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Jen Psaki says Biden will sign gun control executive orders

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White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday confirmed that President Biden intends to sign executive orders on gun control.

Psaki replied “Yes” to a journalist’s question about whether reporters should “be expecting executive orders from the president on gun measures.”

But she said the timing was unclear due to a review process.

“When the president was the vice president in the Obama-Biden administration, he helped put in place 23 executive actions to combat gun violence. It’s one of the levers that we can use,” Psaki said at her daily press briefing.

The new gun control push by Democrats follows the murders on Monday of 10 people at a Boulder, Colo., grocery store. Last week, a gunman killed eight at Atlanta-area massage parlors.

Gun
The reported executive orders under consideration aren’t necessarily applicable to the recent shootings in Boulder and Atlanta.
GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images

The White House is considering orders to require background checks for “ghost guns” that can be manufactured at home without serial numbers and a requirement that local cops be notified if someone fails an FBI background check to buy a gun from a registered dealer, according to recent reports.

Police at the scene of one of the Atlanta shootings
Robert Aaron Long is suspected of killing eight people in Atlanta, Georgia, on March 16, 2021.
ELIJAH NOUVELAGE/AFP via Getty Images

The reported orders under consideration aren’t necessarily applicable to the recent shootings.

Police at the scene of the Boulder shooting
Ahmad Al Aliwi Al-Issa is suspected of killing 10 people in Boulder, Colorado, on March 22, 2021.
Chet Strange/Getty Images

Suspected Atlanta shooter Robert Long, 21, reportedly bought a semi-automatic firearm from a dealer after passing a background check on the day of the killings. Suspected Boulder gunman Ahmad Al Aliwi Alissa, also 21, bought a Ruger AR-556 pistol after passing a background check six days before the attack.

Pile of guns
White House press secretary Jen Psaki replied “Yes” to a question about whether reporters should “be expecting executive orders from the president on gun measures.”
David McNew/Getty Images

Biden called for gun control legislation Tuesday in a speech at the White House, but significant reforms are unlikely to pass the evenly divided Senate, where 60 votes generally are needed to pass bills.

Thirty-five Senate Democrats introduced legislation this month to ban “assault weapons” including popular semi-automatic guns such as AR-15-style rifles. But it’s not likely to pass. Bipartisan legislation previously failed to expand mandatory background checks to cover private gun transfers among non-dealers.

As vice president, Biden led a federal gun control task force formed in late 2012 after the mass murder of 27 at a Connecticut elementary school. At the time, Biden dispensed gun advice that lawyers said could violate existing laws, including encouraging people to shoot guns in the air and through closed doors to combat possible threats.

White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Friday confirmed that President Biden intends to sign executive orders on gun control.
AP

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NYPD releases video of gunman firing into group in the Bronx

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New video tweeted by the NYPD Sunday shows a gunman wildly firing down a Bronx street into a group of people in Fordham Manor, leaving two men wounded, cops said.

“WANTED for ASSAULT: Do you know this guy?” the NYPD wrote on Twitter.

“On 6/25/21 at approx 11:10 PM, in front of 2710 Morris Ave in the Bronx, the suspect fired several rounds towards a group, striking a 26-year-old male and a 20-year-old. Any info? DM @NYPDTips, or anonymously call them at 800-577-TIPS.”

The suspect who shot at a group of people in the Bronx on June 25, 2021.
The suspect who shot at a group of people in the Bronx on June 25, 2021.
NYPD
The suspect firing the gun in the Bronx.
The suspect firing the gun in the Bronx.
NYPD
The shooting left two people injured, according to the NYPD.
The shooting left two people injured, according to the NYPD.
NYPD

The 26-year-old was shot in the buttocks and the 20-year-old was shot in the leg, police said. Both were expected to survive.

The victims said they were standing with a group of friends when the “guy just came up and started shooting,” a police spokesman said.

No words were exchanged, video shows. 

There were no immediate arrests.

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FDA finds peeling paint, debris at US plant making J&J’s COVID vaccine

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A US plant that was making Johnson & Johnson’s COVID-19 vaccine must fix a long list of problems including peeling paint and unsanitary conditions and practices to resume operation, according to a highly critical report by the Food and Drug Administration.

