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Trump has a wild meeting with US lawmakers about guns; Europe freezes while the Arctic heats up.
Trump accused Republican lawmakers of being afraid of the NRA
- President Donald Trump had another roundtable with US lawmakers on the issue of gun control legislation on Wednesday afternoon, and once again, it was ... interesting. [Politico / Cristiano Lima]
- Bottom line: Trump signaled a surprising willingness to work with Congress on new gun control legislation and talked about some measures that his Republican colleagues have refused to act on. At times, he went directly against the policy positions of Republicans and the NRA. [NYT / Michael Shear]
- One thing he floated was possibly writing an executive order to ban bump stocks, devices that allow semiautomatic weapons to be fired like fully automatic ones. [Washington Post / Mike DeBonis and Seung Min Kim]
- Another truly incredible line was when he voiced support for taking guns away from potentially violent people without going through the proper legal channels and following due process. This largely goes against the Republican Party’s position. [USA Today / David Jackson, Deirdre Shesgreen, Nicole Gaudiano]
- Trump seemed very confused why Congress hasn’t passed any major gun control legislation. At one point, he accused lawmakers of being “afraid of the NRA” and later said he was not beholden to the NRA in the same ways Congress is. [CNN / Jeremy Diamond, Lauren Fox, and Dan Merica]
- Of course, it’s worth remembering that we need to take what Trump says at these meetings with several heapings of salt. He has seemingly contradicted Republican/White House positions often before, flip-flopping multiple times. [Vox / Dara Lind]
Europe is weirdly cold, while the Arctic is freakishly warm
- It’s really, really cold across Europe this February. The continent is getting battered by a storm nicknamed “the beast from the east,” which has dropped snow on cities including London and Rome. [CNN / Sheena McKenzie]
- Temperatures in some spots have dropped to minus 10 Fahrenheit, which makes them some of the coldest the UK has seen in the past 30 years. [NYT / Ceylan Yeginsu]
- And before someone takes this as evidence that global warming is a hoax, consider this: As Europe is below freezing, the Arctic is having one of its warmest winters on record, with parts of the Arctic Circle warmer than most of Europe over recent days. [Vox / Umair Irfan]
- In fact, there’s a direct relationship between the warm temperatures far north and the blast of cold air blanketing Europe — the warm climate in the Arctic is essentially pushing all the cold air a little farther south, where it’s hitting Europe. [Mashable / Andrew Freedman]
- If you thought driverless cars were impressive, get ready to channel your inner Jetson: Flying cars might not be as far away as you think. [Bloomberg / Brad Stone]
- In the Philippines, local lawyers are fighting to hold President Rodrigo Duterte’s government accountable. [Foreign Policy / Antony Loewenstein]
- The red-tailed hawk that’s been hanging out at Washington, DC’s National Cathedral has been given an excellent new name: Millennium Falcon. [Washington Post / Dana Hedgpeth]
- In more things being rethought recently: Maybe we should add drinking at work to the list. [Slate / Rebecca Gale]
“Hope is outstanding and has done great work for the last three years. She is as smart and thoughtful as they come, a truly great person. I will miss having her by my side, but when she approached me about pursuing other opportunities, I totally understood.” [President Trump commenting on the departure of White House communications director Hope Hicks to NYT / Maggie Haberman]
Listen to this: Today, Explained
Yesterday, a coalition of 20 states filed a lawsuit claiming Obamacare is unconstitutional. Vox’s Sarah Kliff says that’s just the latest pushback on the Affordable Care Act. Listen to Today, Explained on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, and Art19.