America: In The News
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Multiple Fatalities Reported in Shooting at Connecticut Elementary School

This morning, New York Times reported eighteen children were killed on Friday morning in a shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., about 65 miles northeast of New York City, according to a person who had been briefed on the shooting. Another law enforcement official said preliminary reports suggested there could be as many as 20 fatalities, ranking it among the worst mass killings in United States history. One state official said that an adult gunman was believed to be dead in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The gunman was in possession of at least two firearms, the official said. There was some speculation that there were two gunmen involved in the mass shooting. A student at the school told an NBC affiliate in Connecticut: “I was in the gym and I heard like seven loud booms, and the gym teachers told us to go in the corner and we huddled. We all heard these booming noises, and we started crying. So the gym teachers told us to go into the office where no one could find us. Then a police officer told us to run outside.”

Meredith Artley, the managing editor of CNN.com, has a friend who works at the school. “She volunteers with the school as well,” Ms. Artley said on CNN.

The woman was in close vicinity to the shooting, which happened in the hallway, according to Ms. Artley. “She described it as a ‘Pop, pop, pop,'” Ms. Artley added. “She said three people went out into the hall and only one person came back, the vice principal, she said, who was shot in the leg or the foot, who came crawling back. She cowered under the table and called 911. She never saw the shooting. There must have been a hundred rounds.”

President Obama was briefed on the shooting at 10:30 a.m., the White House said.

State police say the Newtown police called them around 9:40 a.m., The Associated Press reported. A SWAT team was among the enormous deployment of law enforcement officers who descended on the school. At least one sharpshooter could be seen on the roof of the school.

Danbury Hospital said it was treating three patients from the shooting scene, according to its Facebook page. The hospital, which is not far from the elementary school, said it was on lockdown.

At Danbury hospital, stunned-looking personnel in white coats looked shaken as they gathered in small groups talking about the shooting. In a corner near the gift shop, one woman comforted a weeping colleague.

In the coffee shop, a few customers finished their sandwiches at the lunch counter and the cashier wiped tears from her eyes as she rang up customers.

In a mostly empty fifth floor waiting room, three women watched local coverage of the tragedy, shaking their heads at each new horrifying detail.

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy arrived at the scene of the shooting on Friday afternoon.

The school, located among wooded hills and suburban tracts in Fairfield County, 12 miles east of Danbury, serves kindergarten through fourth grade. The school has about 700 students.

According to a local newspaper, The Newtown Bee, shortly after 9:30 a.m. on Friday, one child was carried from the school by a police officer, apparently seriously wounded, and other children were escorted from the school by the state police. A photograph published by The Bee showed children outside the school visibly upset.
Taylor Jacobs's insight:

This is so heartbreaking for the families and victims involved, and for our nation as a whole. I do not understand how something of this nature can still occur in our society today. First Columbine, then the Aurora theater shooting, and now this- how many more massacres can our nation take until we say enough is enough? Gun control needs to be implemented immediately, it is not longer a debate. We need to stop this now, come together as one, and fight gun violence as one. 

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Greater use of electronic devices allowed in-flight?

Greater use of electronic devices allowed in-flight? | America: In The News | Scoop.it

The Federal Communications Commission says travelers should be able to have greater use of portable electronic devices during flights. Currently, the FAA does not allow any cell phone calls on planes to avoid interference with ground networks. Airlines can allow the use of electronics such as tablets and smartphones above 10,000 feet in the air, as long as they don't interfere with aircraft equipment. The FCC and the FAA seem to be in a debate over the topic, with the FCC stating that electronics empower people to stay informed with news, friends, family etc while the FAA claims that electronics are simply noisy and disruptive and are unnecessary to use on flights. The debate is particularly contentious because airlines are increasingly equipping their planes with broadband access. That has made it possible for passengers to log on and make Internet calls over services such as Skype. I agree with both disputing sides- I feel that flights over a certain amount of hours should be permitted to use cell phones and a greater amount of electronic devices than flights that are short. Travelers on a short flight should be able to put down their devices and simply respect one another on the flight as the devices can be distracting, but longer flights tend to have many business men, etc who need to tend to work while on the flight. I am not biased about this category and I feel it is very relevant to technology and social media and how our society is being shaped today. 

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Christie signs bill barring employers from making job applicants hand over social media passwords

Christie signs bill barring employers from making job applicants hand over social media passwords | America: In The News | Scoop.it
TRENTON — Employers will be barred from requiring job applicants turn over their Facebook password under a bill Gov. Chris Christie signed into law today.
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How does Marijuana Legalization Affect the Work Place?