Experts said addressing the issues raised in the scathing FDA inspection report could take months.

Neither J&J nor the FDA has said when they expect vaccine production to restart at the Baltimore plant owned by Emergent Biosolutions. Only two other plants are currently equipped to supply the world with the key drug substance for J&J’s vaccine.

“It may take many months to make these changes,” said Prashant Yadav, a global health care supply chain expert at the Center for Global Development. He described some of the issues raised by the FDA as “quite significant.”

No vaccine manufactured at the Emergent plant has been distributed for use in the United States. However, J&J said it will exercise its oversight authority to ensure that all of the FDA observations are addressed promptly and comprehensively.

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was put on a pause in the US over a potential link to a blood clotting condition.
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The health care conglomerate has drawn scrutiny for months over its halting process to scale up production of a vaccine that is easier to handle and, by virtue of being a single shot, easier to use than other authorized vaccines.

Its use in the United States has been paused since last week as health officials study a possible link to a very rare but serious blood clot condition.

Emergent has been seeking regulatory authorization to make the J&J vaccine in the United States. It stopped production at the plant recently, saying the FDA had asked it to do so after an inspection.

J&J’s plant in Leiden, the Netherlands, is still producing doses for the world. It has another facility in India, which is currently curtailing exports of the shot as it struggles to vaccinate its own population.

Johnson & Johnson reiterated on Wednesday that it was working to establish a global supply chain in which 10 manufacturing sites would be involved in the production of its COVID-19 vaccine, in addition to the Leiden plant.

The company has a US government-brokered agreement with rival drugmaker Merck, which is preparing to make doses of J&J’s vaccine.

Failure to train personnel

The FDA in its final 12-page inspection report said it had reviewed security camera footage in addition to an in-person site visit to the Emergent plant.

It found a failure to train personnel to avoid cross-contamination of COVID-19 vaccines from Johnson & Johnson and AstraZeneca, which had also been produced at the site. The agency also cited staff carrying unsealed bags of medical waste in the facility, bringing it in contact with containers of material used in manufacturing.

The FDA reviewed security camera footage and visited the Emergent BioSolutions plant in Baltimore.
Getty Images

Earlier this week, the House launched an investigation into whether Emergent used its relationship with a Trump administration official to get a vaccine manufacturing contract despite a record of not delivering on contracts.

Emergent said in a statement that it is working with the FDA and J&J to quickly resolve the issues outlined in the report.

Production of the AstraZeneca vaccine, which is not yet authorized for use in the United States, was previously stopped at the Emergent plant after ingredients from that shot contaminated a batch of J&J vaccine, ruining millions of doses.

The FDA also noted that Emergent did not produce adequate reports showing that the vaccines it was producing met quality standards.

The inspection, carried out between April 12 and April 20, also found the building not of suitable size or design to facilitate cleaning, maintenance or proper operations.

J&J said it was redoubling its efforts to get authorization for the facility as quickly as possible.

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One dead after pair of fires breaks out in Manhattan

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One person was killed and several others were injured in a pair of Manhattan fires Wednesday morning, officials said.

The first blaze erupted in Midtown around 8:15 a.m. inside a DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse at 213 W. 34th St., where an escalator became fully engulfed in flames — sending smoke billowing into the first and second floor and the interconnected 40-story hotel building, fire officials said.

It was not immediately clear which hotel it was.

Five firefighters suffered minor injuries putting out the blaze.

“The fire went out, but we have a smoke condition that we’re trying to alleviate,” FDNY Battalion Chief John Porretto said at the scene. “Units are going to remain on scene until all the smoke alleviates.”

The fire marshal will determine the causes of the fire.

A second blaze broke out 15 minutes later on the Upper East Side at 1576 2nd Ave., officials said.

A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th Street in Manhattan that left one dead
A three-alarm fire at 213 W. 34th St. in Manhattan left one dead.
NYFD

One man died in the fire and a second man was in serious condition at Lenox Hill Hospital, police said.

A firefighter suffered minor injuries battling the blaze and was taken to Cornell Hospital, fire officials said.

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