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Conservative media gun advocates pushing for teachers to be armed

Conservative media are calling on teachers to be armed in response to the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, even as law enforcement experts, educators, and others argue that bringing guns into schools would make classrooms more dangerous. This advice comes on the heels of legislation being considered by Republicans in at least six states that would allow or require teachers and staff to carry guns.

On December 14, a lone gunman killed 26 people, among them 20 children, at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, before shooting and killing himself.

During a segment on the tragedy, Fox & Friends co-host Brian Kilmeade dismissed arguments for gun control, saying that he favors "hardening the target and maybe arming the teachers" as a way to avert such massacres in the future. He also advocated for the hiring of retired law enforcement and military to police school halls.

Co-host Steve Doocy pointed to a school in Harrold, Texas, whose teachers carry concealed weapons to suggest that such a program would work well at other schools.

When co-host Gretchen Carlson dissented, saying she worries about what the consequences would be for children to grow up in a culture in which people are armed, Kilmeade stated: "They're in that culture." He added: "The reality is there's school shootings and I want my kid to get out alive."

Question

Baby names predictions for 2013 - 5 trends that will shock you

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© PR Newswire
One might think that we have seen it all - last year brought a lot of outrageous baby names. It would appear this is only the tip of the iceberg though, as 2013 is shaping up to be the year that pushes the boundaries of what was previously considered "normal." As parents strive for that distinctive name, social baby naming website, Belly Ballot (more here), is predicting some shocking New Year's trends. The site collects real-time data on what names parents are selecting from around the globe. Based on naming data from over 1,000 parents on the site, along with 10,000 votes from their friends and family, the site has released the following predictions for the new year:

1) Tech Inspired Names - One the heels of baby Hashtag, we expect people to continue this trend with more technology inspired names. Think Tweet, Android, and Kindle. We are a technology crazed world and people are carrying this trend over into the most intimate aspects of their lives, including naming their babies. Here comes little iMac.

2) Multiple Names - As the pressure mounts in baby naming, parents are trying to create that one unique name and they are finding themselves having a hard time choosing just one. So why not pick two, or three names. Or like Uma Thurman, five! She recently announced her baby girl's name, Rosalind Arusha Arkadina Altalune Florence Thurman-Busson. Parents are no longer limiting themselves to a first and middle name, but adding as many names as they like. They might want to save a couple for their next children.

Eye 1

Parents ordered by court to quit stalking their daughter

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Fighting back: Aubrey Ireland, a musical theater student, has won a stalking order against her parents
Aubrey Ireland had so much going for her. A senior in the prestigious College-Conservatory of Music, she had supportive parents who wanted her to excel in her music and acting career, so much so that they paid her tuition to University of Cincinnati even though she was offered full scholarships to other schools.

That relationship, though, devolved to the point where the 21-year-old senior sought and won, in an unusual court case, a stalking order against her parents.

"It's just been really embarrassing and upsetting to have my parents come to my university when I'm a grown adult and just basically slander my name and follow me around," Aubrey Ireland said in an Oct. 9 court hearing.

Despite her good grades and success in musical shows, David and Julie Ireland often drove 600 miles from Leawood, Kan., to visit their daughter unannounced. They accused her of using illegal drugs, promiscuity and suffering from mental woes. She insisted none of that was true and asked them to stop, but their accusations escalated. They informed her department head she had mental issues that could force them to go to court to have her treated.

The parents knew about what they saw as their daughter's problems because, they admit, they installed monitoring software on her laptop and cellphone, allowing them to see her every keystroke and phone number dialed or received. It was "like I was a dog with a collar on," said the daughter, a dean's list student every quarter.

The parents became such an issue that the school hired security guards to keep them out of their daughter's performances. When the parents stopped paying her tuition because she'd cut off all contact with them, the school gave her a full scholarship for her final year.

Target

Boss burned to death by hundreds of Indian tea workers

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Hundreds of Indian tea estate workers surrounded a plantation owner's home and set it on fire, killing him and his wife, police say.

Around 1,000 workers at the privately-owned M.K.B. Tea Estate attacked the plantation owner's bungalow on Wednesday and set it on fire in violence blamed on festering labour unrest in the tea-growing region, police said.

Mridul Bhattacharya and his wife Rita were burned to death as workers armed with home-made weapons prevented police from rescuing them, they said.

"The body of the planter was charred beyond recognition and reduced to ashes while the body of the wife was found lying in the kitchen," local police officer A. Das told AFP by telephone.

The grisly attack occurred in Assam's tea-growing Tinsukia district, some 500 kilometres (310 miles) east of the state's main city of Guwahati.

Heart - Black

Miami man 'fighting for life' following Christmas torching

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© Courtesy Brackett Family
Darrell Brackett, 44, was doused with gasoline and set on fire on Dec. 25, 2012 in Miami, Fla.
A Florida man is fighting for his life after being doused with gasoline and set on fire on Christmas in a horrific attack that has baffled police.

Darrell Brackett, 44, was driving with his girlfriend at 11:30 p.m. in Miami when his car ran out of gas and he walked to a nearby U-Gas station to fill up a can of gas. He told his girlfriend to wait for him in the car.

After leaving the station, "witnesses reported that they saw him running in the middle of the street on fire," Miami-Dade Police said in a statement.

Brackett's mother Bridgett Brackett said she has been told that her son was surrounded by three men who "doused him with gas and set him on fire."

"It's heartbreaking. It's horrendous," Bridgett Brackett told ABCNews.com. "I would never imagine that this would happen to my son."

