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Joe Biden calls for gun reform in wake of Texas mall shooting

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The shooting at the Allen Premium Outlets mall saw several people die, and countless others wounded

U.S. President Joe Biden has called on Congress to pass gun control bills, in the wake of another mass shooting that left nine people dead, including the gunman, at a Texas mall.

The President renewed calls for Congress to ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, as well as to enact universal background checks and end immunity for gun manufacturers.

A gunman killed several people at a busy mall northeast of Dallas in Texas, before a police officer shot him dead.

Eyewitness video captured the sounds of gunshots ringing out from the Allen Premium Outlets mall.

“At 3:36pm, our officer was at Allen Premium Outlets on an unrelated call. He heard gunshots, located the gunshots, located the shooter, neutralised the shooter and neutralised the threat. We believe at this point that the shooter acted alone,” Allen police chief Brian Harvey said.

Police said they’re still trying to establish a motive.

Medical City Healthcare, which runs 16 hospitals in the area, said in a statement that its trauma centres were treating wounded victims, with the youngest just five years old.

“I heard the gunshots, and we just all rushed to the back. We’re all freaking out. We’re like, ‘what’s going on? What’s going on?’ And I had to go back to the front to lock the door. That’s when I saw, like, cops all coming in and helicopters was coming in. SWAT team was coming in. I was like, ‘what’s going on? Then a second time, this time it was for real. You know, we all in the back got the safe,” A mall store employee said.

Allen is a community of about 100,000 people, around 25 miles northeast of Dallas.

In a written statement, Texas Governor Greg Abbott called the shooting an “unspeakable tragedy” and said the state was prepared to offer any assistance that local authorities may need.

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President Biden says it’s time to ‘pass the torch’

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President Joe Biden said on Wednesday he is “passing the torch to a new generation” as he explained his abrupt departure from the 2024 presidential race to Americans for the first time, in an Oval Office address capping over 50 years in politics.

“I revere this office,” Biden said. “But I love my country more.”

Biden, 81, rebuffed weeks of pressure from Democrats to step aside after a disastrous debate performance on June 27, saying at one point that only the “Lord Almighty” could convince him to go.

Unite the nation

“I have decided the best way forward is to pass the torch to a new generation. That is the best way to unite our nation,” Biden said.

Biden made his decision after days of soul-searching and agonizing over internal polling that predicted he could lose against Republican Donald Trump in November and drag down fellow Democrats with him.

“The great thing about America is here, kings and dictators do not rule. The people do. History is in your hands. The power is in your hands. The idea of America – lies in your hands,” Biden will say, according to the speech excerpts.

It will be Biden’s first extended public remarks since he relented to pressure from fellow Democrats and announced on Sunday via social media that he had decided not to seek reelection on Nov. 5.

Biden is the first incumbent president not to seek reelection since 1968 when Lyndon Johnson, under fire for his handling of the Vietnam War, abruptly pulled out of the campaign on March 31.

Biden also joins James K. Polk, James Buchanan, Rutherford B. Hayes, Calvin Coolidge and Harry Truman as presidents who all decided not to stand for a second elected term.

Biden faced calls to step aside after his rocky performance in the debate against Trump raised troubling questions about his mental acuity.

Since he stepped aside, however, Democrats have rallied around him, paying tribute to his character and his record as president.

Watching together

A crowd of staff walked into the White House earlier in the evening to watch the speech together. An official said a reception and “viewing party” were being held across the White House’ state floor for Biden’s address.

The White House has denied that Biden has any cognitive issues despite a recent increase in verbal slipups.

Biden said he will focus on his job as president over his remaining six months in office. He is to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday on efforts to negotiate a Gaza ceasefire.

It was the fourth time Biden used the formal setting of the Oval Office since taking office in 2021. His last Oval Office speech was on July 15 when he urged Americans to cool the political rhetoric after the attempted assassination of Trump.

Biden’s political career began when he was elected to the Senate in 1972 at age 29, becoming the sixth youngest U.S. senator. He will conclude his White House tenure on Jan. 20, 2025, as the oldest American president when he will have already turned 82.

“The defense of democracy is more important than any title,” Biden said. “I draw strength, and find joy, in working for the American people. But this sacred task of perfecting our Union is not about me. It’s about you. Your families. Your futures. It’s about ‘We the People.’”

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AI enters the Big Brother house, raising concerns around the truth of reality TV

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How will the integration of AI into reality TV impact audience engagement and what role will this have on the future of entertainment?

The latest season of Big Brother has left fans scratching their heads with the introduction of Big Brother AI, also knowns as BB AI, taking centre stage.

Tom Finnigan from Talkingbrands.ai joins to discuss all the curious AI cases of the week. #featured

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UN initiative aims to set international standards for AI ethics

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The United Nations has launched a comprehensive initiative aimed at establishing international guidelines for the governance of artificial intelligence.

The UN seeks to address ethical concerns, regulatory frameworks, and human rights implications associated with AI advancements.

Dr. Karen Sutherland from the UniSC joins to discuss the latest. #featured

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