Dec 9, 2017

4. Trump unlikely to bend on gun control

President Donald Trump tries on a Stetson hat during a "Made in America," product showcase. Photo: Alex Brandon / AP

President Trump, who says he's a defender of gun ownership rights, faced mounting pressure to address gun control issues after the recent mass shootings Las Vegas and Texas. And many were unsure how he'd resist it — especially after showing he is open to bipartisanship by striking a debt limit deal with Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi.

But Trump's allies, both inside and out of the White House, have said they can't imagine Trump bending to a Chuck-and-Nancy deal on gun control. Former Trump adviser Roger Stone told Axios' Jonathan Swan: "Base would go insane and he knows it." And Steve Bannon went so far as to say such a deal is "Impossible: will be the end of everything." Here's why:

  • He owes too much to the NRA and its supporters
  • He feels closer to the NRA than just about any outside group.
  • He believes his un-nuanced support for the Second Amendment was crucial to his election victory.
  • He's been instinctively allergic to Democrats who argue for gun control in the immediate aftermath of mass shootings.

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South Korea and Italy step up measures as coronavirus cases spike

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

The novel coronavirus has spread to more nations as South Korea and Italy in particular scramble to deal with spikes in their countries.

The big picture: COVID-19 has killed at least 2,446 people and infected almost 79,000 others, mostly in mainland China. South Korean President Moon Jae-said country would increase its infectious disease alert to red, the highest level possible, the New York Times reports, as the number of cases in the country soared to 556 and the death toll to five. Italy's government announced emergency measures Sunday after infections rose to 79.

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Bernie Sanders wins Nevada caucus

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Sen. Bernie Sanders is projected to handily win the Nevada Democratic primary caucus, becoming the clear frontrunner among 2020 Democratic presidential primary election candidates.

Why it matters: Nevada is the first state with a diverse population to hold a nominating contest, highlighting candidates' abilities to connect with voters of color — particularly Latino voters.

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Heat wave melts 20% of snow cover from Antarctic island in days

The effects of February's record heat wave on Eagle Island in Antarctica. Photo: NASA

Antarctica's Eagle Island now has a side that's almost ice-free following this month's searing heat wave in the region, images released by NASA show.

Why it maters: "The warm spell caused widespread melting on nearby glaciers," NASA said in its report. It's the third major melt event of the 2019-2020 Southern Hemisphere summer, following warm spells in January and last November, according to the United Nation's World Meteorological Organization (WMO).