An unidentified woman who was passing by spotted Brackett and helped him roll around in the sand and dirt near the road to put the fire out.

"If she hadn't done that, he would have burned to death," his mother said.

Nuke

American sailors sue Tepco for lying about Fukushima - on the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan for rescue work

Preface: Before you get too mad at the Japanese, remember that the U.S. government and nuclear industry are just as bad. And America is largely dictating Japanese nuclear policy.

Courthouse News Service reports:

Eight crew members of the U.S.S. Ronald Reagan, whose home port is San Diego, sued the Tokyo Electric Power Co. in Federal Court.

They claim the utility company, "a wholly owned public benefit subsidiary of the government of Japan," misrepresented radiation levels to lull the U.S. Navy "into a false sense of security."

Lead plaintiff Lindsay R. Cooper claims Tokyo Electric (TEPCO) intentionally concealed the dangerous levels of radiation in the environment from U.S. Navy rescue crews working off the coast of Japan after the March 10, 2011 earthquake and tsunami set off the nuclear disaster.

"TEPCO pursued a policy to cause rescuers, including the plaintiffs, to rush into an unsafe area which was too close to the FNPP [Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant] that had been damaged. Relying upon the misrepresentations regarding health and safety made by TEPCO ... the U.S. Navy was lulled into a false sense of security," the complaint states.

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Die

Man who bet his friends he could eat 30 raw eggs in a row lost his life

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A 20-year-old resident of Tunisia died shortly after eating 28 raw eggs for a bet, Tunisia's Shems FM radio station reported Wednesday.

Dhaou Fatnassi from El Baten, a settlement near the northeastern city of Kairouan, bet with a group of his friends that he would be able to eat 30 raw eggs for an undisclosed sum of money.

"Doctors were called in after the young man felt strong stomach pains, but he died before medical assistance could reach him," the radio said.

Heart - Black

Syria's health system crumbles while UN humanitarian appeal runs dry

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© Photograph: Heba Aly/IRIN
Shelling in Amoon el-Yousif's native city of Hama made it impossible for her to access needed medication from the pharmacy.
Healthcare crisis could mean life or death for many desperate Syrians left without drugs or doctors, hospitals or health centres.

Eid Hanani has not been affected by the bombs, the snipers or the shelling that have engulfed many parts of Syria. He only barely escaped death, but faced a threat of a different kind. In July, he was diagnosed with cancer of the bladder. But the only cancer hospital in the capital, Damascus, was out of the serum injections used for treatment.

The nearly two-year conflict in Syria has claimed tens of thousands of lives, destroyed entire neighbourhoods and sent hundreds of thousands of people fleeing. More quietly, however, it has eaten away at the country's healthcare system. Pharmaceutical factories, which used to produce more than 90% of the country's drug needs, are down to one-third of their former production, according to Elizabeth Hoff, the representative of the World Health Organisation (WHO) in Syria.

Many have been destroyed or damaged in the fighting - sometimes directly targeted by the opposition. The northern city of Aleppo, one of the worst affected, was home to most of the factories. Other factories are struggling to import raw materials due to sanctions imposed on Syria by western countries. Insecure routes have affected supply lines.

On the black market, Hanani was able to find an alternative to the cancer serum, smuggled in from Lebanon. The dose costs him 5,000 Syrian pounds (£43) a month, half the monthly salary of his son, the family's sole breadwinner. "Without it, the pain is extreme, I don't sleep, and eventually I would die," said Hanani, who wore a small cloth tied around his neck to cover the hole in his throat - a legacy of another bout of cancer he overcame four years ago. His dirty fingernails hold a machine against his throat to help him speak. "My life is in God's hands," he told IRIN with a smile, exposing missing teeth.

The shortage of medicines is just one part of the healthcare crisis in Syria, as hospitals run out of space and supplies, health workers struggle to get to work, patients lose access to health facilities, and medicines shoot up in price.

Ambulance

Kenya hospital imprisons new mothers with no money

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© Nick Czernkovich/CBC
The director of the Pumwani Maternity Hospital, located in a hardscrabble neighborhood of downtown Nairobi, freely acknowledges what he's accused of: detaining mothers who can't pay their bills. Lazarus Omondi says it's the only way he can keep his medical center running.

Two mothers who live in a mud-wall and tin-roof slum a short walk from the maternity hospital, which is affiliated with the Nairobi City Council, told The Associated Press that Pumwani wouldn't let them leave after delivering their babies. The bills the mothers couldn't afford were $60 and $160. Guards would beat mothers with sticks who tried to leave without paying, one of the women said.

Now, a New York-based group has filed a lawsuit on the women's behalf in hopes of forcing Pumwani to stop the practice, a practice Omondi is candid about.

"We hold you and squeeze you until we get what we can get. We must be self-sufficient," Omondi said in an interview in his hospital office. "The hospital must get money to pay electricity, to pay water. We must pay our doctors and our workers."

"They stay there until they pay. They must pay," he said of the 350 mothers who give birth each week on average. "If you don't pay the hospital will collapse."

Sheriff

Husband of slain officer arrested in connection with death

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The husband of a police officer who was fatally shot while patrolling in suburban Milwaukee on Christmas Eve has been arrested in connection with her death.

The Wauwatosa police department says in a Thursday statement that Benjamin Sebena, of Menomonee Falls, was booked into Milwaukee County Jail Wednesday night on a tentative charge of first-degree intentional homicide.

He has not been formally charged in 30-year-old Jennifer Sebena's death.