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Boy 6 Detained By Police After Shooting His Teacher in Virginia

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Boy Aged 6 Detained By Police After Shooting His Teacher in Virginia

A six-year-old boy is in police custody after shooting his 30-year-old elementary school teacher in the US state of Virginia, according to Police Chief Steve Drew. The shooting occurred shortly after 14:00 local time (19:00 GMT) at Richneck Elementary School in the city of Newport.

It is unclear how the child obtained the hand gun, but Mr Drew said the incident was not “an accidental shooting“.

The teacher, who has not been identified and is said to be in her 30s, suffered life-threatening injuries.

She was taken to a nearby hospital and is being closely monitored by medical personnel. After an altercation between the two, the incident occurred in a first grade (ages six to seven) classroom.

But Mr Drew emphasized that the shooting had been an isolated incident and stressed that officers “did not have a situation where someone was going around the school shooting”.

Officials stated that while the school had metal detection equipment, students were checked at random and not every child was inspected.

The weapon used in the incident was not named by police, but the boy did use a handgun.

School District Head Dr George Parker said officials would “be looking at any instance that may have occurred that may have caused this incident”.

“This is terrible; something like this should never happen,” added Dr Parker. “We want to make certain that nothing like this happens again.”

He announced that the school would be closed on Monday and promised that students and parents would be given assistance in dealing with the traumatic event.

The shooting marked “a dark day for Newport News,” according to Mayor Phillip Jones, who took office only three days ago.

“We’ll learn from this, and we’ll come back stronger,” he told reporters.

Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin said his administration was “ready to help in any way we can” and that he had offered assistance to local officials. “I am still monitoring the situation and praying for the continued safety of all students and the community,” he said on Twitter.

Past Shootings in Virginia

Newport News, Virginia, is a city of about 185,000 people in southeastern Virginia known for its shipyard, which produces aircraft carriers and other US Navy vessels.

According to the Virginia Department of Education’s website, Richneck has approximately 550 students in kindergarten through fifth grade.

Six-year-olds cannot be tried as adults under Virginia law. Furthermore, if found guilty, a 6-year-old is too young to be committed to the custody of the Department of Juvenile Justice.

A juvenile judge, on the other hand, would have the authority to revoke a parent’s custody and place a child under the jurisdiction of the Department of Social Services.

According to James Alan Fox, a criminologist at Boston’s Northeastern University, a school shooting involving a 6-year-old is extremely rare.

He told The Associated Press on Friday that he could only recall one previous incident involving a child of that age.

According to an Associated Press article, in 2000, a 6-year-old boy fired a bullet from a.32-caliber gun inside Buell Elementary near Flint, Michigan, 60 miles (96 kilometers) from Detroit, striking 6-year-old Kayla Rolland in the neck. She passed away a half-hour later.

Fox examined data sets from the Center for Homeland Defense and Security at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, dating back to 1970. He claimed that the data only included school shootings involving children aged 7, 8, and 9, but not 6-year-olds.

Another feature of the Virginia shooting that stands out is that it occurred in a classroom, according to Fox. Many take place outside of a school, where students are unsupervised.

From 2010 to 2021, there were over 800 school-related shootings in K-12 schools, with 1,149 people killed. According to Fox, who published the book “Violence and Security on Campus: From Preschool Through College” in 2010, 30% of those incidents occurred on school grounds.

“There have been cases of students killing teachers, usually high school students,” Fox said. “I’m not aware of any other cases in which a 6-year-old shot a teacher.”

 

 

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THAILAND: Rescue Dig Saves Toddler Trapped In Well For One Night

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BANGKOK, Thailand — A 19-month-old girl fell into a dry artesian well shaft at a cassava farm in northern Thailand 18 hours before she was saved. It took rescuers all night to get her out.

Rescuers clapped and cheered as the toddler, the daughter of Myanmar migrant workers, was pulled from the 15-meter (49-foot)-deep well shaft and placed on a stretcher that carried her to an ambulance waiting nearby.

“You guys did an excellent job. “We did it!” exclaimed one rescuer as his colleagues wept and hugged each other in Tak province’s Phop Phra district.

While her parents were working at the plantation, the child fell into the hole late Monday afternoon.

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Rescuers In Thailand Were On The Scene Quickly

The deep pit, dug by the landowner to be an artesian well, was left uncovered after it failed to reach groundwater, according to Phop Phra district chief Sanya Phetset on Tuesday.

According to local media, the first rescuers on the scene shouted down the hole and heard the child cry back. After lowering a camera into the hole to assess the situation, a tube was snaked to provide oxygen.

Using backhoes and other excavation tools, rescuers dug a 30-centimeter-wide trench alongside the pit overnight.

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The Child Is Now Safe And Sound

“At first, it appeared to be a simple operation because it appeared to be loose dirt, but once we started digging, we discovered rock, which made it difficult because excavators cannot dig through it,” Sanya explained.

He explained that the operation was risky because the digging could collapse the well’s sides onto the child.

After being carried to safety, the toddler was immediately taken to Phop Phra Hospital in Thailand.

“She is now safe. “She’s a little tired, but nothing serious,” Sanya explained.

SOURCE – (AP)

 

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Pope Francis Clarifies his Remarks on Homosexuality and Sin

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Pope Francis Clarifies his Remarks on Homosexuality and Sin

Pope Francis has clarified his recent remarks about homosexuality and sin, stating that he was referring to official Catholic moral teaching, which states that any sexual act other than marriage is a sin.

