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Senate Republicans agree to vote on gun control: Democratic senator

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US Democratic Senator Chris Murphy ended a blockade of the Senate after nearly 15 hours on Thursday, saying Republicans agreed to hold votes on measures to expand background checks and prevent people on U.S. terrorism watch lists from buying guns.

Democrats stalled Senate proceedings on Wednesday in a bid to push for tougher gun control legislation following Sunday’s massacre of 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and spoke on the Senate floor through out the night.

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Republicans, who currently have a 54-person majority in the Senate, have over the years blocked gun control measures, saying they step on Americans’ right to bear arms as guaranteed under the U.S. Constitution.

“When we began there was no commitment, no plan to debate these measures,” Murphy, of Connecticut, said during the 15th hour of the filibuster early on Thursday.

He said Democrats were given a commitment by the Senate’s Republican leadership that votes would be allowed on two measures on preventing gun sales to people on terrorism watch lists and expanding background checks.

“No guarantee that those amendments pass but we’ll have some time to … prevail upon members to take these measures and turn them into law,” Murphy said.

With Republicans and the National Rifle Association gun lobby under pressure to respond to the massacre, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump said on Wednesday he would meet with the NRA to discuss ways to block people on terrorism watch or no-fly lists from buying guns.

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The Senate had began discussions on legislation to ban firearm sales to the hundreds of thousands of people on U.S. terrorism watch lists. The Orlando gunman, who carried out the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, had been on such a list.

Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell urged senators on Wednesday to offer ideas on how to prevent another attack like the one in Orlando.

Late on Wednesday Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid said negotiations “were little more than a smokescreen by Republicans trying to give themselves political cover while they continue to march in lock-step with the NRA’s extreme positions.”

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If Congress was to pass a gun control measure, it would mark the first time in more than 20 years that lawmakers agreed on how to address the hot-button issue. A ban on semi-automatic assault weapons, such as the one used in Orlando, had gone into effect in 1994 and expired 10 years later.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Writing Mohammad Zargham; Editing by Bill Trott)

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Donald Trump is no longer president: Robert Reich

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You’d be forgiven if you hadn’t noticed. His verbal bombshells are louder than ever, but Donald J. Trump is no longer president of the United States.

By having no constructive response to any of the monumental crises now convulsing America, Trump has abdicated his office.

He is not governing. He’s golfing, watching cable TV, and tweeting.

How has Trump responded to the widespread unrest following the murder in Minneapolis of George Floyd, a black man who died after a white police officer knelt on his neck for nine minutes as he was handcuffed on the ground?

He has incited more police violence. Trump called the protesters “thugs” and threatened to have them shot. “When the looting starts, the shooting starts,” he tweeted, parroting a former Miami police chief whose words spurred race riots in the late 1960s.

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Trump-loving Minneapolis police union boss calls the cops on a reporter for knocking on his door

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Lt. Bob Kroll, the Trump-loving president of the Police Officers Federation of Minneapolis, called the police this week on a Washington Post reporter for the purported offense of knocking on the door of his house.

In an effort to get Kroll to respond to the charges that were filed this week against all four Minneapolis police officers involved in George Floyd's death, the Post sent one of its reporter to Krolls house after multiple other requests for comment went unanswered.

"A Washington Post reporter who knocked on Kroll’s door was soon pulled over by a police officer who said that Kroll had reported suspicious activity on his front porch and that 'he doesn’t want any press,'" the paper reports.

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‘I know a dying administration when I see one’: British journalist says brutal crackdown will seal Trump’s doom

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British journalist Ed Luce called out Senate Republicans for covering a dying Trump administration that's threatening U.S. democracy as it gasps for survival.

The Financial Times' chief U.S. commentator told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" that President Donald Trump is trying to crack down on dissent and rally his hardcore base as the coronavirus and now nationwide protests against police brutality threaten his re-election chances.

"There are other Republican senators who are keeping silent because they know that what Trump is doing, what Trump is suggesting, is wrong," Luce said. they're scared of a backlash if they speak out."

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