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Day in 10

Democrats filibuster | Hillary wins | Alligator attacks | and more

Ever since Orlando, people have been throwing around and debating the term "radical Islam." Why? We explore the issue in our big story. The rest of the biggest news stories are below.

Person of the Day

Senator Chris Murphy (literally) took a stand against gun violence

Chris Murphy

There's the Senator. (Brookings Institute/Flickr)

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy has had ENOUGH of gun violence, especially after the horrific Orlando attacks.

Seriously, he's so sick of it that he's standing up against it on the Senate floor with a good old fashioned filibuster.

Murphy is no stranger to gun control laws--he represents Connecticut, home of the Sandy Hook massacre. He's been fighting gun violence for quite some time.

What's the filibuster all about?

He launched the filibuster in hopes of getting Republicans to join in the effort to amp up some gun laws. The Senate is debating a spending bill for the Justice Department and Dems want to add some gun amendments to it. One amendment would basically deny suspected terrorists from obtaining firearms while the other would essentially require universal background checks before firearm purchases.

He says he will keep talking until he can get Republicans to accept the proposed legislation:

"I’m going to remain on this floor until we get some signal, some sign that we can come together on these two measures, that we can get a path forward on addressing this epidemic in a meaningful, bipartisan way."

Other Democrats joined Murphy in the fight on the floor, including his colleagues Senator Richard Blumenthal and Senator Cory Booker. And many more joined in throughout the filibuster.

Even presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is showing her support:

The filibuster is happening the same day as presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump is supposed to meet with the NRA about blocking suspected terrorists from getting guns. So, essentially, he and Murphy are on the same page with this one.

The Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has yet to file a cloture motion on the bill. So, Murphy and colleagues can keep the talkathon going indefinitely.

Quote of the Day

This is Bernie’s new list of demands for the Democratic Party

Bernie Sanders

What does Bernie Sanders want to change about how elections work? Answer: Pretty much everything. (Marcn/Flickr)

Bernie Sanders just announced a new list of demands. The feisty candidate has always advocated for change, but these go beyond anything he's called for before:

"We need a party which is prepared to stand up for the disappearing middle class, for the 47 million people in this country who are living in poverty, and take on the greed of the powerful special interests that are doing so much harm to this country, who have so much power over the political and economic life of our country."

What did he ask for?

What didn't he ask for? Sanders wanted to revolutionize Democratic leadership and elections, among many other things.

Here's Bernie Sanders' list of demands:

  • New leadership for the DNC.
  • Revitalized commitment to the poor.
  • Open primaries where independents can vote for Democrats.
  • Get rid of superdelegates.
  • Same-day voter registration.

Even as his race for the presidency is coming to a close, Sanders will not be silenced. Senator Tom Carper explained Bernie will definitely have much more to say in the coming months:

“He mentioned he has every intention of being involved in the platform process and making sure his 2,000 delegates have the opportunity to have their voices heard."

Bernie Sanders still hasn't dropped out of the race, even though Hillary Clinton has claimed the nomination already (she has enough delegates and we pretty much all know she's got it in the bag).

Clinton's campaign said she's ready to work with Sanders going forward to ensure a "progressive agenda" and, most importantly, beat Donald Trump:

"She looks forward to the opportunity to discuss how they can advance their shared commitment to a progressive agenda, and work together to stop Donald Trump in the general election."

Image of the Day

Prince William showed his solidarity on the cover of a gay magazine

Prince William

Prince William shaking hands at West Moreton Anglican College during a visit to Australia. (Australian Department of Defense/Flickr)

Prince William is standing in solidarity with the LGBT community on the cover of the July issue of Attitude magazine. It features the Duke of Cambridge speaking passionately against bullying of LGBT youth in a historic interview.

So, what's the big deal?

Well, for one, Attitude is Britain's best selling gay magazine. Secondly, he's the first British royal to appear on an LGBT publication.

William's mother, the late Princess Diana, was also an LGBT ally and an early supporter of those living with AIDS. He seems to be following in her footsteps.

It's also a big deal because of the timing. Prince William's Attitude cover will be published just a few days after the brutal murder of 49 people in a gay nightclub in Orlando. Mass shooting, terrorism, straight up murder--no matter what you call it--the fact is the shooting attacked the LGBT community.

