US Congress mulls action on gun control following mass shootings | Gun Violence News

Washington, DC – Mark Barden has seen moments like this come and go – occasions when he thought the US Congress would possibly lastly go gun reforms to thwart extra mass killings.

However though none of those efforts have succeeded, Barden, who misplaced his seven-year-old son Daniel within the 2012 Sandy Hook bloodbath, stays optimistic that the time is close to. A latest spate of mass shootings within the nation, and particularly the tragic killing of 19 college students and two academics at an elementary faculty in Uvalde, Texas, have to be the catalyst for reforms, he advised Al Jazeera.

“This can be a essential second,” stated Barden, who cofounded the Sandy Hook Promise Motion Fund to push for options to stop future mass shootings. “We now have to as a nation collectively encourage them, demand them, implore them to step up, do their job, as a result of that’s what they have been elected to do.”

However whereas the Uvalde taking pictures and different latest tragedies have sparked new bipartisan efforts to seek out settlement on gun-control measures, specialists say any proposal must be restricted in scope to go each homes of Congress. The chances of significant reform are thus slim.

Ongoing talks on gun laws amongst a gaggle of Republican and Democratic senators aren’t considering main initiatives, similar to banning assault rifles or elevating the minimal age to purchase one. As a substitute, they’re targeted on narrower points, similar to “purple flag” legal guidelines, which permit for the removing of firearms from anybody who could pose a hazard to themselves or others. Modest reforms to background checks and elevated spending on psychological well being and faculty security are additionally underneath dialogue.

“That might not be sufficient, and that will not be acceptable to Democrats,” Democratic strategist Maria Cardona advised Al Jazeera.

Senators concerned within the talks have reported progress in direction of a doable settlement, however acknowledged much more work is forward of them.

“We’re making fast progress towards a common sense bundle that would garner assist from each Republicans and Democrats,” Republican Senator Susan Collins stated in a press release final Wednesday.

Senator Chris Murphy, the lead Democratic negotiator within the talks, stated an settlement have to be reached inside the subsequent 5 days due to a deadline set by Senate Majority Chief Chuck Schumer.

INTERACTIVE Mass shootings in the US on the rise
(Al Jazeera)

“It’s frankly a take a look at of democracy,” Murphy advised CNN on Sunday. “It’s a take a look at of the federal authorities as as to if we are able to ship at a second of simply fierce anxiousness amongst the American public. So we’re nearer than ever earlier than. Let’s see if we land it.”

Main hurdle within the Senate

Within the wake of the Uvalde bloodbath, polls present that People overwhelmingly assist main gun reforms. A complete of 88 % strongly or considerably assist background checks for all gun gross sales, together with these at gun exhibits, and 67 % strongly or considerably assist a ban on assault-style weapons, in accordance with a Politico/Morning Seek the advice of survey carried out on Could 25.

“We’ll must see what the present group of senators produces and if it could actually go. The sense is on Capitol Hill that the extra slim and particular, the higher – however we’ve to attend and see,” Republican analyst and onetime Capitol Hill aide Doug Heye advised Al Jazeera.

On the similar time, the Home of Representatives is taking over main laws, together with provisions to boost the age to purchase sure semi-automatic rifles from 18 to 21, and to limit the sale of large-capacity ammunition magazines – however such measures don’t have any likelihood of approval within the Senate.

Gun-control proponents level to the rising variety of mass shootings within the US as proof of the necessity for a serious legislative overhaul. In line with the nonprofit analysis group Gun Violence Archive, there have been greater than 240 mass shootings this yr, greater than 30 of which have taken place for the reason that Could 24 Uvalde tragedy.

US President Joe Biden made a forceful argument for reforms, together with a ban on assault rifles, in an handle to the nation final Thursday, saying: “For God’s sake, how far more carnage are we prepared to simply accept? … It’s time for the Senate to do one thing.”

With Schumer decided to carry a vote on the difficulty quickly, Cardona famous: “That vote will both be a vote on a compromise invoice, which might be nice, or it is going to be a vote on a invoice that Republicans block – not a superb search for them going into the midterms and [amid] the outcries from People to do one thing.”

For a invoice to get by way of the Senate, it should win the assist of not only a majority of senators, however of at the very least 60 – a serious hurdle that explains why latest efforts have failed. Since Democrats management simply 50 Senate seats, any gun-control measure wants the backing of at the very least 10 Republicans, most of whom oppose main modifications, citing the necessity to defend Second Modification rights.

Opponents have additionally argued that stiffer gun-control legal guidelines wouldn’t stop mass shootings, as a substitute pointing to points similar to psychological well being and faculty security. Senate Minority Chief Mitch McConnell has stated the latter two are “what we have to goal”, noting final Thursday: “I’m hopeful and optimistic that we are able to [pass bipartisan legislation], however I, like most of you, consider this must be executed and have to be executed in step with the Structure.”

