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Trump Administration: Notable Departures So Far

The Trump administration is little more than a year old – but it has seen a large number of high-profile exits in that time.

Here’s a look at who has already left or is heading for the door, inside and outside President Donald Trump’s White House, starting with Sally Yates’ firing in January 2017 through the announced departures of Communications Director Hope Hicks and top economic adviser Gary Cohn, as well as the firing of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Within the White House

Gary Cohn

The president’s chief economic adviser announced his departure on March 6, 2018, after breaking with Trump over his planned tariffs on steel and aluminum. Cohn, the National Economic Council director, was the leading internal opponent of the tariffs, but could not get Trump to reverse course. A Democrat and former Goldman Sachs executive, Cohn played a crucial role in helping the president enact the tax bill that was the big legislative accomplishment of his first year.

Hope Hicks

One of the president’s closest and longest-serving aides abruptly announced her resignation as White House communications director on Feb. 28, 2018. Hicks’ departure cast a pall over the West Wing during a trying time for Trump, and came a day after she was interviewed for nine hours by the House committee investigating Russian meddling in the 2016 election. She acknowledged that she had occasionally told “white lies” for Trump, according to a person familiar with the testimony, but not lied about anything substantive. Hicks, the fourth communications director in the Trump White House, was initially its director of strategic communications.

Rob Porter

The White House staff secretary resigned Feb. 7, 2018, after his two ex-wives accused him of physical, verbal and emotional abuse. “These outrageous allegations are simply false,” said Porter, whose job included controlling the president’s daily schedule. The White House backed Porter in the wake of reports of the alleged assaults before distancing itself.

Stephen Bannon

The White House chief strategist relinquished his post on Aug. 18, 2017, the press secretary said in a statement. Bannon was a key campaign adviser and a forceful but contentious presence in the White House. The former leader of conservative Breitbart News (who returned there) pushed Trump to follow through with his campaign promises. But he also sparred with some of Trump’s closest advisers, including son-in-law Jared Kushner. His exit came amid tension over Trump’s comments blaming both sides in the clash between white supremacists and counterprotesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Anthony Scaramucci

“The Mooch” came and went in just 10 days. The White House confirmed July 31, 2017, that he was ousted as communications director. “Mr. Scaramucci felt it was best to give Chief of Staff John Kelly a clean slate and the ability to build his own team,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement. Scaramucci, a Port Washington-raised financier, gave an expletive-filled interview to The New Yorker the week before in which he called Reince Priebus a “paranoid schizophrenic” and disparaged Stephen Bannon.

Reince Priebus

When President Trump’s first chief of staff lost his job, the world found out about it on Twitter. That’s where Trump named Priebus’ replacement, Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, on July 28, 2017. So ended a tumultuous six-month tenure for Priebus, a former head of the Republican National Committee, who was widely seen as a weak chief of staff amid White House infighting. “We accomplished a lot together and I am proud of him!” Trump tweeted.

Sean Spicer

The White House press secretary suddenly quit on July 21, 2017, after Trump named Anthony Scaramucci as communications director. Spicer objected to Scaramucci’s hiring, news reports said. Spicer’s short run was marked by testy and even combative exchanges with the press at daily briefings, while Melissa McCarthy memorably lampooned him on “Saturday Night Live.” Like Priebus, Spicer hailed from the RNC.

Michael Flynn

Flynn resigned after three and a half weeks as national security adviser, on Feb. 13, 2017, after reports that he discussed U.S. sanctions with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office. Trump asked Flynn to resign because he misled Vice President Mike Pence about his late December call with the ambassador, Spicer said. Former acting Attorney General Sally Yates later testified that she warned the White House that Flynn “could be blackmailed” by Russia.

Michael Dubke

Trump’s first White House communications director resigned in May, serving his final day on June 2, 2017. Dubke founded Crossroads Media, a Republican firm that specializes in political advertising. Dubke wasn’t the first person hired for the job – that would be Jason Miller, who backed out before Trump took office.

Katie Walsh

The deputy chief of staff said March 30, 2017, that was she was leaving her post to join America First Policies, a pro-Trump outside group. Walsh said she decided to do that after the first attempt to repeal Obamacare during the Trump presidency failed in the House – where too many Republicans opposed it.

Outside the White House

Rex Tillerson

Trump fired the secretary of state on March 13, 2018, and will replace him with CIA Director Mike Pompeo. Trump cited disagreements over policy decisions for the firing. Tillerson’s exit was expected, but comes at an inopportune time as the United States prepares for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The announcement was pegged to the president wanting “to make sure to have his new team in place in advance of the upcoming talks with North Korea and various ongoing trade negotiations,” a senior White House official said in a statement. Tillerson “did not speak to the president and is unaware of the reason” for his firing, a top State Department official said.

Brenda Fitzgerald

The director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention resigned Jan. 31, 2018, over financial conflicts of interest involving investments in health care businesses. Her investments limited her ability to complete her job duties, a Department of Health and Human Services spokesman said in a statement, but Fitzgerald could not divest them “in a definitive time period” due to their nature. Fitzgerald (shown in 2014) resigned a day after Politico reported that her financial manager bought tobacco and drug company stocks while she led the CDC, and they were later sold.

