Obama unveils executive actions on gun control & other big news
It's Tuesday morning and the work week is well underway. How are those New Year's resolutions going? Don't think about it. Grab a cup of coffee and wake up with these news headlines.
1. Going it alone
President Obama has unveiled the executive actions he will take on gun control, which he's been unable to get any traction on in the first seven years of his presidency. It is a series of 10 provisions, ranging from requiring more gun sellers to be licensed and requiring them to run background checks on potential buyers to dedicating $500 million in federal funds to addressing mental illness. In addition, the FBI will hire additional personnel to run background checks 24/7. The president will discuss these actions in a town hall meeting at George Mason University on Thursday. Republicans immediately commented, even without knowing the details, calling the plan "executive overreach." — The Washington Post
2. What do we want?
The armed group of men occupying a wildlife refuge in Oregon, whom some are calling a militia, others protesters, and still others domestic terrorists, laid out their demands and a timeline on Monday night. Spokesman Ammon Bundy said via Twitter that they would leave the wildlife refuge when the Hammonds — the father-son duo serving a jail sentence for arson — are freed, and when the Feds give up control of the Malheur National Forest. The tweet was later deleted, so it's unclear if those were their demands, are their demands, or what. Social media can be so tricky. — CNN
A woman and 11 children were held hostage in a motel room in DeKalb County, Georgia, a local NBC station reported on Monday morning. Authorities received a domestic dispute call from a woman at the Rite 4 Us Inn at about 2 a.m. and rushed to the scene. A SWAT team entered the room, the suspect stabbed himself, and the standoff ended. No other injuries were reported. — NBC News
4. Take that
Anne Hathaway has posted a baby bump pic on Instagram, announcing her pregnancy and slamming the paparazzi in one fell swoop. The 33-year-old actress and star of Les Mis, on vacation, noticed that the paps were taking bikini photos of her and decided to post an adorable snap of herself cradling her tummy. She wrote: “I figured if this kind of photo is going to be out in the world, it should at least be an image that makes me happy (and be one that was taken with my consent. And with a filter ?) Wishing you love, light and blessings for the year ahead!" Perfection. — The Independent
5. Romance lessons for nerds
Should you marry the hunk or the nerd? That age-old question was finally answered by Mark Zuckerberg on Monday via a post on Facebook, natch. A grandmother had written a comment to Zuckerberg about how she encouraged her granddaughters to "date the nerd," presumably because that would eventually result in a husband as successful as Mark Zuckerberg. He replied, "Even better would be to encourage them to *be* the nerd in their school so they can be the next successful inventor!” Right on, Mark! But here's a better plan: Be the nerd and date the nerd: Zuckerberg's wife is a pediatrician, which is not exactly a career for dumb people. — BuzzFeed
6. Sick and broke
A new survey released today shows that while the number of uninsured Americans has dropped substantially due to the ACA, many Americans are still struggling with crushing medical expenses. Even insured people often must pay hundreds or thousands of dollars in co-pays, deductibles and out-of-network charges, which for people facing illness or injury can lead to an avalanche of money troubles, lost jobs, lost houses and bankruptcy. The survey indicates that the "nature" of health insurance has shifted dramatically: Since the late 1990s, insurers have forced consumers to pay an ever-greater share of their medical bills through deductibles and co-pays. Twenty percent of people under 65 with health insurance report struggling to pay their bills. The takeaway: Don't get sick. — The New York Times