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WORLD NATION BRIEFS

  • FILE - In this Jan. 28, 2013, file photo, members of the Washington County Sheriff's Office and the Hudson Falls Police Department use unloaded guns to take part in an emergency drill as they walk through a corridor inside the Hudson Falls Primary School in Hudson Falls, N.Y. With each subsequent shooting forcing schools to review their readiness, parents are increasingly questioning elements of the ever-evolving drills that are now part of most emergency plans, including the use of simulated gunfire and blood, when to reveal it’s just practice, and whether drills unduly traumatize kids. (Omar Ricardo Aquije/The Post-Star via AP, File)

  • FILE - In this Jan. 22, 2013, file photo, a student helps block the classroom door with furniture during a mock lockdown drill at Moody High School in Corpus Christi, Texas. With each subsequent shooting forcing schools to review their readiness, parents are increasingly questioning elements of the ever-evolving drills that are now part of most emergency plans, including the use of simulated gunfire and blood, when to reveal it’s just practice, and whether drills unduly traumatize kids. (Rachel Denny Clow/Corpus Christi Caller-Times via AP, File)


Sunday, February 10, 2019
Parents question whether shooting drills traumatize kids

BUFFALO — Ever since the Columbine shooting, many school districts have held shooting drills to practice emergency procedures. But 20 years later, some parents are questioning whether kids are traumatized by the drills, which can include simulated gunfire and blood and sometimes happen with no warning that the attack isn’t real.

The backlash underlines the challenges administrators face in deciding how far to go in the name of preparedness. Thirty-nine states require some kind of school safety drill.

But experts say there is no consensus on how they should be conducted. No data exists, for example, to show whether a drill with simulated gunfire is more effective or whether an exercise that’s been announced in advance is taken less seriously than a surprise.

At least 76 people die in India after consuming bootleg liquor

NEW DELHI — At least 76 people have died in northern India after drinking bootleg liquor, the latest in a series of tragedies caused by illegal alcohol that turned out to be poisonous. The deaths were in two neighboring states, Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand.

Tainted liquor has killed at least 36 people since Thursday in the Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh, said Alok Kumar Pandey, the local administrator.

The district is about 130 miles from New Delhi.

The autopsies are not yet complete, Pandey said, and the death toll is likely to rise. Other victims are being treated in local hospitals, and “doctors are trying their best to save their lives.”

Embattled Virginia governor: ‘I’m not going anywhere’

RICHMOND — Democratic Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam considered resigning amid a scandal that he once wore blackface, but the pediatric neurologist said Sunday that he’s “not going anywhere” because the state “needs someone that can heal” it.

Northam said on CBS’ Face the Nation that it’s been a difficult week since a racist photo in his 1984 medical school yearbook surfaced, showing a person wearing blackface next to a second person wearing a Ku Klux Klan hood and robe.

Northam initially said he had appeared in the photo — although he didn’t say which costume he was wearing — and apologized. The next day, however, he denied being in the photo

“Virginia needs someone that can heal. There’s no better person to do that than a doctor,” Northam said.

Northam's political turmoil comes as the two other top Democrats in the state face their own potentially career-ending scandals, with allegations of sexual assault against Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax — Northam's successor if the governor were to resign — and Attorney General Mark Herring acknowledging that he wore blackface at a party in 1980. Herring would become governor if both Northam and Fairfax resigned.

— Wire reports