For the interview, William met up with Attitude and nine LGBT folks who have fallen victim to abuse due to their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Here's a glimpse of some behind the scenes footage of the meeting:

Attitude's editor Matthew Todd said having Prince William on the cover sends a major message in the UK and around the world that "homo-, bi- and transphobia is not acceptable."

The cover line truly says it all:

"No one should be bullied for their sexuality or any other reason."

Number of the Day

The 2 most striking things about Hillary Clinton’s victory in DC

DC

She did quite well on Tuesday night. (Sara Hina/Flickr)

That's a wrap! The 2016 presidential primary season is over.

The last primary just happened in Washington, DC and Hillary Clinton took home the win by a lot.

By how much?

Clinton took nearly 80% of the DC vote, while Bernie Sanders took just a little over 20%. So, even though she was already the presumptive Democratic nominee, this landslide win really sealed the deal.

How was the turnout?

Some people may argue that calling Clinton the presumptive nominee before the final primary discouraged voter turnout. Well, in DC that wasn't the case. The nation's capital actually had a record turnout in the primary: nearly 95,000 people came out to vote. That's about 20.5% of the registered voters, and about 6.1% above average in all of this year's primary contests.

Though primary season is officially donezo, and despite Clinton's landslide win, Sanders isn't bowing out of the race just yet.

Place of the Day

Here are the chilling details of the Disney resort alligator attack

disney grand floridian alligator attack

This is the spot at Disney's Grand Floridian in Florida where the gator grabbed the little boy. (Sam Howzit/Flickr)

A 2-year-old boy went missing after an alligator dragged him into a manmade lagoon at Disney's Grand Floridian resort in Florida.

After searching for the boy overnight, officials were pretty certain he was dead, and flipped from a "rescue" mission to "recovery."

UPDATE: Authorities have recovered the toddler's dead body.

How the heck did this happen?

Apparently, the family, from Nebraska, was attending an outdoor movie night at Disney's Grand Floridian when the toddler waded into a shallow lagoon. An alligator somewhere between 4 ft. and 7 ft. long suddenly appeared and grabbed the child out of nowhere. His father and other witnesses tried to fight off the gator to save him. Sadly, he was dragged underwater. It was absolutely terrifying.

The Seven Seas Lagoon where this happened is made of connected canals that feed into larger bodies of water. So the search for his body spanned much wider than in the original lagoon.

The attack happened around 9 pm and sparked a massive search. Disney boats, alongside over 50 officers and wildlife officials, searched far and wide for the boy.

Disney took the whole situation extremely seriously and closed all of its beaches in the area. Four gators were captured and euthanized during the search.

This whole sickening thing is pretty rare, and it's the first time anyone has been taken by an alligator at a Disney resort. And actually, despite the major alligator population in Florida, fatal attacks don't happen too often. On average, there have been about 10 bites per year in the last two decades, and from 2008-2014 there were zero deaths by gators.

Word of the Day

This is the first mammal to go extinct due to climate change

While many people are still thinking climate change isn't real, scientists found an animal that may have become extinct due to it.

The Bramble Cay melomys, a tiny rodent from the Great Barrier Reef, is the first mammal to go extinct primarily because of climate change.

The Bramble Cay melomys is a little mousey creature from an island in the eastern Torres Strait. While many people probably have never heard of it, it was the only mammal species native to the Great Barrier Reef.

Scientists say climate change is the cause for their extinction. They blame rising sea levels for destroying Bramble Cay melomys' habitat:

"For low-lying islands like Bramble Cay, the destructive effects of extreme water levels resulting from severe meteorological events are compounded by the impacts from anthropogenic climate change-driven sea-level rise. Significantly, this probably represents the first recorded mammalian extinction due to anthropogenic climate change."

The last time the melomys were seen was in 2009. Goodbye little Bramble Cay melomys, we barely knew ya.

Video of the Day

WATCH: Oscar Pistorius dramatically removed his prosthetics in court

Oscar Pistorius

Prepare to have your mind blown. (Sky News/Screenshot)

Former Paralympic athlete Oscar Pistorius began his week-long sentencing hearing today for the murder of his girlfriend, Reeva Steenkamp. It was hella dramatic.

The only witness called on the first day of his hearing was a psychologist named Jonathan Scholtz. Scholtz told the courtroom that Pistorius is a "broken man" suffering from intense anxiety and depression ever since the incident occurred. He also said that because of his emotional state, he couldn't testify.

