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News Briefs

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TJ Lane accepts his life sentence with smile

In Cleveland, Ohio, TJ Lane was sentenced to life in prison for the murder of his three fellow high school students from Chardon High School.  He came to court for his sentencing on March 19 and wore a white t-shirt with the word “killer” written on it in black marker. He proceeded to give the families present the middle finger and the phrase that goes along with the gesture. Family members of those students murdered were allowed to say what they wished to Lane and he listened with a smirk on his face. Lane shot five students Feb. 27, 2012, in Chardon High School cafeteria. Last month, he changed his plea from not guilty by insanity to guilty of three charges of aggravated murder, two counts of attempted murder and one count of felonious assault all with firearms specifications. Due to the fact Lane was under the age of 18 at the time of the murders, he cannot be sentenced to death.

Drug-resistant swine flu has pandemic potential

Australian scientists are concerned by a new form of H1N1 due to the fact that it is not affected by the antiviral Tamiflu. It is still, however, susceptible to the other drug Relenza. This strain has been found in people in the community rather than those with other health problems and weakened immune systems. The greatest concern is that it will spread like the pandemic in 2008 which went worldwide in less than 12 months. This fear is backed by the studies that are suggesting that this new type of swine flu can spread easily from person to person. While this Tamiflu-immune strain of H1N1 is still quite rare, scientists have not forgotten how the original swine flu infected a fifth of the world’s population and killed 200,000 globally. They will be closely studying the virus and its patients.

Democrats drop assault rifle ban

Lawmakers have removed a key part of the gun control campaign that was sparked by the Newtown shooting. Senator Majority Leader Harry Reid was forced to drop the assault rifle ban due to the belief that the proposal would not get enough votes to pass the bill. Even though the majority of the American public supports the banning of assault weapons, pro-gun lobbying groups such as the National Rifle Association, caused lawmakers to oppose this part of the bill. Sen. Feinstein has mentioned plans to sponsor an assault weapons ban proposal as an amendment to the bill, similar to the one she supported that expired in 2004. The ban was one of the four gun control measures, including expanded background checks for those buying guns, severer punishments for illegal gun trafficking  and money for school security.

India considers lowering consent age

Currently in India the age of consent is 18 due to the outrage caused by the fatal gang rape of a female student in Delhi last December. This raised age of consent is higher than the global standard of 16 years but sex before marriage in India is also a taboo. Judges and others fear that because of the higher age of consent many young men will be prosecuted by girls’ angry parents even if she did consent. A third of the rape cases in India are charged by the parents against the boys whom their daughters have eloped with. The raised age of consent also causes young couples to rush into marriage as the only “legal” form of sex but they quickly fall apart because they are not mentally prepared for it. Supporters of higher consent age point out that it protects girls from child marriage and teen pregnancies.

Nazi salute at soccer game?

20-year-old Giorgos Katidis, a Greek soccer player who plays for AEK Athens, was banned for life after celebrating the game winning goal by giving a Nazi salute on March 16. Katidis tried to explain on Twitter his ignorance on the matter and claimed he was not a fascist and didn’t know what the gesture meant. His coach agreed that the player was unaware of the context that went along with his salute.  Nevertheless the country’s football federation said that his actions were an insult to all those victimized by the Nazis and was banned for life. The midfielder has been heavily criticized on social media due to the improbable claim of having no knowledge about the true meaning of the gesture. Some claim that it was just done copying the Golden Dawn, a neo-Nazi group in Greece that is promising to clear up politics, which uses a “Roman salute.”