Acting defense chief now Trump's pick
WASHINGTON -- President Donald Trump said Thursday that he will nominate Patrick Shanahan to be his second secretary of defense. Shanahan, a former Boeing executive, has been leading the Pentagon as acting secretary since Jan. 1, an unusual arrangement for a sensitive Cabinet position.
"Acting Secretary Shanahan has proven over the last several months that he is beyond qualified to lead the Department of Defense, and he will continue to do an excellent job," White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.
Moments later, Shanahan issued a statement saying he is honored by the announcement and, if confirmed, "I will continue the aggressive implementation of our National Defense Strategy. I remain committed to modernizing the force so our remarkable Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines have everything they need to keep our military lethal and our country safe."
Shanahan, 56, would replace Trump's first defense secretary, James Mattis.
While Shanahan has a lifetime of experience in the defense industry, he has little in government. In more than three months as the acting secretary, he has focused on implementing the national defense strategy that was developed during Mattis' tenure and emphasizes a shift from the resources and tactics required to fight small wars against extremist groups to what Shanahan calls "great power" competition with China and Russia.
The Shanahan nomination is not known to face any organized opposition in Congress.
Florida law allows more guns at school
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- More Florida teachers will be eligible to carry guns in the classroom under a bill Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis signed that implements recommendations from a commission formed after a 2018 mass shooting at a high school in Parkland.
DeSantis signed the bill in private Wednesday and didn't issue a statement afterward. But he previously made clear that he supports the changes made to the law enacted after a rifle-toting former student walked into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 people. The law expands a "guardian" program and takes effect Oct. 1.
The program allows school districts to approve school employees and teachers with a role outside the classroom, such as a coach, to carry guns. Teachers who volunteer have to go through police-like training, as well as a psychiatric evaluation and background check.
The new law makes all teachers eligible regardless of whether they have a non-classroom role.
Democrats opposed the bill, saying it could lead to accidental shootings. Republicans emphasized that law enforcement agencies in some rural districts could be 15 minutes or more away from a school if a shooter attacks.
Broward County, where the Parkland shooting took place, has rejected the program.
Marine dies, others hurt in training crash
CAMP PENDLETON, Calif. -- One Marine is dead and six others have been injured after their light armored vehicle rolled over during training at Camp Pendleton in Southern California.
Authorities say the cause of the Thursday morning rollover at the sprawling camp north of San Diego is under investigation.
The military says the six injured Marines were taken to a hospital and they weren't seriously hurt.
The name of the Marine who was killed wasn't immediately released.
The Marines are from the 1st Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, 1st Marine Division.
In April, the military identified a Marine Raider who died at a hospital the day after a tactical vehicle he was driving rolled over at Camp Pendleton during training.
Authorities said at the time that Staff Sgt. Joshua Braica, 29, was from Sacramento and had a wife and son. He was a critical skills operator with the 1st Marine Raider Battalion and was an eight-year veteran.
Two other Marines had minor injuries after that crash, which was also under investigation.
LA mansion yields piles of guns, ammo
LOS ANGELES -- More than 1,000 rifles and handguns and thousands of rounds of ammunition were seized early Wednesday at a mansion in a posh area of town not far from the Playboy Mansion.
Acting on a tip, police and federal agents served a search warrant about 4 a.m. at the property, a home valued at millions of dollars on the border of the Bel Air and Holmby Hills neighborhoods, authorities said.
Los Angeles Police Department spokesman Mike Lopez said authorities received an anonymous tip that a resident was "illegally manufacturing and selling guns."
Girard Saenz, 56, was taken into custody over the unlawful transportation and the giving, lending or selling of an assault weapon. He was released from jail Thursday morning after posting $50,000 bond.
Authorities described the mansion as a hoarder's paradise with guns strewn throughout the house. Aerial images showed stacks of weapons including hundreds of rifles, shotguns, pistols, ammunition and manufacturing equipment. The stockpile was loaded into a truck to be entered as evidence in the case.
-- Compiled by Democrat-Gazette staff from wire reports
Sam Garland of Flyspace Productions assembles circle circle circle, a public art piece by artist Cyril Lancelin, that was installed Thursday in a parking lot in preparation for the EQT Children’s Theater Festival in Pittsburgh. The festival runs from May 16-19.
A Section on 05/10/2019
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