In Brief

US gun control: celebrities donate millions to protest march

Oprah Winfrey matches George and Amal Clooney’s donation as Florida students push for action

Oprah Winfrey has become the latest celebrity to offer financial support to a mass protest calling for tougher gun laws, organised in the wake of the Florida school shooting.

The TV personality announced that she would be donating $500,000 (£358,600) to the March For Our Lives event, matching a donation made by George and Amal Clooney earlier this week.

The Clooneys, who will attend the demonstration in Washington DC next month, said they were making the donation in the name of their young twins, because “our children’s lives depend on it.”

Steven Spielberg and his wife Kate Capshaw have also pledged the same amount, as did film studio executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and his wife Marilyn Katzenberg, Variety reports. 

The protest has been organised by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed and more than a dozen wounded when a shooter opened fire on campus last week.

Nikolas Cruz, a 19-year-old ex-student, has confessed to carrying out the attack.

“We cannot allow one more child to be shot at school,” organisers say. “We cannot allow one more teacher to make a choice to jump in front of a firing assault rifle to save the lives of students. We cannot allow one more family to wait for a call or text that never comes.” 

Amid renewed calls to strengthen gun laws, Donald Trump yesterday signed an order banning devices that boost the firing power of semi-automatic rifles - and for teachers to be armed.

The President also called for Democrats and Republicans to work to “strengthen” background checks - though he gave no specifics, “so it was unclear how far he was planning to go”, says CNN.

Any serious action “will require the kind of leadership that could cause him to alienate parts of his political base, something that Trump has been reluctant to do in his first 13 months in office”, the broadcaster adds.

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