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What did president Trump say at CPAC? Watch his speech here

President Donald Trump addressed the Conservative Political Action Convention Friday, telling members of the group they would get their border wall, that he thought some teachers should be armed in school and that his administration "has had the most successful first year in the history of the presidency.”

>> Read more trending news

CPAC, hosted by the American Conservative Union, is held annually and is a favorite  gathering for conservative elected officials.

Trump has spoken at CPAC before – at the conferences held in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015. He skipped the conference in 2016 while he was campaigning for president. 

Trump engaged with the crowd in the more than 75minute spee-ch. He smiled when the audience chanted, “Lock her up,” in response to a comment about Hillary Clinton.

Here is the president’s speech from CPAC. Trump’s remarks begin at the 41:15 mark.

National Women's History Month: What is it, when did it begin, who is being honored this year?

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the passage of a law making March Women’s History Month in the United States.

The observation, which was born out of a California school district’s celebration of women’s achievements, now is celebrated across the country, and includes parades, lectures, health screenings, art exhibits and other activities that highlight women’s contributions to society.

>> Read more trending news

Here’s a look at the history of the movement, why it’s celebrated in March, this year’s theme and the National Women’s History Project honorees.

What is it?

Women’s History Month is a celebration of women’s contributions to society.

When is it?

In the United States, it is celebrated each year in March.

Why March?

March was chosen as the month to celebrate women’s history because the first observances of Women’s History Week revolved around International Women’s Day, which is March 8. International Women’s Day, which honors women’s achievements worldwide, was first celebrated on March 8, 1911. The United Nations has sponsored International Women’s Day observances since 1975.

How did it start?

In 1978, a school district in Sonoma, California, decided to honor women’s achievements by participating in a Women’s History Week event. According to the National Women’s History Project, schools hosted essay contests, presentations by women were given at many of the schools in the district and a parade was held in downtown Santa Rosa, California.

The following year, a two-week conference examining women’s history was held at Sarah Lawrence College. Those participating in the conference learned about Sonoma County's Women's History Week celebration and decided to organize similar celebrations within their own schools and organizations.

During the following seven months, they lobbied for a declaration of Women’s History Week and in March 1980, President Jimmy Carter issued a presidential proclamation declaring the week of March 8, 1980, as National Women's History Week.

In 1981, Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Rep. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., co-sponsored a joint congressional resolution calling the week of March 7, 1982, Women’s History Week.

Schools across the country began to incorporate Women’s History Week into their curriculum and, eventually, the week grew into a monthlong observance.

Fourteen states had declared March Women’s History Month by 1986. In 1987, the National Women’s History Project asked Congress to establish March as Women’s History Month. On March 12, 1987, the celebration became official when legislation was passed to designate March as Woman’s History Month in the United States.

What is this year’s theme?

The 2018 National Women’s History Month theme is “Nevertheless, She Persisted: Honoring Women Who Fight All Forms of Discrimination against Women.”

The theme refers to remarks made by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., after he objected to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., reading a letter from civil rights leader Coretta Scott King that condemned then-Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala. The Senate was debating Sessions nomination to become U.S. attorney general. McConnell objected to the reading of the letter on the grounds of “Rule XIX” which prohibits ascribing "to another senator or to other senators any conduct or motive unworthy or unbecoming a senator.” He called for a vote to silence Warren, which passed on party lines.

Who is being honored this year?

Here, from the National Women’s History Project, is a list of those being honored this year.

  1. Susan Burton: Burton founded A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project in 1998 to help women break the cycle of incarceration. Burton is a co-founder of All of Us or None and the Formerly Incarcerated and Convicted People’s Movement, both national grassroots civil rights movements comprised of formerly incarcerated individuals, their families and community allies.
  2. Margaret Dunkle: Dunkle played a key role in implementing Title IX, the law that transformed education for women and girls, from athletic fields to graduate schools. Her groundbreaking 1974 report documenting discrimination against female athletes became the blueprint for the Title IX regulations on athletics. Dunkle crafted the 1986 legislation that enabled low-income women to receive student aid without losing health insurance for their children.
  3. Geraldine Ferraro: Ferraro was the first female vice presidential candidate representing a major political party. In 1993 President Clinton appointed Ferraro U.S. ambassador to the United Nations on human rights, and in 1995 appointed her vice chair of the U.S. delegation to the Fourth World Conference on Women in Beijing.
  4. Jill Moss Greenberg: Greenberg is a lifelong crusader for fairness and the rights of underrepresented groups. She served as the first National Executive Director of NAME (the National Association for Multicultural Education).
  5. Roma Guy: Guy is a social justice activist and policy leader on homelessness, public health, poverty, LGBTQI rights, immigrant rights, and women’s rights. She was a consultant and one of the LGBTQI activists featured in the 2017 ABC miniseries “When We Rise.”
  6. Cristina Jiménez: Jimenez is a leader in the youth-led immigrant rights movement, and instrumental in creating the DACA program. She is executive director and co-founder of United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country.
  7. Saru Jayaraman: Jayaraman responded to the 9/11 tragedy by organizing displaced World Trade Center workers and co-founding Restaurant Opportunities Centers United. ROC United is a leader in the “One Fair Wage” campaign to end the two-tiered minimum wage system.
  8. Marty Langelan: Langelan is a leader in the global effort to end harassment and gender-based violence. Langelan provides violence-intervention skills training for international human-rights organizations, anti-rape activists, environmentalists and others.
  9. Pat Maginnis: Maginnis is an abortion rights activist. In 1962 Maginnis founded the Society for Humane Abortion where she advocated for “elective abortion” and argued that all women had the right to safe and legal abortion. In 1966, she founded the Association to Repeal Abortion Laws.
  10. Arlene B. Mayerson: Mayerson is a leading attorney in disability rights law. She played a key role in drafting and negotiating the Americans with Disabilities Act and amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
  11. Pauli Murray: Murray was a civil rights and women’s rights activist. She finished first in her class at Howard Law School where she was the only female student. She was denied admission to graduate school in 1938 due to her race and denied a fellowship to Harvard Law in 1944 due to her sex. She went on to be the first African-American awarded a law doctorate from Yale (1965) and later became the first African-American woman to be ordained an Episcopal priest (1977). President John F. Kennedy appointed her to the Presidential Commission on the Status of Women (1961) and she was a co-founder of the National Organization for Women in 1966.
  12. Elizabeth Peratrovich: Peratrovich, an Alaska native of the Tlingit Nation, was a civil rights leader. She petitioned Alaska officials to end segregation of native peoples. She was instrumental in the Feb. 16, 1945, anti-discrimination act to protect the civil rights of Alaska natives.
  13. Loretta Ross: Ross has dedicated her career to feminist issues with a focus on women of color. She helped create the theory of reproductive justice, adding a human rights framework to include everyone in reproductive rights issues. She is a visiting professor teaching courses on white supremacy, reproductive justice, and calling in practices at Hampshire College for the 2017-2018 academic year. 
  14. Angelia Salas: Salas is a key strategist and leader in the national movement for immigrant rights and policy reform. She is the executive director of the Center for Humane Immigrant Rights.
  15. Linda Spoonster Schwartz: Schwartz overcame a military injury to become one of the nation’s leading veterans’ advocates, focusing especially on the unmet needs of women veterans. She was chair of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Advisory Committee on Women Veterans, served as Connecticut commissioner/commandant of veterans affairs, was nominated by President Barack Obama to be assistant secretary of veteran affairs for policy and planning. She is the first and only woman elected president of the National Association of State Directors of Veterans Affairs.

