The FBI says the week following the Newtown, Connecticut, shooting massacre saw the greatest number of background checks for firearms sales and permits to carry guns conducted within a one-week period since 1998.
The FBI says the second highest week was when President Barack Obama announced sweeping plans to curb gun violence.
This new data published by the FBI confirms what many gun dealers around the country have said about sales going up after the deadly shooting that left 27 dead, including 20 children, as gun enthusiasts braced for stricter controls.
The number of background checks does not represent the number of firearms purchased, but gun manufacturers use these statistics to measure the health of the gun industry in the U.S.
Outgoing Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner thinks the U.S. economy will strengthen this year — as long as Congress avoids cutting spending too deeply in a budget deal and Europe’s economy gradually improves.
In an interview on his last day in office, Geithner tells The Associated Press, “The economy is stronger than people appreciate.” He agrees with many private forecasters that economic growth will accelerate this year, in part because the U.S. economy is no longer being held back by oil shocks and Europe’s debt crisis has subsided.
Asked about his future, Geithner rules out the possibility that he would return to Washington as chairman of the Federal Reserve next year, when Ben Bernanke’s term ends, if asked by President Barack Obama.
Americans are weighing in from all corners of the country on President Barack Obama’s second inaugural.
ST. LOUIS: At a Martin Luther King Jr. remembrance ceremony at Touhill Performing Arts Center on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus, Lynn Gray, a black 43-year-old English teacher for St. Louis Public Schools, reflects on the historic nature of the first black president being sworn in for a second term: “I always think about my grandmother (she died in 2004). She didn’t talk about race much but she had to go through a lot. We never even discussed the possibility that there could be a black president. The first time I saw his face on the TV screen and it said ‘president elect,’ I thought about my grandmother.”
EL PASO, TEXAS: In downtown El Paso, citizens talk in Spanish of their hopes for Obama’s second term. Says housewife Gloria Martinez: “I like Obama. I know he’s going to do something great, but I also know that it depends upon the other guys.” Raymundo Smith, a 19-year-old student, adds: “It is a good thing that he is being sworn in for a second term. But he has to fulfill the promises he made and do what he has not done in the past four years, the immigration reform.” Roberto Guzman, an electrician, sounds a more dour tone: “Things are bad, there are no jobs. He should focus on doing something for the workers.”
MIAMI: A couple thousand people were at a viewing at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County of a live simulcast of the ceremony in Washington. It was a free event that also included performances of patriotic songs by local schools. Miami poet and playwright Tarell McCraney was preparing to reading the 2009 inauguration poem, “Praise Song for the Day” by his Yale professor Elizabeth Alexander. McCraney was as hopeful for Obama’s second term as he was about the first, but the hope has a different focus than it did four years ago. “For me personally, it had less to do with him personally and more to do with what he asked of us — that we look to ourselves for change, that we look to ourselves and our neighborhoods and what we can do for change.”
— Jennifer Kay in Miami, Juan Carlos Llorca in El Paso, and Jim Salter in St. Louis.
Inauguration Watch follows the events of President Barack Obama’s second inaugural. Look for short items and photos throughout the day.
Mexicans are watching closely as U.S. President Barack Obama prepares to announce his administration’s proposals to stem gun violence.
A proposal being debated in Congress would give the U.S. Border Patrol a free hand to build roads, camera towers, helicopter pads and living quarters without any of the outside scrutiny that can modify or even derail plans to extend its footprint.
The changes would waive environmental reviews on federal lands within 100 miles of Mexico and Canada for the sake of border security.
The U.S. House approved the bill authored by Utah Republican Rob Bishop in June. But prospects in the Democratic-controlled Senate are extremely slim. And chances of President Barack Obama’s signature even slimmer.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano testified in Congress this year that the bill was unnecessary and “bad policy.”
Facing a looming deadline to avoid the fiscal cliff, President Barack Obama and House Speaker John Boehner met for their first face-to-face talk in four days.
The debate over how many U.S. troops will remain in Afghanistan after 2014 comes down to risk.
Leaving too few troops in place could stall progress for Afghan security forces. But keeping too many troops there might prolong Afghanistan’s dependence on the U.S. military and NATO.
A wrong calculation on troop levels could enable the Taliban and related groups to regain influence.
President Barack Obama has pledged to wind down the war and remove combat forces by the end of 2014. Members of Congress want to pull U.S. troops out faster.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says the post-2014 objectives should include fighting terrorists, training Afghan forces and providing logistical support. He isn’t saying how many forces that requires, but analysts estimate as much as 10,000 to 15,000.
The man who integrated the University of Mississippi says he’s troubled and confused by the protest there against President Barack Obama’s re-election.
But James Meredith tells WLOX-TV (http://bit.ly/RtAoXJ ) students shouldn’t get sidetracked by what he calls nonsense and foolishness.
The protest late Tuesday grew into a crowd of about 400 people as rumors of a riot spread on social media. Some people shouted racial slurs. Others yelled the school cheer, “hotty toddy.”
Meredith’s admission sparked riots that had to be quelled by the military and police.
Meredith said Saturday that he was cursed every day he attended Ole Miss, but he paid it no attention.
He says that if he had a fight, it was with state leaders who created unjust policies.
Information from: WLOX-TV, http://www.wlox.com
When the New York Giants visited the White House in June in the heart of the political campaign, coach Tom Coughlin said the Super Bowl champions shared a goal with President Barack Obama – repeating. … 7, 2012 at 11:44 a.m. PST — Updated: Nov.
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The U.S. ambassador to the Vatican is resigning his post to become a professor at a university.
The U.S. Embassy said Wednesday that Miguel H. Diaz, a Hispanic Roman Catholic theologian, will join his family in Ohio where he has been named a professor of faith and culture at the University of Dayton.
The Cuban-born Diaz was an adviser to President Barack Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign. His term as ambassador has been marked by tension between Washington and the Vatican over Obama’s support of abortion in contrast with core church teaching.
Diaz had a farewell audience with Pope Benedict XVI earlier this week.