5 things for March 12: Gun proposals, East River helicopter crash, Xi Jinping

March Madness is back! Need help with your brackets? Here’s info on every team in college basketball’s biggest tournament. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.)

Gun debate

The White House trotted out new gun and school safety proposals that include arming teachers and improving background checks. But these new proposals don’t include an idea that President Trump — after the Parkland school shooting — originally said he would support: increasing the minimum age to buy certain guns. The proposals also include the creation of a commission to look at other school violence prevention measures. But if you remember from the President’s freewheeling campaign rally over the weekend, he called blue-ribbon committees just “talk, talk, talk.”

New York helicopter crash

Five people died when a sightseeing helicopter crashed into the icy East River. The pilot, who was able to free himself, was the crash’s only survivor. The copter was upside-down and submerged when first responders got to it. The victims were tightly harnessed inside the helicopter and had to be cut out. In a mayday call right before the crash, the pilot said the helicopter was having engine failure.

California hostage deaths

The man who killed three women at a Northern California veterans’ home was bipolar and had anger issues. Albert Wong, a veteran, held three employees of the home hostage before killing them. He had been kicked out of the home, which helps post-9/11 vets get back to civilian life, after he threatened one of the women. Wong’s brother said he “wanted to get back at them, talk to them, yell at them, not to kill them.” The victims, who were dedicated to helping vets with mental health issues, were remembered as “beautiful people.”

UK and Russia

Britian’s National Security Council meets today to figure out how to respond to the poisoning of an ex-Russian double agent and his adult daughter. All signs point to Russia being involved in the nerve agent attack on Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia. If that can be proven, the UK government reportedly may retaliate with sanctions and diplomatic expulsions. Such moves would put UK-Russia relations at the lowest point since the end of the Cold War.

China

It’s official. Chinese President Xi Jinping can serve for the rest of his life if he wants to. Yesterday, China’s parliament voted to end presidential term limits. The country’s Communist Party said the change, which sparked a backlash, was necessary to align the presidency with Xi’s other posts — head of the party and the military, which have no term limits.

Five people die in NYC helicopter crash, but the pilot survives
Helicopter crashes in New York's East River

Leave a Reply