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An image of the victims of the Uvalde school shooting displayed at a House hearing on gun violence on Capitol Hill.

Jason Andrew/ Reuters

What We’re Watching: United States of Guns, Ukrainian strategy, Iran censured

The United States of Guns

The US House of Representatives kicked off a grueling two-day hearing on gun violence in America on Wednesday, just two weeks after a school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, claimed the lives of 19 children and two teachers. Miah Cerrillo, 11, whose classroom was attacked, recounted how she painted herself with a classmate’s blood and played dead. Kimberly Rubio, whose daughter Lexi was killed, recalled how she ran miles barefoot looking for her daughter that fateful day. The hearing is part of the Congressional debate on how to respond to a spate of recent deadly shootings, most notably in Uvalde, as well as at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York, where Black Americans were targeted by a white supremacist. Senate Democrats, in coordination with the White House, are working on narrow legislation that could get the support of at least 10 Republicans needed to pass. Proposals center on addressing mental health issues in young males and incentivizing states to introduce their own “red-flag laws” to remove guns from dangerous owners. The Democrat-controlled House, meanwhile, has advanced a bill with eight gun-control measures – including banning large-capacity magazines – but it's unlikely to pass the Senate, where Dems hold a razor-thin majority. It’s a busy week for the House, which will also launch hearings on the Jan. 6 riots on Thursday. Check out what Eurasia Group's lead US analyst, Jon Lieber, has to say about how the Dems hope to use these hearings to gain an edge in the midterms here.

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General view of Severodonetsk from the last floor of a damaged building in the outskirts of the city.

Rick Mave / SOPA Images/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

What We’re Watching: Russian progress in Ukraine, gun ban plans in Canada, DRC-Rwanda tensions

Ukraine update: Is the war really shifting?

In recent days, Russian forces have made incremental gains in the Donbas. Vladimir Putin’s military now controls most of Luhansk province, and they are close to taking the strategic city of Severodonetsk, which would open the way to a wider Russian occupation of Donetsk province. Russia has shifted strategy in recent weeks, withdrawing from areas it couldn’t hold around Kyiv and Kharkiv to focus on more limited objectives in the East and South. Some military analysts warn that Russia’s recent gains are still coming at a very high cost in terms of human losses and morale. But even these slight shifts in the winds of war have raised fresh questions in the EU and US about what comes next. Driving Russia out of the east and south does not seem immediately possible. And although Washington continues to send Ukraine advanced weapons, US President Joe Biden on Monday said he would exclude rockets that could strike into Russian territory. After more than three months of war, the Ukrainians are still fighting like hell to defend their country and their democracy, but it’s no clearer yet what a reasonably achievable endgame looks like for Ukraine, for its Western backers, or for Moscow.

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After the Buffalo Shooting: Gun Violence & US Polarization | US Politics :60 | GZERO Media

After the Buffalo shooting: gun violence and US polarization

Jon Lieber, head of Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, discusses Washington's response to the Buffalo shooting.

How is Washington responding to the Buffalo shooting?

Multiple mass shootings this weekend were quickly picked up by partisans on both sides who filtered them through purely political lenses. And notably those lenses ended up being about something other than gun control. Sadly, gun violence has become so common in the United States that the shootings that generate national news coverage tend to be those that fit, that can be most easily politicized. There have been at least 200 incidents involving four or more victims so far in 2022, and these shootings will not move the needle on policies that could prevent them and it's notable that so few politicians are even trying at this point. The national media response tends to see more significance in the political context of the shooting than in the shooting itself.

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2020 Election Candidates: US Politics in 60 Seconds

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The 2020 election field is wide open, but these Democrat candidates are the front runners.


It's US Politics in 60 Seconds with Ben White!



And go deeper on topics like cybersecurity and artificial intelligence at Microsoft on The Issues.

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