Trump to speak at CPAC: What time, what channel, who else is speaking?

President Donald Trump is scheduled to address an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference Friday.

Trump is set to begin speaking around 10:05 a.m. ET at the gathering of conservative activists being held at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center near Washington, D.C.

>> Read more trending news

CPAC, hosted by the American Conservative Union, is held annually.

Trump has spoken at CPAC before – at the conferences held in 2011, 2013, 2014 and 2015. He skipped the conference in 2016 while he was campaigning for president. 

Click here to read his speech from 2017.

Trump’s speech will be carried live by cable news networks. CPAC is being broadcast on CSPAN and CSPAN 2.

Here is the schedule of speakers for those following Trump on Friday:

  • 11:55 a.m. – White House counselor Kellyanne Conway; Small Business Administration Administer Linda McMahon
  • 12:30 p.m. – Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai
  • 1:35 p.m. – Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel
  • 2:00 p.m. – Gov. Matt Bevin, R-Ky.; Rep. Mark Walker, R-N.C.
  • 3:35 p.m. – British politician Nigel Farage

The full CPAC agenda can be found here

Watch Wayne LaPierre’s speech to CPAC

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre addressed the Conservative Political Action Conference on Thursday.

Click here to listen to his full speech.

Who is NRA head Wayne LaPierre and what did he say at the CPAC meeting?

National Rifle Association Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre took the opportunity to slam Democrats Thursday during a speech at the 2018 Conservative Political Action Conference meeting, saying they only “want more restrictions on the law-abiding.” 

"They want to sweep right under the carpet the failure of school security,” LaPierre said, a week after 17 people were killed in a school shooting in Parkland, Florida. LaPierre told the audience that the NRA stood ready to provide guidance to schools free of charge on how to protect students. He took another dig at the Democrats and one at the news media saying what the NRA offered was “more” than anyone else has. 

"We share a goal of safe schools, safe neighborhoods and a safe country," LaPierre said. 

Later he told the crowd gathered at the annual meeting for conservatives that, "Evil walks among us” when speaking about school shootings. Just minutes before LaPierre spoke, President Donald Trump tweeted that he supports the NRA and the work LaPierre is doing. 

"What many people don't understand, or don't want to understand, is that Wayne, Chris and the folks who work so hard at the @NRA are Great People and Great American Patriots. They love our Country and will do the right thing. MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!"

Who is Wayne LaPierre? Here are a few things you may not know about him.  

  • Wayne Robert LaPierre Jr. was born on Nov. 8, 1949, in Schenectady, New York. His family moved to Roanoke, Virginia, when he was 5 years old. 
  • He was raised a Roman Catholic. 
  • He spent a good portion of his career as a lobbyist. 
  • He volunteered for the 1972 presidential campaign of Democrat George McGovern. 
  • He earned a master’s degree in government and politics from Boston College. 
  • He was on the boards of the American Association of Political Consultants, the American Conservative Union, and the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.
  • LaPierre became executive vice president and chief executive officer of the NRA in 1991. The NRA has 5 million members. 
  • He once told a friend his dream job was to retire from the NRA and open an ice cream stand in Maine. 
  • He is married. His wife, Susan, is also involved in the NRA. 
  • He makes nearly $1 million a year in salary. 
  • He hosts a weekly syndicated television program called “Crime Strike.” In addition, he has a weekly podcast and offers a short broadcast on gun rights every weekday. LaPierre says he opposes universal background checks, an assault weapons ban (as it was proposed in 2013) and any limits to access to semi-automatic weapons by law-abiding Americans. 
  • He says he supports armed security guards in schools, creating a computerized universal mental health registry of those judged to be incompetent and Project Exile, which mandates severe sentences for all gun crimes, especially illegal possession. He is an author and has written several books on gun safety and gun rights.