Andrew McCabe

The FBI deputy director abruptly stepped down on Jan. 29, 2018, ahead of his planned retirement. McCabe was frequently criticized by Trump, who accused him of bias because of his wife’s political connections and the bureau’s investigation into Hillary Clinton’s emails that didn’t produce any criminal charges against her. A top Clinton ally’s political action committee gave nearly $500,000 to the state Senate campaign of McCabe’s wife Jill. McCabe took a supervisory role in the email investigation three months after his wife’s unsuccessful campaign ended, according to the FBI. Director Christopher Wray told FBI employees that McCabe – who was acting director after Trump fired James Comey – would retire March 18.

Tom Price

The Health and Human Services secretary resigned Sept. 29, 2017, after his costly travel triggered investigations that overshadowed the administration’s agenda and angered his boss. Price was found to have used private charter jets for official trips, when cheaper commercial flights were available. Trump had said publicly he was “not happy” with Price over the practice. Price was the first member of the president’s Cabinet to be pushed out.

Preet Bharara (along with 45 U.S. attorneys)

The Manhattan U.S. attorney was fired after he refused to resign – announcing his own termination on Twitter on March 11, 2017. Attorney General Jeff Sessions had demanded the resignations of Bharara and 45 other Obama-appointed federal prosecutors the day before. Several of the 46 were given months-long extensions, including Connecticut’s U.S. attorney, who stayed on until October.

James Comey

Trump’s firing of the FBI director shocked the nation on May 9, 2017 – with rippling effects for his presidency since. Trump told NBC News “this Russia thing” – which he called “a made-up story” – was on his mind when he decided to fire Comey, as the FBI investigated Russian interference in the presidential election. Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee he was fired to change “the way the Russia investigation was being conducted.”

Sally Yates

Trump fired the acting attorney general on Jan. 30, 2017, after she ordered Department of Justice lawyers to stop defending his executive order issued on Jan. 27, one week into his presidency, banning travel from seven Muslim-majority nations. A White House statement accused Yates of betraying “the Department of Justice by refusing to enforce a legal order designed to protect the citizens of the United States.”

Immigration in the U.S., on LI by the Numbers

The debate over young immigrants known as Dreamers, and the proposed termination of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, or DACA, have brought to the forefront a population of teens and young adults who came to the United States as children — either brought to the country illegally or who saw their temporary visas expire after they were in the country.

Various figures are cited to identify the size of the population, ranging from the hundreds of thousands to millions, depending on how they are counted. Even so, the Dreamers don’t constitute the majority of immigrants in the country without authorization, who in turn do not make up the majority of immigrants that call the United States home.


Dreamers currently in the program

This figure is rounded up from about 689,800 people who had current work permits as of September 2017 granted under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. This means they are able to work and study here legally, but their work permits under the program are nearing some expiration date.


The total number of immigrants who have been granted DACA protection

More than 800,000 people have applied for and have been granted DACA since the program’s creation in 2012, as of Jan. 31, 2018. Some of their work permits have expired, and some have not renewed their permits out of fear of immigration enforcement — thus, the lower 690,000 figure. However, they all were protected under DACA and still are in the government database for the program.

The Jan. 9 decision by U.S. District Court Judge William Alsup, for the time being, blocked the Trump administration’s plans to phase out DACA safeguards against deportation in a case being heard in San Francisco. That means DACA recipients are being allowed to apply for renewal of DACA protection. At present, because of the court order, those who apply for renewal and still qualify would get another two years of legal protection under the program. On Feb. 13, U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis, in a case being heard in Brooklyn, reached a similar conclusion as Alsup in allowing the DACA renewals to continue for those who were already protected under the program.

1.8 million


President Donald Trump cited this figure in his State of the Union address, saying the first pillar of his immigration framework “generously offers a path to citizenship for 1.8 million illegal immigrants who were brought here by their parents at a young age.”

It’s not clear where this number came from.

Meanwhile, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly has said the 1.8 million figure includes everyone who could have qualified for DACA, even those who did not apply. His comment was controversial because of how he put it: “The difference between [690,000] and 1.8 million were the people that some would say were too afraid to sign up, others would say were too lazy to get off their asses, but they didn’t sign up.”

About 11 million

Immigrants out of status

Anyone following immigration issues also is likely to run into the 11 million figure for the total of the unauthorized population, though that estimate has decreased to 10.8 million as of 2016, according to the Center for Migration Studies in Manhattan. This figure represents the best estimate of the overall population of immigrants who are out of status, or living in the U.S. illegally. It includes DACA recipients, Dreamers, immigrant adults and unaccompanied minors, as well as people whose visas expired and didn’t leave — whether they initially came legally on temporary visas and fell out of status or they crossed the borders and entered through U.S. ports unlawfully from the get-go.

This is a widely accepted figure that uses statistics from the U.S. Census Bureau, visa records from the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, federal government economic surveys and calculations of margins of errors in those numbers.


Immigrants out of status on Long Island

Out of the 11 million, 850,000 immigrants in New York State are out of status. The Migration Policy Institute estimates 51,000 of those are in Suffolk County and 48,000 are in Nassau County, giving us about 99,000 immigrants without status on Long Island.

