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Ohio high school shooter, TJ Lane, charged with aggravated murder
A teenager has been charged with killing three students in an Ohio school shooting, the first step in proceedings that could see him charged as an adult and facing the possibility of life without parole if convicted.
The charges filed on Thursday accuse TJ Lane, 17, of killing three students and wounding two others in the shooting Monday morning at Chardon High School, about 30 miles east of Cleveland.
He is charged in Geauga County juvenile court with three counts of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted aggravated murder and one count of felonious assault
No motive has been determined. Prosecutor David Joyce has said that victims were selected at random and that Lane is someone “who’s not well”.
Children convicted of juvenile crimes in Ohio are typically behind bars only until they turn 21 in the most serious cases. But Joyce has already said he plans to charge Lane as an adult, meaning he could face life in prison without parole if convicted of similar adult charges.
GOP Rep. on birth control: “We’re not talking about scientists, I’m asking about religious belief!”
The Senate voted to table an amendment that would permit an employer to deny contraception coverage to their employees on Thursday morning, but the debate over birth control raged into the afternoon, as HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius testified before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.
Just moments after Senators defeated the so-called Blunt Amendment, Rep. Tim Murphy (R-PA) accused Sebelius of lying about the administration’s rule requiring employers to provide birth control coverage in their health insurance plans and falsely insisted that religious organizations would be required to provide “abortification” drugs:
SEBELIUS: There also is no abortification drug that is part of the FDA approved contraception. What the rule for preventive care…
MURPHY: Ma’m that is not true…Is the morning after pill or something like that an abortification drug?
SEBELIUS: It is a contraceptive drug, not an abortification… It does not interfere with a pregnancy. If the morning pill were taken, and a female were pregnant, the pregnancy is not interrupted. That’s the definition of abortifation.
MURPHY: Ma’m that is your interpretation, and I appreciate that’s your interpretation.
SEBELIUS: That’s what the scientists and doctors…
MURPHY: We’re not talking about scientists. Ma’m we’re not talking about scientists here, we’re talking about religious belief. Ma’m, I’m asking you about a religious belief. In a religious belief, that is a violation of a religious belief.
New speech-jamming gun hints at dystopian Big Brother future
Japanese researchers have created a hand-held gun (pictured above) that can jam the words of speakers who are more than 30 meters (100ft) away. The gun has two purposes, according to the researchers: At its most basic, this gun could be used in libraries and other quiet spaces to stop people from speaking — but its second application is a lot more chilling.
The researchers were looking for a way to stop “louder, stronger” voices from saying more than their fair share in conversation. The paper reads: “We have to establish and obey rules for proper turn-taking when speaking. However, some people tend to lengthen their turns or deliberately interrupt other people when it is their turn in order to establish their presence rather than achieve more fruitful discussions. Furthermore, some people tend to jeer at speakers to invalidate their speech.” In other words, this speech-jamming gun was built to enforce “proper” conversations.
The gun works by listening in with a directional microphone, and then, after a short delay of around 0.2 seconds, playing it back with a directional speaker. This triggers an effect that psychologists call Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF), which has long been known to interrupt your speech (you might’ve experienced the same effect if you’ve ever heard your own voice echoing through Skype or another voice comms program). According to the researchers, DAF doesn’t cause physical discomfort, but the fact that you’re unable to talk is obviously quite stressful.
China backs US-NKorea nuclear deal
North Korea’s powerful ally China has welcomed Pyongyang’s agreement to freeze its nuclear activities in return for massive food aid from the United States.
“China is willing to work with relevant parties to continue to push forward the six-party talks process, and play a constructive role to realise long-term peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and northeast Asia,” said foreign ministry spokesman Hong Lei.
Japanese baseball league to hold 2013 All-Star game in radiation-drenched Fukushima
TOKYO — Japan’s professional baseball league will hold an All-Star game in quake-hit Fukushima in 2013 to help with the reconstruction of the area following last year’s earthquake and tsunami.
Nippon Professional Baseball Commissioner Ryozo Kato said “it will be the first time for Fukushima to host an All-Star game.”
Oxford Academics: Mothers should be allowed to kill unwanted newborns
OXFORD, England - Mothers should be allowed to kill newborn babies they do not want because the children are as “morally irrelevant” as aborted fetuses, a team of doctors linked to Britain’s prestigious Oxford University claimed.
Australian philosopher and medical ethicist Dr. Francesca Minerva and Dr. Alberto Giubilini, a bioethicist from the University of Milan, wrote “After-birth abortion: Why should the baby live?” which claims that killing babies is as ethically permissible as abortion.
Minerva and Giubilini argued, “The moral status of an infant is equivalent to that of a fetus in the sense that both lack those properties that justify the attribution of a right to life to an individual.”
They said they had chosen to call the practice “after-birth abortion” rather than infanticide “to emphasize that the moral status of the individual killed is comparable with that of a fetus (on which ‘abortions’ in the traditional sense are performed) rather than to that of a child.”
The authors said that the newborns were not “actual persons,” only “potential persons” so they did not have a “moral right to life.”
Their definition of a person was “an individual who is capable of attributing to her own existence some (at least) basic value such that being deprived of this existence represents a loss to her.”
It could be acceptable to kill newborn babies born with disabilities who “might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole,” the authors said, and healthy children whose adoption would be distressing for the mother.
AMERICAN NATO BLOOD IN AFGHANISTAN
NATO says two service members were shot dead in southern Afghanistan when two men, one of whom was believed to be an Afghan soldier, turned their weapons against international troops.
Thursday’s shooting is the latest case of Afghan policemen or soldiers — or militants disguised in their uniforms — killing NATO troops.
Six NATO service members have been killed this way in less than two weeks. NATO says one of the gunmen was wearing civilian clothing and the other was believed to be a member of the Afghan army.
Two U.S. military advisers were shot and killed Feb. 25 inside their office at the Afghan Interior Ministry. Days before that, an Afghan solider shot and killed two other U.S. troops during a protest over the burning of Qurans at a U.S. base.
Update: 2 NATO troops killed in Afghanistan were American soldiers, senior US defense official tells @NBCNews
States consider drug testing welfare recipients
Getting welfare and food stamps may become tougher as 23 states around the USA seek to adopt stricter laws that would require public aid recipients to take drug tests.
Florida law now requires all aid applicants to be drug tested while Arizona and Missouri require testing for anyone they “reasonably” suspect of illegal drug use.
For many, the proposed changes in states such as Wyoming, Illinois and Maryland will mean taking extra steps before receiving aid, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Resistance is likely to be heated, and the American Civil Liberties Union has already filed a challenge in Florida.
In Colorado, state Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg is sponsoring a bill that would require applicants for his state’s Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program to pay for and pass a drug test before getting government help.
“If you have enough money to be able to buy drugs, then you don’t need the public assistance,” he said. “I don’t want tax dollars spent on drugs.”
Those who pass would be reimbursed for the test, which costs between $8 and $12, while those who fail would have to get clean and reapply, Sonnenberg said.
Sponsors and supporters of many drug testing bills say the rules are intended to help people stay healthy, avoid substance abuse problems and eliminate fraud.