In a Friday note, Francis emphasized that even black-and-white teaching is subject to circumstances that may eliminate the sin.

Francis made the remarks in an interview with The Associated Press on January 24, stating that laws criminalizing homosexuality are “unjust” and that “being homosexual is not a crime.”

As he often does, Francis then imagined a conversation with someone who brought up the issue of the church’s official teaching, which states that homosexual acts are sinful or “intrinsically disordered.”

“All right, but first, let’s distinguish between a sin and a crime,” Francis said in the fictitious conversation. “It is also a sin not to be charitable to one another.”

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Pope asked for Clarification.

LGBTQ advocates hailed his comments calling for decriminalizing homosexuality as a watershed moment that would help end harassment and violence against LGBTQ people. However, his use of the word “sin” raised questions about whether he believed that simply being gay was a sin in and of itself.

The Reverand James Martin, an American priest who runs the Outreach ministry for LGBTQ Catholics in the United States, asked Francis for clarification and published the pope’s handwritten response late Friday on the Outreach website.

In his note, Francis reiterated that homosexuality “is not a crime” and that he was trying “to emphasize that criminalization is neither good nor just.”

“When I said it is a sin, I was simply referring to Catholic moral teaching, which states that every sexual act other than marriage is a sin,” Francis wrote in Spanish, emphasizing the final phrase.

However, in a nod to his case-by-case approach to pastoral ministry, Francis noted that even teaching is subject to the circumstances, “which may decrease or eliminate the fault.”

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Sex is a Sin, as is Any Sexual Act

He admitted he could have been more specific in his comments to the AP. However, he stated that he was using “natural and conversational language” in the interview, which did not necessitate precise definitions.

“As you can see, I was generally repeating something. ‘Sex is a sin, as is any sexual act outside of the bonds of holy marriage,’ I should have said. This is to speak of ‘the matter’ of sexual sin, but we all know that Catholic morality considers not only the matter but also freedom and intention, and this for all types of sin,” he said.

According to Human Dignity Trust, which works to end such laws, 67 countries or jurisdictions worldwide criminalize same-sex sexual activity, 11 of which can or do impose the death penalty. According to experts, even when laws are not enforced, they contribute to harassment, stigma, and violence against LGBTQ people.

According to Catholic teaching, marriage is a lifelong bond between a man and a woman. It restricts intercourse with married couples and prohibits artificial contraception.

During his decade-long pontificate, Francis has upheld that teaching while prioritizing outreach to LGBTQ people.

Pope Francis has emphasized a more merciful approach to applying church doctrine, preferring to accompany rather than judge people.

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US General Tells His Officers to Prepare for War with China in 2025

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US General Tells His Officers to Prepare for War with China in 2025

In an internal memo, a four-star general in the United States Air Force stated that the US and China risk going to war in two years and advised officers under his command to prepare, including with target practice.

According to NBC, General Mike Minihan, head of the Air Force’s Air Mobility Command, believes the fight will take place in 2025 but hopes he is wrong. He claimed that presidential elections in the United States and Taiwan in 2024 would allow China to take action against Taiwan.

According to NBC, a Defense Department official stated that the remarks do not represent the Pentagon’s position on China. According to an Air Mobility Command spokesperson, the memo is part of the command’s effort to prepare for conflict if deterrence fails.

The administration of President Joe Biden has repeatedly expressed concern about China’s military buildup and what the US perceives to be a more aggressive Chinese stance toward Taiwan.

According to the administration’s national security strategy, China is the only US competitor “with the intent to reshape the international order and, increasingly, the economic, diplomatic, military, and technological power to do so.”

China has slammed the latest US defense spending bill, which allows up to $10 billion in weapons sales to Taiwan, for exaggerating the China threat and meddling in its internal affairs.

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Blinken Conerned Over Taiwan and China

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed concern about Beijing’s intentions regarding Taiwan as he prepares for a rare visit to Beijing, China.

When asked if the temperature had cooled with China during a visit to the University of Chicago, Blinken replied, “I think so because when you’re talking and engaging, it tends to have that effect.”

“The rest of the world anticipates that we will manage this relationship responsibly. “They understand that how we manage it will also impact them,” he said.

According to Taipei Times, Blinken will visit Beijing from February 5 to 6, marking the first US secretary of state visit to the rising Asian power since October 2018.

The trip was decided after US President Joe Biden and Chinese President Xi Jinping () met in November in Bali, Indonesia, to discuss wide-ranging disagreements between the world’s two largest economies.

Blinken, on the other hand, expressed concern about Taiwan, citing Beijing’s growing efforts to isolate the country and major military exercises conducted near it in August.

“What we’ve seen over the last few years is, I believe, China deciding that it was no longer comfortable with the status quo, a status quo that had prevailed for decades and had been successful in terms of our countries’ relationship and managing what a difficult situation is,” he said.

“What we say to China is that — they say this is a sovereign issue for us; we respond that this is an interest to the United States and countries all over the world,” Blinken said, referring to Taiwan’s dominance in semiconductors, which is critical to the global economy.

Any disruption of peace and stability across the Taiwan Strait would be disastrous for the global economy, he said, adding that 50 percent of container ships operating around the world pass through the Taiwan Strait and that Taiwan manufactures 70 percent of higher-end computer chips.

Blinken was in Chicago for a trip that included a stop at the city’s historic Ukrainian community to discuss the response to Russia’s invasion.

By: Geoff Thomas

China Records 1st Population Drop In Decades As Births Fall

China Records 1st Population Drop In Decades As Births Fall

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