In our news wrap Thursday, new gun control bills emerged in the Senate, including proposals from Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla, and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. This comes after President Trump said he’s open to some gun control measures. Also, U.S. Ambassador to Mexico Roberta Jacobson announced she is stepping down, after working for the State Department for more than 30 years.
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In the day's other news: Wall Street was hit hard again after President Trump announced that he's imposing stiff tariffs on imported steel and aluminum. It sparked fears of a trade war, and major indexes dropped well over 1 percent.
The Dow Jones industrial average lost 420 points to close below 24609. The Nasdaq fell 92 points, and the S&P 500 sank 36. We will talk about the tariffs right after the news summary.
New gun control legislation emerged in the U.S. Senate today. That's after President Trump said that he's open to imposing comprehensive background checks, raising the age to buy assault-type weapons, and taking away guns from those who are deemed a risk.
Republican Marco Rubio, from Florida, also called today for seizing weapons from people identified as threats, but he stopped short of broad background checks.
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla.:
There are things we can act on and do, and there are things we can continue to argue over, debate and perhaps do in the future.
But on the things we agree on, and they happen to be things that could have prevented this attack and will prevent future attacks, let's get those done.
Minority Leader Chuck Schumer answered with a three-part Democratic proposal. He called for universal background checks, as well as a debate on banning assault-type weapons.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., Minority Leader:
The only hope of passing this, given that Democrats are so strongly for these proposals, is the president persuading Republicans and, frankly, giving them cover from the NRA.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said that his first priority is a banking bill. As for gun legislation, he said — quote — "We'd love to do that at some point."
The U.S. ambassador to Mexico announced today she's stepping down, the latest high-level diplomatic departure from the Trump administration. Roberta Jacobson has been ambassador for nearly two years, and worked for the State Department for more than 30 years. She noted today that U.S.-Mexico relations are at a crucial moment, but said she wants to explore other opportunities.
In Syria, no relief again today for rebel-held suburbs of Damascus. Syria's military has been pounding Eastern Ghouta, while its ally, Russia, has called for a daily five-hour truce. In Geneva today, U.N. officials complained their call for a 30- day cease-fire is being ignored. They dismissed the Russian plan as unworkable.
But I have to declare that I know no humanitarian actor, zero humanitarian actor who thinks that five hours is enough for us to be able to deliver relief into Eastern Ghouta.
The Russians and Syrian state media claim the rebels in Eastern Ghouta are blocking or even killing civilians who try to leave.
It is now a crime in Poland to accuse the Polish nation of Holocaust crimes committed in cooperation with Nazi Germany. The new law took effect today. Warsaw says that it is not an effort to deny the Holocaust. Opponents say nationalists want to block any discussion of Polish complicity in the mass murder of Jews.
An official Vatican magazine today slammed the treatment of nuns inside the Roman Catholic Church. "Women Church World" reported that they're exploited as indentured servants by cardinals and by bishops, and that they receive little pay. It described nuns cooking, cleaning and waiting tables, but rarely getting a chance to use their intellectual gifts.
Back in this country, U.S. Housing Secretary Ben Carson says he's asking to cancel the purchase of a $31,000 dining set for his office. It drew intense criticism this week. In a statement released by a friend today, Carson said: "I was as surprised as anyone to find out that a $31,000 dining set had been ordered."
And public schools across West Virginia remained closed for a sixth day as teachers stayed on strike. The Statehouse approved a 5 percent pay increase last night, but, today, the state Senate voted against considering the bill immediately.