House expected to pass bill that would raise minimum age to own semi-automatic rifle
A gun control package that would include a proposal to raise the minimum age to own a semi-automatic rifle is expected to pass through the House Thursday. The bill also includes efforts to limit third-party sales of guns and to stop the distribution of untraceable firearms. The Democratic-led effort is unlikely to pass the Senate where Republicans can block gun legislation and have indicated they will not support major gun reform. Even though Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said he wants Republican lawmakers to work with Democrats on gun measures “directly related” to the last week’s mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde Texas, that left 19 children and two adults dead, few expect the Kentucky Republican to back a raise in the minimum age.
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Grand jury indicts Buffalo shooting suspect on charges of domestic terrorism, murder
The white 18-year-old accused of fatally shooting 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket last month is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday after being indicted Wednesday. The suspect was charged with domestic terrorism motivated by hate and 10 counts of first-degree murder. The 25-count indictment also contains charges of murder and attempted murder as a hate crime and weapons possession. He had previously been charged with first-degree murder in the shooting, which also injured three people. He has pleaded not guilty. Federal authorities also are investigating the possibility of hate crime charges against the shooter, who allegedly meticulously planned his attack and his racist motivation in hundreds of pages of writings he posted online shortly before the shooting.
Harris to announce loan erasure for students preyed upon by Corinthian
Anyone who borrowed money to attend a school owned by Corinthian Colleges – a for-profit institution with a history of defrauding students before its sudden closure – will have their federal student loans canceled. The mass discharge is the largest amount of debt the federal government has erased in one action and benefits more than a half million borrowers to the tune of $5.8 billion. Based in California, but with campuses nationally under the names Heald, Everest, and WyoTech, Corinthian Colleges opened in 1995, but closed in 2015 after the Education Department cut off the institution’s ability to access federal money. But borrowers who had attended the college sometimes struggled to get their loans discharged. Vice President Kamala Harris, who has a history with Corinthian, is expected to formally announce the debt cancellation Thursday at the Education Department. As California’s attorney general, Harris secured a judgment against Corinthian that resulted in $1.1 billion in relief for former students.
Queen’s historic Platinum Jubilee bash begins
Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee is here and a good time is predicted for all during the four-day holiday – most especially, Brits hope, by the increasingly frail 96-year-old monarch herself. Four days of celebrations honoring the queen’s 70 years on the throne began Thursday with a display of British military traditions. First is the Trooping the Color, an annual military review that has marked the sovereign’s official birthday since 1760. The queen is expected to join the working members of her family on the Buckingham Palace balcony at the end of the event. But the backdrop for this jubilee is the uncertainty of the queen’s public appearances, which have waned since she tested positive for COVID-19 in February. Also, her knees aren’t what they used to be thanks to what Buckingham Palace vaguely called “episodic mobility problems.” Jubilees aren’t uncommon in British royal history but Elizabeth has celebrated more than any other monarch. The 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebrated her 60 years on the throne.
NBA Finals between Celtics, Warriors tip off
The NBA Finals between the Golden State Warriors and Boston Celtics tips off with Game 1 Thursday in San Francisco (9 p.m. ET, ABC). The Warriors are returning to the Finals for the sixth time in eight years, while the Boston Celtics are back for the first time since 2010. The Celtics are coming off of a grueling seven-game series against the Miami Heat in the Eastern Conference finals. Meanwhile, the Warriors have gotten plenty of rest after eliminating the Dallas Mavericks in five games in the Western Conference finals. Much of the attention heading into the series will focus on the two biggest stars – and conference finals MVPs – Golden State’s Stephen Curry and Boston’s Jayson Tatum, with both averaging more than 25 points per game in the playoffs. Although both teams have a lot of offensive fire power, the series may be dictated by defense, as the two squads finished 1-2 in defensive rating in the regular season.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Contributing: The Associated Press