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News Wrap: Trump says McConnell ‘on board’ for stronger gun background checks

In our news wrap Friday, President Trump expressed optimism that congressional Republicans will back legislation strengthening background checks for gun purchases. He cited “tremendous support” for such action after speaking with lawmakers and NRA officials. Also, in Hong Kong, demonstrators descended on the international airport for the first of three days of planned anti-government protests.

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  • Amna Nawaz:

    President Trump expressed hope today that he will be able to persuade Republicans to back stronger background check legislation for firearms.

    He said he's spoken with congressional leaders and officials from the National Rifle Association after last weekend's mass shootings in Texas and Ohio. Before leaving the White House this morning, the president told reporters there is — quote — "tremendous support" for background check legislation.

  • Donald Trump:

    Frankly, we need intelligent background checks, OK? This isn't a question of NRA, Republican, or Democrat.

    I will tell you, I spoke to Mitch McConnell yesterday. He's totally on board. He said, I've been waiting for your call. He is totally on board.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Now, McConnell has not endorsed any type of gun safety legislation. Yesterday, he told a Kentucky radio show the Senate will discuss background checks and so-called red flag laws when it returns in September.

    Five years after the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, his father called for a new investigation of his death. The 2014 killing sparked nationwide protests demanding greater police accountability. A grand jury declined to indict Darren Wilson, the white police officer who shot and killed the unarmed black teenager.

    Today, Brown's father said justice had not yet been served.

  • Michael Brown Sr.:

    As a father, I vowed to protect my children. Well, on August 9, 2014, that wasn't the case. I could not protect him that day, and it breaks my heart. His family is still standing, and we're not stopping until we get some type of justice.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    Saint Louis County's new prosecuting attorney, Wesley Bell, has not yet said if he will reopen the case.

    In Hong Kong, demonstrators descended on the international airport today for the first of three days of planned anti-government protests. Hundreds of activists filled the airport's terminal and chanted demands for democratic reforms in the region. Protesters said they want to send a message to visitors in Hong Kong.

  • Cheng (through translator):

    Every foreigner who came to Hong Kong could see how united we are. This shows that Hong Kong youngsters are 100 percent peaceful and not violent.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    While today's protests remained peaceful, some recent demonstrations have led to violent clashes between police and protesters. Today, the territory's chief executive, Carrie Lam, who has faced calls to step down, urged lawmakers not to give in after months of chaos.

  • Carrie Lam:

    I don't think we should just sort of make concessions in order to silence the violent protesters. We should do what is right for Hong Kong.

    And, at this moment, what is right for Hong Kong, as we have heard all of our 33 business representatives told us, is to stop the violence and to say no to the chaotic situation that Hong Kong has experienced in the last few weeks.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    The protests started in opposition to a now-tabled extradition bill that could have moved Hong Kong residents to mainland China to face criminal charges. Police have arrested nearly 600 people in the demonstrations since June.

    There is word tonight that North Korea has fired two projectiles into the sea off its eastern coast. It comes as the country has ramped up their missile tests in recent weeks amid a stalemate in nuclear talks with the U.S.

    Today, President Trump told reporters he received a three-page letter from North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but he declined to share what it said.

    China, meanwhile, is on red alert, as a powerful typhoon made landfall on its east coast. It touched down in Zhejiang province around 1:00 a.m. Local time on Saturday. Heavy rains and strong winds had already impacted parts of northeastern Taiwan, canceling flights and suspending schools. The typhon — typhoon, rather, is expected to weaken as it moves farther inland.

    The Indian government today temporarily eased a strict curfew in the disputed territory of Kashmir for Friday prayers. That came during an unprecedented five-day lockdown in the Muslim-majority state by India's Hindu nationalist government.

    Today, in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, hundreds demonstrated against that crackdown.

  • Umar Afteb Kiyani (through translator):

    We are on the streets, and we have just one demand, that we should be given the right of determination as soon as possible and that a solution should be found for the Kashmir issue. We appeal to the United Nations to find a peaceful solution and grant us self-determination.

  • Amna Nawaz:

    The Indian government implemented that lockdown after it unilaterally revoked Kashmir's autonomy, leading to mass protests and escalating tensions with Pakistan.

    The remains of a Detroit man who died in Baghdad after being deported from the U.S. will be returned to his home state of Michigan for burial. Jimmy Aldaoud, who was born in Greece to Iraqi refugees, had lived in the U.S. legally since he was an infant. The 41-year old struggled with mental health issues and was deported in June as part of an ICE crackdown on immigrants with criminal convictions.

    He died in Iraq, a country he'd never before set foot in, after being unable to obtain insulin to treat his diabetes.

    And there are new signs that uncertainty about Brexit is taking a toll on the British economy. It unexpectedly shrank in the second quarter for the first time since 2012, as Britain prepares to the leave the European Union in October with or without a deal.

    Back in this country, Wall Street ended the week with another decline. The Dow Jones industrial average lost more than 90 points to close at 26,287, the Nasdaq fell 80 points, and the S&P 500 slipped 19.

    Still to come on the "NewsHour": multiple high-profile resignations raise questions about the future of U.S. intelligence-gathering; five years later, we examine the lasting impact of the police killing of Michael Brown on the Ferguson, Missouri, community; Democratic presidential hopefuls gather in Iowa to make their case to voters at the all-important state fair; and much more.

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