democratic Party.
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Clinton’s toughest primary rival, is not on the shortlist of vice presidential candidates, according to one Democrat.
A small group of Clinton campaign confidants has been sifting through publicly available information about more than two dozen possible contenders for more than a month. But with Democratic primary voting wrapping up last week, the list has been culled significantly and the campaign has begun contacting those under consideration.
Several Democrats described Clinton’s vice presidential search process on the condition of anonymity, because they were not authorized by her campaign to publicly discuss it. Clinton campaign spokesman Brian Fallon would not comment.
Lawmakers remember Jo Cox as markets sense rising EU support
LONDON (AP) — Britain’s normally raucous House of Commons was given over to tears, roses and warm tributes Monday as legislators urged an end to angry and divisive politics in honor of their slain colleague Jo Cox, who was killed last week.
The British pound and global stock markets surged as shock at the death of the pro-Europe Cox seemed to sap momentum from campaigners fighting for the United Kingdom to leave the European Union.
The market surge suggested growing investor confidence that the uncertainty associated with a “leave” vote in Thursday’s referendum would be avoided. Betting houses also shortened the odds that Britain would remain in the 28-nation bloc.
Referendum campaigning has resumed with a more somber tone after being suspended for three days following the death Cox, who was shot and stabbed to death outside a library in her northern England constituency last Thursday.
Police have charged a suspect, Thomas Mair, who gave his name during a weekend court appearance as “death to traitors, freedom for Britain.” He appeared in court for a brief hearing by video link Monday from prison, and his lawyer did not seek bail.
10 years after housing peaked, US is more of a renter nation
MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) — It’s a troublesome story playing out across America in the 10 years since the housing bubble peaked and then burst in a ruinous crash: As real estate has climbed back, homeowners are thriving while renters are struggling.
For many longtime owners, times are good. They’re enjoying the benefits of growing equity and reduced mortgage payments from ultra-low rates.
But for America’s growing class of renters, surging costs, stagnant pay and rising home values have made it next to impossible to save enough to buy.
The possible consequences are bleak for a nation already grappling with economic inequality: Whatever wealth most Americans possess mainly comes from home equity. An enlarged renter class means fewer Americans can build that same wealth and financial security.
Nearly two-thirds of adults still own homes. And some who rent do so by choice. Yet ownership has become a more distant dream for the many Americans who still regard it as a route to prosperity and pride. The problem has become especially severe in areas that offer the best job prospects as well as those that have been battered by foreclosures.
UN urges solutions as refugee population hits record high
GENEVA (AP) — Imagine the entire population of France uprooted from their homes, forced to flee danger, persecution or starvation. The U.N. refugee agency says more people than that — 65 million — were displaced worldwide at the end of last year, easily setting a new postwar record.
And it warned that European and other rich nations can expect the flow to continue if root causes aren’t addressed.
After a year when more than a million people arrived on European shores, UNHCR said Monday — World Refugee Day — that continued conflicts and persecution in places like Syria and Afghanistan fueled a nearly 10-percent increase in the total number of refugees and internally displaced people in 2015.
“I hope that the message carried by those forcibly displaced reaches the leaderships: We need action, political action, to stop conflicts,” said Filippo Grandi, the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. “The message that they have carried is: ‘If you don’t solve problems, problems will come to you.'”
The Geneva-based agency’s latest Global Trends Report shows that for the first time since World War II, the 60-million mark was crossed.
Global coral bleaching event expected to last through 2016
HONOLULU (AP) — After the most powerful El Nino on record heated the world’s oceans to never-before-seen levels, huge swaths of once vibrant coral reefs that were teeming with life are now stark white ghost towns disintegrating into the sea.
And the world’s top marine scientists are still struggling in the face of global warming and decades of devastating reef destruction to find the political and financial wherewithal to tackle the loss of these globally important ecosystems.
The International Coral Reef Symposium convened Monday to try to create a more unified conservation plan for coral reefs.
Federal officials said Monday the global coral bleaching event that began in 2014 with a super-charged El Nino is ongoing and is now the longest-lasting and largest such event ever recorded.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials said that the event is expected to continue for its third year, lasting at least until the end of 2016.
Off the plane but still sky-high, LeBron brings title home
CLEVELAND (AP) — LeBron James stepped off the plane and into a blizzard of red-and-gold confetti before hoisting the Larry O’Brien trophy. It gleamed in the bright summer sun, a symbol of hope and history.
As promised, James brought home a championship, the one on hold the past 52 years.
“This is for you, Cleveland,” James shouted into a microphone.
The superstar, born and raised in nearby Akron, powered the Cavaliers to a never-seen-before comeback in the NBA Finals, bringing them back from a 3-1 deficit to stun the Golden State Warriors.
On Monday, more than 10,000 fans gathered at Hopkins International Airport welcomed James and his teammates, who made a pit stop in Las Vegas for late-night partying before completing this unlikeliest June journey.