EDM Thursday Briefing: EgyptAir Flight 804, Alligator Attack, Gun Control, Gun Rights
Emergency and disaster management briefing for June 16, 2016: Investigators report the discovery of EgyptAir Flight 804 wreckage, searchers find the remains of a young boy involved in a Florida alligator attack, Democratic Senators stage a filibuster to force talks about gun control, and the country remains divided on what to do in the wake of the Orlando mass shooting.
- Egyptian investigators reported yesterday that EgyptAir Flight 804 wreckage had been located in the Mediterranean. More specifically, several main locations of the wreckage were identified, and one of the deep sea search vessels involved in the weeks-long search sent back the first images of the aircraft remains. With the wreckage now located, investigators should be able to find the plane's black boxes and get a clearer picture of what happened during the flight.
- Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings announced Wednesday afternoon that searchers found the remains of a missing 2-year-old boy who was attacked by an alligator and dragged away Tuesday night during a family vacation near a Disney hotel. Divers reportedly found the boy approximately 10-15 yards from the shore in six-foot-deep water; it is believed that the boy was drowned, as his body was intact. It is the second known fatal alligator attack in Florida in the past year.
- Senate Democrats ended a nearly 15-hour filibuster early this morning, shortly after midnight. Senator Chris Murphy of Connecticut and other Democrats officially relinquished the floor after 15 hours of continuous discussion about gun control; the move came just days after the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history in Orlando. The filibuster ended after Republican leaders reportedly agreed to allow votes on two proposed gun control measures.
- The Orlando shooting has ignited fierce debates around the U.S. about what could possibly be done to avert future mass shootings. Response to the Orlando shooting is showing perhaps a growing divide in U.S. public opinion on gun control and gun rights. Some gun control advocates have said that current gun issues constitute a public health emergency, while others have called for strict military gun control. On the other side, gun rights advocates have argued that gun laws don’t deter terrorists and that guns aren't the problem.
- A U.S. attorney plans to bring evidence before a federal grand jury to determine whether charges will be brought against Noor Salman, the widow of gunman Omar Mateen. Investigators are zeroing in on whether or not she knew of her ex-husband's plans to attack a gay club in Orlando in what turned out to be the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, and, if so, exactly how much she did know. Investigators intensified their questioning of Noor Salman after she reportedly gave conflicting statements about her knowledge of his intentions in the hours before the attack.
- Omar Mateen reportedly posted messages on Facebook pledging allegiance to the leader of ISIS on the day of his rampage at a gay nightclub in Orlando. Mateen also vowed that there would be more attacks in the U.S. in the coming days. Despite Mateen's public pledges, FBI Director James B. Comey said earlier this week that there are no signs that Mateen was directly connected to any network. The FBI is still investigating any true connection that Mateen may have had with a terror group.
- Los Angeles County supervisors voted unanimously this week to call for a state declaration of emergency in an effort to deal with California’s growing homelessness crisis. Los Angeles County's homeless population is reportedly is currently at least 47,000 and there were an estimated 115,738 homeless across all of California in 2015. This is not the first time this approach has been discusses. In 2015, Los Angeles officials held a news conference to make a similar state of emergency declaration over homelessness, but nothing ever materialized.
- Oklahoma Lieutenant Governor Todd Lamb declared a state of emergency in nine counties after severe storms this past weekend resulted in brought tornadoes and strong winds and resulted in flooding and property damage. The declaration allows state agencies to make emergency purchases related to disaster relief as the nine counties begin recovery.