US – University Shootings: Outrage is mounting among Virginia Tech students and their parents today (Tuesday) over the failure of officials at the university (in the eastern U.S. state of Virginia) to warn students and lock down the campus immediately after the first shootings on the campus Monday.
Students were not warned of any danger until more than two hours after Monday's first attack - at a dormitory where two people were killed.
Virginia Tech President Charles Steger told reporters Monday that officials and police thought those murders were an isolated incident and that the killer had left the campus. Two hours later the gunman killed 30 people and wounded 15 others in another building before committing suicide.
Among the dead were an engineering professor from India and an Israeli lecturer.
A total of 33 people died in the two shooting incidents. Police and university officials have not yet publicly confirmed that one gunman was responsible for both.
The rampage is being call the deadliest shooting incident in U.S. history.
React – US University Shootings: President Bush said Monday the nation was shocked and saddened by the shootings at Virginia Tech university.
Speaking at the White House, Mr. Bush said schools should be a place of safety, sanctuary and learning and when that is violated, the impact is felt in every American classroom and community.
The president offered federal help in the investigation and assistance to those affected by the shootings.
The U.S. Senate and House of Representatives observed a moment of silence for victims of the shootings. Virginia Tech's president (Charles Steger) called the massacre a monumental tragedy.
Virginia Governor Timothy Kaine, who had just arrived in Tokyo for a two-week business tour, cut short his visit to return home.
Kaine called the shootings a bitter day for Virginia. From Tokyo, the governor declared a state of emergency and ordered flags to fly at half-staff.
In London, Britain's Queen Elizabeth said she was "shocked and saddened" by the shootings. The queen is scheduled to visit Virginia next month to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement in the United States.
Iraq: The U.S. military says coalition forces in Iraq have detained eight suspected terrorists in raids near Baghdad and the city of Fallujah, west of the capital.
A military statement says the raids were carried out today (Tuesday) and that six of the detainees are allegedly linked to the al-Qaida terrorist network.
The statement says the two other detainees are suspected of having ties to insurgents using car bombs (vehicle borne explosive device) in the Baghdad area.
Separately, the military says a dump truck overturned north of Baghdad late Monday, revealing a payload of nitric acid and explosives.
It says the driver of the truck confessed he was paid to attack a joint U.S. and Iraq security forces compound in the town of Mashahda, north of Baghdad.
NoKor – Nuclear: Reports from South Korea say North Korea may be preparing to close its nuclear reactor at the center of a stalled six-nation nuclear disarmament process.
South Korean media said (Tuesday) U.S. satellites images showed increased activity around the Yongbyon reactor with unusual movement of people and vehicles.
The reports come after North Korea missed a deadline to implement a February agreement signed by the two Koreas, the United States, China, Japan and Russia requiring it to dismantle its nuclear program by April 14th.
On Monday, Russia's deputy foreign minister blamed the United States for the delay, saying Washington did not remove obstacles to give Pyongyang full access to 25 million dollars that were frozen in a Macau bank.
But U.S. officials said the funds had been released for North Korea last week.
Cambodia – US Rights: Human Rights Watch is criticizing the United States for inviting Cambodia's police chief to Washington for counter-terrorism talks, saying he is suspected of political violence and organized crime.
The New York-based group today (Tuesday) called on the U.S. State Department to cancel the travel visa for General Hok Lundy, who is expected to holds talks with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Thursday.
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