Donald Trump appears to have backtracked on his suggestion that teachers should have guns to prevent mass shootings.
The President tweeted on Thursday: “I never said ‘give teachers guns’ like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC.
“What I said was to look at the possibility of giving concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience – only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions.
I never said “give teachers guns” like was stated on Fake News @CNN & @NBC. What I said was to look at the possibility of giving “concealed guns to gun adept teachers with military or special training experience – only the best. 20% of teachers, a lot, would now be able to
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22 February 2018
….immediately fire back if a savage sicko came to a school with bad intentions. Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A “gun free” school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22 February 2018
“Highly trained teachers would also serve as a deterrent to the cowards that do this. Far more assets at much less cost than guards. A ‘gun free’ school is a magnet for bad people. ATTACKS WOULD END!”
The President’s tweets come a day after he held a “listening session” following America’s latest mass shooting in Florida.
Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine’s Day, killing 17 people.
Survivors of the massacre urged the President to bring in stricter gun control.
Mr Trump said at the session on Wednesday: “If the coach had a firearm in his locker when he ran at this guy – the coach was very brave and saved a lot of lives I suspect – but if he had a firearm he wouldn’t have had to run, he would have shot and that would have been the end of it.”
He added this “would only be obviously for people who are very adept at handling a firearm” and that they “would go for special training”.
….History shows that a school shooting lasts, on average, 3 minutes. It takes police & first responders approximately 5 to 8 minutes to get to site of crime. Highly trained, gun adept, teachers/coaches would solve the problem instantly, before police arrive. GREAT DETERRENT!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22 February 2018
….If a potential “sicko shooter” knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school. Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) 22 February 2018
But on Thursday, despite saying “I never said ‘give teachers guns'”, he appeared to reinforce precisely that message, tweeting: “If a potential sicko shooter knows that a school has a large number of very weapons talented teachers (and others) who will be instantly shooting, the sicko will NEVER attack that school.
“Cowards won’t go there…problem solved. Must be offensive, defense alone won’t work!”
He added he would be “strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks with an emphasis on Mental Health”, and that he intended to have the age raised to 21 and end the sale of bump stocks.
Students from the school, along with the parents of children killed in shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Columbine High School, delivered powerful speeches at Wednesday’s session and pleaded for a change in laws controlling assault weapons.
One parent who spoke at the emotional hour-long session was Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed in the shooting. At one point, he yelled at Mr Trump: “Fix it!”
Describing how he now has to visit his daughter in a cemetery, he said: “It’s not about gun laws right now. We need our children safe.”
Student Sam Zeif told how he texted his mother and two brothers during the shooting to say he would not see them again, before realising his 13-year-old sibling was in the classroom above him, where teacher Scott Beigel died shielding students from bullets.
The 18-year-old said: “I don’t understand why I can still go in a store and buy a weapon of war, an AR. Let’s never let this happen again please, please.”
Lorenzo Prado explained how he feared for his life after being held at gunpoint by six SWAT team members when he was mistaken for the gunman.
Similar clothes, hair colour and facial structure to Cruz led him to be “tossed to the ground and handcuffed” before his real identity was discovered.
The mother of a six-year-old Sandy Hook victim, Nicole Hockley, urged the President to use his time in office to stop school shootings happening.
Talking about her late son Dylan, she said: “Every parent who sends their child to school should know without any question they’re going to be coming home that day.
“How many more deaths as a country can we take? How many more teenagers and six and seven-year-olds can we allow to die? Don’t let that happen anymore on your watch.”
Darrell Scott, whose daughter Rachel was killed in the 1999 Columbine shooting, described how she was shot, while her brother had a gun pointed at him as he lay covered with blood from his slain friends.
His son’s life was only saved when the two killers were distracted by an emergency alarm going off.
At the same time in Tallahassee, Florida, thousands of students marched into the State Capitol, calling for changes to gun laws, a ban on assault-type weapons and improved care for the mentally ill.
British Virgin Islands: Inquiry into claims of corruption and political interference – all with the public purse | World News
Claims of widespread corruption and fraud involving millions of pounds of public money are being investigated on the British Virgin Islands.
The governor of the islands, a British territory, has ordered an independent inquiry into the allegations and is supported by both the prime minister and the foreign secretary.
