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GOP-led Wisconsin legislature votes to repeal 48-hour waiting period on handgun purchases

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Wisconsin lawmakers voted on Tuesday to repeal the state’s 48-hour waiting period on handgun purchases, a measure supporters say will make transactions more convenient and opponents contend will lead to increased violence.

The Republican-controlled legislature also approved a bill that allows off-duty and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed guns on school grounds.

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Both bills have been sent to Governor Scott Walker, a potential Republican candidate for president in 2016. Walker plans to sign the bill repealing the 48-hour waiting period and will evaluate the school-carry bill when he receives it, the governor’s office said on Tuesday.

Representative Romaine Quinn, a Republican supporter of the measure, said the waiting-period repeal bill simply allowed law-abiding citizens to take a gun home the day they purchase it.

“This is not about putting guns in the hands of criminals,” Quinn said before the Assembly approved the bill on a voice vote. The state Senate approved the measure in April.

The state’s current 40-year-old law requires a firearm dealer to wait 48 hours after a Wisconsin Department of Justice background check is completed before selling a handgun to a buyer.

That waiting period “could mean the difference between life and death,” argued Democratic state Representative Lisa Subeck, saying the waiting period helped prevent suicide and domestic violence.

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Also on Tuesday, both the Assembly and state Senate approved a bill to allow off-duty and retired law enforcement officers to carry concealed guns on school grounds.

Wisconsin state law currently prohibits the carrying of a firearm within 1,000 feet of a school.

(Reporting by Brendan O’Brien in Milwaukee; Editing by Peter Cooney)

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AG Bill Barr will ‘try to interfere’ in the 2020 election to re-elect Trump: MSNBC national affairs analyst

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Attorney General William Barr will use the Department of Justice to "try to interfere" in the 2020 presidential election to re-elect Donald Trump, MSNBC's national affairs analyst predicted on Tuesday.

John Heilemann was interviewed by Lawrence O'Donnell on MSNBC's "The Last Word."

"The attorney general, from the moment he walked into this job, has behaved in a -- as a ruthless, relentless political hack and a thug and who has behaved not as attorney general of the United States," Heilemann said.

"He made a travesty of the Mueller report and continues to lie on Donald Trump's behalf at every opportunity," he added.

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Trump welcomed Russia’s Sergey Lavrov to the White House — to humiliate us all

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Despite the fact that President Donald Trump still refuses to have Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to Washington for an officials meeting — a topic at the center of the scandal driving Trump’s impeachment — the White House hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Monday.

And while Lavrov was honored with his second private Oval Office meeting (the first one was a cataclysmic disaster) and a press conference with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the foreign minister took his opportunity here to repeatedly humiliate the United States.

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United States, Mexico, Canada finalize Donald Trump’s USMCA trade deal

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The United States, Mexico and Canada signed a deal Tuesday to finalize their new trade agreement, paving the way to ratification after more than two years of arduous negotiations.

However, the impeachment trial of President Donald Trump in the US Senate would likely delay Congressional ratification of the agreement until next year, said Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.

In reality, it is the second time the three countries have triumphantly announced the conclusion of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), the deal meant to replace the 25-year-old NAFTA, which President Donald Trump complains has been "a disaster" for the US.

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