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VA Tech officials alerted their families, but not public, as shooting unfolded

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During the April, 2007, massacre that took the lives of 32 people, officials at Virginia Tech alerted their own family members that a gunman was on the loose, but kept the information from the student body for a full hour-and-a-half, the New York Times reported Friday morning.

The newspaper also stated that a revised report from the university showed that, in one case, officials with the school’s Policy Group released students in a residence from a lockdown and allowed them to attend class even as the shooter, Seung Hui-Cho, was still on the loose. Two of the students who were released from lockdown were killed.

The Times reports:

The report indicates that students who were initially locked down at West Ambler Johnston residence hall, where the spree began, were later released from the building by the police and allowed to attend their 9 a.m. classes. Two of those students then went to class in Norris Hall, where they were killed by the shooter.

At least two members of the university’s Policy Group, which was assembled to manage the crisis, let their own families know of the first two shootings, in the residence hall, more than 90 minutes before the group warned the rest of the campus. The new report also says that the university president’s office was locked down about 30 minutes before a formal warning was issued to the rest of the campus.

[T]he new report said the local police took more than half an hour longer than was initially believed to begin looking for a suspect, a fact first reported by The Richmond Times-Dispatch.

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The new report also said university officials failed to contact the family of the shooter’s first victim, Emily Hilscher, for more than three hours, until after she had died. Ms. Hilscher survived for some time after being shot and was transported to two different hospitals before she died.

Read the full Times story here.

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Progressive reformer claims victory in fiercely-contested Queens DA race

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Progressive reformer Tiffany Cabán has declared victory in her campaign versus Melinda Katz in the Queens District Attorney race.

With 99% of precincts reporting, Cabán held a lead of 1,090 votes, The New York Times reports.

Cabán was backed by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Katz was backed by Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY), who chairs the Queens Democratic Party, and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY)

https://twitter.com/CabanForQueens/status/1143721257353076737

https://twitter.com/CabanForQueens/status/1143721448168710151

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2020 Election

New 2020 poll shows Trump trailing all Democrats — some by double-digits

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President Donald Trump trails all of his Democratic rivals in hypothetical matchups of the 2020 presidential race, according to the result of a new poll released Tuesday.

This article originally appeared on Salon.

The survey, conducted by Emerson Polling, found that the president lags behind former vice president Joe Biden and Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., by 10 points nationally — 45 percent to 55 percent. He also trails Sen. Elizabeth Warren by six points — 47 percent to 53 percent —and Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg by four points — 48 percent to 52 percent.

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Beto O’Rourke’s ‘war tax’ policy proposal is straight out of ‘Starship Troopers’

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Amid an overcrowded Democratic presidential candidate field, it's hard to distinguish yourself from the pack if you don't slot easily into the scale that runs from "pro-corporate centrist" to "left-populist." If you're former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke —  who falls somewhere in the middle, politically, and somewhere towards the top, looks-wise — you pull a militaristic policy proposal out of your hat that recalls some of the most campy pseudo-fascist sci-fi ever written.

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Trump endorses killing journalists, like Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi. Online ad networks are now targeting sites that cover acts of violence against dissidents, LGBTQ people and people of color.

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