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Trump reaches vulgar new low & more big news

Good morning, it’s Tuesday. Hopefully you’ve shaken off your weekend sleep coma and are bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Grab a cup of coffee and catch up on these six news headlines.

1. War deaths

Six U.S. soldiers were killed and three were wounded in Afghanistan on Monday. A motorcycle bearing explosives detonated near the soldiers in an apparent suicide attack north of Kabul. The province is home to the Bagram air base, and while the U.S. has formally ended combat in Afghanistan, the military patrols the base daily. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Brig. Gen. Wilson A. Shoffner, the military spokesman in Afghanistan, said, “[O]ur heartfelt sympathies go out to the families and friends of those affected in this tragic incident, especially in this holiday season.” Ours do as well. — The Washington Post

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2. What happens when gun laws are loosened

Missouri’s homicide rate has risen in the wake of the state’s loosening of its gun laws in 2007. Missouri previously had stricter gun control measures in place: Potential gun buyers had to submit to an in-person background check at the local sheriff’s office. That law was repealed in 2007; other measures have made guns easier to buy and more accessible, e.g., the state lowered the concealed carry age to 19. Research has shown that in the six years after those laws took effect, the gun homicide rate was 16 percent higher than it was before. The national homicide rate declined 11 percent. The researchers caution against assuming causality. OK?  — The New York Times

 3. Crash, baby, crash

Gas prices are going down. Like, gas is now cheaper than milk per gallon. What? But yeah, AAA reports that the price of gas has now dropped to below $2 a gallon, which is the lowest it’s been since March 2009 (a.k.a. the Grimmest Economic Times In Recent History). Gas prices go down when oil prices go down, and a barrel of oil now goes for about $36. Bench crude is at an 11-year low. The drop is due in large part to increased production in Saudi Arabia and Iraq. — Slate

4. Trump launches vulgar attack at Hillary

Speaking of lows, Donald Trump hit a new one today, at least in terms of language: He described Hillary Clinton as having been “schlonged” by Barack Obama in the 2008 election. Yesterday at a rally in Grand Rapids, Trump said, “She was favored to win — and she got schlonged. She lost.” Trump also called attention to Clinton’s brief absence from the debate on Saturday, which evidently was a bathroom break: “I know where she went. It’s disgusting. I don’t want to talk about it. No, it’s too disgusting. Don’t say it, it’s disgusting. We want to be very straight up, OK?” Disgusting. — NBC News

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5. Solidarity

Muslims shielded Christians during a terrorist attack in Kenya yesterday. The journey from the capital of Nairobi to the city of Mandera, near Kenya’s borders with Somalia and Ethiopia, is so dangerous that buses are usually accompanied by a police escort. Yesterday the police car broke down and the bus continued on alone. Armed militants ambushed the passengers, intending to target the Christians, but the Muslims, mostly women, refused to separate, telling the terrorists to kill them all or to leave them alone. The terrorists killed a Christian man who tried to run away and the driver of a truck behind the bus. Kenya’s interior secretary told reporters, “We are all Kenyans.” — CNN

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6. More bad news for burrito lovers

On Monday, the CDC announced it was investigating Chipotle again after five new cases of E. coli were linked to two Chipotle restaurants in Kansas and Oklahoma. It’s the latest outbreak of illnesses that have dogged the chain since August when 200+ people came down with norovirus after eating at a California restaurant. Shortly after that there was salmonella in Minnesota. In October, E. coli surfaced in the Pacific Northwest. It’s not clear what the source is; no one food item seems to be responsible. The stock prices — along with our appetites — are plummeting. — Slate

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