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Poll: Majority of Americans disagree with Trump’s proposal to arm teachers

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A majority of Americans disagree with President Donald Trump’s proposal to arm teachers, according to results from a new NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll.

Trump, in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last month, has said that arming some of America’s teachers with concealed weapons and training them to “immediately fire back” at a “sicko” gunman would end school shootings once and for all. But many gun violence experts, educators, and school safety advocates — as well as 56 percent of Americans surveyed — were against the idea.





Still, a sizable 42 percent of people surveyed said they agree with Trump’s proposal. A whooping 80 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaners are on board with arming teachers, while 88 percent of Democrats and Democratic-leaners disagree with it. A majority of Independents, 64 percent, also disagree with the plan.

According to the poll, 55 percent disapprove of the way Trump is handling his job as president. Americans are also dissatisfied or angry about the way Congress and Trump have handled gun control, though there are stark differences by party.

Republicans are more enthusiastic about how Trump has handled gun control than how Congress has handled the issue, with 78 percent of Republicans surveyed saying they are enthusiastic or satisfied with how Trump has approached gun control so far. Only 43 percent of Republicans feel the same about Congress.

The president has said he will ban rapid-fire gun bump stocks, which allow weapons to fire more quickly, through executive order, but also mystified lawmakers earlier this month by seeming to embrace a series of gun control measures his party has long rejected.





Meanwhile, both Democrats and Independents take a dim view of both Trump and Congress on the issue.

Majorities of Independents — 72 percent — say they are dissatisfied or angry about the way Trump has handled gun control, and 84 percent feel that way about Congress. A whopping 9 in 10 Democrats are dissatisfied or downright angry at both Congress and Trump when it comes to gun control. Despite increased public pressure since the Parkland shooting, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has given no indication when — or if — he would bring up any form of gun-related legislation.

A narrow bipartisan proposal that would attempt to shore up the National Instant Background Check System has at least 50 co-sponsors, but it has not been brought to the floor — and GOP lawmakers have been unable to reach a consensus on what they support.





Still, a majority of Americans, 61 percent, think government and society can take action that will be effective in preventing shootings like the one in Parkland, Florida from happening again. Thirty-six percent think school shootings like Parkland will happen again regardless of what action is taken by government and society.

There are once again glaring differences by party, however. Majorities of Democrats (84 percent) and Independents (53 percent) think that government and society can take action to prevent shootings. Fifty-eight percent of Republicans, on the other hand, think that shootings will happen again regardless of what government or societal action is taken.

The NBC News|SurveyMonkey poll was conducted from February 26-February 28, 2018, among a national sample of 2,857 adults. Respondents for this nonprobability survey were selected from the nearly three million people who take surveys on the SurveyMonkey platform each day. Results have an error estimate of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points. For full results and methodology, click here.

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More than 20,000 Haitians are gathered in Colombia for possible migration to U.S.

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WASHINGTON — U.S. officials are tracking large groups of Haitians in Latin America, including more than 20,000 in Colombia, who like the thousands now massed on the Texas border may soon try to reach the U.S., according to an internal document obtained by NBC News.

The Department of Homeland Security document also said the DHS Office of Professional Responsibility, the agency’s internal watchdog, is investigating an incident in which a Border Patrol agent on horseback in Del Rio, Texas, grabbed a Haitian migrant by the shirt. The incident, captured by a news photographer, drew widespread criticism Monday, prompting White House press secretary Jen Psaki to describe it as “horrific.”

In addition to the 20,000 Haitians gathered in northern Colombia, DHS is also monitoring groups of about 1,500 in Panama and 3,000 in Peru, the document said. A senior DHS official said it remains to be seen when and whether those migrants will come to the U.S., but they have begun “staging” in the various countries, potentially signaling they are planning to travel in large numbers.

Like the surge of 15,000 Haitian migrants who arrived in Del Rio over the past week, most of the migrants in Central and South America left Haiti years ago, many of them after the 2010 earthquake, and have been living in other countries.

Recent economic conditions in those countries, as well as what Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas described as misinformation about the Biden administration’s willingness to take in Haitians, have triggered many to seek protections in the U.S.

When DHS has previously monitored caravans of migrants headed to the U.S. border in large numbers, there has been a two to three-week lag between their departure and their arrival. But many of the recently arrived Haitians took buses through Mexico, expediting their arrival and increasing their numbers.

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CIA director’s team member reported Havana Syndrome symptoms during India trip

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A CIA official reported symptoms consistent with so-called Havana Syndrome, a mysterious affliction that has struck diplomats, spies and other government workers at home and abroad, two sources familiar with the matter told NBC News on Monday.

The unidentified employee was traveling with CIA director Bill Burns during a trip to India this month. The employee was immediately tested as part of a protocol the CIA has established to deal with the mysterious brain symptoms typically associated with Havana Syndrome and is receiving medical treatment, the sources said.

The incident was first reported by CNN.

This is the latest reported case of a U.S. government employee reporting symptoms associated with the mysterious ailment. Havana Syndrome first came into public view in 2017 after U.S. diplomats and other government workers stationed in Cuba reported feeling unusual physical sensations after hearing strange high- and low-pitched sounds. U.S. government employees have also reported cases while in China and the Washington, D.C. area.

In late August, at least two U.S. diplomats were medically evacuated from Vietnam after Havana Syndrome incidents were reported in the capital city of Hanoi ahead of Vice President Kamala Harris’ arrival.

“The health and well-being of American public servants is of paramount importance to the administration, and we take extremely seriously any report by our personnel of an anomalous health incident,” a senior administration official said Monday night. “It is a top priority for the U.S. government to determine the cause of these incidents as quickly as possible and that we ensure any affected individuals get the care they need.”

Many people who have experienced Havana Syndrome report experiencing vertigo, dizziness, fatigue, nausea and intense headaches. Some describe it as being hit by an invisible blast wave. Some have no longer been able to work.

The India incident has raised questions about whether a foreign adversary had intentionally targeted the CIA director’s staff, but the sources said the agency is unclear what exactly could have caused the incident. The case is one of a number of new incidents in recent months involving CIA personnel who experienced what U.S. officials call “anomalous health incidents,” the sources said.

A CIA spokeswoman declined to confirm the case in India but said the U.S. government and the agency are taking every incident seriously.

“Director Burns has made it a top priority to ensure officers get the care they need and that we get to the bottom of this,” the spokeswoman said. “We’ve strengthened efforts to determine the origins of the incidents, including assembling a team of our very best experts — bringing an intensity and expertise to this issue akin to our efforts to find Bin Ladin.”

The spokeswoman added that a panel of experts has been convened from across intelligence agencies “to work collectively to increase our understanding of the possible mechanisms that could be causing [anomalous health incidents].”

Many U.S. officials suspect the incidents, which have caused permanent brain injuries in some victims, are a result of an attack or surveillance operation by Russian spies, but the evidence is inconclusive.

The National Academies of Sciences said in a report last year the most likely cause of the injuries was directed microwave energy, but that conclusion is being debated in the scientific community.

Last week, deputy CIA director David Cohen said the agency is getting closer to solving the mystery, but there are limitations.

“In terms of have we gotten closer, I think the answer is yes — but not close enough to make analytic judgment that people are waiting for,” he said.

Josh Lederman contributed.



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Boris Johnson tells jab-sceptic Brazilian President to get 'great' AstraZeneca vaccine

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BORIS JOHNSON has told the jab-sceptic Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro to get a dose of the “great” Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca vaccine.

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