Daylight saving time 2018: Seven things to know about ‘springing forward’

You may want to store up some extra sleep in the next few weeks because you are about to lose an hour of it.

Come March 11 at 2 a.m. most of America will be “springing forward” as daylight saving time kicks in, giving us another hour of sunlight.

Here’s a look at seven things you may not have known about daylight saving time.

  1. “Spring forward and fall back” is an easy way to remember how to set the clock when daylight saving times begins and ends. You set your clock forward one hour at 2 a.m. on March 11. You’ll set it back one hour at 2 a.m. on Nov. 4.
  2. In the United States, daylight saving time began on March 21, 1918. U.S. government officials reasoned that fuel could be saved by reducing the need for lighting in the home.
  3. Ancient agrarian civilizations used a form of daylight saving time, adjusting their timekeeping depending on the sun’s activity.
  4. Many people call it daylight savings time. The official name is daylight saving time. No ‘s’ on ‘saving.’
  5. Benjamin Franklin came up with an idea to reset clocks in the summer months as a way to conserve energy.
  6. A standardized system of beginning and ending daylight saving time came in 1966 when the Uniform Time Act became law. While it was a federal act, states were granted the power to decide if they wanted to remain on standard time year-round.
  7. Arizona (except for the Navajo, who do observe daylight saving time on tribal lands), Hawaii, American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands do not observe daylight saving time.

Billy Graham-Richard Nixon tapes: The one time Graham’s image was tarnished

As Americans mourn the death of evangelist Billy Graham, you would be hard-pressed to find a time where “America’s Pastor” was held in anything other than the highest regard. Graham managed during 60 years of preaching the Gospel to sidestep even a hint of scandal -- sexual, financial or otherwise.

However a revelation in 1994 of a conversation he had with then-President Richard Nixon turned out to be a source of embarrassment for Graham – not at the time it was disclosed by Nixon Chief of Staff H.R. Haldeman, but years later when a tape of the conversation was released by the National Archives.

>> Read more trending news

At first, Graham denied comments Haldeman made in his book, "The Haldeman Diaries" that Graham and Nixon had disparaged Jews in a conversation following a prayer breakfast in Washington D.C. on Feb. 1, 1972. Haldeman said Graham had talked about a Jewish “stranglehold” on the country.

''Those are not my words," Graham said in May 1994. ''I have never talked publicly or privately about the Jewish people, including conversations with President Nixon, except in the most positive terms.'' Graham was believed and the matter dropped until 2002 when tapes from Nixon’s White House were released by the National Archives. The 1972 conversation between Nixon and Graham was among those tapes, and Graham had to face the fact that he had been recorded saying the things of which Haldeman accused him.

The tapes proved damning.

''They're the ones putting out the pornographic stuff,'' Graham had said to Nixon. The Jewish ''stranglehold has got to be broken or the country's going down the drain,'' he continued.

Graham told Nixon that Jews did not know his true feelings about them. 

''I go and I keep friends with Mr. Rosenthal (A.M. Rosenthal) at The New York Times and people of that sort, you know. And all -- I mean, not all the Jews, but a lot of the Jews are great friends of mine, they swarm around me and are friendly to me because they know that I'm friendly with Israel. But they don't know how I really feel about what they are doing to this country. And I have no power, no way to handle them, but I would stand up if under proper circumstances.''

Rosenthal was the Times' executive editor.

After the release of the tapes, Graham was horrified, according to Grant Wacker, a Duke Divinity School professor who wrote a book about Graham. He publicly apologized and asked for forgiveness from Jewish leaders in the country.

"He did not spin it. He did not try to justify it," Wacker told NPR. "He said repeatedly he had done wrong, and he was sorry."

''I don't ever recall having those feelings about any group, especially the Jews, and I certainly do not have them now,'' Graham said in 2002 when the tape was released. ''My remarks did not reflect my love for the Jewish people. I humbly ask the Jewish community to reflect on my actions on behalf of Jews over the years that contradict my words in the Oval Office that day.''

Billy Graham quotes: He made Christian principles accessible to millions

Evangelist Billy Graham died Wednesday at age 99 at his North Carolina home.

Graham, who preached Christianity to millions around the world, was also a confidant of U.S. presidents from Dwight Eisenhower to George W. Bush.

Here are some quotes from the man who became known as “America’s Pastor.”  

  • The greatest legacy one can pass on to one's children and grandchildren is not money or other material things accumulated in one's life, but rather a legacy of character and faith.
  • Each life is made up of mistakes and learning, waiting and growing, practicing patience and being persistent.
  • No matter how prepared you think you are for the death of a loved one, it still comes as a shock, and it still hurts very deeply.
  • Believers, look up - take courage. The angels are nearer than you think.
  • Being a Christian is more than just an instantaneous conversion - it is a daily process whereby you grow to be more and more like Christ.
  • When wealth is lost, nothing is lost; when health is lost, something is lost; when character is lost, all is lost.
  • My home is in Heaven. I'm just traveling through this world.
  • Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened.
  • God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with.
  • A child who is allowed to be disrespectful to his parents will not have true respect for anyone.
  • God proved His love on the Cross. When Christ hung, and bled, and died, it was God saying to the world, ’I love you.’
  • I've read the last page of the Bible. It's all going to turn out all right.
  • God will prepare everything for our perfect happiness in heaven, and if it takes my dog being there, I believe he'll be there.
  • Nothing can bring a real sense of security into the home except true love.

Source: Brainy Quotes

When is the Stoneman Douglas town hall meeting; what time, what channel?

Stoneman Douglas High School students and parents will take part in a town hall meeting on Wednesday, a week after the school was the site of a mass shooting.

