Students take battle for gun control to streets
- As survivors of Wednesday's school shooting demand that it be the last such massacre, marches are being planned around the country to amplify the students' message that action must be taken to end gun violence.
- Fourteen students and three teachers were killed and many injured when a gunman opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida last week.
- In an emotional rally Saturday in Fort Lauderdale, politicians and Marjory Stoneman Douglas students called for a ban on weapons like the one used at the high school, and urged voters to kick out lawmakers who oppose the move or who take money from the National Rifle Association.
- Students who survived the shooting in Florida are also planning to protest in Washington, D.C. on March 24 at an event organized by March For Our Lives.
Wahroonga mansion fetches record $13 million for Rhipe chief Dominic O'Hanlon
- As the Chinese Lunar New Year celebrations kicked off in Sydney on Friday some prestige selling agents on the upper north shore were toasting a new house price record of $13 million for the district.
- The timing of the Wahroonga house sale prompted local speculation that it marked the highest – and first – high-end sale during this year's annual lunar holiday celebration when prestige shoppers from China are known for visiting Australia, particularly for its real estate.
- The sale tops Sydney's upper north shore record set six months ago at $12 million when a buyer from China with Foreign Investment Review Board approval, Shuxin Zhou, bought the Springfields estate in Warrawee the day before the state government's new laws took effect doubling the stamp duty surcharge for foreign buyers.
Homebuyers now have something else to be worried about besides the housing shortage
- For prospective homeowners, that means financing a mortgage could become more expensive over time.
- That means the Federal Reserve may have to raise borrowing costs to reduce the risk of consumer demand running too far ahead of what the economy can produce.
- And that would mean higher mortgage rates.
- According to Bankrate.com, the average US 30-year fixed rate rate was 4.33% on Friday, up from 3.85% on New Year's Day. That's a two-year high, but still well below the 6%+ rates that were charged before the housing crisis.
- But even with a favorable rate, the biggest challenge for a lot of buyers remains finding a house within their budget.
- The most affordable starter homes are rising in value faster than luxury properties, and have been for at least five years, according to a Zillow report released on Friday.
The week in politics through 17 photos
- The Senate failed to advance a bipartisan deal that would have paired a pathway to citizenship for nearly 2 million undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children with $25 billion in border security and some other measures, leaving talks seemingly back at square one.
- Vice President Mike Pence looks at an exhibit during his visit to the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture on Tuesday.
- A group of Republican senators introduced a version of President Trump's proposal that included granting a pathway to citizenship to the young undocumented immigrants who came to the United States as children and who were covered by DACA, as well as more than $25 billion for border security, hardline immigration enforcement and substantial cuts to legal immigration.
VA secretary: White House didn't ask me to resign
- Washington (CNN) - Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin says he has no plans to resign -- and that during a roughly half-hour conversation with White House chief of staff John Kelly on Thursday, he was not asked to resign and did not offer his resignation.
- The same White House official said that some White House staffers felt that Shulkin had not given them a realistic view of the blistering report released by the VA's inspector general earlier in the week.
- The New York Times reported on Thursday that some Trump administration officials were trying to replace him.
- On Friday, the VA announced that Peter O'Rourke would replace Wright Simpson as chief of staff, effective immediately.
- O'Rourke's job will be "ensuring that the department works closely with the White House going forward," according to a statement from VA Press Secretary Curt Cashour.
Trump responds to Mueller indictment news
- Washington (CNN) - The White House continues to vehemently deny collusion with Russia a day after multiple indictments of Russian nationals and entities were announced by the Justice Department in special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 US election.
- In a string of tweets Saturday, President Donald Trump said that, despite the newly announced charges, the Russian meddling had no effect on the outcome of the election.
- Goldman's tweets that Trump quoted were only a sample of several Goldman tweeted out in a string on Friday night about Facebook ads and Russia's alleged use of social media for misinformation.
- On Friday, charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities were announced by the Justice Department.
- The indictments come as part of Mueller's inquiry into Russian meddling in the election, where he's examining any potential ties between Trump campaign associates and Russia.
Mueller's latest move just dealt the White House a massive 'black eye'
- The charges released on Friday were directed primarily at the Internet Research Agency (IRA), a notorious Russian "troll factory" located in St. Petersburg that focused on sowing political discord during the 2016 race by using Russian bots to spread fake news and pro-Trump propaganda on Facebook, Twitter, and other social-media platforms.
- Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said during a press conference that the indictment did not contain allegations that the defendants' underlying conduct altered the outcome of the race.
- But as the campaign season got into full swing, the defendants began to engage "in operations primarily intended to communicate derogatory information about Hillary Clinton, to denigrate other candidates such as Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, and to support Bernie Sanders and then-candidate Donald Trump," the court filing said.
- The White House released an official statement about the indictment on Friday, shortly after Trump declared himself and his campaign innocent on Twitter.
Romney picked the perfect state to be an anti-Trump Republican
- Romney couldn't have chosen a better state to be an anti-Trump Republican than Utah.
- In the 28 states with an exit poll, Trump's performance among Utah Republicans was by far the worst among Republicans.
- Of course, it's not just the fact that Utah Republicans aren't the biggest fans of Trump that makes the state friendly territory for Romney.
- Over the course of 2017, Republicans and independents who lean Republican made up 57% of Utah adults in Gallup polling.
- Trump had a net approval rating of just +1 percentage point in Utah during 2017, according to Gallup.
- And while Trump tended to underperform the party identification in most states, he averaged just a 9-point difference.
- Anti-Trump Republican John Curtis won a primary and a general election in a special House election in Utah in late 2017.
There are 44 million spare bedrooms in the US — get ready for roommates
- These sharing economy technologies will keep household formation and new home construction lower than most have projected.
- Homeowners in need of additional income, either for retirement or to make the mortgage payment, can now match with renters in need of more affordable rent.
- 44 million owned homes in the United States have empty bedrooms (and probably more, since we assumed every household member sleeps in a separate room).
- A small but increasing number of retirees already rent out their spare rooms for short-term stays through Airbnb.
- Fannie Mae recently decided to allow home buyers to use tenant income to qualify for a mortgage, opening up the door to allow renters to become homeowners if they can rent out a room.2 Many young adults (including a group we nicknamed The Sharers in our book) are completely comfortable with this concept.
We spoke to the Republican candidate in the most-watched race in the country — and he knows it's going to be a battle
- But Rick Saccone, the Pennsylvania Republican who calls himself "Trump before Trump," believes that the special election taking place in the Keystone State's 18th congressional district will, at least in part, be a national referendum on President Donald Trump and his agenda.
- Saccone, one of the most conservative members of the Pennsylvania statehouse, told Business Insider in a recent interview that he's been running on the Trump agenda for years — since he first was elected to office in 2010.
- The seat Saccone is fighting with Democratic candidate Conor Lamb for was previously occupied by Republican Rep. Tim Murphy, who resigned late last year after a scandal emerged involving a mistress and allegations that he suggested she have an abortion.
- When asked about why some are expecting a close race in a district Republicans have carried since Murphy's first election in 2002, Saccone pointed to the 70,000-person advantage Democrats hold in voter registration within the district.