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Mark Kelly hopes Florida high schoolers’ calls to end gun violence will move Congress

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Retired astronaut and gun-control activist Mark Kelly on Sunday again urged Congress to address the issue of gun violence, saying survivors of the recent Florida high school massacre calling for a national day or awareness should be a wake-up call on Capitol Hill.

“These kids are incredibly articulate. And some members of Congress are good at not listening. To have high school kids calling for change, it should matter. And I hope in society this will make a difference,” Kelly told “Fox News Sunday” minutes after five students from Florida’s Stoneman Douglas High School said on the show that they are trying to organize nationwide demonstrations for March 24.

“This is a political issue,” he said. “We need to have a vote.”

Kelly is a gun owner but has called for lawmakers to change laws to prevent and stop gun violence in America. He is married to former Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabby Gifford, who survived a January 3, 2007, assassination attempt that resulted in a brain injury.

In the Parkland, Fla., shooting Wednesday, the FBI acknowledged that the agency had received tips about the alleged gunman but that no follow-up occurred. Seventeen people, including 14 students, were killed in the attack.

Kelly said that Florida law enforcement has very little tools to prevent such shootings, but that some states have in fact been “instrumental” in making changes.

“There is a short and abbreviated process to take the firearm away if one alerts authorities that an individual could be a threat,” he said. “That myth you can’t stop it isn’t true.”

Kelly didn’t appear to take an unequivocal stance on whether assault weapons, like the one used in the Florida shooting, are the real problem.

“Most murders, suicides are committed with handguns,” he said. “But when an individual goes into a school or another place with the intent to kill, they can kill a lot of people much more quickly.”

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BBC sparks fury: Over-75s left 'stressed' over licence fee crackdown as Covid cases soar

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OVER-75s are terrified the BBC will send round TV licence fee enforcement officers to their homes while Covid cases continue to surge.

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'This was on a busy high street!' Sadiq Khan shamed over record-breaking London violence

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LONDON’S Labour Mayor Sadiq Khan has been shamed over the spiralling knife crime crisis in London, with one Assembly member calling him out for “failing Londoners horribly”.

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CIA reviewing how it handled initial reports of Havana Syndrome symptoms from officers

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WASHINGTON — The CIA’s internal watchdog is conducting a review of how the agency first handled reports that some of its officers suffered the neurological symptoms now known as Havana Syndrome, amid concerns the matter was not taken sufficiently seriously at the highest levels, three sources familiar with the matter told NBC News.

The CIA’s Office of Inspector General is interviewing people who have experienced symptoms and officials involved in the handling of the issue, the sources say.

The House Intelligence Committee is also conducting its own “deep dive” into the issue, a committee official with direct knowledge said.

“The anomalous health incidents afflicting our personnel around the world are of grave concern,” the committee official said. “There is no higher priority than ensuring the health and safety of those individuals who serve our nation.”

“On a bipartisan basis, the House Intelligence Committee has been speaking with individuals with firsthand knowledge of how these health incidents are being handled and how they were handled in the past,” the official said. “Through that work, we have significant concerns with how some individuals were unable to access needed benefits and medical care. The committee remains focused on ensuring that the government takes all necessary actions to address these issues.”

Some former officers, including Marc Polymeropoulos — who suffered an apparent brain injury during a trip to Moscow in 2017 — have accused the CIA’s management and medical officials during the Trump administration of failing to properly address the growing number of officers who believe they were targeted by what some experts think was a directed energy device or weapon.

Polymeropoulos told NBC News that the approach taken by CIA Director William Burns “has been a complete and most welcome sea change from the previous administration. He has shown compassion for victims, revamped the CIA’s health care response and dedicated additional resources to finding out who is responsible.”

Former CIA Director Gina Haspel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The IG review was first reported by CNN.

The CIA recently appointed a new leader of its task force on Havana Syndrome, a veteran officer who was instrumental in the successful hunt for Osama bin Laden, an official familiar with the matter previously told NBC News.

NBC News reported Tuesday that as many as 200 U.S. officials or family members have reported possible symptoms. About two dozen cases were reported in Vienna alone.



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