Gun-control protest sparks chaotic scenes in US Congress
“@bertrandpiccard lands in #Seville completing, in 70h, the 1st #Atlantic solar flight #futureisclean,” the support team’s official Twitter account said.
“A dream is coming true,” the team had tweeted as the plane slowly approached its final destination early today after flying 6,272 kilometres (3,900 miles) across the Atlantic. Solar Impulse, which has just completed the 15th leg of its around-the-world trip, set out on March 9, 2015 in Abu Dhabi, and has flown across Asia and the Pacific to the United States with the sun as its only source of power.
“Good morning Seville! Do you have a lot of direct flights from NYC?” Piccard tweeted with a wink shortly before landing.
Prince Albert of Monaco, a patron of the project who had spent the entire night at the control centre, congratulated Piccard on the journey: “Bravo, it was magnificent to see!” he said from the tiny state on the French Riviera.
“I arrived in the middle of an air show, it was absolutely extraordinary, that kept me awake!” Piccard told him in response, describing the acrobatic display put on by the Spanish air force as he came in to land.—Agencies WASHINGTON—There have been chaotic scenes in the lower house of the US Congress as Democrats staged a sit-in to demand a vote on gun control legislation. The protest comes in the wake of the recent shootings in Orlando, the deadliest in modern US history. Republicans adjourned the House early on Thursday to try to quash the sit-in, switching off the TV cameras.
But some Democrats remained, streaming speeches live via phones despite breaking rules on broadcasting. The transmissions via Periscope and Facebook Live were taken up by the C-Span network, which provides continual coverage of Congress. One Democratic congressman, Scott Peters, who provided a feed, said the sit-in was breaking rules anyway.
The Democrats’ protest follows the gun attack on 12 June, when a man claiming allegiance to the socalled Islamic State group, Omar Mateen, killed 49 people at the Pulse club in Orlando, Florida. Depending on one’s perspective, the sit-in was either a shameless publicity stunt in advance of a dangerous piece of leg- islation or the purest expression of democracy and civil disobedience since the 1960s. But as Democrats chanted, waved signs and sang in protest, there was no debating it was a historic break with congressional traditions that has little precedent in modern times.
The display seems unlikely to alter the dynamic in a House dominated by conservatives overwhelmingly opposed to new gun regulations. If anything, after a night of sniping and rancour across the partisan divide, the two sides may be even more deeply entrenched. Republicans view the use of the terrorist watch list to prevent firearm purchases as giving the government the power to suspend due process with next to no judicial oversight. Democrats counter that it is a common-sense first step towards addressing rampant gun violence.
Both see their position as guided by principles to be defended to the evening, some 168 House Democrats (out of 188) and 34 senators (out of 44) were on the floor of the House, some literally sitting on it. As the protest
Protesters chant on East Front of the Capitol to show solidarity with House Democrats’ sit-in on the floor.
The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft lands at Sevilla airport Thursday, after a 70-hour journey from New York powered only by sunlight.