US senators reach agreement on gun safety
Three weeks after 19 children and two teachers were killed in a gun massacre at a Texas elementary school, a bipartisan group of US senators yesterday reached agreement on gun control bill. The deal includes increased background checks for those under the age of 21 and a provision to close the “boyfriend loophole” by extending to dating partners a gun ban for those domestic abusers.
The deal, which is still fraught with difficulties before Congress, represents remarkable progress. But it falls far short of the broad reforms that President Biden, gun control activists and a majority of Democrats have long advocated for, such as universal background checks and an arms ban. attack gas.
Democrats hailed the plan, which would also tighten federal laws to stop gun trafficking and ensure that all commercial sellers are conducting background checks, as an opportunity to passed the most important gun safety legislation in decades. Support from 10 Republicans suggests the plan could still garner the 60 votes needed to pass the Senate.
Next step: The senators are still waiting on key details, including how much more time law enforcement will have to review juvenile and mental health records for buyers. Potential guns under the age of 21.
Can quote: Biden urged Congress to quickly pass a gun safety measure, saying there was “no reason to delay.” He added: “Every day that goes by, more and more children are being killed in this country.”
Risks of Poland’s abortion ban
As the United States faces the prospect that the Supreme Court could overturn Roe v. Wade, a decision that has made abortion legal for nearly 50 years, Poland offers a glimpse of a nation where this procedure is practically out of reach even in the most severe cases. , with sometimes the consequences are tragic.
At least three women have died in the 17 months since Poland scrapped an exception allowing abortions in cases of fetal abnormalities, a decision passed by a high court made up of loyal judges. with a dominant conservative government. Only one in 10 Poles supports a stricter ban. The rest of the population is roughly split between reverting the lighter restrictions and legalizing the termination.
Since the ban was passed, abortion rights activists have been threatened with jail time for distributing abortion pills, and the number of Polish women traveling abroad to have abortions is increasing. Technically, the law still allows abortion if there is a serious risk to a woman’s health, but critics say it doesn’t provide the clarity needed, paralyzing doctors. .
No return: “Once you start giving up abortion rights, it’s hard to go back,” said Krystyna Kacpura, president of the Women’s Federation and Family Planning, an advocacy group. “We are at a point where the risks to women’s physical and mental health have reached a new level.”
Russia gains traction in Sievierodonetsk
Russia is ready to lay siege to Sievierodonetsk, a city crucial to its goal of capturing eastern Ukraine, while the neighboring city of Lysychansk is within Moscow’s sights. Ukrainians are running out of weapons to defend their territory, prompting Ukrainian officials to call on NATO allies to quickly supply longer-range weapons. Follow the latest updates.
With the momentum of the war increasingly in favor of Russia, Ukraine’s allies in Europe and elsewhere may soon find themselves faced with questions far more fundamental than the supply of weapons. including whether to put pressure on Ukraine to reach a peace agreement. with Russia or risk Russia escalating with more active military support.
Ukraine is suffering terrible losses in the Donbas region, where the battle for Sievierodonetsk is taking place. According to Ukraine’s own assessment, the country is losing between 100 and 200 people a day, partly because of Russia’s material superiority and partly because Ukraine is determined to fight despite the increasingly bleak picture in the east. .
Donate: EU officials say they will try to tap a 9 billion euro ($9.5 billion) funding fund to jointly procure military equipment. The bloc is also grappling with the broader and politically fraught question of how to move toward Ukraine’s accession to the EU.
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Musical mysteries worth millions of dollars
Antonio Stradivari is often considered the greatest violin maker who ever lived. During the 17th and early 18th centuries, he created string instruments renowned for their ingenuity and unsurpassed sound. Only about 600 pieces survive to this day, all of which are prized by collectors and performers alike. They can sell for up to $20 million.
By analyzing the rims visible in the wood of two 17th-century tools, a team of researchers led by Mauro Bernabei, a time scientist at the Italian National Research Council in San Michele all ‘Adige, found out proof of how Stradivari may have honed his craft.
The musical instruments – a Stradivari harp and a cello by virtuoso Nicola Amati – appear to be made of the same 17th-century spruce tree. The findings are consistent with the hypothesis. that young Stradivari attended a workshop and perhaps apprenticed with Amati, who was about 40 years older than him. Such a link has long been hypothesized, but it still mysteriously exists.
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