10 things you need to know today: January 16, 2013

Obama prepares to unveil his gun-control plan, the House approves Sandy aid, and more in our roundup of the stories that are making news and driving opinion

A home destroyed by Hurricane Sandy in the Belle Harbor neighborhood of the Rockaways, Queens.
(Image credit: Spencer Platt/Getty Images)


President Obama is expected on Wednesday to announce his plan to reduce gun violence in the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre in Newtown, Conn., in December. He's expected to propose a new federal ban on assault rifles and on high-capacity magazines, which police say were used in several recent mass shootings, including the one in Newtown. Obama also may call for expanded background checks on gun buyers. The moves are coming as several states consider beefing up their own gun laws — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo made his state the first to act in response to Sandy Hook, when he signed a broad package of new gun-control measures on Tuesday. Gun-rights advocates say the new proposals trample the Second Amendment and wouldn't have prevented the Newtown killings — police say Adam Lanza used a rifle that was legally purchased under Connecticut's assault-rifle ban. [New York Times]

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Harold Maass, The Week US

Harold Maass is a contributing editor at The Week. He has been writing for The Week since the 2001 debut of the U.S. print edition and served as editor of TheWeek.com when it launched in 2008. Harold started his career as a newspaper reporter in South Florida and Haiti. He has previously worked for a variety of news outlets, including The Miami Herald, ABC News and Fox News, and for several years wrote a daily roundup of financial news for The Week and Yahoo Finance.