Pistorius did stand up to the court, though. In fact, he stood up and staggered around past the judge after removing his prosthetic legs.

People in the courtroom gasped, as he was pretty unsteady. He physically sobbed as he attached them once again.

Watch the dramatic moment below:

The idea came from the defense's hope of proving how Pistorius is a very frail and vulnerable man who doesn't deserve a long jail sentence.

He currently faces up to 15 years imprisonment, which will be determined by the end of the week.

Tweet of the Day

#LGBTQHatesTrumpParty is dragging Trump through the dirt on Twitter

#LGBTQHatesTrumpParty

He isn't particularly popular in the gay community. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Most of the LGBTQ community has had it with Donald Trump.

Why? Well, it all started with this tweet:

Along with his comments about "the gays" supporting him over Hillary Clinton:

Well, Sage Alston, aka @MADBLACKTWINK was fed up with Trump exploiting the LGBTQ community in order to push his anti-Muslim agenda. He said with the recent events in Orlando, Trump is just pretending to support the LGBTQ community, though he never has before.

Then, #LGBTQHatesTrumpParty was born:

Looks like "the gays" have spoken.

But there are a few in the LGBTQ community who aren't attending the #LGBTQHatesTrumpParty:

The national conversation about homophobia (and Islamophobia) is only just beginning in the wake of the Orlando tragedy. Who knows where it will go from here.

Controversy of the Day

Will Donald Trump change the conversation about guns?

guns

Could Donald Trump shift the debate on gun control? (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Donald Trump--the presumptive GOP nominee--will meet with the NRA to discuss blocking suspected terrorists from getting guns.

Trump's hope is to change the conversation on guns and ban people on the terror watch list or no-fly list from obtaining firearms. This is one area he agrees with many Democrats with.

The NRA said they were glad to meet with him, and that they agree (and always have) that terrorists shouldn't have guns.

There's a bit of a twist, though. The NRA also thinks banning people on the watchlist from buying guns takes away their right to bear arms. People on the FBI watchlist may not have been charged with crimes, so they think banning everyone on the list may prevent an innocent person from toting a gun.

This measure failed in the Senate in December, because Republicans think any additional gun laws violate the Second Amendment. Actually, Trump himself previously said he was opposed to any further gun restrictions.

Could Trump's switch-up on his gun stance change the conversation and make waves with the NRA? Stay tuned.

Issue of the Day

There’s a scary link between gun violence and domestic violence

gun violence and domestic violence

Gun violence and domestic violence have a lot in common. (djwudi/Flickr)

Following the most deadly mass shooting in modern US history that claimed 50 lives in Orlando, new details are emerging about the murderer Omar Mateen.

Like the fact that he severely abused his ex-wife.

Is he the only mass shooter who abused his partner?

Each time a mass shooting occurs, the conversation ends in a debate over mental illness and gun control. The thing is, these aren't the only factors at play. While Mateen is a prime example of gun violence being connected to domestic violence, he's not the only example.

A gun control group discovered how 57% of mass shootings from 2009 to 2015 included a spouse, ex-spouse, or other family member. Oh, and 16% of the shooters had previous charges of domestic violence.

That's not all, either. Most victims from the 57% of mass shootings are women or children. And 70% of all mass shootings happen inside the home. The thing is, these shootings rarely make national headlines like public shootings do.

If that's not a big enough connection, there's a long list of high-profile mass shooters with a history of domestic abuse as well. There's Robert Lewis Dear (the Planned Parenthood shooter), John Houser, Cedric Ford, and many others throughout history.

While there are many other factors involved in mass shootings, the connection between gun violence and domestic violence shouldn't be ignored.

This leaves us with the question: Should we do more to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers?

Want to learn more? Watch this "Democracy Now!" segment about the connection:

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Democrats filibuster | Hillary wins | Alligator attacks | and more

Christina Buff

Christina is a freelance writer from a tiny town in Southern Maryland who just can't seem to figure out whether others are being sarcastic or not. She has a degree in business communication, with a focus in writing, from Stevenson University, and has written things for Severna Park Voice, Maryland Film Festival, The Villager, and Hello Giggles. Follow her on twitter @tinaBUFF where she constantly overthinks her tweets, or read her medley of musings at touchinfinity.wordpress.com.

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