White House

Happening Today: Parkland, Donald Trump Jr, Mitt Romney, Fergie

What to Know

  • Dozens of teens held a "lie-in" on Presidents Day to demand that President Trump and Congress change gun laws to keep children safe
  • President Trump is endorsing Mitt Romney in Utah's Senate race, another sign they are burying the hatchet after a fraught relationship
  • Fergie is sorry and said she meant no ill will with her jazzy take of the national anthem at the NBA All-Star Game

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Teens Hold “Lie-in” Gun Control Protest Outside White House

Dozens of teenagers laid down in front of the White House for three minutes. That's how long it took a gunman to kill 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The teens held a "lie-in" on Presidents Day to demand that President Trump and Congress change gun laws to keep children safe. The group that organized the protest, Teens for Gun Reform, had called for 17 teens to lie on the ground, representing each victim of the high school shooting. But once those 17 people lay down, many more teens and adults joined them. Some of the people who laid on the ground closed their eyes. Some crossed their arms over their chests, as if in a casket. At least two of the young people held hands. Ella Fesler, a 16-year-old high school student in Alexandria, Virginia, said she participated because she was angry and afraid. Two high school juniors, Whitney Bowen and Eleanor Nuechterlein, both 16, helped organize the protest via social media.

Trump Endorses Romney for Senate Bid in Utah

President Trump is endorsing Mitt Romney in Utah's Senate race, another sign they are burying the hatchet after a fraught relationship. The GOP's presidential nominee in 2012, Romney announced last week he would seek the nomination to replace retiring Sen. Orrin Hatch. In a tweet, Trump wrote in part that Romney will make a great senator and worthy successor to Hatch and "has my full support and endorsement!" Romney quickly accepted via Twitter. Trump has not always been so positive about Romney. In 2016 Trump said Romney had "choked like a dog" during his failed 2012 bid against President Barack Obama. For his part, Romney gave a scathing critique of then-candidate Trump during the GOP primary that year, calling him a "phony" who was unfit for office.

Donald Trump Jr. Arrives in India to Help Sell Apartments

The eldest son of President Trump has arrived in India to help sell luxury apartments and lavish attention on wealthy Indians who have already bought units in Trump-branded developments. Donald Trump Jr. posed for photos with Indian developers, who are building the complexes in four cities. Later in the week, he is scheduled to make a speech about Indo-Pacific relations at a New Delhi business summit, sharing the stage with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Trump Organization has licensing agreements with all its Indian business partners, who build the properties and acquire the Trump name in exchange for a fee. The organization has five projects in India, making it the brand's largest market outside the United States. A luxury complex is already open in the central city of Pune, with other developments in varying stages of construction in the coastal cities of Mumbai and Kolkata, and two in a chrome-and-glass New Delhi suburb, Gurgaon. The apartments are expensive — though not outrageously so in the overheated real estate world of India's wealthy elite. An apartment in the Trump Towers complex in Gurgaon runs between $775,000 and $1.5 million.

98 Dead in Assault on Rebel-Held Damascus Suburb, Activists Say

Intense Syrian government shelling and airstrikes of rebel-held Damascus suburbs killed at least 98 people in what was the deadliest day in the area in three years, a monitoring group and paramedics said. A day after the government barrage, retaliatory shells rained down on the capital Damascus, killing at least one person. The targeted suburbs — scattered across an area known as eastern Ghouta — have been subjected to weeks-long bombardment that has killed and wounded hundreds of people. Opposition activists say government forces have brought in more reinforcements in recent days, suggesting a major assault is imminent to recapture the area that is the last main rebel stronghold near Damascus. The bombardment that killed nearly 100 people saw the use of warplanes, helicopter gunships, missiles as well as artillery, in a major escalation of violence near President Bashar Assad's seat of power. The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said it was the deadliest days in eastern Ghouta since 2015, adding that 20 children and 15 women were among those killed.

Fergie Apologizes for Poorly Received Rendition of National Anthem

Fergie is sorry. The singer, who was largely lambasted across social media following her poorly received rendition of the Star Spangled Banner at the NBA All-Star Game, said she meant no ill will with her jazzy take in a statement to TMZ. "I've always been honored and proud to perform the national anthem and last night I wanted to try something special for the NBA. I'm a risk taker artistically, but clearly this rendition didn't strike the intended tone. I love this country and honestly tried my best." Before the game, the singer slinked up to the microphone in a little black dress and gave a bluesy and somewhat unusual rendition of the national anthem that did not appear go over well with the A-list audience, or apparently the entire Internet. In clips, Chance the Rapper, Joel Embiid, Draymond Green and Jimmy Kimmel were spotted not really feeling Fergie's version before the game.

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