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US saw 204 mass shootings in 2015: Report

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Washington:  As yet another mass shooting in the US put the spotlight back on the contentious issue of gun control, media reports said that there have been 204 mass shootings in as many days in 2015 so far. President_Obama_Speaks_on_the_Shooting_in_Connecticut_(2012-12-14)

Thursday night’s shooting by a white man at a Lafayette, Louisiana, movie theatre showing the comedy “Trainwreck”, that left two women killed and nine injured was the third deadly mass shooting in six weeks.

The alleged shooter John Russell “Rusty” Houser, 59, using a handgun he legally purchased from an Alabama pawn shop methodically shot 11 people by firing off one 10-round clip, according to Lafayette Police Chief Jim Craig.

“This was slow and methodical,” as the State’s Indian-American Governor Bobby Jindal put it. “This was not a single burst.”

The Mass Shooting Tracker, a crowd-sourced project of the anti-gun folks at the Guns Are Cool subreddit, according to the Washington Post, had listed 203 mass shooting events so far in 2015 before the Louisiana movie theatre shooting.

This year there were 18 mass shootings in April, 39 in May, 41 in June, and 34 so far in July, the Post said.

The theatre shooting was Louisiana’s eighth this year. There have been 10 in Ohio, 14 in California and 16 in New York.

“Will anything change?” the Post asked and itself answered “Probably not” noting the reaction to the shooting in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white young man shot and killed nine black worshipers at a historic church.

It “did produce a fruitful national conversation — not on guns, but on the symbolism of the Confederate flag, which the shooter adopted as a banner of his racist beliefs,” the Post noted.

“The morning after the third deadly mass shooting in six weeks, the presidential candidates acted as though they hadn’t seen the news,” the New York Times suggested looking at their reactions.

Though most denounced the shootings and called for prayers for the victims, “none of the presidential contenders offered policy solutions to address gun violence”, it noted describing it as a “reflection of the fact that gun laws are politically radioactive”.

Even “Jindal, who is mounting a long-shot candidacy for the Republican nomination, completely deflected questions on tougher gun laws, saying he would talk about ‘policy and politics’ another time”, Times said.

The leading Republican presidential candidates are overwhelmingly opposed to any effort to restrict access to guns, it noted.

The Democratic hopefuls have proposed gun control measures, but they too have been generally more focused on issues of economics, race and gender than gun violence, according to the Times.

Although President Barack Obama said this week that the failure to convince Congress to pass “commonsense gun safety laws” was one of the great regrets of his presidency, Times said “Congress is unlikely to close any of the loopholes in federal gun laws exposed by the recent shootings”.

(IANS)

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Facebook Introduces Free Online Education Programme in The US

The "We do" module lets educators and students learn together. And the "You do" is designed to help students practice their new skills

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Facebook likely to launch camera-equipped hardware for TVs. Pixabay

Facebook has launched in the US free online education programme CodeFWDTo to increase the numbers of underrepresented and female students interested in pursuing computer programming.

“We’re working on a number of initiatives like CodeFWD to widen the pipeline of diverse talent studying computer science so the next generation of tech innovators reflects and incorporates diverse perspectives, building a future that benefits us all,” Lauryn Ogbechie, Education Partnerships Director at Facebook, said in a statement on Tuesday.

Created in partnership with connected toys maker Sphero, CodeFWD by Facebook, has been designed for both English and Spanish speakers.

It is a three-step programme where educators and organisations introduce computer programming to 4th to 8th grade students.

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Facebook App on a smartphone device. (VOA)

With the first module “I do”, CodeFWD prepares educators to introduce the basics of computer programming to their students, even as they may be discovering the concepts themselves.

The “We do” module lets educators and students learn together. And the “You do” is designed to help students practice their new skills.

Also Read- Actress Disha Patani Can’t Judge Herself in Terms of Acting

“After completing these three steps, educators who want to continue developing their students’ coding skills using a tangible, hands-on product can apply to earn a free classroom set of programmable robots from our partners at Sphero,” Ogbechie said. (IANS)

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