42.2 million

Immigrants in the United States

For a fuller perspective, there are an estimated 42.2 million immigrants in United States. That includes those who are here legally and illegally. Of that total, on Long Island, there are about 296,000 immigrants in Nassau and about 231,000 immigrants in Suffolk, according to the latest four-year average from Census surveys.

Future of DACA in limbo: What you need to know

UPDATE: Federal judge temporarily blocks decision ending DACA

U.S. District Judge William Alsup temporarily blocked the Trump administration’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which protects young immigrants from deportation.

In his ruling, Alsup granted a request by California and other plaintiffs to prevent the programs end while their lawsuits play out in court. The federal judge said lawyers in favor of DACA clearly demonstrated that the young immigrants “were likely to suffer serious, irreparable harm” without court action.

He also said the lawyers have a strong chance of succeeding at trial.

In September, the Trump administration announced it will wind down the Obama-era program that protects young immigrants from deportation.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, known as DACA, an “unconstitutional exercise of authority by the executive branch.”

He said the Trump administration was urging Congress to find an alternate way to protect young immigrants brought into the country illegally as children.

Nearly 800,000 young immigrants are covered under DACA.

In many cases, these are people, known as Dreamers, who have grown up attending American schools, speaking English and identifying the United States as their home country. They are currently between the ages of 15 and 36.

With about 42,000 in New York, and up to 14,000 on Long Island.

About 14,000 Dreamers on Long Island were eligible for the program when it rolled out, though it’s not clear how many of them applied and were accepted.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency hasn’t disclosed numbers by region, but it’s counted Salvadorans and Hondurans among top recipients of DACA status and those communities have a significant presence on Long Island. Hundreds of high school students have been attending a yearly Dreamers’ conference organized by immigrant youth advocates to encourage them to pursue a college education and join advocacy efforts.

Those protected were brought here by their parents, or overstayed visas, when they were children. They attend school, have graduated or obtained an equivalent certificate.

DACA beneficiaries are immigrants who had arrived in the United States before they turned 16 years old; have lived in the country continuously since at least June 15, 2007, and were in the country as of June 15, 2012, by which date they had to be under the age of 31. They are required to either be attending school, to have graduated from high school or to have obtained a high school equivalency certificate.

Alternatively, they are accepted for deferred action if they had been honorably discharged from the Coast Guard or Armed Forces. Anyone convicted of a felony; a misdemeanor deemed significant or three or more other misdemeanors, or who is considered to pose a threat to national security or public safety was excluded from the program.

New York is among a handful of states that allows those DACA recipients to obtain professional licenses and work in the fields they’re qualified for when they graduate from school.

Young Latinos will be most affected.

Dreamers tend to be mostly Latino youth, with Mexicans, Salvadorans, Guatemalans and Hondurans being the top recipients of the deferred action.

Now, the fate of Dreamers is with Congress.

Congress has been given six months to find a legislative solution to protect Dreamers.

But it’s unclear how that would play out.

Such an approach — essentially kicking the can down the road and letting Congress deal with it— is fraught with uncertainty and political perils that amount, according to one vocal opponent, to “Republican suicide.”

Still other Republicans say they are ready to take on a topic that has proven a non-starter and career-breaker for decades.

“If President Trump makes this decision we will work to find a legislative solution to their dilemma,” said Republican Sen. Lindsay Graham.

In the meantime, Dreamers will keep their current protections until their DACA documents expire.

DACA protections will not be immediately cut off. Current DACA recipients will be allowed to retain their period of deferred action and their ability to work until their current documents expire — up to two years from today. Applications already in the pipeline will be processed, as will renewal applications for those facing near-term expiration.

But new applications will not be accepted.

In addition, Trump said he advised the Department of Homeland Security that DACA recipients are not enforcement priorities unless they are criminals, are involved in criminal activity, or are members of a gang.

The Department of Homeland Security answers additional questions here.

In New York, officials plan to sue to protect Dreamers, and many took to the streets to protest.

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman said Monday that New York State would sue the federal government if Trump ends DACA.

“If he moves forward with this cruel action, New York State will sue to protect the ‘Dreamers’ and the state’s sovereign interest in the fair and equal application of the law,” Cuomo said in a news release.

Shouting “undocumented, unafraid,” some 200 protesters marched in front of Trump Tower Tuesday morning to support upholding DACA. Nearly a dozen were arrested after they linked hands and formed a human chain that blocked traffic along 56th Street and Fifth Avenue for nearly 10 minutes.

Click here for more on the DACA announcement.

Sources: The White House; U.S. Department of Homeland Security; Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office; Migration Policy Institute in Washington, D.C.

How do you feel about the GOP tax overhaul?

Long Islanders most likely will be forced to cope with an almost totally new federal tax code, one that even Republican congressional tax writers behind the legislation acknowledge creates winners and losers.

Long Island overall loses big, say local business leaders, lawmakers and economists, because the bill eliminates the full deduction for state and local taxes, called SALT — which is why every member of Congress who represents the Island said they will vote no on the bill Tuesday.

How do you feel about the GOP tax overhaul? Tell us below.

