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Mitch McConnell says he won’t support reparations because ‘we elected an African-American president’

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Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said on Tuesday that the United States does not need to pay reparations for slavery in part because “we elected an African-American president.”

McConnell was confronted with a question about reparations during a press gaggle at the Capitol.

“I don’t think reparations for something that happened 150 years ago for whom none of us currently living are responsible is a good idea,” the Kentucky Republican opined. “We tried to deal with our original sin of slavery by fighting a civil war, by passing landmark civil rights legislation. We’ve elected an African-American president.”

“I think we’re always a work in progress in this country but no one currently alive was responsible for that,” he added. “And I don’t think we should be trying to figure out how to compensate for it.”

McConnell argued that “it would be pretty hard to figure out who to compensate.”

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“We’ve had waves of immigrants as well who have come to the country and experienced dramatic discrimination of one kind or another,” he remarked. “So, no, I don’t think reparations are a good idea.”

Watch the video below from C-SPAN.

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Jared Kushner heading to the Middle East for talks

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Jared Kushner will return to the Middle East later this month as he pushes his controversial plan for peace between Israel and the Palestinians, a senior official in President Donald Trump's administration said Sunday.

"Kushner will travel to the region at the end of July for discussions to continue the momentum of the successful Bahrain workshop on the economic plan," the official said on condition of anonymity.

The official did not give details on an itinerary for Kushner, who is Trump's son-in-law, but on previous trips he has visited Israel as well as Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

He will be accompanied by White House advisor Jason Greenblatt and US envoy for Iran Brian Hook, the official said.

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New Zealand tightens gun laws again after mosque attack

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New Zealand announced plans for a national firearms register Monday in its second round of gun law reforms following the Christchurch mosque attacks which killed 51 Muslim worshippers.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said regulations around who could hold firearm licences would also be tightened to "stop weapons falling into the wrong hands".

Ardern said the March 15 killings, when a gunman opened fire at two Christchurch mosques as worshippers gathered for Friday prayers, had changed attitudes towards gun ownership in New Zealand.

"There is a new normal around firearms, it is a change of mindset," she told reporters.

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Mascots and javelin carriers: Tokyo adds robots to Olympic roster

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A roster of Olympic robots that will do everything from welcoming visitors to transporting javelins has been unveiled as Tokyo works to showcase Japanese technology at next year's Summer Games.

Japan hopes the 2020 Olympics will be a chance to put its tech sector back on the map after years in which the country's reputation as an industry leader has flagged.

Auto giant Toyota has a roster of five robots with different roles to play, from cutesy renditions of the Olympic mascots to a staid transport bot.

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