The meeting will come following a rally Wednesday in Tallahassee where a group of the students hopes to pressure the state’s Republican-controlled Legislature to consider a sweeping package of gun-control laws.

>> Read more trending news

Some of the state’s legislators were given a tour of Stoneman Douglas to see the damage Nikolas Cruz caused when he launched an attack at the Parkland, Florida, school.

Many legislators appeared shaken as they left the school, according to The Associated Press.

“I really think they are going to hear us out,” said Chris Grady, a 19-year-old senior who is going on the trip. He said he hopes the trip will lead to some “commonsense laws like rigorous background checks.”

Here is what you need to know about Wednesday’s town hall meeting.

What is it: "Stand Up: The Students of Stoneman Douglas Demand Action" – a town hall meeting

Where: BB&T Center in Sunrise, Florida

When: Wednesday

What time: 9 p.m. ET

What channel: CNN

Who will be there: In addition to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and parents, Florida Rep. Ted Deutch, Sen. Bill Nelson, (D-Fla.), and Sen. Marco Rubio, (R-Fla.), have accepted an invitations to attend. Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declined the invitation, as has President Donald Trump. On Wednesday, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association said an NRA representative would take part in the town hall meeting.

Who is moderating: CNN anchor Jake Tapper

 

Do video games lead to violence seen in Parkland, other mass shootings?

One day after the mass shooting at a Florida high school, Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin told a radio host he believes the “culture of death that is being celebrated” in violent video games and movies was the trigger for the violence that led to the deaths of 17 students and teachers.

Bevin, in an interview with radio host Leland Conway, said violent video games that glorify murdering people and even allow players to rack up points for showing less compassion was at the core of the increasing number of attacks on schools, churches and concerts.

>> Read more trending news

"There are video games that, yes, are listed for mature audiences, but kids play them and everybody knows it, and there's nothing to prevent the child from playing them," Bevin told Conway. "They celebrate the slaughtering of people. There are games that literally replicate and give people the ability to score points for doing the very same thing that these students are doing inside of schools, where you get extra points for finishing someone off who's lying there begging for their life."

It is not the first time Bevin has called out the makers of video games where players score points for killing. In January in Bevin’s own state, a 15-year-old boy killed two classmates and injured 14. After the shooting at Marshall County High School in Benton, Kentucky, Bevin posted an 11-minute video on Facebook where he said violent videos were a “cultural problem” that sparked the incident.

"We are desensitizing young people to the actual tragic reality and permanency of death," Bevin said. "This is a cultural problem."

After the shootings at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week, Bevin stepped up his attack, calling out other cultural influences such as music, television and movies, slamming them for violent lyrics or plots.

"Why do we need a video game, for example, that encourages people to kill people?" Bevin said. "Whether it's lyrics, whether it's TV shows, whether it's movies, I'm asking the producers of these products, these video games and these movies, ask yourselves what redemptive value, other than shock value, other than the hope you'll make a couple of bucks off it. At what price? At what price?"

According to a story from The Miami Herald, Nikolas Cruz, the Stoneman Douglas school shooter, would play video games for up to 15 hours a day. Cruz family friend and neighbor Paul Gold, who owns a film and video production company, said he sometimes played a game or two with Cruz.

The games Cruz liked to play were violent ones, he told The Herald.

“It was kill, kill, kill, blow up something, and kill some more, all day,” Gold said. 

Bevin isn’t the only one speaking out against violent video games. Others have pointed to such games as inspiration for similar attacks. But is there evidence that links playing violent games with taking a rifle and shooting people at a high school or some other venue?

The psychological community is split. 

A study by researchers at the University of York in York, England, found no evidence that adults who play violent video games were any more likely to commit a violent act then those who do not play the games.

The study of 3,000 participants released in January showed the games do not “necessarily increase aggression in game players.

The York study also examined the realism of the games and whether that had an effect on the way players later acted. They looked at games that used characters that moved and reacted as a human would, not just an animated character. Researchers concluded that “there is no link between these kinds of realism in games and the kind of effects that video games are commonly thought to have on their players.”

The York researchers pointed out in their conclusions that the tests were conducted on adults. "We also only tested these theories on adults, so more work is needed to understand whether a different effect is evident in children players."

A 2015 study by the American Psychological Association contradicts the York study in part. The APA study found that playing violent video games is linked to increased aggression in players, but that there is “insufficient evidence” to link game playing with criminal violence or delinquency.

Those conducting the study stressed that while an increase in aggression was seen in the subjects of the study, the games’ effect on certain people with certain risk factors needs to be studied further.

“We know that there are numerous risk factors for aggressive behavior,” said Mark Appelbaum, the chairman of the task force that conducted the study. “What researchers need to do now is conduct studies that look at the effects of video game play in people at risk for aggression or violence due to a combination of risk factors. For example, how do depression or delinquency interact with violent video game use?”

A study of 105 Canadian teenagers – boys and girls – found that the teens that spent more than three hours a day playing violent video games were in danger of delayed emotional development .

Mirjana Bajovic, the author of the study, noted that not all the teens playing violent games showed a delay in emotional development, and that no correlation existed between the level of emotional development and those who played nonviolent games. Bajovic did note that the time spent playing those games was the main factor in influencing “empathic behavior and tendencies.

A study published in Psychological Science led researchers to conclude that for some, assuming an identity in a video game can have real-world impact.

Researchers asked 200 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to choose to be either a villain or a hero in a video game, and what they saw was an impact in levels of consideration in the students.

“Our results indicate that just five minutes of role-play in virtual environments as either a hero or a villain can easily cause people to reward or punish anonymous strangers,” said Gunwoo Yoon, lead author of the study.

