Saturday December 15, 2018

Documentary “Newtown” Looks at How Connecticut Town have Coped with Sandy Hook Elementary School Shootings in 2012

The new documentary uses first-person interviews with some of the victims' families, neighbors and co-workers to tell the story

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FILE - Balloons are displayed outside a doctor's office on the first anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre, in Newtown, Connecticut, Dec. 14, 2013. VOA
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November 3, 2016: It has been nearly four years since 20 children and six educators were gunned down at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. Over the past three years, filmmakers have followed the town and its families as they tried to understand and recover from the massacre. Their new documentary, “Newtown,” opened Wednesday in theaters across the country.

Newtown, with a population of about 28,000, had recorded only one homicide in the 10 years before December 14, 2012. That day, Sandy Hook became the site of one of the worst mass killings in U.S. history. In all, 28 people died; gunman Adam Lanza, 20, shot and killed his mother at their Newtown home before going to the school. He then committed suicide as first responders arrived at the scene.

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The new documentary uses first-person interviews with some of the victims’ families, neighbors and co-workers to tell the story.

In one scene, Mark Barden, whose son, Daniel, was killed, talks about the “little secrets stashed around” his residence that remind him of the boy.

“He used to wear this old yellow football helmet when he would ride in the seat on the back of my bicycle,” Barden said. “And I have that in the garage, and it still has some beautiful, little, long, blond hairs of his in it.”

FILE - A makeshift memorial with crosses for the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre stands outside a home in Newtown, Dec. 14, 2013, the one-year anniversary of the shootings. VOA
FILE – A makeshift memorial with crosses for the victims of the Sandy Hook massacre stands outside a home in Newtown, Dec. 14, 2013, the one-year anniversary of the shootings. VOA

In another scene, Nicole Hockley, who lost her son, Dylan, shows a room stacked with boxes of condolence cards, gifts, and other items from well-wishers.

“This is most of the stuff that’s been, um … I don’t even know how many thousands of letters,” she said. “And, uh, gifts. And portraits. So many of them have never been opened because I just can’t do that yet.”

Kim Snyder, who also directed “Welcome to Shelbyville,” a film about Somali refugee immigrants in small-town America, directed “Newtown.”

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“We felt we had not seen a film like this that had really looked at the trajectory of up to three years. … Sadly, there’s been so many [shootings] since. But I think Newtown for so many people was a watershed moment and … we needed to bear witness to that, with the hope that something could change,” she said.

Maria Cuomo Cole, the film’s producer, said the filmmakers wanted to remain sensitive to the pain community members were in, but also wanted to highlight the bravery and endurance shown by Newtown.

“Kim and I felt that it was extremely important to be as sensitive as possible, of course, in telling this important story — a story that we don’t have the luxury to forget in America. It’s hard stuff,” she said. “But it’s part of who we are, and hopefully we can learn from it and can create change to keep communities safe.”

FILE - Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut breaks the news that the Senate failed to pass any of four procedural votes on new gun legislation to Erica Smegielski, daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, at the Capitol in Washington, June 20, 2016. VOA
FILE – Democratic Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut breaks the news that the Senate failed to pass any of four procedural votes on new gun legislation to Erica Smegielski, daughter of slain Sandy Hook Elementary School Principal Dawn Hochsprung, at the Capitol in Washington, June 20, 2016. VOA

The film takes a hopeful turn when it shows community members taking part in the Daniel Barden Mudfest, an endurance race that benefits several charities. And in another scene, Nicole Hockley was able to go into the room of condolence gifts and open some of them.

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The issue of gun control has been hotly debated in this year’s presidential campaign. Cuomo Cole said her hope was that Newtown would touch people’s hearts on both sides of the issue and would result in change.

That change has still not arrived. This year, the deadliest massacre in modern U.S. history took place in Orlando, Florida, with 49 people gunned down at a nightclub. (VOA)

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  • tom2

    Seems to most of us that Murphy’s mindset is precisely what enabled this unspeakable atrocity. And to this day, most public schools encourage that their pupils not be protected from the cretins who would harm them. Any armed guards in Connecticut schools yet? Does anyone really believe mere laws will disarm nuts, felons or terrorists? Perhaps Murphy has his sights set higher than public safety or his current public office.

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Aadhaar Helpline Mystery: French Security Expert Tweets of doing a Full Disclosure Tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App

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Google, Facebook face greater scrutiny in Australia. Wikimedia Commons

Google’s admission that it had in 2014 inadvertently coded the 112 distress number and the UIDAI helpline number into its setup wizard for Android devices triggered another controversy on Saturday as India’s telecom regulator had only recommended the use of 112 as an emergency number in April 2015.

After a large section of smartphone users in India saw a toll-free helpline number of UIDAI saved in their phone-books by default, Google issued a statement, saying its “internal review revealed that in 2014, the then UIDAI helpline number and the 112 distress helpline number were inadvertently coded into the SetUp wizard of the Android release given to OEMs for use in India and has remained there since”.

Aadhaar Helpline Number Mystery: French security expert tweets of doing a full disclosure tomorrow about Code of the Google SetUP Wizard App, Image: Wikimedia Commons.

However, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommended only in April 2015 that the number 112 be adopted as the single emergency number for the country.

According to Google, “since the numbers get listed on a user’s contact list, these get  transferred accordingly to the contacts on any new device”.

Google was yet to comment on the new development.

Meanwhile, French security expert that goes by the name of Elliot Alderson and has been at the core of the entire Aadhaar controversy, tweeted on Saturday: “I just found something interesting. I will probably do full disclosure tomorrow”.

“I’m digging into the code of the @Google SetupWizard app and I found that”.

“As far as I can see this object is not used in the current code, so there is no implications. This is just a poor coding practice in term of security,” he further tweeted.

On Friday, both the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) as well as the telecom operators washed their hand of the issue.

While the telecom industry denied any role in the strange incident, the UIDAI said that he strange incident, the UIDAI said that some vested interests were trying to create “unwarranted confusion” in the public and clarified that it had not asked any manufacturer or telecom service provider to provide any such facility.

Twitter was abuzz with the new development after a huge uproar due to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) Chairman R.S. Sharma’s open Aadhaar challenge to critics and hackers.

Ethical hackers exposed at least 14 personal details of the TRAI Chairman, including mobile numbers, home address, date of birth, PAN number and voter ID among others. (IANS)

Also Read: Why India Is Still Nowhere Near Securing Its Citizens’ Data?