Shorter Question Everything
• Silencers could give the next Adam Lanza even more time to kill — but to the NRA, it’s got to be protected. It should surprise no one that the NRA has recently thrown its weight behind an industry campaign to deregulate and promote the use of silencers. Under the trade banner of the American Silencer Association, manufacturers have come together with the support of the NRA to rebrand the silencer as a safety device belonging in every all-American gun closet.
• South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham conceded defeat in the fiscal cliff negotiations Sunday morning, saying “hats off to the president.” In an interview on “Fox News Sunday,” Graham complimented President Barack Obama for sticking to his guns in talks with congressional Republicans.
• Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was hospitalized Sunday after doctors discovered a blood clot during a follow-up exam related to a concussion she suffered this month, her spokesman said.
• President Barack Obama has signed into law a five-year extension of the U.S. government’s authority to monitor the overseas activity of suspected foreign spies and terrorists. The warrantless intercept program would have expired at the end of 2012 without the president’s approval. The renewal bill won final passage in the Senate on Friday. Known as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the law allows the government to monitor overseas phone calls and emails without obtaining a court order for each intercept. The law does not apply to Americans. When Americans are targeted for surveillance, the government must get a warrant from a special 11-judge court of U.S. district judges appointed by the Supreme Court.
• Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has “new complications,” the vice president said, and the regime canceled a New Year’s Eve show, calling for prayers instead. “We have been informed of new complications that arose as a consequence of the respiratory infection we already knew about,” Nicolas Maduro said in a solemn broadcast from Havana, without saying what medical issues had arisen.
• Mali: The Harper government is examining whether to dispatch Canadian troops to help train an African force whose purpose would be to take back a vast swath of Mali from an off-shoot of al-Qaeda. The memo took pains to emphasize there would be no combat, and much like Afghanistan, the troops would be restricted to inside the wire instruction. “This task is limited in scope to training only. CANSOFCOM members will not engage in any form of operational mentoring of Malian forces,” the note said.