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U.S. House, Senate Tax Plans: Where They Ended Up

Before Republicans from the House and Senate could send a nearly $1.5 trillion tax overhaul to President Donald Trump, they had to reconcile their differences. Here’s where they ended up on some of the key aspects and contrasts of their final bill.


  Compromise: Keeps seven brackets, reduces top rate to 37 percent.

Senate: Keeps seven brackets, reduces top rate to 38.5 percent from 39.6 percent. The reductions in personal income tax rates are temporary, ending in 2026.

House: Reduces the number of brackets to four, keeps the top rate at 39.6 percent but applies it for married couples earning $1 million annually or more instead of current $470,000 — creating a significant break for those earning incomes in between. The tax rate reductions are permanent.


  Both bills: Senate, House bills both double those levels to more than $12,000 for individuals and $24,000 for couples. The standard deduction is used by about 70 percent of U.S. taxpayers. It is currently $6,350 for individuals and $12,700 for married couples.


  Compromise: Keeps the cap at $10,000, but allows individuals and families to choose among sales, income and property taxes.

Both bills: Taxpayers would no longer be able to deduct the amount they paid in state income taxes and local property taxes from their federal taxes, triggering tax increases for many residents who itemize returns in high-tax states such as New York, California and New Jersey. The property-tax deduction is capped at $10,000, a threshold that could be enough cover many homes in upstate New York, but much fewer on Long Island.


  Compromise: No change for homeowners with existing mortgages, and allows deduction for interest up to $750,000 on a new home mortgage.

Senate: Keeps threshold for deductibility to homes purchased for $1 million or less.

House: Lowers deductibility threshold to $500,000 for new home purchases.


  Compromise: Doubles per-child tax credit to $2,000. Begins to phase it out for families making over $400,000. Preserves adoption tax credit.

Senate: Doubles per-child tax credit to $2,000. Preserves adoption tax credit.

House: Raises per-child tax credit from $1,000 to $1,600, extends it to families earning up to $230,000. Creates a $300 tax credit for each adult in a family, which expires in 2023. Preserves adoption tax credit.


  Both bills: Eliminate the current $4,050 personal exemption. The loss of an exemption for each household member could have a major impact on families with two or more dependents (children or elderly adults), resulting in higher taxes, depending on other household factors.


  Senate: Repeals the requirement in Democrat Barack Obama’s health care law that people pay a tax penalty if they don’t purchase health insurance.

House: Does not repeal health insurance requirement tax.


  Compromise: Retains the estate tax, but doubles the exempt amount to $10 million.

Senate: Doubles the taxable threshold of a person’s estate to $11 million.

House: Phases out the estate tax entirely — to the benefit of the 5,000 or so estates that, under current law, are large enough to even be subject to the tax on an annual average.


  Senate: The AMT is aimed at ensuring that higher-earning people pay at least some tax. The Senate bill doesn’t repeal it but reduces the number of people who have to pay it.

House: Repeals AMT.


  Compromise: Owners of pass-through businesses can deduct up to 20 percent on earnings.

Senate: Millions of U.S. businesses “pass through” their income to individuals, who then pay personal income tax on those earnings, not corporate tax. Senate bill lets people deduct 23 percent of the earnings and then pay at their personal income tax rate on the remainder.

House: Taxes many pass-through businesses at 25 percent, plus creates a 9 percent rate for the first $75,000 in earnings for some smaller pass-throughs.


 Compromise: Lower corporate tax rate to 21 percent. Expand write-offs allowed for companies that buy equipment.

Both bills: Lower corporate tax rate to 20 percent from 35 percent. Expand write-offs allowed for companies that buy equipment.


  Compromise: “Modernizes” the “worldwide” tax system to eliminate double taxation. Eliminates the corporate alternative minimum tax. Eliminates tax incentives that encourage some U.S. companies to move overseas.

Senate: Imposes one-time tax on profits that U.S.-based corporations are holding overseas. Extends tax advantages for firms moving overseas, and requires corporations to continue paying the business version of the alternative minimum tax.

House: Imposes one-time tax on profits that U.S.-based corporations are holding overseas. Seeks to eliminate tax incentives that encourage some U.S. companies to move overseas.


  Senate: Maintains ability to deduct student loan interest and some high medical expenses.

House: Eliminates deductions.


  Senate: $1.5 trillion over a decade. Revenue loss must stay below that to allow a vote using procedures that prevent a Democratic filibuster.

House: $1.6 trillion over a decade, a figure that could trigger rules to allow a Democratic filibuster.

Sources: Tax Policy Center, Congress

Gun control and mass shootings

Horrific mass shootings rarely lead to gun control legislation.

The Brady bill, passed in 1993, and the assault weapons ban, passed in 1994, were the last significant federal gun control measures signed into law in the United States despite dozens of mass shootings that have occurred since then.

Since 1966, 974 people have died in mass shooting incidents, according to data analyzed by The Washington Post. There is no universally accepted definition of a mass shooting, or any one group that keeps track of the victims. The Washington Post figure includes victims from 132 incidents in which four or more people died.

