Political Editors / Mar. 15, 2019

Friday Top News Executive Summary

New Zealand shooting, Senate rebuke, North Korea’s waffling, Brexit, Mueller probe, Remington Arms lawsuit, and more.

  • Fox News reports, “Four people were in custody — one of whom was charged with murder — after at least one heavily-armed shooter mowed down Muslim worshippers at Friday prayer, massacring 49 people in two New Zealand mosques while broadcasting a horrific live stream of the terror attack.” The alleged perpetrator is an Australian native who created a white nationalist manifesto. According to the Associated Press, “He said he chose New Zealand because of its location, to show that even the most remote parts of the world were not free of ‘mass immigration.’”

  • “The Senate voted on Thursday to nix President Trump’s national emergency declaration to construct the U.S.-Mexico border wall, setting up the first veto battle with his White House,” The Hill reports. Fifty-nine senators — including 12 Republicans — voted in favor of the resolution. “The resolution now heads to Trump’s desk, where he is expected to use the first veto of his presidency to defeat it. Neither chamber has the votes to override the president.”

  • “North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will soon decide whether to continue diplomatic talks and maintain his moratorium on missile launches and nuclear tests, a senior North Korean official said Friday, adding that the U.S. threw away a golden opportunity at the recent summit between their leaders.” The Associated Press goes on to note that “Pyongyang now has no intention of compromising or continuing talks unless the United States takes measures that are commensurate to the changes it has taken — such as the 15-month moratorium on launches and tests — and changes its ‘political calculation.’”

  • “British lawmakers on Thursday voted to seek an extension to the country’s Brexit deadline, throwing further doubt on the U.K.‘s impending divorce from the European Union. In a series of votes in another dramatic yet inconclusive week, members of Parliament overwhelmingly voted 412-202 for the resolution. … The motion directs Prime Minister Theresa May to ask E.U. leaders for at least three months longer to work out what has become a protracted political mess. May will need all 27 other members of the bloc to agree to extend the March 29 deadline. It is far from certain that such unanimity exists.” (NBC News)

  • The House on Thursday unanimously passed a bill that would impel Robert Mueller’s report to be made public, USA Today reports, but “the measure … was blocked [in the Senate] by Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who asked that the resolution also include calling for the appointment of a new special counsel to investigate how the Justice Department conducted its investigation.” Graham stated, “We let Mueller look at all things Trump, related to collusion and otherwise. Somebody needs to look at what happened on the other side and find out if the FBI and the DOJ had two systems.”

  • “The residents of a makeshift New Mexico compound — where 11 emaciated children were found during an August raid — were charged by federal authorities Wednesday with terror, kidnapping and firearms offenses. … Jany Leveille, 36, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, 40, Hurjah Wahhaj, 38, Subhanah Wahhaj, 36, and Lucas Morton, 41, were charged 'with federal offenses related to terrorism, kidnapping and firearms violations,’ the Department of Justice said in a press release. In the original indictment, Leveille was also charged with ‘possessing firearms and ammunition as an alien illegally and unlawfully in the United States.’ … ‘The superseding indictment alleges a conspiracy to stage deadly attacks on American soil,’ U.S. Attorney John C. Anderson said in a statement.” (Fox News)

  • Setting a dangerous precedent? “By ruling against a gun-maker, the Connecticut Supreme Court appears to have pierced a legal shield that could lead to more lawsuits and damaging disclosures involving the arms industry, gun control advocates say. The court ruled Thursday that Remington Arms, maker of the semiautomatic rifle that was used to kill 20 children and six educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, can be sued because of the way the gun was marketed. The 4-3 decision came despite protections that Congress granted in a 2005 law that shielded makers from liability when their guns are used in the commission of crimes. … The lawsuit contends that Remington … advertised the gun model, which is based on the military’s AR-15, in ways that glorified it to young people and that the weapon is inherently dangerous.” (USA Today)

  • “The discredited ‘anti-hate’ group Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) fired its co-founder and chief litigator Morris Dees for a ‘personal’ issue that didn’t reflect ‘the mission of the organization’ or its values,” according to The Daily Wire, which adds: “The SPLC said it would bring ‘in an outside organization to conduct a comprehensive assessment of our internal climate and workplace practices, to ensure that our talented staff is working in the environment that they deserve — one in which all voices are heard and all staff members are respected.’” If only the SPLC would show respect for the plethora of legitimate people and organizations it so desperately seeks to destroy.

  • Collusion: “The Justice Department ‘negotiated’ an agreement with Hillary Clinton’s legal team that ensured the FBI did not have access to emails on her private servers relating to the Clinton Foundation, former FBI special agent Peter Strzok testified during a closed-door appearance before the House Judiciary Committee last summer, according to a newly released transcript.” (Fox News)

  • Sanctuary madness: “Local and federal authorities are imploring California lawmakers to revise the state’s ‘sanctuary’ policies after another illegal immigrant with a known criminal record was charged in a brutal killing in the Democrat-controlled state. Police say Bambi Larson, 59, was stabbed to death in her home Feb. 28 by Carlos Eduardo Arevalo Carranza, 24, an illegal immigrant with a long rap sheet. … According to investigators, Carranza, a Salvadoran national, was in the country illegally and had been convicted of more than 10 crimes in the past three years.” (The Daily Signal)

  • Humor: Man feels the need to clarify he doesn’t support Trump before every mundane statement (The Babylon Bee)

  • Policy: “Most Americans don’t want a nationwide bathroom requirement, health care mandate, or ‘preferred pronoun’ law based on gender identity, but congressional Democrats seem to think it’s time to impose them,” says The Heritage Foundation’s Monica Burke. Here are “7 Reasons Why the Equality Act Is Anything But.”

  • Policy: “The various claims that Obama administration officials made about school discipline and racial discrimination, including the suspicion cast on public school teachers, are still widely circulated and believed,” writes Manhattan Institute senior fellow Max Eden. “This is unfortunate, because almost all these claims are based on weak or flawed empirical evidence. As school leaders revisit the rules that they maintain to ensure orderly classrooms and safe learning environments, it is essential that they understand why the federal government’s involvement with local school disciplinary policies was ill-advised — and be guided by better and more rigorous research.”

For more of today’s editors’ choice headlines, visit In Our Sights.

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