Nonetheless, Barden of the Sandy Hook Promise Motion Fund holds out hope for gun reforms, saying Republican legislators have to keep in mind the general public temper. Within the meantime, he’s persevering with his advocacy work, together with educating college students methods to look out for warning alerts that would presage a college taking pictures. Extra coaching inside communities is required to assist handle the plague of gun violence, he stated.

“We are able to stop loads of these tragedies from occurring,” Barden stated. “There are at all times warning indicators, and that’s what drives my work.”

Qatar, other Muslim nations condemn India over anti-Islam remarks | Islamophobia News

Worldwide backlash is rising towards India after a ruling get together official made Islamophobic feedback throughout a televised debate, with Qatar and several other different Muslim nations lodging official protests towards New Delhi and demanding a “public apology”.

A minimum of 5 Arab nations have lodged official protests towards India, and Pakistan and Afghanistan additionally reacted strongly on Monday to the feedback made by two members of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Occasion (BJP).

Anger has poured out on social media, and requires a boycott of Indian items have surfaced in some Arab international locations. Al Jazeera TV on Monday reported that Indian merchandise had been faraway from cabinets in some retailers in Kuwait.

The criticism from Muslim international locations had been extreme, indicating that insulting Prophet Muhammad is a purple line.

The anger has been rising since final week after the 2 BJP members – nationwide spokeswoman Nupur Sharma and Delhi BJP employees Naveen Jindal – made remarks that had been seen as insulting Prophet Muhammad and his spouse Aisha.

Modi’s get together took no motion towards them till Sunday when a refrain of diplomatic outrage started with Qatar and Kuwait summoning their Indian ambassadors to protest.

In an announcement, Qatari Minister of State for International Affairs Soltan bin Saad Al-Muraikhi mentioned “these insulting remarks would result in incitement of non secular hatred, and offend greater than two billion Muslims all over the world”.

Doha is anticipating “a public apology and speedy condemnation of those remarks” from the Indian authorities, mentioned the assertion, which got here as India’s Vice President Venkaiah Naidu visited the rich Gulf state on Sunday in a bid to bolster commerce.

Kuwait warned that if the feedback towards Prophet Muhammad go unpunished, India would see “a rise of extremism and hatred”.

The grand mufti of the sultanate of Oman described the “obscene rudeness” of Modi’s get together in the direction of Islam as a type of “conflict”. And Saudi Arabia mentioned the feedback had been “insulting” and known as for “respect for beliefs and religions” because it and Iran lodged complaints with India.

The Jeddah-based Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) mentioned the remarks got here in a “context of intensifying hatred and abuse towards Islam in India and systematic practices towards Muslims”.

India’s international ministry on Monday rejected feedback by the OIC as “unwarranted” and “narrow-minded”.

The anti-Islam remarks additionally led to anger in India’s archrival and neighbour Pakistan and in Afghanistan.

On Monday, Pakistan’s international ministry summoned an Indian diplomat and conveyed Islamabad’s “sturdy condemnation”, a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif mentioned the feedback had been “hurtful” and that “India beneath Modi is trampling spiritual freedoms and persecuting Muslims”.

The Taliban authorities in Afghanistan mentioned India mustn’t enable “such fanatics to insult … Islam and provoke the sentiments of Muslims”.

Narendra Modi
Anti-Muslim sentiments and assaults have risen throughout India beneath Modi [File: Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP]

‘Too little, too late’

India’s embassy in Qatar launched an announcement on Sunday, saying the views expressed towards the Prophet and Islam weren’t that of the Indian authorities however had been made by “fringe components”.

The assertion mentioned sturdy motion had already been taken towards those that made the derogatory remarks.

In one other assertion, India’s international ministry on Sunday mentioned the offensive tweets and feedback didn’t, in any approach, replicate the views of the federal government.

As anger in Gulf states grew, the BJP suspended Sharma and expelled Jindal for hurting the spiritual sentiments of Muslims who make up about 14 p.c of India’s 1.35 billion folks.

Reporting from New Delhi, Al Jazeera’s Pavni Mittal mentioned the BJP members’ remarks put India in a “very embarrassing place” and that the Indian authorities is trying “harm management” however critics in India say the actions are “too little, too late”.

“And that goes again to a historical past of its (BJP’s) high leaders making inflammatory, anti-Islamic and anti-minority feedback overtly, and getting away with it fairly simply,” Mittal mentioned.

“A couple of months in the past, there have been leaders that known as for genocide and violence towards Muslims in public conferences, and rights teams that pointed this out in reviews have been met with a number of resistance. In truth, they noticed their places of work both shut or international funding frozen.”

Protests had been held on Monday towards the anti-Muslim remarks within the monetary capital Mumbai and different Indian cities, whereas dozens of individuals had been arrested for rioting within the northern metropolis of Kanpur.

Prophet Muhammad insult
Muslims demanding arrest of BJP’s Nupur Sharma throughout a protest in Mumbai [Rafiq Maqbool/AP]

Former Indian diplomat Vivek Katju advised Al Jazeera he was “shocked” by the feedback on Islam’s prophet “as a result of that isn’t consistent with what I’ve grown up with – that no spiritual character or religion be denounced”.