The students were given the choice to serve chocolate sauce to a stranger or to serve hot chili sauce. Researchers found that those who chose to play the hero – in this case, cartoon character Superman – would serve chocolate to the stranger. Those who assumed the villain role – Voldemort from the Harry Potter novels – would serve the chili sauce. 

The choices from the students were measured after as little as five minutes of playing the games. 

 

Who are the top 10 recipients of NRA money?

Following the horrific attack on a Florida high school, a comedy writer decided to call out U.S. House and Senate members who offered prayers and condolences to the families of those who lost loved ones in the shooting.

Bess Kalb, a comedy writer, began answering the growing number of tweets from legislators to the victims’ families with cold, hard numbers. Kalb, using information compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics and The New York Times, answered each legislator’s tweet of prayers or condolences with a tweet that listed the value of campaign contributions they had received from the National Rifle Association.

Kalb, along with many who favor stricter federal gun control laws, pointed to NRA campaign spending as a barrier to stronger gun legislation. 

As in the aftermath of mass shootings last fall, renewed calls for gun control measures went out Wednesday. But, as in the aftermath of the shooting at a country music concert – and a church in a small Texas town – not much has been done by federal legislators. 

Kalb’s call-out of legislators has drawn attention to the amount of money the NRA has given to campaigns. The Center for Responsive Politics has compiled a list of NRA contributions made to every member of Congress and what was contributed to the presidential campaigns.

In the 2016 election, the NRA spent $11,438,118 to support Donald Trump’s campaign and donated $19,756,346 to groups opposing Hillary Clinton’s. However, the bulk of the contributions have gone to House and Senate members. Here is a look at the top 10 recipients of NRA contributions.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, “the totals are a combination of money given to the member's campaign or leadership PAC from gun rights or gun control PACs or individuals in the 2016 cycle (2015-2016).

“The total dollar amounts comprise donations made by the National Rifle Association, its affiliates, and its members, as well as “outside money” consisting of campaign spending conducted on behalf of political candidates by NRA political action committees, in all campaign cycles since 1989.

“In addition, money spent by outside groups supporting and opposing these candidates is included in the total.”

Here is a list of the top 10 Senate and House members with the most contributions from the NRA. 

For the complete list from the Center for Responsible Politics, click here.

 

Florida school shooting timeline: Seven minutes, three floors and 17 dead

Nikolas Cruz, the gunman charged with killing 17 people at a Parkland, Florida, high school Wednesday afternoon, has reportedly confessed to the shooting and, his attorney says, is now on suicide watch.

Cruz, according to a timeline put together by police, set off alarms as he entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, the school he had been expelled from, hoping to get more people into the hallways and into his line of fire.

After firing into classrooms and at students in the hallways, Cruz dropped the weapon he had with him, an AR-15 weapon purchased legally one year ago, and blended in with the crowd of students fleeing the building.

>> Read more trending news

From the school, he headed to a Subway and bought himself a soft drink, went to a McDonald's to sit for a few minutes, left the restaurant and was arrested a short time later without incident.

On Thursday, he was charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder.

Here, from information from the Broward County’s Sheriff’s Office, is a timeline of the events that happened that day.

Feb. 14, 2018 (all times are local Florida time)

  • 2:06 p.m.: An Uber driver picks up Cruz, who asks to be driven to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
  • 2:19 p.m.: It takes 13 minutes to get to the front of the school where the Uber driver drops Cruz off. He has with him an AR-15 inside of a soft gun case and a backpack filled with ammunition. According to a police report, a school employee recognizes Cruz and radios to a colleague that Cruz is headed toward the school’s Building 12.
  • 2:21:18 p.m.: Cruz enters the east stairwell of Building 12 with a rifle inside of the case. Police said the 19-year-old also had smoke grenades and a gas mask.
  • 2:21:30 p.m.: Twelve seconds later, Cruz has taken the rifle from the bag and readied it to fire. At some point, he pulls the fire alarm. Students would later say they were confused by the sound of a fire alarm because they had had a fire drill earlier that morning.
  • 2:21:33 p.m.: As students began to leave the building after the fire alarm, Cruz begins shooting into rooms 1215, 1216 and 1214. Students and teachers, hearing the gunshots, head back into the classrooms. Cruz goes back to rooms 1216 and 1215 fires into them again, then walks to 1213 and fires again. Cruz then takes the west stairwell to the second floor and shoots a person in room 1234.
  • 2:24:39 p.m.: Three minutes after the first shots are fired, Cruz heads up the east stairwell to the third floor of Building 12. According to some reports, he tries to bust out a window on the third floor to shoot at students as they flee the building. The windows in that part of the facility are shatterproof, and Cruz is unable to fire down from the third floor.
  • 2:27:37 p.m.: Three minutes after he gets to the third floor, he goes back into the stairwell, drops the rifle and his backpack and runs down the stairs.
  • 2:28:35 p.m.: Among the fleeing students and staff, he leaves Building 12 and runs west toward the school’s tennis courts, then turns and heads south.
  • 2:29:51 p.m.: A little more than a minute later, Cruz crosses a field and runs west, meeting up with others running from the school.
  • 2:50 p.m.: Some 30 minutes later, he arrives at Walmart. He goes to the Subway located inside the Walmart and buys a soft drink. He then leaves on foot.
  • 3:01 p.m.: Cruz goes to a McDonald’s and sits in the restaurant for a few minutes. He leaves the restaurant on foot.
  • 3:41 p.m.: Forty minutes later, an officer from the Coconut Creek Police Department spots Cruz on Wyndham Lakes Drive in Coral Springs. The Broward Sheriff’s Department responds to the call that the young man who is now a suspect in the shootings has been spotted. He is positively identified by officers and taken into custody without incident.