In several cases, these tragic events moved lawmakers to propose tighter gun control regulations. After the Orlando nightclub shooting in June 2016, former president Barack Obama called for Congress to reinstate the assault weapons ban, which despite several attempts has not been renewed since it expired in 2004.

The following is a list of 18 notable mass shooting incidents in the United States and the legislative gun control proposals they inspired, if any. The list dates back to the Long Island Rail Road massacre in December 1993, which helped spur Congress to pass the assault weapons ban.

Use the arrows to the right of each section to navigate through this project.

Nov. 5, 2017

Sutherland Springs, Texas: 26 killed, 20 injured

Devin Kelley wore tactical gear and a ballistic vest when he fired at least 450 rounds at worshippers in the First Baptist Church.

As Kelley left, he was shot by an armed resident, Stephen Willeford. Kelley was later found dead in his vehicle.

Investigators revealed that Kelley had past domestic violence offenses that would have prevented him from buying a gun, but the Air Force did not submit them to the FBI as required. Kelley was ousted from the Air Force for an assault on his ex-wife and her son in 2012.

Since the shooting, some politicians have called on the need for tighter gun restrictions while others have remarked on how more regulations may have kept Willeford from confronting the suspect.

“You might not have had that very brave person who happened to have a gun or a rifle in his truck go out and shoot him and hit him and neutralize him,” President Donald Trump said during a news conference Tuesday in South Korea. “If he didn’t have a gun, instead of having 26 dead, you would have had hundreds more dead.”

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.), who has emerged as one of the leading voices for gun control since his district was devastated by the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012, released an impassioned plea for lawmakers to enact gun control laws.

“As my colleagues go to sleep tonight, they need to think about whether the political support of the gun industry is worth the blood that flows endlessly onto the floors of American churches, elementary schools, movie theaters, and city streets,” Murphy said in a statement released hours after the shooting.

Oct. 1, 2017

Las Vegas, Nevada: 58 killed, 527 injured

Stephen Paddock opened fire on people at an outdoor country music festival from his room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino. Paddock, 64, of Mesquite, Nevada, then killed himself.

The incident, considered the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, renewed the gun control debate. Since the tragedy, some legislators have focused on regulating bump fire stocks, an accessory that allows semi-automatic weapons to fire ammunition more rapidly.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., introduced a bill to ban the gun accessory but is still searching for a Republican cosponsor, CBS reported. There are also two proposed bipartisan bump stock measures in the House.

In late October, Massachusetts became the first state to outlaw bump stocks.

June 12, 2016

Orlando, Florida: 49 killed, 53 injured

Omar Mateen used an assault rifle and pistol to open fire on more than 300 people at a gay nightclub. After a three-hour standoff, Mateen was killed by police.

Days after the shooting, a nearly 15-hour filibuster led by Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) forced a vote in the Senate on a batch of gun control bills. Four of the proposals were voted down the following week, mostly along party lines.

A measure from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) to let the attorney general deny firearms to people on the terrorism watch list fell in the Senate 53-47. The Senate also rejected an alternative that would allow authorities to delay a gun sale to a suspected terrorist for three days or more if a judge ruled that there is probable cause to deny the sale.

A bill by Sens. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Murphy to expand background checks failed, as did a Republican-sponsored bill that would increase funding to run background checks without broadening them. 

Dec. 2, 2015

San Bernardino, California: 14 killed, 24 injured

Syed Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik opened fire at a social services center. Farook and Malik fled the scene and were later killed in a shootout with police.

A bill proposed in January by Sens. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) would have repealed a 2005 law that protected gun manufacturers and sellers from liability lawsuits after shootings. President Barack Obama also pushed to pass legislation that would have prevented people on no-fly lists from buying guns. Neither proposal has been passed.

Oct. 1, 2015

Roseburg, Oregon: 10 killed, 7 injured

Christopher Harper-Mercer carried out his attack at Umpqua Community College. After exchanging gunfire with police, he killed himself.

In the days following the shooting, Senate Democrats rallied to push through a new slate of gun control legislation, including a bill by Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) that seeks to ban gun sales without background checks pending beyond three days. Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) introduced a similar bill in the House following the massacre in Charleston. Neither bill has passed.

June 17, 2015

Charleston, South Carolina: 9 killed

Dylann Roof allegedly shot and killed his victims in a racially motivated attack on a Bible study group at a historically black church in Charleston. Roof faces nine counts of murder in state court and dozens of federal charges.

Rep. James Clyburn (D-S.C.) introduced a bill to reform the background check process and to close what’s come to be known as the “Charleston loophole,” which allows firearm dealers to sell guns within three days unless notified by the FBI. The so-called loophole allowed Roof to purchase assault weapons since a background check that he would have failed wasn’t completed.

May 23, 2014

Isla Vista, California: 6 killed, 7 injured

After stabbing three men to death in his apartment, Elliot Rodger fatally shot three University of California Santa Barbara students and injured seven other people near the school’s campus. Rodger later killed himself.

Days after the attack, Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.) introduced legislation that would grant the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention $10 million to fund a gun violence prevention study. The CDC hasn’t conducted a comprehensive study on reducing gun violence in 15 years.

Markey’s bill was not passed.

