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Republican senator seeks probe of gun devices at Las Vegas shooting

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The U.S. Senate’s No. 2 Republican, John Cornyn, said on Wednesday that lawmakers should investigate “bump stock” accessories that turn some guns into rapid-fire weapons, after Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein called for Congress to ban the devices.

The spotlight fell on bump stocks after Stephen Paddock, 64, opened fire on a country music festival on Sunday, killing 58 people and injuring hundreds in about 10 minutes.

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Twelve of the 23 guns in his hotel room were fitted with bump stocks, officials said, allowing the guns to be fired almost as though they were automatic weapons.

Automatic weapons have been illegal in the United States for over 30 years but bump stock devices offer a way around that law.

“If somebody can essentially convert a semi-automatic to an automatic weapon by buying one of these and utilizing it, and cause the kind of mayhem and mass casualties that we saw in Las Vegas, that’s something of obvious concern that we ought to explore,” said Cornyn, the Senate majority whip and a conservative Texas gun owner who has opposed some restrictions on firearms in the past.

Stricter gun laws have been proposed after previous mass shootings, but most Republicans and some Democrats repeatedly have balked at what they see as infringements on the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Republicans hold the majority in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

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Feinstein said 26 senators were co-sponsoring her bill to ban the devices, all Democrats, but she also planned to approach Republicans.

Last year Cornyn and Feinstein tried to find common ground on legislation to keep suspected terrorists from buying firearms after a shooting in Orlando killed 49 people. However, the two senators made different proposals, and both were voted down by the Senate.

Some other Republicans, including Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, said they were willing to at least examine Feinstein’s bill on bump stock devices.

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“If it comes over from the Senate, I’m willing to look at whatever legislation they think might be prudent,” said Representative Mark Meadows, chairman of the conservative Freedom Caucus in the House.

(Reporting by Susan Cornwell; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Lisa Shumaker)

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2020 Election

We should look closely at Britain’s decision to elect a man so renowned for his untrustworthiness

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In previous British elections, to say that trust was the main issue would have meant simply that trust is the trump card – whichever leader or party could secure most trust would win. Now, the emerging question about trust is whether it even matters anymore.

This is at least partly because Brexit has deepened the crisis of trust. The 2019 election was always going to be about Brexit – and not only because some people would vote according to where they stood on the matter. It was also because the emotional turbulence initiated by the 2016 referendum continues to dominate national politics in a more general way.

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Here are 9 things people say about exercise that are utter hogwash

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It can be hard to include exercise in our busy lives, despite the best of intentions. There are a lot of reasons people don’t exercise, and a lot of misconceptions about exercise. Here are nine common misconceptions about exercise and what research actually tells us.

1. I was fit once, so I don’t need to exerciseUnfortunately, the health benefits of exercise won’t last if you don’t sustain your exercise regime. A significant reduction or drop out can cause a marked loss of initial benefits, such as cardiovascular fitness and endurance. Consistency is the key. Mix it up and keep it interesting as maintaining high levels of physical activity throughout your life is associated with the best health outcomes.

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How Boris Johnson’s Conservatives swept to election victory in Labour heartlands

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Welcome to a whole new political world. The UK general election of 2019 has delivered a seismic shift in the balance of the country’s politics, the consequences of which are very hard, if not impossible to predict. But what’s clear is that Boris Johnson has broken the legislative deadlock with regard to Europe and will now wield power in a manner that his recent predecessors could only have dreamed of.

To this extent the political system appears to have worked – the people have spoken. Clearly they want to “get Brexit done”, but the result also suggests the existence of a major disconnect between the UK’s main opposition Labour party and a big chunk of its base.

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