Nikolas Cruz's social media pages had 'disturbing' material; have been deleted from Facebook, Instagram

Social media sites Facebook and Instagram issued a statement Thursday saying they had deleted the profile of accused Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz.

The 19-year-old gunman, who was charged Thursday with 17 counts of premeditated murder, had posted photos and at least one video that law enforcement officials called “very, very disturbing.”

>> Read more trending news

Cruz is charged with planning the attack on the school in Parkland, Florida. According to authorities, around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Cruz began shooting people outside of the school before putting on a gas mask, setting off smoke grenades, pulling a fire alarm and entering the school, firing an AR-15 rifle.

Cruz left the school after the shooting but was captured about an hour later. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel talked with reporters late Wednesday about what Cruz had posted online.

“We already began to dissect his websites and the things on social media that he was on and some of the things ... are very, very disturbing," he said.

According to some media outlets who were sent images from Cruz’s Instagram page, the account had photos of a young man posing with guns and knives, his head covered with a balaclava – a knit mask that covers most of the head and face. Cruz’s face was covered in most of the photos. The captions on some photos indicated he was feuding with others. One post about buying a gun read: “I plan on getting this but I need more information on it so if someone could give advice on how much I’m spending and background cheeks [sic] please to god let me know.” Another post showed a target that had been shot up. The caption read, “Group

Therapy.”

Still another post offered a photo of the definition of the Arabic phrase “Allahu Akbar” that included a Muslim slur. Allahu Akbar is Arabic for “God is great.”

Cruz also had a Facebook page that was taken down.

On Thursday, FBI officials said they had received a warning in September about a YouTube user named Nikolas Cruz who had commented on another person’s account

saying that he was “going to be a professional school shooter." 

FBI officials said they did not have enough information to track down Cruz, even though they had his correct name on the comment.

Florida school shooting: How difficult is it to purchase a gun in Florida?

In the wake of the shooting at Marjory Stonehouse Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., Wednesday, the debate was stirred again about gun ownership and who should be able to purchase a gun and ammunition.

Florida is a state where it is not particularly difficult to get a gun. The Giffords Law Center, which is a gun-control advocacy group named after former U.S. House Rep. Gabby Giffords, gives Florida an "F" grade for its gun laws. Below, from the Giffords Law Center, is a look at Florida’s gun laws. 

>> Read more trending news

In Florida, you do not need a license to own or purchase a handgun, shotgun or rifle, nor do you have to register a gun. Here is what’s required from the state for gun ownership.

How do you get a gun in Florida? 

In Florida, to purchase a gun from a gun store, you must pay $8 and complete the paperwork for a background check. If you pass the background check, you get the gun. If the gun is a rifle or a shotgun, you do not have to wait three days to get it. For a handgun, there is a mandatory three-day “cooling off” period in Florida, one of only 10 states that require any waiting period for the purchase of a gun. There is no federal waiting period required when purchasing a gun. Waiting periods are imposed by states.

Here is what Florida does not do:

Who is prohibited from purchasing a gun in Florida?

Federal law prohibits certain people from purchasing or possessing firearms. Felons, certain domestic abusers, and people with a history of mental illness are generally barred from buying a weapon. In Florida, a person is prohibited from owning or possessing a firearm if they:

  • Have been convicted of a felony, or are under 24 years of age and have been convicted of a delinquent act that would be a felony if committed by an adult
  • Have been issued a final injunction that is currently in force and effect, restraining that person from committing acts of domestic violence
  • Are a “violent career criminal,” as Florida law defines that term

What is the minimum age to purchase a gun in Florida?

In Florida, a person has to be at least 18 years old to purchase and possess a gun. There are exceptions to that law. Minors are eligible to possess a gun if they are:

  • Engaged in a lawful hunting activity and are at least age 16 or if under age 16, are supervised by an adult
  • Engaged in a lawful marksmanship competition or practice or other lawful recreational shooting activity, and are at least age 16 
  • Transporting an unloaded firearm directly to or from one of the aforementioned events
  • Florida law prohibits dealers from selling or transferring firearms to anyone younger than 18

Can someone who has become a person who would be prohibited from possessing firearms in Florida have their guns taken away?

No, Florida has no law requiring a person who has become a person who would be prohibited from owning weapons in Florida to surrender the weapon, nor is there a law that would allow law enforcement to take that person’s firearms.

If a person is the subject of a court-imposed protective order, then Florida does consider it a violation of that protective order if the person refuses to surrender his or her firearms.

What about a semi-automatic weapon? How tough is it to get those type of weapons? 

In most cases, it’s no tougher to get a semi-automatic rifle than it is to get a handgun. Seven states -- California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey and New York – and the District of Columbia have enacted laws banning semi-automatic weapons. Minnesota and Virginia regulate semi-automatic weapons. There is no ban on purchasing the weapons in any other state.

 

Remembering the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history

On the evening of October 1, 2017, Stephen Paddock, shooting from the 32nd floor of a hotel on the Las Vegas Strip, killed 58 people, making the shooting the deadliest in American history. 

The gunman was killed when police stormed his room in the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, but not before Paddock went on the shooting spree that has left an estimated 851 people injured. 

With 58 dead, the shooting is the deadliest single-day mass shooting spree in American history.  

Here is a list of the some of the deadliest mass shootings in America.

