'Vote them out!': Hundreds of thousands demand gun control WASHINGTON (AP) - In a historic groundswell of youth activism, hundreds of thousands of teenagers and their supporters rallied across the U.S. against gun violence Saturday, vowing to transform fear and grief into a "vote-them-out" movement and tougher laws against weapons and ammo. They took to the streets of the nation's capital and such cities as Boston, New York, Chicago, Houston, Minneapolis, Phoenix, Los Angeles and Oakland, California, in the kind of numbers seen during the Vietnam era, sweeping up activists long frustrated by stalemate in the gun debate and bringing in lots of new, young voices. They were called to action by a brand-new corps of leaders: student survivors of the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 people dead Feb.
Survivor marks 6 minutes of strength and silence at rally Chin high and tears streaming, Florida school shooting survivor Emma Gonzalez stood silent in front of thousands gathered for the "March for Our Lives" rally in Washington, D.C. She continued to stand silently as a few crowd members shouted out support. She remained silent as tentative chants broke out. Her silence continued as those attending also fell quiet, many weeping. The gripping moment stretched for 6 minutes and 20 seconds, the amount of time Gonzalez said it took a shooter to kill 17 people and wound 15 others at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month. "Everyone who has been touched by the cold grip of gun violence understands," Gonzalez told the hushed crowed, describing the long hours spent waiting for authorities to identify their slain classmates, the horror of discovering many of them had breathed their last breaths before many students even knew a "code red" alert - designed to warn staffers and students of a potential threat - had been called.
Students rally for gun reform in cities across the US WASHINGTON (AP) - Student survivors of the Florida school massacre anchored a massive rally against gun violence Saturday in Washington, D.C., while throngs of other young people took to the streets in sister marches across the U.S. Some students also took part in counter protests in places like Salt Lake City and Helena, Montana. Here's a look at what some of the demonstrators had to say: ZOE BONNER, 16 SCHOOL: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida MARCHED IN: Washington, D.C. WHY ATTEND? "I'm here today because it happened to our school, and it shouldn't have happened. It shouldn't have happened anywhere, and we feel like it's time to make change and get gun reform." WHAT DO YOU WANT TO SEE CHANGE AS A RESULT?
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'He fell a hero:" French praise policeman in hostage swap TREBES, France (AP) - The French police officer who swapped places with a female supermarket employee being held hostage had already received a lifetime of accolades by the time he walked unarmed into the store under attack by an extremist gunman. Known for his courage and sang-froid, Lt. Col. Arnaud Beltrame was acclaimed by neighbors, colleagues and French authorities as a hero Saturday after his death from wounds the day before. President Emmanuel Macron announced plans for a national ceremony to formally honor him. After agreeing to the hostage swap, Beltrame surrendered his weapon - but kept his cellphone on, allowing authorities outside the Super U market in the southern French town of Trebes to hear what was happening inside.
Will GOP accomplishments in Congress be enough for voters? WASHINGTON (AP) - With passage of an enormous budget bill, the GOP-controlled Congress all but wrapped up its legislating for the year. But will it be enough to convince voters to give Republicans another term at the helm? In two big ways, Republicans have done what they promised. They passed a long sought tax overhaul bill that slashed tax rates. They've rolled back regulations, in ways they claim are boosting the economy. In the Senate, they confirmed a justice to the Supreme Court. But there are signs Americans wanted more: immigration reforms, gun control legislation, even an infrastructure plan that President Donald Trump promised voters.
Why Trump's latest steps heighten risk of a global trade war WASHINGTON (AP) - President Ronald Reagan once likened trade wars to the pie fights in old Hollywood comedies. One pie in the face leads to another. And then another. Pretty soon, Reagan said in a 1986 radio address, "everything and everybody just gets messier and messier. The difference here is that it's not funny. It's tragic. Protectionism becomes destructionism. It costs jobs." Suddenly, the world's financial markets are gripped by fear that an escalating trade rift between the United States and China - the two mightiest economies - could smear the world with a lot of splattered cream and broken crust.
AP Explains: Trump's policy on transgender troops PALM BEACH, Fla. (AP) - President Donald Trump has issued an order supporting his push to ban most transgender troops from serving in the U.S. military except under "limited circumstances." But the decision is expected to be the subject of an ongoing legal fight in the months ahead. The White House announced the decision late Friday, shortly after the president arrived at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida, completing a process that followed Trump's surprise announcement on Twitter last year that he would reverse an Obama administration plan to allow transgender individuals to serve openly. In a memo to the president, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis pointed to "substantial risks" with allowing military personnel who seek to undertake a treatment to change their gender or who question their gender identity.
7 months after Harvey, flood-control projects' fate unclear HOUSTON (AP) - Large-scale projects long considered essential to easing Houston's flooding woes went to the top of the area's to-do list after Hurricane Harvey inundated large swaths of the nation's fourth-largest city. Seven months later, local officials are still looking for funding to undertake plans that include a new reservoir, deeper and wider bayous and a coastal barrier system - all of which have fallen victim to a lack of money or political will in the past. Yet local leaders insist this time will be different, saying they're committed to making the projects a reality, even as they wait to find out how much money they might get from the state and federal governments and whether local taxpayers will be willing to help out.
GOP's congressional stronghold is Democrats' source of hope HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) - A longtime congressional stronghold for Republicans, Pennsylvania is emerging in dramatic fashion as a source of hope for Democrats in their quest to take control of the U.S. House in November's mid-term elections. This week cemented Democratic victories in two key battles: Republicans dropped talk of legal challenges to Democrat Conor Lamb's improbable victory in a special election in southwestern Pennsylvania and federal courts rejected two GOP lawsuits seeking to block a state court-drawn map of more competitive districts. For years, Pennsylvania has hosted one of the nation's biggest Republican congressional delegations. Now, what had been a 13-to-5 Republican advantage in Pennsylvania's 18-member delegation could get wiped out.
Can Facebook restore public trust after privacy scandal? CHICAGO (AP) - It's a scandal of privacy, politics and an essential ingredient of business success - public trust. Facebook is confronting a costly, embarrassing public relations debacle after revelations that Cambridge Analytica may have misused data from some 50 million users to try to influence elections. Among its marquee clients: President Donald Trump's general election campaign. Now a company known as much for reminders of a long-lost friend's birthday and documentation of acquaintances' every whim is grappling with outrage- and the possible loss of confidence - from users around the globe that have made the social media site a part of their daily routine.