Texas round table to include both sides of gun debate

Texas round table to include both sides of gun debateBy Jon Herskovitz AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - Two groups at opposite ends of the gun debate will meet Texas Governor Greg Abbott on Wednesday as part of a second round of talks on preventing gun violence on campus, a response to last week's fatal shooting of 10 people in a Houston-area high school. Abbott invited representatives from the Texas State Rifle Association, which is affiliated with the National Rifle Association, and Texas Gun Sense, which favors gun control, to join him in Austin, the state capital. A group of experts are also expected to take part in the second of three round tables that the governor said would focus on mental health issues and the causes of gun violence.



Hawaii volcano belches new ash plume as geothermal wells secured from harm

Hawaii volcano belches new ash plume as geothermal wells secured from harmBy Marco Garcia VOLCANO, Hawaii (Reuters) - The restive Kilauea Volcano belched clouds of ash into the skies over Hawaii's Big Island twice more on Wednesday as civil defense authorities reported that pressurized geothermal wells at a nearby power plant had been secured from approaching lava. The latest back-to-back upheavals of ash from the main summit crater of Kilauea -- one before dawn and another several hours later -- came on the 21st day of what geologists rank as one of the biggest eruption cycles in a century from one of the world's most active volcanoes. The Hawaii County Civil Defense agency warned in its latest bulletin that residents downwind of Kilauea should take care to avoid exposure to ash, which can cause eye irritation and breathing difficulties, particularly in people with respiratory problems.



U.S. cautions citizens in China after 'abnormal' sound incident

U.S. cautions citizens in China after 'abnormal' sound incidentBy Michael Martina and Lesley Wroughton BEIJING/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - An American citizen working at the U.S. consulate in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou has reported suffering from "abnormal" sounds and pressure leading to a mild brain injury, the U.S. embassy said on Wednesday and China said it was investigating the incident. The embassy, which issued a health alert to Americans living in China, said it could not link the case to health issues suffered by U.S. government staff in Cuba dating back to late 2016.



Bowing to Trump, NFL will require players to stand for anthem

Bowing to Trump, NFL will require players to stand for anthemThe National Football League will fine teams if players on the field refuse to stand for the national anthem, the league said on Wednesday in a victory for U.S. President Donald Trump, who loudly demanded an end to such protests last year. Some NFL players knelt during the anthem to protest police shootings of unarmed black men, sparking a controversy as Trump criticized the players as being unpatriotic. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell on Wednesday announced a new policy that will fine teams if players on the field fail to stand during the "Star-Spangled Banner." Players who choose not to stand may now remain in the locker room until after the anthem is finished.



New Jersey governor signs nuclear power subsidy bill into law

New Jersey governor signs nuclear power subsidy bill into law(Reuters) - New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed several legislative initiatives on Wednesday to advance the state's clean energy goals, including a controversial bill that would subsidize the continued operation of nuclear power plants. The new nuclear law, which could cost about $300 million a year, establishes a Zero Emissions Certificate (ZEC) program to maintain New Jersey's nuclear energy supply, which contributes close to 40 percent of the state's electric capacity and is by far its largest source of carbon free energy. Plants seeking to participate in the program would be required, among other things, to demonstrate that they make a significant contribution to New Jersey air quality and are at risk of closure within three years.





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