  • Pulse nightclub - Orlando, Fla. June 12, 2016 - 49 killed, 58 injured
  • Virginia Tech - April 16, 2007 – 32 people killed
  • Sandy Hook Elementary school – Dec. 14, 2012 – 27 killed
  • Killeen, Texas – Oct. 16, 1991 – 23 killed
  • San Ysidro, Cali. – July 18, 1984 – 21 killed
  • Austin, Texas – Aug. 1, 1966 – 18 killed
  • Parkland, Florida – Feb 14, 2018 – 17 killed
  • San Bernardino – Dec. 2, 2015 – 14 killed
  • Edmond, Okla. – Aug. 20 1986 – 14 killed
  • Fort Hood, Texas – Nov. 5, 2009 -- 13 killed
  • Binghamton, N.Y. – April 3, 2009 – 13 killed
  • Columbine High School – April 20, 1999 – 13 killed
  • Seattle, Wash., – Feb. 18, 1983 – 13 killed
  • Wilkes-Barre, Pa. – Sept. 25, 1982 – 13 killed
  • Camden, N.J. – Sept. 5, 1949 – 13 killed

What are the worst school shootings in modern US history?

Sheriff Scott Israel, of the Broward County Sheriff's Office in Florida, has confirmed 17 deaths in Wednesday’s school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Israel said authorities found 12 people dead in the building, two dead outside the school and one dead on a nearby street. Two of 14 people taken to local hospitals died later at the hospital.

Israel said the suspect, Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old former student at the school, is in custody.

The shooting, with at least 17 deaths, is one of the top five most deadly school shootings in American history.

Here is a list of the deadliest attacks on American schools:

  1. Bath School: On May 18, 1927, a school board treasurer, Andrew Kehoe, killed 38 elementary school students and six adults at the Bath Township, Michigan, elementary school when he set off an explosion. Kehoe killed his wife and firebombed his farm, and then killed himself by detonating a final device in his truck.
  2. Virginia Tech: Seung-Hui Cho opened fire on students at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Virginia. Cho killed 32 people and injured 17. The shooting took place on April 16, 2007. Cho committed suicide.
  3. Sandy Hook Elementary School: On Dec. 14, 2012, Adam Peter Lanza, after killing his mother, went to the school in Newtown, Connecticut, and started firing. He killed 26 children and adults. Lanza committed suicide.
  4. Marjory Stonehouse Douglas: Seventeen people were killed in a school shooting on Valentine’s Day 2018 in Parkland, Florida. The alleged shooter, Nikolas Cruz, 19, was taken into custody after the shooting.
  5. University of Texas Tower: Charles Whitman, an ex-Marine sharpshooter, climbed a tower at the University of Texas and began shooting people on the campus on Aug. 1, 1966. He killed 14 and wounded 31.
  6. Columbine High School: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold killed 13 people and injured 24 before killing themselves on April 20, 1999, in Columbine, Colorado.
  7. Red Lake Indian Reservation: On March 21, 2005, Jeffrey Weise killed seven people at Red Lake Senior High School in Red Lake, Minnesota.
  8. Umpqua Community College: Christopher Harper-Mercer killed nine people at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon, on Oct. 1, 2015.
  9. Oikos University Shooting: One L. Goh killed seven students at the Korean Christian College at Oikos University in Oakland, Calif. on April 2, 2012.
  10. California State Fullerton: Six were killed on July 12, 1976, when a custodian, Edward Charles Allaway, opened fire at the school.
  11. West Nickel Mines: Charles Carl Roberts shot eight and killed five girls at an Amish school in Bart Township, Pennsylvania.

Who is Nikolas Cruz, accused gunman in Florida high school attack?

Prosecutors have charged Nikolas Cruz with 17 counts of premeditated murder after he allegedly opened fire Wednesday at a Florida high school he was kicked out of last year.

Cruz, 19, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., was arrested off-campus about an hour after the shootings began, according to Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. 

>> Read more trending news

Cruz surrendered without incident, Israel said. He was picked up about a mile from the school.

The shooting began around 2:30 p.m. at the large school complex located in Broward County in southern Florida. Cruz allegedly pulled the fire alarm to get students out of classrooms and into the hallways. Just that morning, the school had conducted a fire drill.

Many students said they thought they were having another drill Wednesday afternoon when the alarm sounded and most teachers told them to head out of their classrooms.

According to law enforcement authorities, Cruz was waiting outside of the rooms.

As the students left the rooms, Cruz began firing. 

Here’s what we know about Cruz now:

  • Cruz’s mother died in November. His father had died years earlier.
  • He and his brother were adopted.
  • He went to live with a friend’s family after his mother’s death.
  • A childhood freind of Cruz’s told CNN he would introduce himself as a “school shooter.”
  • Cruz had been expelled from school.
  • He legally purchased an AR-15 rifle about a year ago.
  • He had posted “disturbing” material on social media, according to Israel.
  • Buzzfeed is reporting that the FBI was warned about a YouTube user named Nikolas Cruz after he posted in September that he was “going to be a professional school shooter.
  • The Associated Press reported that the leader of a white nationalist group in Florida confirmed Cruz is a member. Later on social media, the leader said there was a misunderstanding and that Cruz was not a member of the group.
  • The Miami Herald reports that a teacher at the school said Cruz had been identified as a potential threat to fellow students in the past. Math teacher Jim Gard told the Herald, “There were problems with him last year threatening students, and I guess he was asked to leave campus.”
  • The shooting started outside the building, then Cruz went into the school and continued shooting.
  • Authorities said he walked out with other students after the shootings.
  • He had “multiple” ammunition magazines.
  • He had an AR-15 weapon
  • He pulled the fire alarm as he went into the school and then began shooting.
  • After the shooting, he left the campus, went to a Subway located inside of a Walmart where he purchased a drink, then went to a McDonalds where he was arrested without incident.
  • His attorney says Cruz has been placed on a suicide watch. 
  • Cruz’s arrest affidavit says he confessed to the shootings.

This story will be updated.

Oscars 2018: What are the top searched-for Oscar-winning movies of all time?

With the Oscars ceremony only weeks away – it’s set for March 4 – Google has released a list of the top searched Oscar winning movies of all time.

