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Republican lawmakers in Utah shoot down bill to stop people from carrying weapons near schools: report

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A proposed bill that would have forbidden Utah residents from openly carrying firearms within 500 feet of any K-12 school in the state was defeated in committee this week after complaints from gun lobbyists and Republican lawmakers, the Salt Lake Tribune reported Wednesday.

“It would punish hunters, one man argued,” the Tribune said of an excuse offered by a Republican lawmaker. “It would put more restrictions on law-abiding gun owners than convicted sex offenders, said another….it wouldn’t stop a would-be school shooter anyway, suggested a third,” the newspaper wrote Wednesday.

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“There will be people in violation every day,” Utah Republican Lee Perry was quoted as saying by the Tribune.

The proposed legislation would have “exempted open carry within the gun-free zone by people who live or work within 500 feet of a school or have a gun in their car as they drive through one, especially when picking up or dropping off a student for class,” the Tribune noted.

But that wasn’t enough for Republicans and gun rights groups in the state, who worked together to quash the proposed legislation in its infancy.

The sponsor of the proposed bill, Democrat Joel Briscoe, said his proposal would make schools “psychologically more secure,” per the Tribune, “particularly after the Florida shooting reignited the national outcry for gun restrictions and more schools have held lockdowns out of renewed fear.”

Read the full report here.

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Why the novel coronavirus became a social media nightmare

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The biggest reputational risk Facebook and other social media companies had expected in 2020 was fake news surrounding the US presidential election. Be it foreign or domestic in origin, the misinformation threat seemed familiar, perhaps even manageable.

The novel coronavirus, however, has opened up an entirely different problem: the life-endangering consequences of supposed cures, misleading claims, snake-oil sales pitches and conspiracy theories about the outbreak.

So far, AFP has debunked almost 200 rumors and myths about the virus, but experts say stronger action from tech companies is needed to stop misinformation and the scale at which it can be spread online.

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Europe, US virus deaths surge as Trump reverses New York lockdown threat

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The global coronavirus death toll surged past 30,000 over the weekend as Europe and the United States endured their darkest days of the crisis.

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The internet is wondering if Fox News’ Jeanine Pirro was drinking before her Saturday night show

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Moments after clips if the opening of Jeanine Pirro's regular Saturday night show on Fox News were posted online, Twitter commenters were speculating that the former prosecutor may have been drinking, likely due to her demeanor and slightly disheveled look.

After her "Justice with Judge Jeanine" show was delayed due to "technical difficulties" for 15 minutes, the host appeared and apologized for the delay before she began to discuss Donald Trump's plan to take the U.S. out of quarantine by Easter, telling viewers, "Just the other … day the president talked, or was hoping, about the possibility of reopening everything on Easter Sunday, uh, in a way where we could kind of come out of this quarantine, as loose as it may be, that we’re involved in."

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