One of the claims is that $40m (£29m) set aside for struggling families during the COVID pandemic might have been channelled to political allies.
Announcing the Commission of Inquiry, Governor August Jaspert said there were “wide concerns over the possible mismanagement of some public projects”.
He said successive audit reports had set out practices of “political interference, inflated pricing and conflicts of interest” and added: “These may have cost the public purse millions of dollars in recent years, with no sign of improvement.
“In the past months, the community has had many open and honest conversations about this. For the first time, many have felt confident to raise their voice. This is an important conversation for us to have, albeit difficult as those who speak up are too often silenced.”
In a written statement to parliament, Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said: “The UK is extremely concerned about the state of good governance in the British Virgin Islands.
“A consistent and deeply troubling array of concerns have been put to the governor by local institutions and the community.
“Successive attempts have been made to address these concerns through local institutions, many of which have done commendable work to bring them to light.
“However, the scope and seriousness of the concerns are now beyond local capacity to address.”
It is the first inquiry of its kind in more than 10 years – the last took place in 2008 to investigate corruption on Turks and Caicos.
It was felt that the British Virgin Islands themselves lack the ability to investigate allegations of this breadth, scope and seriousness.
Among the claims are ones of political interference in appointments and the criminal justice system – and the misuse of public money on infrastructure and transport projects including $7m (£5m) to an airline that did not exist and more than a million dollars spent on a school fence.
There have also been claims of intimidation towards people in the media and community leadership.
In November 2020, two tonnes of cocaine with a street value of almost £190m was seized, underlining the extent of criminal behaviour on BVI.
The inquiry is set to formally begin in the coming days and is expected last at least six months.
It will be led by the Right Honourable Lord Justice Gary Hickinbottom, an experienced High Court judge.
He will have the power to seize evidence and force witnesses to give evidence.
Alexei Navalny: Putin critic urges Russians to ‘take to the streets’ after 30-day detainment order | World News
Putin critic Alexei Navalny has urged Russians to “take to the streets” after a judge ordered that he be kept in custody for at least 30 days.
In a video clip released after the ruling, Mr Navalny said: “Don’t be afraid, take to the streets. Don’t go out for me, go out for yourself and your future.”
The sentence came following an hour-long, ad-hoc hearing – held in a police station in Khimki, outside Moscow – on Monday afternoon. Mr Navalny described the proceedings as the “highest level of lawlessness”.
Mr Navalny, who is one of President Vladimir Putin’s most outspoken critics, blames Moscow for the attack that nearly killed him, although the Kremlin denies any involvement.
His detention was widely expected because Russia’s prisons service said he had violated parole terms from a suspended sentence on a 2014 embezzlement conviction.
But it has drawn widespread condemnation from Western leaders, with the UN telling Russia to immediately let Mr Navalny go.
Boris Johnson called the arrest “appalling” and joined Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab in calling for Mr Navalny’s immediate release.
He said: “It is appalling that Mr Navalny has been detained by the Russian authorities and he must be immediately released.
“Rather than persecuting Mr Navalny, Moscow should fulfil its obligation under international law to investigate and explain the use of a chemical weapon on Russian soil.”
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen further implored Russian authorities to release Mr Navalny and “ensure his safety”.
In a statement shared on Twitter, she added: “Detention of political opponents is against Russia’s international commitments.
“We will monitor the situation closely.”
Mike Pompeo, US secretary of state, said Washington “strongly condemns” the decision to arrest Mr Navalny and called his detention “the latest in a series of attempts to silence Navalny and other opposition figures and independent voices who are critical of Russian authorities.”
He added on Twitter that he was “deeply troubled” by the move.
“Confident political leaders do not fear competing voices, nor see the need to commit violence against or wrongfully detain, political opponents,” he said.
President-elect Joe Biden’s pick for national security adviser also called on the Russian authorities to free him.
“Mr Navalny should be immediately released, and the perpetrators of the outrageous attack on his life must be held accountable,” Jake Sullivan said in a tweet.
Moscow has dismissed the criticism.
Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov said that Western countries’ expressions of outrage were designed to distract their citizens from their own domestic problems.