>> Read more trending news

From “Casablanca” and “Gone With the Wind” to “Moonlight,” here are the Oscars Best Picture winners from 1927 to 2017, ranked by search trends on Google from 2004 to January 2018:

  1. “Titanic”
  2. “Gladiator”
  3. “The Godfather”
  4. “Forrest Gump”
  5. “Moonlight”
  6. “Argo”
  7. “The Sound of Music”
  8. “Birdman”
  9. “Slumdog Millionaire”
  10. “Braveheart”
  11. “The Silence of the Lambs”
  12. “The Departed”
  13. “The Lord of the rings: The Return of the King”
  14. “Gone With the Wind”
  15. “12 Years a Slave”
  16. “Spotlight”
  17. “A Beautiful Mind”
  18. “Crash”
  19. “Casablanca”
  20. “The Godfather Part II”
  21. “Shindler’s List”
  22. “American Beauty”
  23. “No Country for Old Men”
  24. “Amadeus”
  25. “The King’s Speech”
  26. “Rain Man”
  27. “The Hurt Locker”
  28. “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”
  29. “Million Dollar Baby”
  30. “The Artist”

What did Jeff Sessions say about Anglo-American heritage. What does that mean?

Attorney General Jeff Sessions is being accused of racism by some organizations after he used the term “Anglo-American heritage” Monday at a National Sheriff’s Association meeting he was addressing.

“I want to thank every sheriff in America. Since our founding, the independently elected sheriff has been the people’s protector, who keeps law enforcement close to and accountable to people through the elected process,” Sessions said at the meeting being held in Washington D.C.

Sessions went on to say, “The office of sheriff is a critical part of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement,” and it was that statement that some took offense to.

The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People issued a statement soon after Sessions made the remarks, which read, “His decision to link the term Sheriff to some part ‘of the Anglo-American heritage of law enforcement,’ is an unfortunate yet consistent aspect of the language coming out of the Department of Justice under his tenure and in the opinion of the NAACP, qualifies as the latest example of dog whistle politics.”

The NAACP statement also said Sessions’s “racially-tinged comments” should give “all people reason to worry.”

Sessions had been accused of being racially insensitive in the past. A Senate committee denied him a federal judgeship in 1986 after some colleagues said he used racial slurs and joked about the Ku Klux Klan.

The Justice Department defended Session’s comments, explaining that the term “Anglo-American law” is one commonly used in the legal system.

“As most law students learn in the first week of their first year, Anglo-American law — also known as the common law — is a shared legal heritage between England and America. The sheriff is unique to that shared legal heritage," Justice Department spokesman Ian Prior said in a statement. "Before reporters sloppily imply nefarious meaning behind the term, we would suggest that they read any number of the Supreme Court opinions that use the term. Or they could simply put ‘Anglo-American law’ into Google.”

What is Anglo-American law? The Encyclopedia Britannica explains it as “the body of customary law based upon judicial decisions and embodied in reports of decided cases that has been administered by the common-law courts of England since the Middle Ages.” 

In other words, it is the administration of the law based on previous decisions made by judges. Anglo-American refers to things that are made up of influences from Britain and from the United States. Every state in the union uses common law with the exception of Louisiana. Louisiana’s legal system is based on civil code, meaning they are derived from direct interpretation of laws made by legislatures.

The Washington Post pointed out that the term has been commonly used by Supreme Court justices.

 

Influenza surveillance map: Where is the flu in my state? 

Health officials are saying the flu season is shaping up to be a particularly severe one, with the number of cases reported at nearly four times the number of influenza cases at the same time last year. 

"This is a bad bug," Dr. Daniel Jernigan, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Influenza Division, said. "What we're seeing this year, the influenza season started earlier and seems to be peaking right about now. That's about a month earlier than it normally would be peaking," he said, "so lots of cases are happening, in lots of states, all at the same time.” 

H3N2 is the strain of flu that has been seen most this season, and it has proven to be a deadly strain. At least 60 children have died from the flu this year.

 

"In years when there is H3N2, we do see that there are more deaths,” Jernigan said.

The CDC tracks information about the spread of the flu using data sent from state health departments to create and maintain an “influenza surveillance map.” The map shows the number of flu cases reported to each state’s health department and where the flu is hitting the hardest. 

Below are the links to each state’s health department, where localized information about influenza can be found. Click on the website and look for a listing called “Surveillance Reports,” or “Surveillance Maps,” then look for the week’s report to give you the latest information.

Click here for more information on this year’s flu, and here for information for parents about children and the flu.  

  1. Alabama 
  2. Alaska 
  3. Arizona
  4. Arkansas 
  5. California
  6. Colorado
  7. Connecticut 
  8. Delaware
  9. District of Columbia 
  10. Florida
  11. Georgia 
  12. Hawaii 
  13. Idaho
  14. Illinois 
  15. Indiana
  16. Iowa 
  17. Kansas 
  18. Kentucky 
  19. Louisiana
  20. Maine
  21. Maryland
  22. Massachusetts
  23. Michigan 
  24. Minnesota 
  25. Mississippi
  26. Missouri 
  27. Montana 
  28. Nebraska
  29. Nevada 
  30. New Hampshire
  31. New Jersey
  32. New Mexico 
  33. New York 
  34. North Carolina 
  35. North Dakota
  36. Ohio 
  37. Oklahoma 
  38. Oregon 
  39. Pennsylvania 
  40. Rhode Island
  41. South Carolina 
  42. South Dakota 
  43. Tennessee 
  44. Texas 
  45. Utah
  46. Vermont 
  47. Virginia 
  48. Washington 
  49. West Virginia 
  50. Wisconsin
  51. Wyoming 
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