How does Marijuana Legalization Affect the Work Place? | America: In The News | Scoop.it

While marijuana has become legalized in the states of Washington and Colorado, workers still may need to check with their superiors before they use the drug. The legalization of marijuana creates problems within the work place as employers are now attempting to solve how to deal with their employees who use marijuana recreationaly and fail drug tests within the workplace. This is just one of many uncertainties that come along with the legalization of marijuana. Marijuana is still prohibited under federal law, yet people are very excited that they are one step closer to freedom. So where do employers draw the line? If marijuana is now more widely accepted on certain levels, then what restrictions are to be placed outside of the workplace and inside of the work place? Who decides?

 

“The uncertainly created will cause havoc for our members and hamper their efforts to maintain drug-free worksites,” wrote Mark Latimer, head of the Rocky Mountain chapter of Associated Builders and Contractors.

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YouTube Inks Distribution With Virgin America

YouTube Inks Distribution With Virgin America | America: In The News | Scoop.it
Virgin America is making several YouTube shows available on its in-flight entertainment system beginning Dec. 15. You'll be able to watch more than TV and films on your next cross-country flight: Virgin America is making several YouTube shows available on its in-flight entertainment system beginning Dec. 15.

The airline will offer five YouTube channels -- Warner Bros.' "H+ The Digital Series,", Wigs' "Blue" starring Julia Stiles, Geek & Sundry's "Written by a Kid", educational series "Crash Course" and Barely Political's "The Key of Awesome" -- on flights to the U.S. and Mexico. It's a new distribution outlet for YouTube, whose content has never before appeared on seatback screens. It's likely to help the video network reach audiences, yes, but it's also an appealing positioning play, placing YouTube on the same level as cable and on-demand as a destination for premium quality entertainment. Read more about it here: http://mashable.com/2012/12/07/youtube-inks-distribution-with-virgin-america/ ;

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How Social Media Affects Your Job Search

How Social Media Affects Your Job Search | America: In The News | Scoop.it

Social media has affected the job search process dramatically- from applying for a job, to hiring for a job, just about everything can be done via social media platforms. Hiring has changed for us exponentially. We get to know people online first and then, if we think they might be a good fit, we do the actual interview in person and by the time they’re hired, employers already know where they’ll fit, how they’ll fit, where their strengths lie, and how others on the team will fill in for their weaknesses. Finding a job is also done through social media platforms today. Sites such as LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter allow employers to connect directly to their possible employee and see how they conduct themselves in everyday live and conversations. From that, companies can decipher what is strong about that possible employee, what they dislike, what they enjoy, and how serious they take their lives. These social media platforms have also started allowing people to submit their resumes and cover letters through their sites directly to the employing companies, acting like a complete middle man in the process. I feel social media is changing our society today and people are only growing towards it as it grows larger on a bigger scale. Be careful what you write on the internet. 

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Americans will soon be able to text 911

Americans will soon be able to text 911 | America: In The News | Scoop.it

The Federal Communications Commission have stated that the nation's four largest wireless, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint carriers have agreed to relay text messages to text-enabled 911 call centers by May 2014. Under the agreement announced Thursday, texters will get an answer, whether their call center is able to receive texts or not. If it can't, they'll get an automated response telling them to call instead. The FCC said texting to 911 could be useful when a phone call could put the caller in danger. Texting could also aid a person with disabilities who is unable to call. I agree with this because when people are in such a state of emergency it can be difficult to reach for your phone, dial a number, and wait for someone to answer. Texting has become a very efficient and reliable form of communication in today's society and I think that this could only be beneficial to our society and those in danger. 

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Pot Smokers Enter Legal Limbo in Washington and Colorado

Pot Smokers Enter Legal Limbo in Washington and Colorado | America: In The News | Scoop.it

New Marijuana Laws Take Effect In Washington and Colorado.

 

Washington State's legalization of marijuana possession came at a good time, though some would probably argue it should have been done ages ago. The minute that marijuana would become legal in Washington state smokers hit their pipes and joints to celebrate. Many participants claimed that it felt freeing to not be considered a "criminal" any longer and that now they were "free to be free". But how long will it actually take for these rules and regulations regarding marijuana to begin? Initiative 502 was passed last month, but now many questions are arising. Read more about it here! http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/05/us/washington-marijuana-legalization/

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