Sept. 16, 2013

Washington D.C.: 12 killed

Aaron Alexis, a mentally disturbed Navy contractor and former Navy enlisted man, opened fire at the Washington Navy yard. Alexis was killed in a shootout by police.

Dec. 14, 2012

Newtown, Connecticut: 27 killed

After shooting his mother in the head, Adam Lanza forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut and fatally shot his victims, including 20 first-graders. Lanza then killed himself at the scene.

A background check bill pushed forward by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.) and Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) that would have expanded background checks to internet and gun show sales was defeated in April 2013.

“All in all, this was a pretty shameful day for Washington,” President Barack Obama said later that day at a news conference.

A revamped version of the assault weapons ban, which was first passed in 1994 and expired in 2004, was proposed in January 2013 by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Ca.) and 24 Democratic co-sponsors. It was defeated in the Senate in April 2013.

Two weeks earlier, Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy signed into state law a 10-round limit on ammunition magazines.

July 20, 2012

Aurora, Colorado: 12 killed, 70 injured

James Holmes opened fire in a movie theater during a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises.” He was sentenced to life in prison without parole.

In 2013, a series of gun control bills were passed in Colorado, including a measure requiring universal background checks and a ban on ammunition magazines that hold more than 15 rounds, like the ones used by Holmes.

Jan. 8, 2011

Tucson, Arizona: 6 killed, 13 injured

Jared Lee Loughner opened fire in front of a Safeway during a meet and greet held by Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ar.). Giffords was among the wounded, suffering a gunshot to her head. Loughner was sentenced to seven consecutive life terms.

Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) proposed a bill that would restrict ammunition magazines to a maximum 10 rounds in 2011. They proposed an identical measure in 2012 and again in 2013, when the bill died in Congress.

Nov. 5, 2009

Killeen, Texas: 13 killed, 32 injured

Army psychiatrist Nidal Malik Hasan attacked at Fort Hood, where he was based. Hasan was sentenced to death in 2013.

April 3, 2009

Binghamton, New York: 13 killed, 4 injured

Jiverly Wong opened fire at the American Civic Association immigration center. Wong, a Vietnamese immigrant and former student at the center, killed himself at the scene.

April 16, 2007

Virginia Tech: 32 killed, 17 injured

The shooting by Seung-Hui Cho, a senior at Virginia Tech, on the school’s campus was, until the events in Orlando, the deadliest mass shooting in American history. After methodically gunning down students and teachers, Cho shot himself dead.

In response to the massacre, Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-N.Y.), whose husband was killed and son was injured in the Long Island Rail Road shooting in 1993, made a fourth pass at pushing through a bill to improve the federal background check system to stop purchases by people, including individuals with criminal histories and those deemed mentally ill, who are prohibited from possessing firearms.

The bill received the support of the National Rifle Association and was signed into law.

July 29, 1999

Atlanta: 9 killed, 13 injured

After bludgeoning his wife and two children to death, Mark O. Barton went to his office where he worked as a day trader and shot four people. He then walked to another nearby office and killed five others. Barton later killed himself.

April 20, 1999

Columbine, Colorado: 13 killed, 24 injured

Columbine High School students Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold had a friend purchase four guns for them at a gun show. They used the weapons to open fire at their school, killing 12 students and a teacher. Harris and Klebold later killed themselves.

Weeks after the Columbine shooting a bill requiring background checks at gun shows – closing the so-called “gun show loophole” – passed in the Senate but died in the House.

April 20, 1999

Jonesboro, Arkansas: 5 killed, 10 injured

After pulling a fire alarm at Westside Middle School, two students, Mitchell Johnson and Andrew Golden, opened fire on students and teachers. Four students and a teacher were killed. Mitchell, then 13, and Andrew, then 11, were sentenced to confinement in a juvenile facility until they turned 21.

A pair of bills was introduced following the Jonesboro shootings. One called to close a loophole that allowed for the sale of ammunition clips holding more than 10 rounds. The other sought to impose criminal penalties on adults who don’t properly lock away firearms that a child may use to hurt others. Neither proposal was passed.

Dec. 7, 1993

LIRR shooting: 6 killed, 19 injured

Colin Ferguson opened fire on a Long Island Rail Road commuter train. Ferguson was sentenced to life in prison. Following the shooting, President Bill Clinton decried the incident as a “terrible human tragedy.” The following year the assault weapons ban, which banned the manufacture, possession and sale of certain combat-style weapons and also limited the size of ammunition magazines, was signed into law.

The ban expired in 2004 and has not been renewed.

Published: June 17, 2016

Trump vs. Clinton: Relive the drama of election night 2016

Heading into election night 2016, Hillary Clinton seemed likely to make history as the first woman elected president of the United States. The Democratic nominee and former secretary of state had a resume tailor-made for the job, and faced an unpredictable newcomer to politics, Republican Donald Trump, who made his own rules on the campaign trail.

But the night became historic for a different reason, as Trump won several critical swing states and pulled off one of the biggest upsets ever in U.S. politics.

A year later, here’s a moment-by-moment look back at that dramatic night, as told through photos, videos and the social media feeds of Newsday staff, major news organizations including The Associated Press and the candidates themselves.

Social media posts are timed according to when they were posted.

