Wednesday, July 5, 2017

North Korea ICBM launch: US and S Korea respond with drill

BBC News

The US and South Korea have held a ballistic missile drill, after North Korea tested a long-range missile experts believe may reach Alaska.

Self-restraint was "all that separated armistice and war" and could be changed at any time, the two allies said.

It would be a "grave mistake" for the North to think otherwise, they said.

China and Russia have urged both sides to stop flexing their military muscle and said they opposed any attempts at regime change in North Korea.

Meanwhile US President Donald Trump questioned Beijing's commitment to countering North Korea's nuclear threat, apparently citing China's first-quarter trade figures.

"Trade between China and North Korea grew almost 40 pct in the first quarter. So much for China working with us - but we had to give it a try!" he tweeted.

The missile launch, the latest in a series of tests, was in defiance of a ban by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).

The US has asked for an urgent meeting of the UNSC to discuss the issue. A closed-door session of the 15-member body will take place later on Wednesday.

Pyongyang claimed on Tuesday to have successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM).

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PA Senate Passes Bill Allowing Teachers to Carry

PA Senate Passes Bill Allowing Teachers to CarryThe Pennsylvania state Senate approved a heavily-debated bill allowing qualified teachers to carry firearms at their schools. The bill is meant to ensure safety in the case of active shootings. It was passed Wednesday with a 28-22 “bipartisan vote.”

Senator Don White, who introduced the bill,  said, “Time is a critical element when a violent incident occurs in a school. Many schools in rural areas rely on State Police coverage, which means response times can vary. Senate Bill 383 gives trained school personnel the opportunity to serve a first responders.”

According to Everytown for Gun Safety, there have been 229 school shootings since 2013, averaging one shooting per week.

This comes when teachers nationwide are taking precautionary measures to protect students from school shootings in the U.S. The Buckeyes Firearm Association created Faculty/Administrator Safety Training and Emergency Response, or “FASTER,” partnering with parents, officers, and experts, its website says. It trains school employees in firearms use and first aid to respond to violent incidents. Pennsylvania schools already use ALICE training, the acronym for “Alert, Lockdown, Inform, Counter, Evacuate.”

Sen. White said that Mark Zilinskas, “a mathematics teacher with the Indiana Area School District,” suggested the bill to him after a school stabbing.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf will veto the bill according to a statement from his press secretary, who wrote “Harrisburg can help school be safer by giving them adequate funding so schools can hire trained security professionals like school resource or police officers should school professionals feel they need it.”

The bill is going to be reviewed by the Pennsylvania House. White said, “If it becomes law, I will sleep better at night knowing our school districts have more tools at their disposal to fight the unspeakable evil that cause a few in our society to seek to harm our children.”
9 Cartoons That Remind Us What Being an American is Really AboutBut whether you’re a Democrat, a Republican or somewhere in between, there’s one thing we all have in common: we’re Americans. So in light of Fourth of July, here are nine cartoons that remind us of what being an American is truly about.

Land of the free, home of the brave. 

by Steve Breen 5/29/2017

Trump-Fueled ‘Kate’s Law’ Bill Moves to Battleground in Senate

President Donald Trump rose to campaign fame on wave of promises to crack down on the border, citing the egregious murder of Californian Kate Steinle — who was shot by an illegal who was taking advantage of San Francisco’s sanctuary city status — as cause for massive concern.

And now, before Congress, is Kate’s Law, a bill that would affix hefty penalties to illegals who commit crimes — crimes above and beyond entering America without legal permission, that is — and against cities that refuse to comply with federal immigration laws.

Republicans in the House were backed by two dozen or so Democrats in voting in favor of this law.

From the Hill:
Senate Democrats are expressing confidence that they’ll be able to block the bills if they are brought up for a vote.

“I will do whatever I can in order to stop them. These are only punitive in nature, they don’t deal with the totality of the reality of our immigration challenge, and as a continuing part of the Republican saga that only looks at one element, and looks at it in a way that is totally disproportionate,” Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) said.

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