Panel OKs weapons ban
A Senate committee approved an assault weapons ban Thursday on a party-line vote that signaled how difficult it will be for the proposal to survive in the full Senate.
The Democratic-led Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill on a 10-8 vote after rejecting a series of Republican amendments aimed at exempting victims of sexual abuse, people living along the Southwest border and others from the prohibition. The GOP proposals also were defeated along party lines.
President Barack Obama made an assault weapons ban part of the gun curbs he proposed in January, a month after a shooter with an assault rifle killed 20 first-graders and six educators at a school in Newtown, Conn. An assault weapons ban became law in 1994, but Congress failed to renew it before it expired in 2004.
Obama talks on Israeli TV
Iran is about a year away from developing a nuclear weapon and the United States remains committed to doing everything in its power to prevent that from happening, President Barack Obama said in an exclusive interview aired Thursday on Israeli TV.
Only days before he is to arrive in Israel for his first presidential visit, Obama told Israel’s Channel 2 TV that he still prefers diplomacy over force, but that a nuclear Iran is a “red line” and all options remain on the table to stop it.
Shooter mystery remains
Police SWAT teams navigated a cluttered, abandoned bar to find the suspect in four fatal shootings holed up in a small room, killing him in a shootout early Thursday with officers after a nearly 19-hour standoff that paralyzed an upstate New York village.
Why Kurt Myers, described as a loner, went on the shooting rampage the day before remained a mystery.
A man who worked for 20 years with Myers said that he was intelligent, quiet and a good worker who got along well with colleagues, but that he was “spooky” recently.
Myers was killed Thursday morning by police in a building where he had hidden since Wednesday morning’s rampage.
Murder conspiracy alleged
Court records say a former security assistant at a Virginia school who was having an inappropriate relationship with a 15-year-old student conspired to kill her husband.
Patience Justine Perez has been charged in Norfolk in connection with a murder-for-hire scheme. She also faces multiple charges of taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial or supervisory relationship. Virginia Beach police have said a consensual, sexual relationship between Perez took place away from Renaissance Academy in Virginia Beach. The 22-year-old Perez has since been fired from her job there. She is being held in Norfolk City Jail without bond.