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Florida high school students speak out for gun reform. Photo: Joe Raedle / Getty Images

"[T]hree buses filled with 100 students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were greeted with cheers by a huge crowd at Leon High School in [the Florida capital of] Tallahassee when their buses pulled in just before 10 p.m.," the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports.

Why it matters: The Parkland students are motivating Florida legislators to act.

Per the Miami Herald:

  • Florida Rep. Jose Oliva, a Miami Republican and incoming House speaker said the House was drafting legislation similar to that proposed by the Senate that will place new limits on access to semiautomatic assault rifles, like AR-15s.
  • That's "something the Florida Legislature refused to do after mass shootings killed 49 at the Pulse nightclub in 2016 and 5 at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport last year."

The trip to Tallahassee:

  • "Many of the students went straight from ... funerals."
  • "The students said they had gained a quick education on gun issues over the past few days through Internet research and talking to their parents and the local legislative delegation."
  • "Their priorities: make it difficult to buy semi-automatic weapons and make background checks for gun buyers 'very extensive.'"
  • Happening today: The students "are set to hold a news conference at 12:15 p.m. ... at the Capitol, then continue meeting with officials through the afternoon. They are scheduled to head back to South Florida in the early evening."

Go deeper

Updated 49 mins ago - World

U.S. airstrike kills senior al-Qaeda leader in Syria, DOD says

A displacement camp near the village of Qah in Syria's northwestern Idlib province. Photo: Ahmad Al-Atrash/AFP via Getty Images

A U.S. airstrike in northwest Syria on Friday killed senior al-Qaeda leader Abdul Hamid al-Matar, U.S. Central Command said in a statement.

Why it matters: Syria serves as a "safe haven" for the extremist group to plan external operations, according to U.S. Army Maj. John Rigsbee.

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Giuliani associate Lev Parnas convicted of campaign finance crimes

Lev Parnas, a former associate of then-President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Florida businessman Lev Parnas was convicted Friday on charges of conspiracy to make foreign contributions to political campaigns, according to multiple outlets.

Why it matters: Prosecutors said Parnas, then an associate of former President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, funneled over $150,000 from a Russian businessman into U.S. campaigns as part of an effort to land licenses in the U.S.'s legal cannabis industry.

Supreme Court agrees to hear challenges to Texas abortion law

Photo: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

The Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear two cases challenging Texas' abortion law, which bans the procedure as soon as six weeks into pregnancy, but left the law in place in the meantime.

Why it matters: The court is moving extraordinarily fast on the Texas cases, compressing into just a few days a process that normally takes months. And that schedule means the court will take up Texas' ban a month before it hears another major abortion case — a challenge to Mississippi's own 2018 ban on abortions after 15 weeks.