Balance of Power: Vegas Shooting May Shift Focus to Familiar Gun DebateBy
The mass shooting in Las Vegas will refocus attention on the political stalemate over gun control laws, thrusting U.S. President Donald Trump into a fresh test of his leadership.
At least 50 people were killed and more than 200 injured in the attack by a solo gunman at an outdoor country-music concert on the Vegas strip, police said.
That toll makes it the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, according to the Associated Press. It follows the June 2016 attack at an Orlando night club that left 50 dead, including the shooter. The Orlando assailant claimed allegiance to Islamic State, though authorities found no evidence he was directly linked to the group.
There was no immediate indication the attack Sunday night was related to foreign terrorism. And it’s unlikely to break the impasse that stymied efforts for stricter gun controls after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.
But Trump’s allies and adversaries alike will be watching to see how he handles the situation. As a candidate he drew widespread criticism for his response to the Orlando shooting when he tweeted, “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.”
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Trump vs. Tillerson | Trump said his top diplomat was “wasting his time’’ seeking talks with North Korea, after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson revealed the U.S. retains several direct channels to Pyongyang. The public rebuke by the president, who has repeatedly threatened to destroy North Korea, further highlights the split in his administration on how best to get Kim Jong Un to halt his nuclear weapons program.
May’s dilemma | Theresa May will seek to stamp her authority on an increasingly fractious Conservative Party at its annual conference beginning today, after Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson challenged the British prime minister’s strategy on leaving the European Union for the second time recently. There’s little appetite for a leadership race after the trauma of the June election, but May might just be too politically weakened to end the infighting.
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