8:10 p.m. Clinton the clear favorite

Early in the night, major election forecasters The New York Times and FiveThirtyEight heavily predict a Clinton win. The Democrat holds an Electoral College lead over Trump.

8:22 p.m.

Things are looking good for Clinton as the Times makes this forecast. A minute later, FiveThirtyEight says Clinton has a 75 percent chance of winning the presidency.

8:35 p.m.

8:42 p.m. Looking to make history

With slogans like “I’m with her,” Clinton’s campaign emphasized the historic nature of her campaign. On election night, thousands of her supporters stood under the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center’s actual glass ceiling, hoping their candidate would break the most significant glass ceiling of all, the presidency.

8:43 p.m.

9:14 p.m. Clinton takes New York

9:19 p.m.

9:35 p.m. Signs of trouble for Clinton

Trump hasn’t claimed any surprising wins by this point, but there are signs of trouble for Clinton as the race is closer than expected in some key states.

9:40 p.m. Trump gains ground

9:48 p.m.

Trump tweets a memorable election night photo of himself and running mate Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, surrounded by family members.

9:54 p.m.

Financial markets fall in Asia as they react to the possibility of a Trump presidency, the AP reports. Asian shares lose early gains, tumbling as Trump gained the lead in the electoral vote count.

10 p.m. Democrats stay optimistic

10:33 p.m.

10:37 p.m. Trump begins breakthrough

Trump takes his first major battleground state — the perennial presidential bellwether of Ohio.

10:41 p.m. Clinton still trails

Even with this victory and another that would follow in Colorado, called by the AP at 10:43, Clinton trails Trump in electoral votes 168-131, according to the wire service. Trump has won 19 states to Clinton’s 12 plus Washington, D.C.

11:05 p.m. Part 2 of a 1-2 punch

Trump strikes another big blow with his win in Florida, called at 10:50. He adds its 29 electoral votes to his tally as the tide shifts.

11:11 p.m. Trump camp’s confidence grows

Fox projected Utah for Trump well before the AP would call the state for him, at 11:52 p.m.

11:12 p.m.

Trump takes another key state.

11:20 p.m.

At this point, six AP battleground states remain available on the map — Iowa, Nevada, Michigan, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — and Hillary Clinton is trailing in electoral votes.

11:36 p.m. The idea of a President Trump emerges

11:42 p.m.

11:57 p.m.

Newsday’s first edition cover is sent to press.

12:11 a.m.

12:26 a.m. ‘Just shock’

After Tuesday becomes Wednesday, Trump claims Iowa while Clinton gets a victory in Nevada. But her prospects for the presidency are dimming.

1 a.m.

1:21 a.m.

1:23 a.m.

1:31 a.m. Nearing the presidency

1:50 a.m.

With Pennsylvania in his column, Trump just needs six more electoral votes to be elected president.

Just after 2 a.m. ‘She is not done yet’

Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta makes brief remarks at the Javits Center but offers no concession. “She’s done an amazing job and she is not done yet,” he says of his candidate.

2:13 a.m.

2:31 a.m. Trump elected 45th president

Trump wins Wisconsin — a state that had not gone red in a presidential race since 1984 — and in turn the White House. The AP officially calls the presidential election for Trump at 2:29 a.m.

2:39 a.m.

2:40 a.m.

Newsday’s second edition cover is sent to press.

2:44 a.m. Clinton supporters mourn

Around 2:45 a.m. Trump appears before supporters

Trump addressed supporters for about 15 minutes. Watch his full remarks in this video from ABC News.

2:52 a.m.

2:58 a.m.

Many Clinton supporters remain in shock over the upset. Americans would eventually find out that Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.

3:22 a.m.

Newsday’s third edition cover — its last of the night, with a photo of President-elect Trump giving a thumbs-up after his victory — is sent to press.

With The Associated Press

Route 91 festival shooting: How it unfolded on social media

Friends were gathered to see some of the biggest names in country music.

They buzzed about it on social media, posting pictures under the Las Vegas sun in cowboy hats and Route 91 Harvest Festival t-shirts.

The three-day country music festival that drew an estimated 22,000 people ended in tragedy as singer Jason Aldean performed the last act Sunday night. On social media, excitement around the big-name acts quickly turned to horror as news of shots fired started to spread.

Here’s how it unfolded on social media, from the light-hearted posts of fun-loving fans to the survivors telling loved ones: I’m safe.

#Route91 #Country #MyEDC #Vegas #lovemycowboy #threedayneonsleepover

A post shared by Jessie Oh (@jessieoh18) on

11 p.m.

Jake Owen was scheduled to play at 8 p.m. local time, or around 11 p.m. Eastern time.

Jake Owen! #route91harvest #threedayneonsleepover

A post shared by John F. Downs (@john_f_downs) on

12 a.m.

Jason Aldean was closing the festival. He was scheduled to take the stage at 9:40 p.m. local time, or 12:40 a.m. Eastern time.

Saying adios to summer nights. #rt91harvest #threedayneonsleepover

A post shared by juan c rivera (@cavemn89) on

1 a.m.

Jason Aldean was reportedly seven or eight songs into his set when the first gunshots were fired. Videos show Aldean running off the stage.

