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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.

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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.

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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Millions around the world joined #ClimateStrike — demanding bold climate action

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Masses of children skipped school Friday to join a global strike against climate change that teen activist Greta Thunberg said was "only the beginning" in the fight against environmental disaster.

Some four million people filled city streets around the world, organizers said, in what was billed as the biggest ever protest against the threat posed to the planet by rising temperatures.

Youngsters and adults alike chanted slogans and waved placards in demonstrations that started in Asia and the Pacific, spread across Africa, Europe and Latin America, before culminating in the United States where Thunberg rallied.

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Trump announces new sanctions on Iran — and deploys US troops to the Middle East

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The United States announced Friday that it was sending military reinforcements to the Gulf region following attacks on Saudi oil facilities that it attributes to Iran, just hours after President Donald Trump ordered new sanctions on Tehran.

Trump said the sanctions were the toughest-ever against another country, but indicated he did not plan a military strike, calling restraint a sign of strength.

The Treasury Department renewed action against Iran's central bank after US officials said Tehran carried out weekend attacks on rival Saudi Arabia's oil infrastructure, which triggered a spike in global crude prices.

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‘Do a lot of stupid sh*t as quickly as possible’: Ambassador Power breaks down ’The Trump Doctrine’

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The former ambassador to the United Nations explained "The Trump Doctrine" during a Friday evening interview with comedian Bill Maher on HBO's "Real Time."

Samantha Power, the author of the new book, The Education of an Idealist, was asked by Maher about the foreign policy mantra of the Obama administration.

"Obama's foreign policy doctrine was famously summarized as 'don't do stupid sh*t," Maher noted. "Trump's, of course, is 'Do stupid sh*t.'"

"Do stupid sh*t as quickly as possible," Power clarified.

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