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Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Democratic Presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) said late Wednesday the U.S. must follow New Zealand's lead in banning assault weapons, and it should do so by taking on the National Rifle Association — which swiftly rejected the call.

This is what real action to stop gun violence looks like. We must follow New Zealand's lead, take on the NRA and ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons in the United States"

The big picture: Sanders was speaking out in support of New Zealand's swift move to ban all military-style semi-automatic weapons and assault rifles, in response to in response to Friday's Christchurch terrorist attack. Prominent Democrat Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) also praised New Zealand's swift action.

The other side: NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch cited the Second Amendment in defense of not changing the law in the U.S.

Go deeper: Bernie Sanders: Everything you need to know about the 2020 candiate

Go deeper

Trump impeachment trial to start week of Feb. 8, Schumer says

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: The Washington Post via Getty

The Senate will begin former President Trump's impeachment trial the week of Feb. 8, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Friday on the Senate floor.

The state of play: Schumer announced the schedule after reaching an agreement with Republicans. The House will transmit the article of impeachment against the former president late Monday.

1 hour ago - Health

CDC extends interval between COVID vaccine doses for exceptional cases

Photo: Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty

Patients can space out the two doses of the coronavirus vaccine by up to six weeks if it’s "not feasible" to follow the shorter recommended window, according to updated guidance from the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention.

Driving the news: With the prospect of vaccine shortages and a low likelihood that supply will expand before April, the latest changes could provide a path to vaccinate more Americans — a top priority for President Biden.

Texas AG sues Biden administration over deportation freeze

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks to members of the media in 2016. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing the Biden administration in federal district court over its 100-day freeze on deporting unauthorized immigrants, and he's asking for a temporary restraining order.

Between the lines: The freeze went into effect Friday, temporarily halting most immigration enforcement in the U.S. In the lawsuit, Paxton claims the move "violates the U.S. Constitution, federal immigration and administrative law, and a contractual agreement between Texas" and the Department of Homeland Security.