Feb 23, 2018

Rick Scott calls for "major changes" in wake of shooting

Republican Governor Rick Scott. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

Florida Gov. Rick Scott laid out his "major action plan" Friday to make schools safer following last week's shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead.

Scott, breaking with NRA norms, said he wants to raise the minimum age to purchase any firearm to 21, make it "virtually impossible" for the mentally ill to buy or own a gun, and implement mandatory law enforcement in every school, among other suggestions.

More details included in his action plan:

  • "Completely ban" the purchase or sale of bump stocks.
  • Dedicate $450 million to keeping students safe, with an additional $50 million allocated for mental health initiatives.
  • Require active shooter training for faculty and students that must be completed during the first week of each semester in public schools.
  • Establish enhanced criminal penalties for threats to schools, like social media threats of shootings or bombings.
  • Provide funding to require access to mental health counselors who will give direct counseling services to students at every school. "These counselors cannot serve dual roles," he said.

Scott also broke with President Trump, and said he disagrees with the notion of arming teachers. "My focus is bringing in law enforcement," he said.

"Unfortunately, none of the plans I’m announcing today will bring any of them back, but it’s important to remember them. The seventeen lives that were cut short and all the hopes and dreams that were ruined have changed our state forever. Florida will never be the same."
— Gov. Rick Scott

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GM to exit Australia, New Zealand and Thailand

GM's Holden brand is popular among racing fans down under, and it's been a regular fixture at events like the Bathurst 1000 V8 Supercar Race in Australia. Photo: Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

General Motors is retiring its celebrated Holden brand from sales in Australia and New Zealand after 160 years and winding down operations by 2021, the company confirmed in a statement Monday.

The big picture: GM also intends to "sell its Rayong factory in Thailand to China's Great Wall Motors and withdraw the Chevrolet brand from Thailand by the end of this year," AP reports. "The downsizing is part of a long-running strategy at GM since the Detroit-based company emerged from bankruptcy in 2009," per Bloomberg.

In photos: Deadly Storm Dennis lashes U.K., Ireland and western France

A family is rescued from a property in Nantgarw, Wales, on Sunday. The storm comes a week after the U.K. was battered by storm Ciara, which killed two people, per the BBC. Photo: Matthew Horwood/Getty Images

Storm Dennis continued to pummel parts of England, Wales and Ireland over Sunday night with heavy rain after battering Northern Ireland and Scotland, per the official British weather agency the Met Office.

Why it matters: It's the second-strongest nontropical storm ever recorded in the North Atlantic Ocean, with its hurricane-force winds and heavy rains that caused widespread flooding across the U.K., the Washington Post notes. Police in Wales confirmed Sunday they found the body of a man who fell into a river as the storm lashed Ystradgynlais.

Sanders accuses Bloomberg of trying to "buy" the 2020 election

Sen. Bernie Sanders and Mike Bloomberg. Photos: Drew Angerer; Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders tore into 2020 rival Michael Bloomberg at a Las Vegas campaign event Saturday, saying the billionaire and former New York mayor is trying to "buy the presidency" by paying millions of dollars in advertising.

Why it matters: Bloomberg has surged in national polling recently, having poured millions of dollars into campaign ads largely targeting Trump. His candidacy has become an obvious foil for Sanders, whose grassroots campaign railing against billionaires and the establishment has vaulted him to front-runner status.

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