Social media users at the scene took to Twitter to warn others. Those learning of the news from afar used the platform to seek information about loved ones.

2 a.m.

3 a.m.

By 3 a.m., police had found the shooter, later identified as Stephen Paddock, dead inside his hotel room on the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino-hotel tower. He had apparently used a hammer-like device to break the windows before opening fire on the crowd about 400 yards away.

4 a.m.

In the early morning hours on the East Coast, videos and photos continued to make their way to social media. News outlets first reported 20 dead and 100 injured, with expectations those numbers would rise.

6 a.m.

The number of dead increases to 50, and later 58. The number of injured will later grow from 200 to more than 500. As some details about the shooter emerge, still little is known about the victims, but survivors — and their loved ones at home — start to announce that they are safe.

What’s your take on national anthem protests?

A form of protest taken up last year by former 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick sparked a movement in the NFL, and garnered strong criticism — even a call to fire the players that took part — by President Donald Trump.

The movement – in which NFL players have been taking a knee or locking arms during the national anthem to protest racial injustice — has sparked a discussion that pits the right to free speech and protest against the significance of the national anthem in American society

Use the form below to tell us what you think. What’s the significance of our national anthem to you, and what does it mean for someone to use it in protest?

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Please respond in 250 words or less. Your response becomes the property of Newsday Media Group. It will be edited and may be republished in all media.

Puerto Rico after Maria: What you need to know

Hurricane Maria has devastated Puerto Rico, but the full picture of the damage and the grim situation facing residents is still unclear. Loss of power and phone service to nearly the entire island has made communication spotty so many Americans have yet to hear from family and friends there. Here’s what you need to know about storm’s damage and how you can help:

The storm immediately left nearly all 3.4 million people without basic necessities like water and power.

The storm tore up the U.S. territory on Sept. 20, killing at least 34 people and leaving nearly all 3.4 million people in Puerto Rico without power and most without water.

Gov. Ricardo Rossello has said he believes the hurricane caused $90 billion in damage across the island.

The storm smashed poles, downed power lines and damaged electricity-generating plants, knocking out a grid that would be considered antiquated on the United States mainland.

Generators are providing power to the fortunate few who have them.

This is without a doubt the biggest catastrophe in modern history for Puerto Rico
– Gov. Ricardo Rossello

Conditions in Puerto Rico remain dire. 

Food and water shortages plague the island amid the widespread power outage. Communications are spotty and roads are clogged with debris.

Flights are infrequent.

Officials said electrical power may not be fully restored for more than a month.

Many others are also waiting for help from anyone from the federal or Puerto Rican government.

But the scope of the devastation is so broad, and the relief effort so concentrated in San Juan, that many people from outside the capital say they have received little to no help.

“The devastation in Puerto Rico has set us back nearly 20 to 30 years,
– Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer Gonzalez.

“I can’t deny that the Puerto Rico of now is different from that of a week ago. The destruction of properties, of flattened structures, of families without homes, of debris everywhere. The island’s greenery is gone,” Gonzalez said.    

The island’s economy and infrastructure were in sorry shape long before Maria struck.

A $73 billion debt crisis has left agencies like the state power company broke. As a result the power company abandoned most basic maintenance in recent years, leaving the island subject to regular blackouts.


The future looks grim as it’s feared that financial losses from the storm and the inability of young people to find work will perpetuate economic turmoil.

Tax collections will drop, and Puerto Rico’s tourism industry “will not recover for some time,” according to James Eck, a vice president with the credit-rating agency Moody’s.

With no power, more young workers may leave Puerto Rico for better opportunities elsewhere.

That would further a vicious cycle already underway, where fewer workers means less tax revenue, which hurts the economy, which encourages even more people to leave. Puerto Rico’s population dropped by 8 percent from 2010 through the middle of 2016.   

How to  help

While the urge to donate clothes and other supplies is natural, money is the best way to contribute during times of disaster, charities and philanthropy experts say.

Donating directly through a website gets money to a charity faster than a text donation, even though the text might seem easier.

Places to donate money

More on what’s needed

Still, there’s never a time and place for supplies. Diapers, for example, are often requested, as are construction supplies.


How the United States is responding

  • President Donald Trump visited storm-ravaged Puerto Rico on Tuesday, touting the federal response amid power, food and water shortages, but also making what critics saw as insensitive comments about the struggling island. Trump congratulated Puerto Ricans for avoiding a high death toll of “a real catastrophe like Katrina.” As many as 1,800 people died in 2005 when Hurricane Katrina breached levees protecting New Orleans
  • The Trump administration is temporarily waiving the Jones Act, which prohibits foreign-flagged ships from shuttling goods between U.S. ports, for Puerto Rico.
  • The federal government will pick up 100 percent of the costs for debris removal and other emergency assistance. U.S. states and territories typically cover 25 percent of the costs, with the federal government paying the remaining 75 percent.
  • Active-duty military forces have been sent in to help relief efforts.
  • Part of the $15 billion Congress passed early this month for hurricanes Harvey and Irma relief also applied to Puerto Rico.
  • A group of Democratic senators has requested that Congress immediately take up a supplemental spending bill to be able to send more aid to Puerto Rico.