Tag:  Education issues

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National

Researchers report sharp rise in 'patriot' groups

FILE – President Barack Obama meets to discuss administration policies to reduce gun violence with representatives from Major Cities Chiefs Association and Major County Sheriffs Association at the White House in Washington. At left is Hennepin County Minnesota Sheriff Richard W. Stanek, and at right is Charles H. Ramsey Police, Commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster) by Bob Johnson MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — President Barack Obama’s administration and the gun control debate after the Connecticut school shooting have led to surging numbers of anti-government “patriot” groups, according to a civil rights organization that tracks them.

National

President Obama is Time’s ‘Person of the Year’

NEW YORK (AP) — President Barack Obama has been named Time magazine’s “Person of the Year” for 2012. “We are in the midst of historic cultural and demographic changes, and Obama is both the symbol and in some ways the architect of this new America,” Time Editor Rick Stengel told NBC’s “Today” show, where he announced the selection on Wednesday. PERSON OF THE YEAR–In this image released Dec. 19, in New York by Time Inc., President Barack Obama is Time Magazine’s Person of the Year. (AP Photo/Time Magazine) The short list for the honor included Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head for advocating for girls’ education, as well as Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Italian physicist Fabiola Giannati.

National

Scott becomes South’s first Black Republican senator since Reconstruction

by Seanna Adcox Associated Press Writer COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Gov. Nikki Haley appointed Rep. Tim Scott to the U.S. Senate on Monday, making him the South’s first Black Republican senator since Reconstruction in a state whose politics is steeped in the history of slavery and Civil War. HISTORIC APPOINTMENT–United States Rep. Tim Scott, left, speaks during a news conference as South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley looks on at the Statehouse on Monday, Dec. 17, 2012, in Columbia, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt) “It speaks to the evolution of South Carolina and our nation,” Scott, 47, said of his appointment to fill the seat vacated by Sen. Jim DeMint, a conservative who reigned his post with four years left in his second term to head a right-leaning think tank.

National

Conn. victims: Lively youngsters, devoted adults

by Associated Press NEWTOWN, Conn. (AP) — At the very start of their lives, the schoolchildren are remembered for their love of horses, or for the games they couldn’t get enough of, or for always saying grace at dinner. The adult victims found their life’s work in sheltering little ones, teaching them, caring for them, treating them as their own. The gunfire Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School left a toll both unbearable and incalculable: 20 students and six adults at the school, the gunman’s mother at home, and the gunman himself. FALLEN ANGEL–Ana Marquez-Greene was 6. She was the daughter of American jazz saxophonist Jimmy Greene, and the granddaughter of Jorge Marquez, the mayor of Maunabo, Puerto Rico. She was close with her brother, 9-year-old Isaias, who was also at Sandy Hook Elementary on Friday. (Twitter photo) A glimpse of some of those who died:

National

Schools around US increase security after massacre

by Christine Armario AP Education Writer MIAMI (AP) — Jessica Kornfeld sat down with her son and daughter after school on Friday and shared with them the unthinkable, horrific news out of Connecticut: Someone had stormed into an elementary school and killed children nearly their same age. “They’re just babies,” her 10-year-old son said. “What could they have done?” A COMMUNITY GRIEVES–Johnny Nhatavong, center, of New Haven, Conn., embraces his wife, Melennie Rizek, right, and their 11-month-old son Kenzo Jung while stopping at a makeshift memorial near the place where a day earlier a gunman opened fire inside of an elementary school, Dec. 15, in Newtown, Conn. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez) Kornfeld assured him the victims had done nothing wrong, and that the shootings didn’t make sense to anybody. She reminded her children that they were with her, and safe.

National

Video: RNC finance chair blasts Detroit voters

DETROIT (AP) — The finance chair for the Republican National Committee told a Michigan tea party gathering this summer that Detroit’s plummeting population and lack of a mayoral machine to get voters “to stop playing pool and drinking beer in the pool hall” has decreased its influence in elections. Ronald Weiser, Republican National Committee Ron Weiser’s comments were secretly videotaped Aug. 9 by a Democrat shadowing a Republican congressional candidate. The Detroit Free Press obtained the video from the Michigan Democratic Party and reported (http://on.freep.com/ZaRArP) on it Sunday.

Sports

Athletes shaken by Connecticut shooting

by Tim Reynolds AP Sports Writer MIAMI (AP) — When the Miami Heat players and coaches showed up for work Saturday morning, basketball was secondary. Newtown was the focus. FAMILY IS NO. 1–Miami Heat’s LeBron James stands with his children LeBron, Jr., and Bryce, foreground, during a minute of silence of the mass shooting in Newtown, Conn.,before an NBA basketball game against the Washington Wizards in Miami, Dec 15. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) Friday’s massacre at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., was the primary topic of discussion among the Heat, even though they were gathered to finish prepping for a Saturday night game against Washington. It’s rare for anything to overshadow basketball on the Heat practice court, but clearly, this was not going to be a typical day.

Entertainment

Hollywood responds to deadly Conn. school shooting

by Nicole Evatt Associated Press Writer NEW YORK (AP) — Hollywood has responded to the rampage at a Connecticut elementary school by pulling back on its offerings, and one star says the entertainment industry should take some responsibility for such violence. FOXX SPEAKS OUT ON VIOLENCE–This undated publicity image released by The Weinstein Company shows, Christoph Waltz as Schultz, left, and Jamie Foxx as Django in the film, “Django Unchained,” directed by Quentin Tarantino. (AP Photo/The Weinstein Company, Andrew Cooper, SMPSP) Jamie Foxx, one of the industry’s biggest stars, said Saturday as he promoted Quentin Tarantino’s upcoming ultra-violent spaghetti Western-style film about slavery, “Django Unchained,” that actors can’t ignore the fact that movie violence can influence people.

Opinion

Now is the time to talk guns, mental illness

by Roland Martin CNN Contributor (CNN) — Enough! Enough with putting off tomorrow what we should be talking about today. Enough with being afraid to step on someone’s delicate sensibilities when it comes to the Second Amendment. Enough with elected leaders who are too cowardly to confront the National Rifle Association and their ardent supporters. Enough with moms and dads and brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles and pastors and deacons who are afraid to make public the private anguish of mental illness. ROLAND MARTIN