Updated Mar 8, 2018

The next social media hearings may be about gun violence

Sen. Lindsey Graham says he's worried about threats of gun violence online. Photo: Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham (S.C.) says he'd like to grill America's social media companies at a hearing about the way threats of gun violence, including against schools, spread online.

Why it matters: Social media can be a potent vehicle for threats of violence. Earlier this week schools in Bayonne, N.J. shut down after threats of a school shooting appeared on social media.

The details: “I think we need another one about the gun stuff," Graham told Axios when asked about calls for another hearing with the social media firms. He said "we need to go back and look at postings threatening people."

  • He held a hearing on social media and Russian election interference last year through the subcommittee he chairs within the Judiciary Committee.
  • Louisiana Sen. John Kennedy has said he wants the chief executives of major social media companies to testify before Graham's subcommittee. Graham said he doesn't care who the companies send on the gun issue.

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries, and South Korea ups its case count

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 continues to spread to more nations, and the U.S. reports a doubling of its confirmed cases to 34 — while noting those are mostly due to repatriated citizens, emphasizing there's no "community spread" yet in the U.S. South Korea's confirmed cases jumped from 204 on Friday to 433 on Saturday.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed at least 2,362 people and infected more than 77,000 others, mostly in mainland China. New countries to announce infections recently include Israel, Lebanon and Iran.

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Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins

Bernie Sanders rallies in Las Vegas, Nevada on Feb. 21. Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

Center-left think tank Third Way urgently called on the Democratic front-runners of the 2020 presidential election to challenge Sen. Bernie Sanders on the South Carolina debate stage on Feb. 25, in a memo provided to Axios' Mike Allen on Saturday.

What they're saying: "At the Las Vegas debate ... you declined to really challenge Senator Sanders. If you repeat this strategy at the South Carolina debate this week, you could hand the nomination to Sanders, likely dooming the Democratic Party — and the nation — to Trump and sweeping down-ballot Republican victories in November."

Situational awareness

Warren Buffett. Photo: Daniel Zuchnik/WireImage

Catch up on today's biggest news:

  1. Warren Buffett releases annual letter, reassures investors about future of Berkshire Hathaway
  2. Centrist Democrats beseech 2020 candidates: "Stand up to Bernie" or Trump wins
  3. Reports: Facebook offers up to $5 for voice recordings
  4. America's future looks a lot like Nevada
  5. Greyhound bars immigration sweeps