In brief: House Democrats to offer gun control plan
Washington – House Democrats will unveil 15 proposals for curbing gun violence that resemble President Barack Obama’s plan and will include a call for banning assault weapons, people familiar with the package said Wednesday.
The Democrats’ recommendations will also include barring high-capacity magazines carrying more than 10 rounds of ammunition, requiring background checks for all gun sales and prohibiting gun trafficking, all of which Obama proposed last month.
The proposals are to be released today by top House Democrats. They represent the initial House Democratic response to the horrific Dec. 14 shooting of 20 first-graders and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
The Democrats’ proposals are unlikely to go anywhere quickly in the Republican-controlled House. A spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has said the House will wait to see what the Democratic-led Senate does.
Sudden stop injures seven on cable car
San Francisco – Seven people were injured Wednesday when a San Francisco cable car carrying about 40 passengers came to a sudden stop in the city’s Nob Hill neighborhood, authorities said.
One of the injuries to an elderly man who fell and hit his head was considered potentially life-threatening, San Francisco fire spokeswoman Mindy Talmadge told the Associated Press.
Four other people were taken to a hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
It appeared a 1.5-inch bolt stuck in the cable car’s track caused the sudden stop, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency Director John Haley told reporters at the scene.
City orders moratorium on police spy drones
Charlottesville, Va. – The city of Charlottesville has taken action against the use of police spy drones, ordering a two-year moratorium on the citywide use of unmanned aircraft. It is the first city in the nation to do so, supporters say, and may prompt other municipalities to act.
Seeking tough regulation over the future use of civilian drones in U.S. airspace, the Charlottesville City Council passed a resolution that prohibits police agencies from utilizing drones outfitted with devices such as Tasers and tear gas. It also sought to block governments from using data recorded via police spy drones in criminal prosecutions.
By a 3-2 vote, the council Monday adopted a resolution drafted by the Rutherford Institute, a civil liberties organization based in Charlottesville. It recommended that the state and federal government follow suit.
The measure comes in response to last year’s congressional mandate to integrate the nation’s airspace with robotic aircraft by September 2015.