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News Briefs

by Sarah Willson

Local:

  • Congressional lawmakers in Connecticut will be returning to Washington later this week for a debate on gun control. Despite their failed attempts for stronger gun control in the past, lawmakers believe that they may be able to come to a solution, according to the Hartford Courant.
  • After the Florida shooting that left 17 dead, some Connecticut schools, including Berlin and Colchester public schools, have experienced violent threats of gun violence. Police from both towns have assured students and residents that there is no threat to the students or the public.
  • Two fires, which were each called in just two minutes apart, broke out on opposite ends of Hartford on Saturday, according to the Hartford Courant. While no injuries were reported, police are investigating potential arson after one of the fires caused a multi-family home to suffer “heavy damage.”

National: 

  • Mexico’s president, Enrique Peña Nieto, has called off an official White House trip after a “confrontational” phone call with President Donald Trump regarding a southern border wall that, once again, Trump insisted must be funded by Mexico.
  • After nearly a month of debate, the House Intelligence Committee made the decision to release a Democratic memo over the weekend in a “redacted form that seeks to undercut Republican claims of FBI surveillance abuses,” according to CNN.
  • Trump announced that he would be imposing new, “heavy” sanctions against North Korea. Trump said that if the sanctions do not work, he will have to go to “phase 2,” which could be “very, very unfortunate for the world.”

International: 

  • The United States Department of State announced that it will open its Jerusalem embassy in May. A senior Palestine official called it a “blatant provocation.”
  • The United Nations has approved a 30-day ceasefire in order to allow aid deliveries, medical attention and evacuations to the thousands of civilians who need it. Despite this, what Syria said is the biggest “jihadi rebel group” is not included in the truce, raising concern as to how effective the ceasefire will be.
  • An attack by two car-bombs killed dozens in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu, late on Friday. The Islamist militant group, which is known as al-Shabab, has claimed responsibility for both attacks. Shortly after, five militants were killed following a gun battle.
  • After a series of disagreements and a suggestion from Trump, European Union leaders said that they will spend more money on their common defense and security policy regarding next year’s “long-term budget.”