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Newtown senator slams GOP after Florida school shooting: ‘Quietly endorsing murders’ with their ‘inaction’

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In spite of their “thoughts and prayers,” Republicans in Congress issue a “quiet, unintentional endorsement” of mass shootings by failing to take proper action to stop shooters from acquiring deadly weapons, a Connecticut senator noted in the wake of the Florida high school shooting on Wednesday.

“I don’t feel helpless,” Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) told MSNBC host Chris Hayes. “The responsibility for this lies in our hands. It is Congress that has applied a kind of quiet unintentional endorsement to the murders.”

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Murphy, who once ended a 15-hour filibuster with with an anecdote about a teacher killed in Newtown, Connecticut’s Sandy Hook Elementary massacre, went on to describe the patterns of the mass shootings.

“These are copycat killings,” the congressman said. “It used to be there was a greater diversity of weapon used. Not anymore — it’s an AR-15 every single time. There’s a deadliness to the weapon that’s unique.”

“By doing nothing about it, by refusing to have a debate about criminalizing the purchase of these weapons, we’re sending this just very strange perverse signal to these unhinged young men who are contemplating these crimes of violence,” Murphy continued, “that if it comes with no condemnation from the highest levels of government, then maybe they’re green lighted.” 

He went on to say the he knows “that’s not what my colleagues mean to do, but people listen to what we say and do.”

“When we do nothing,” he concluded, “it has impact.”

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Billionaires are now richer than 60 percent of the world’s population: report

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The world's billionaires have doubled in the past decade and are richer than 60 percent of the global population, the charity Oxfam said Monday.

It said poor women and girls were at the bottom of the scale, putting in "12.5 billion hours of unpaid care work each and every day," estimated to be worth at least $10.8 trillion a year.

"Our broken economies are lining the pockets of billionaires and big business at the expense of ordinary men and women. No wonder people are starting to question whether billionaires should even exist," Oxfam's India head Amitabh Behar said.

"The gap between rich and poor can't be resolved without deliberate inequality-busting policies," Behar said ahead of the annual World Economic Forum in Davos, where he will represent Oxfam.

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Alcohol-infused gummy bears infuriating candy giant Haribo

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Ander Mendez and his friends were hoping they'd struck it rich when they came up with the idea of selling alcohol-infused gummy bears -- until they found themselves in the sights of sweet giant Haribo.

Now, these three Spaniards say they're afraid of being shut down by the German confectionery king, which is famed for its vast array of jelly sweets and was founded 100 years ago in the western city of Bonn.

In a not-so-sweetly worded legal letter, Haribo has accused their startup of infringing its trademarked little bear.

But these graduates from the northern Spanish port city of Bilbao insist they will carry on producing their "drunken gummy bears" -- "because people like them."

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Threatened and endangered species among the animals hard by Australia’s bushfires

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Australia's bushfires have burned more than half the known habitat of 100 threatened plants and animals, including 32 critically endangered species, the government said Monday.

Wildlife experts worry that more than a billion animals have perished in the unprecedented wave of bushfires that have ravaged eastern and southern Australia for months.

Twenty-eight people died in the blazes, which have swept through an area larger than Portugal.

Officials say it will take weeks to assess the exact toll as many fire grounds remain too dangerous to inspect.

But the government's Department of the Environment and Energy on Monday issued a preliminary list of threatened species of plants, animals and insects which have seen more than 10 percent of their known habitat affected.

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