India’s previous ties with the Gulf

The remarks made by Sharma throughout a TV programme and Jindal in a tweet threat damaging India’s ties with Arab nations.

India’s commerce with the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), which incorporates Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE, stood at roughly $90bn in 2020-2021. Tens of millions of Indians stay and work in GCC international locations.

Prime Minister Modi lately has strengthened financial ties with the energy-rich nations, the highest supply for the nation’s gasoline imports.

A senior official on the Qatari embassy in New Delhi mentioned Modi’s authorities should publicly distance itself from the feedback.

“Hurting our spiritual sentiments can instantly influence financial ties,” the official mentioned, including they had been checking reviews a couple of boycott of Indian items by some grocery store house owners in Qatar.

Katju, the previous Indian diplomat, mentioned there’s a “mutuality of curiosity between India and the Gulf”.

“And that curiosity is proven within the rising relationship between India and the Gulf states. I don’t see that’s going to go away due to this incident,” he advised Al Jazeera.

India maintains sturdy relations with many Gulf states, which depend on tens of millions of migrant staff from India and elsewhere in South Asia to serve their tiny native populations and drive the equipment of day by day life.

Anti-Muslim sentiments and assaults have risen throughout India beneath Modi as Hindu nationalists really feel emboldened by his common silence on such assaults since he was first elected in 2014.

Over time, Indian Muslims have been usually focused for all the things from their meals and clothes to inter-religious marriages and locations of worship.

Watchdog teams resembling Human Rights Watch and Amnesty Worldwide have warned that assaults might escalate, whereas a number one professional on political violence warned India is on the cusp of a genocide of Muslims.

Rights teams have additionally accused Modi’s ruling get together of trying the opposite approach and generally enabling hate speech towards Muslims. Modi’s get together denies the accusations, however India’s Muslims say assaults towards them and their religion have change into relentless.

Final week, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned India was seeing “rising assaults on folks and locations of worship”, to which New Delhi responded, calling the feedback “ill-informed”.

Extra not too long ago, spiritual tensions have escalated after some Hindu teams went to a courtroom within the northern metropolis of Varanasi to hunt permission to wish at a Seventeenth-century mosque, claiming that it was constructed by demolishing a temple.

Critics say these tensions have been additional exacerbated by India’s TV channel anchors throughout raucous debates. Sharma had made the feedback towards Prophet Muhammad throughout one such debate.

S Korea, US fire eight missiles in response to N Korea tests | News

South Korean army says the motion is an indication of the allies readiness to answer North Korean ‘provocations’.

South Korea and the USA have condemned North Korea’s newest missile launches, firing eight ballistic missiles of their very own in a present of pressure geared toward demonstrating the 2 allies’ readiness to answer Pyongyang’s “provocations”.

The launches early on Monday got here a day after North Korea fired eight short-range ballistic missiles in direction of the ocean off its east coast, in what analysts stated was the biggest single check ever by the nuclear-armed nation.

In an announcement, the South Korean Joint Chiefs of Workers (JCS) stated the allies launched eight ballistic missiles into the East Sea beginning at 4:45am native time (19:45 GMT on Sunday) for about 10 minutes.

The motion was an indication of “the potential and readiness to launch fast precision strikes on the origins of provocations and their command and help forces”, the JCS stated.

“Our army strongly condemns the North’s sequence of ballistic missile provocations and critically urges it to instantly cease acts that elevate army tensions on the peninsula and add to safety issues,” it added.

An official from South Korea’s Defence Ministry confirmed eight Military Tactical Missile Techniques (ATACMS) had been fired.

South Korean President Yoon Suk-yeol, who took workplace final month, has promised to take a more durable line in opposition to North Korea, which has stepped up the event of its missile and nuclear programme, and agreed with US President Joe Biden at a Might summit in Seoul to improve joint army drills and their mixed deterrence posture.

The 2 allies on Saturday wrapped up three days of naval drills in worldwide waters off the Japanese island of Okinawa. The workouts concerned a US plane service for the primary time since November 2017.

North Korea has criticised earlier joint drills for example of Washington’s continued “hostile insurance policies” in direction of Pyongyang, regardless of its speak of diplomacy.

It has performed a flurry of missile launches this 12 months, from hypersonic weapons to test-firing its largest intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) for the primary time in practically 5 years.

It additionally examined one other suspected ICBM on Might 25, hours after Biden had left Asia following a six-day tour to the area. South Korea and the US fired two missiles in response to reveal their “overwhelming energy” to answer any assaults from North Korea.

Officers in Washington and Seoul have in the meantime warned that North Korea additionally appeared able to resume nuclear weapons assessments for the primary time since 2017.

Final week, the US known as for extra United Nations sanctions on North Korea over its document ballistic missile launches, however China and Russia vetoed the suggestion, publicly splitting the UN Safety Council on North Korea for the primary time because it began punishing it in 2006, when North Korea performed its first nuclear check.