Meanwhile, foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova wrote on Facebook: “Respect international law, do not encroach on national legislation of sovereign states and address problems in your own country.”
On leaving Berlin on Sunday, Mr Navalny said he didn’t think he would be arrested as he had “every right” to return to his home country.
The arrest raises tensions in Russia as it approaches national parliament elections this year, in which Mr Navalny’s organisation is expected to be active in trying to defeat pro-Kremlin candidates.
“This is a real act of bravery for Alexei Navalny to return to Russia, given that government agents already tried to kill him once,” Human Rights Watch executive director Kenneth Roth tweeted.
“But he understandably wants to be part of the pro-democracy movement in Russia, not a dissident in exile.”
Mr Navalny fell into a coma while aboard a domestic flight from Siberia to Moscow on 20 August.
He was transferred to a hospital in Berlin two days later.
Labs in Germany, France and Sweden tested the substance he was exposed to.
It was established he was poisoned with a Soviet-era novichok nerve agent – the same kind of substance used against Sergei and Yulia Skripal, a former Russian double agent and his daughter, in a 2018 poisoning in Salisbury.
COVID-19: Man ‘lived in Chicago airport in secret for three months’ – as virus made him ‘too scared’ to fly home | US News
A 36-year-old man lived undetected in a secure section of Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport for three months because he was “too scared” to go home due to COVID-19, US prosecutors say.
Aditya Singh is charged with felony criminal trespass to a restricted area of an airport and misdemeanour theft.
Mr Singh, who survived on food from other passengers, is unemployed and lives in the city of Orange, California. It was unclear why he was in Chicago.
Cook County Judge Susana Ortiz reacted with surprise when a prosecutor set out the allegations, according to the Chicago Tribune.
She reportedly told the court: “So if I understand you correctly, you’re telling me that an unauthorised non-employee individual was allegedly living within a secure part of the O’Hare airport terminal from 19 October 2020 to 16 January 2021 and was not detected? I want to understand you correctly.”
On Saturday, two employees from United Airlines were said to have approached Mr Singh and asked for his identification.
Assistant state attorney Kathleen Hagerty said he lowered his face mask before showing them an airport ID badge, which he had reportedly found, and was “scared to go home due to COVID“.
The badge apparently belonged to an operations manager who had reported it missing on 26 October.
Assistant public defender Courtney Smallwood said Mr Singh does not have a criminal background and has a master’s degree in hospitality – and said the unusual allegations were not violent, reported the Tribune.
If he is able to post the $1,000 (£738) for bail, Mr Singh will be barred from entering the airport.
Judge Ortiz added: “The court finds these facts and circumstances quite shocking for the alleged period of time that this occurred.”
The Chicago Department of Aviation said that while the incident remains under investigation, it had been able to “determine that this gentleman did not pose a security risk to the airport or to the travelling public”.
Eurostar on brink of collapse: French state-owned rail service BEGS for UK help
Corbyn attacks Boris for 'vaccine nationalism' & demands jabs given away to other nations
Emmanuel Macron re-election under question as wife Brigitte admits vote 'not a concern'
'Resentful' EU ready to 'punish' Britain with crushing sanctions, leading German MEP warns
EU humiliation plot: Brussels leaders demand clarity on how they can PUNISH Brexit Britain
UK vaccinating more than double rate of EU – Hancock unveils biggest feat in UK history
Gary Gensler, Biden’s pick to head SEC, has reputation as tough regulator
Latest News4 days ago
Spectacled ‘Paddington’ bears venture out at Machu Picchu | World News
Latest News1 week ago
Search and rescue operation in Indonesia after contact was lost with Boeing plane | World News
Politics23 hours ago
The stakes are high for Biden’s inaugural address. Here’s what to expect.
Politics1 week ago
Global Britain can strike new post-Brexit path as Biden ‘seeks to heal relations'
Latest News5 days ago
How Uganda’s election has been stacked against the pop star who would be president | World News
Latest News2 days ago
Biden inauguration: Former FBI boss James Comey warns of serious threat from ‘armed, disturbed people’ | US News
Politics6 days ago
Covidiot crackdown: Priti Patel to unveil strict punishments in major address to nation
Politics4 days ago
Confirmation hearing for Biden’s national intelligence chief abruptly postponed