Armed protesters take over a federal building… Two Gulf powers face off… And Obama may go it alone, again. It’s Monday, and here are the 5 things you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door.
No turning back: This one may go on for awhile. Over the weekend armed protesters occupied a building in a federal wildlife refuge in Oregon. Protesters say they’re doing this in support of a pair ranchers convicted of committing arson on government land. They got five years in prison and are supposed to turn themselves in today. Protesters say they’ll stay in the building “as long as necessary” to make their point. Law enforcement seems like it wants to wait this out. Meanwhile, social media asks: Why aren’t these folks called terrorists?
SAUDI ARABIA VS. IRAN
Clash of the titans: This is getting serious. Saudi Arabia kicked out Iran’s diplomats yesterday, after the Saudi embassy in Tehran was attacked by protesters over the weekend. They were mad that Saudi Arabia executed a dissident Shiite cleric who had spoken out against the Saudi royal family. Heightened tensions between Sunni-dominated Saudi Arabia and Shiite-dominated Iran send shivers down the spines of many, who fear a new war could break out in the world’s most volatile region.
Shaken: A strong earthquake hit northeastern India early this morning. At least five people died in the magnitude-6.7 quake, which struck in an isolated area a little west of the city of Imphal. There are reports of some damage to residential and government buildings in Imphal. Good news is that the quake was centered deep undergound — about 34 miles to be exact.
Christmas is over: The holiday season’s good vibes — with all that jazz about peace on Earth and goodwill towards men — has pretty much evaporated just a couple of days into the New Year, at least on the campaign trail. Yesterday a GOP state lawmaker in New Hampshire repeatedly heckled Hillary Clinton during a town hall about Bill Clinton’s sex scandals. Hillary shut that down: “You are very rude, and I’m not never, ever going to call on you.” Boom.
One last try: Despite all of the mass shootings during his presidency (and his sometimes emotional, repeated appeals to do something), President Obama has had no success so far in getting Congress to do anything related to gun control. So Obama is set to go it alone. He’s expected to announce this week a new executive action which would expand background checks on gun sales. He’s sure to talk about it Thursday during a CNN town hall on gun control with Anderson Cooper.
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