President Barack Obama proposed a new assault weapons ban and mandatory background checks for all gun buyers on Wednesday in a bid to channel national outrage over the Newtown school massacre into the biggest U.S. gun-control push in generations.
Rolling out a wide-ranging plan for executive and legislative action to curb gun violence, Obama set up a fierce clash with the powerful U.S. gun lobby and its supporters in Congress, who are expected to resist what they see as an encroachment on constitutionally protected gun rights.
Obama presented his agenda at a White House event in front of an audience that included children from around the country, a poignant reminder of the 20 first-graders who were killed along with six adults by a lone gunman on December 14 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.
“While reducing gun violence is a complicated challenge, protecting our children from harm shouldn’t be a divisive one,” Obama said.
An Afghan woman wearing a police uniform shot dead on Monday a civilian contractor working for Western forces in the police chief’s compound in Kabul, NATO said.
The incident is likely to raise troubling questions about the direction of an unpopular war.
It appeared to be the first time that a woman member of Afghanistan’s security forces carried out such an attack.
There were conflicting reports about the victim.
A heavily armed gunman opened fire inside a Connecticut elementary school on Friday, killing 26 people, including 20 children, police said, in one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history.
The gunman - who according to a media report carried four weapons and wore a bullet-proof vest - was dead inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, state police Lieutenant Paul Vance told a news conference.
Vance said authorities found 18 children and seven adults, including the gunman, dead at the school, and two children were pronounced dead later at a hospital. Another adult was found dead at a related crime scene in Newtown, he said, bringing the toll to 28.
The New York Times reported that the gunman, believed to be in his 20s, walked into a classroom where his mother was a teacher, shot his mother and then 18 students in the room before shooting five other adults and killing himself.
“Our hearts are broken today,” President Barack Obama said in an emotional televised address to the nation.
Chaos struck as children gathered in their classrooms for morning meetings at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, a city of about 27,000 in northern Fairfield County, about 45 miles southwest of Hartford and 80 miles northeast of New York City.
The holiday season tragedy was the second shooting rampage in the United States this week and the latest in a series of mass killings this year, and was certain to revive a debate about U.S. gun laws.
READ ON: 28 dead, including 20 students, in CT school shooting
LIVE COVERAGE: Newtown, Connecticut school shooting
At least 27 people, including 18 children, were killed on Friday when at least one shooter opened fire at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, CBS News reported, citing unnamed officials.
If confirmed, it would be one of the worst mass shootings in U.S. history. The holiday season tragedy follows a series of shooting rampages in the United States this year that have killed multiple victims, and it was certain to revive a debate about U.S. gun laws.
The principal and school psychologist were among the dead, CNN said. Witnesses reported hearing dozens of shots with some saying as many as 100 were fired.
The suspected shooter, 24, was armed with four weapons and wearing a bullet-proof vest, WABC reported.
There were unconfirmed reports of a second shooter.
An attorney for accused Colorado theater gunman James Holmes said in court on Monday he will subpoena a Fox News reporter to reveal her source for a news story about the massacre, setting up a potential First Amendment showdown.
Public defender Daniel King said he plans to subpoena New York-based correspondent Jana Winter, who days after the July 20 rampage reported Holmes had sent a notebook to a psychiatrist detailing his plans to commit mass murder.
Holmes, a 24-year-old former neuroscience graduate student, is charged with multiple counts of murder and attempted murder for the shooting spree in the Denver suburb of Aurora, Colorado that killed 12 people and wounded 58.
King said the story, which cited an unnamed law enforcement source, violated a gag order imposed by Arapahoe County District Judge William Sylvester.
A Florida judge on Tuesday denied a request from accused murderer George Zimmerman to let him remove his GPS monitoring device and travel freely in the state pending his trial next June in the shooting death of unarmed black teenager Trayvon Martin.
Zimmerman, 29, has been confined to Seminole County under a $1 million bond since July, when a judge concluded that he had presented false information about his assets and was a flight risk.
Zimmerman and his wife, Shellie, who is charged with perjury for allegedly lying to the judge about the couple’s finances, live in hiding and “in fear of violence,” according to a 74-page motion filed by his lawyer, Mark O’Mara.
The lone suspect in a mass shooting at a spa in suburban Milwaukee, Wisconsin, has been found dead from a self-inflicted gunshot wound at the scene, Brookfield police said.
The suspected gunman was identified as 45-year-old Radcliffe Haughton, a resident of Brown Deer, Wisconsin.
The shooting incident at the Azana Salon & Spa in Brookfield left at least three people dead and four others injured, according to authorities, but it was not immediately clear whether Haughton was being counted as among the victims. Brookfield Police Chief Daniel Tushaus told reporters that the area was “still an active scene.”
A Pakistani schoolgirl fighting for her life after being shot by Taliban gunmen was transferred on Thursday from a hospital in a province that is a militant haven to a specialist hospital in the army garrison town of Rawalpindi.
Malala Yousufzai, 14, was unconscious in critical condition after being shot in the head and neck as she left school on Tuesday, but doctors said she had moved her arms and legs slightly the night before.
Pakistani surgeons removed a bullet on Wednesday from Yousufzai who was shot by the Taliban for speaking out against the militants and promoting education for girls.
Her courage made her a national hero. The shooting has drawn condemnation from world leaders and many Pakistanis.
When people ask if I enjoy my job, I usually tell them: “Who wouldn’t — I always have a different view from my mobile office each day.”
But the view I had on August 16 of the deadliest South African police security operation since apartheid ended will be difficult, if not impossible, to erase from my mind.
I’d been sent to cover a tense stand-off between police and striking platinum miners at a dusty mine northwest of Johannesburg. Little did I know that I would witness a police operation that led to 34 miners shot dead and more than 70 injured.
The police announced over a loud speaker that photographers on the hill should leave. I sensed there was trouble brewing.
Reuters photographer Siphiwe Sibeko: “Witness to the Lonmin shootings”