Gun control measures expected to win in four states
USA - Gun control-related ballot measures in four states are expected to pass on Tuesday, opinion polls show, after gun safety advocates poured a massive amount of money into backing the initiatives.
In Maine and Nevada, residents will vote on whether to mandate universal background checks for firearm sales, including private handgun transactions. If those two measures pass, half of all Americans would live in states that have such expanded checks. Eighteen states and Washington, D.C., have already approved similar laws. (Graphic: Gun issues on the ballot here) Voters in Washington state, meanwhile, will consider allowing judges to bar people from possessing guns if they pose a danger to themselves or to others, such as accused domestic abusers. In California, a referendum would ban large-capacity ammunition magazines and require certain people to pass a background check to buy ammunition. The U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment protects the right to bear arms, and gun rights advocates fiercely contest any attempt to restrict that freedom. The votes in Republican-leaning Maine and Nevada represent a key test of the gun control movement’s decision to turn to a state-by-state strategy after efforts to pass nationwide legislation failed in Congress. Opponents in Maine and Nevada say the laws are confusingly written and would burden legal gun owners while doing nothing to stop criminals. “We know today that the place where criminals are getting guns, the black market, they aren’t subjecting themselves to background checks,” said Ryan Hamilton, a spokesman for the National Rifle Association-backed opposition in Nevada. “It doesn’t target criminal behavior, it targets law-abiding behavior.” But proponents say background checks are widely backed by the public and would save lives. Jennifer Crowe, a spokeswoman for the pro-initiative campaign in Nevada, said research had shown nearly one in 11 people who purchased guns online would have been barred from doing so by a background check.
(Reuters.com) UK - Prince Harry has attacked the “racial undertones” of press coverage of his girlfriend Meghan Markle in an extraordinary statement in which he warns that he fears for her safety.
The prince said “a line has been crossed” in reporting of his relationship with the 35-year-old American actor, who lives in Toronto. “Some of this has been very public,” his spokesman said in a statement. “The smear on the front page of a national newspaper; the racial undertones of comment pieces; and the outright sexism and racism of social media trolls and web article comments.” The statement confirms for the first time that the pair are in a relationship but launches a powerful and unprecedented attack at the media by the prince. “Prince Harry is worried about Ms Markle’s safety and is deeply disappointed that he has not been able to protect her,” it said. “It is not right that a few months into a relationship with him that Ms Markle should be subjected to such a storm. “He knows commentators will say this is ‘the price she has to pay’ and that ‘this is all part of the game’. He strongly disagrees. This is not a game – it is her life and his. He has asked for this statement to be issued in the hopes that those in the press who have been driving this story can pause and reflect before any further damage is done. He knows that it is unusual to issue a statement like this, but hopes that fair-minded people will understand why he has felt it necessary to speak publicly.”