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Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

President Biden on Tuesday urged Congress to pass gun control legislation, including two House-approved bills to expand background checks, and renew bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines.

Why it matters: They were some of Biden's most forceful comments on gun control since he was elected, and they came in the wake of a mass shooting in Boulder, Colorado, on Monday and a series of shootings in Georgia last week.

What they're saying: "This is not and should not be a partisan issue. This is an American issue," Biden said, noting that he had previously helped pass an assault weapons ban while serving in the Senate.

  • While cautioning that the facts of the Boulder shooting are still developing, the president said, "I don't need to wait another minute, let alone an hour, to take common-sense steps that will save lives in the future and to urge my colleagues in the House and Senate to act."
  • "We can ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines in this country, once again. ... It will save lives, American lives. And we have to act," he added.

The big picture: Ten people died in the Boulder shootings and eight died in Georgia. Both events prompted Biden to order flags lowered to half-staff and have renewed calls for tighter gun regulations in America.

  • The Senate Judiciary Committee on Tuesday hosted a hearing that addressed gun violence in America, with Chair Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) calling gun violence a "public health crisis."
  • Republicans rebuked the notion, with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) arguing, "Every time there’s a shooting, we play this ridiculous theater where this committee gets together and proposes a bunch of laws that would do nothing to stop these murders."

Reality check: Any gun control legislation, including the two background check bills passed by the House last week, would need 60 votes to pass in the 50-50 Senate. Biden did not make reference to eliminating the filibuster, which progressives have called on Senate Democrats to do.

Go deeper

In photos: Students evacuated as wildfire burns historic Cape Town buildings

Firefighters try, in vain, to extinguish a fire in the Jagger Library, at the University of Cape Town, after a forest fire came down the foothills of Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, on Sunday. Photo: Rodger Bosch/AFP via Getty Images

A massive wildfire spread from the foothills of Table Mountain to the University of Cape Town Sunday, burning historic South African buildings and forcing the evacuation of 4,000 students, per Times Live.

The big picture: Visitors to the Table Mountain National Park and other nearby attractions were also evacuated and several roads including a major highway, were closed. South Africa's oldest working windmill and the university's Jagger Library, which houses SA antiquities, are among the buildings damaged.

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

3 killed, 2 wounded overnight in Kenosha bar shooting

Three people died and two others were hospitalized with serious injuries after a gunman entered bar in Kenosha County, Wisconsin, the police department said in a statement on Sunday.

The latest: Officers arrested a "person of interest" Sunday afternoon in connection with the 12:42 a.m. shooting and there's "no threat to the community at this time," per a later police statement.

Updated 3 hours ago - Sports

Big European soccer teams announce breakaway league

Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (L) after striking the ball during the UEFA Champions League Quarter Final Second Leg match between Liverpool F.C. and Real Madrid at Anfield in Liverpool, England, last Wednesday. Photo: John Powell/Liverpool FC via Getty Images

12 of world soccer's biggest and richest clubs announced Sunday they've formed a breakaway European "Super League" — with clubs Manchester United, Liverpool, Barcelona Real Madrid, Juventus and A.C. Milan among those to sign up.

Why it matters: The prime ministers of the U.K. and Italy are among those to express concern at the move — which marks a massive overhaul of the sport's structure and finances, and it effectively ends the decades-old UEFA Champions League's run as the top tournament for European soccer.