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Dec. 14, 2012 at 12:22 PM   |   Comments

Deaths reported in Conn. school shooting

NEWTOWN, Conn., Dec. 14 (UPI) -- A gunman opened fire in an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., Friday, killing a number of people, police said.

Officers and teachers led children from Sandy Hook Elementary School, many of them crying, to a staging area where parents could pick them up, the Hartford Courant reported.

The Courant said there were multiple deaths, with the victims including children.

At least one child was wounded, the Newtown Bee reported.

NBC reported at least three ambulances were on school grounds about 45 miles southwest of Hartford and 80 miles northeast of New York City.

The shooting began at 9:40 a.m. and police brought search dogs in little more than an hour later. It was not immediately clear how many shooters were involved or whether they were still in the area, CBS reported.


Obama: Recreational pot users not priority

WASHINGTON, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The U.S. government has "bigger fish to fry" than marijuana use in states that decriminalized the drug for recreational use, President Obama said.

Obama said prosecuting recreational users of marijuana in states that legalized the substance won't be a "top priority" in the fight against drug use, ABC News reported Friday.

"We've got bigger fish to fry," Obama said in an interview. "It would not make sense for us to see a top priority as going after recreational users in states that have determined that it's legal."

The federal government has a similar approach in the states where medicinal marijuana is legal.

Obama said he doesn't support widespread legalization of marijuana right now.

"This is a tough problem because Congress has not yet changed the law," Obama said. "I head up the executive branch; we're supposed to be carrying out laws. And so what we're going to need to have is a conversation ... how do you reconcile a federal law that still says marijuana is a federal offense and state laws that say that it's legal?"

On Election Day, Colorado and Washington voters approved measures that legalize the recreational use and sale of small amounts of marijuana in their states.


IAEA: Deal with Iran likely in January

TEHRAN, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The lead inspector of the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency said Friday a deal with Iran on its nuclear program likely will be struck in January.

The agreement would grant inspectors access to a military facility where testing of nuclear material is suspected, CNN reported.

"We have agreed to meet again on 16 January next year where we expect to finalize the structured approach and start implementing it then shortly after that," International Atomic Energy Agency lead inspector Herman Nackaerts said in Vienna, where the IAEA is based.

The announcement came after the IAEA ended one-day talks in Iran on the country's nuclear program, suspected by the United States and other Western nations of developing nuclear weapons, a charge Iran repeatedly denies.

Allowing agency inspectors to gain access to the Parchin military complex near Tehran was a key issue in the discussions, CNN said.


Russia may develop new long-range missile

MOSCOW, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- Russia may develop a non-nuclear missile capable of hitting nearly any target in the world, Strategic Missile Forces Commander Sergei Karakayev said Friday.

"The availability of a powerful liquid-fueled ICBM allows us the capability of creating a strategic high-accuracy weapons system with a conventional payload with practically global range, if the U.S. does not pull back from its program for creating such missile systems," Karakayev said.

He said the liquid-fuel missile, with a 100-ton payload, could penetrate any defense system likely to emerge anytime soon, RIA Novosti reported.

"The higher energy provided by liquid fuels gives it more varied and effective methods of countermeasures against global missile defense screens, including space-based elements of those systems," he said.

Karakayev's comments mark the first announcement from the agency that the fifth-generation solid-fueled ICBM would be deployed. RIA Novosti said unnamed sources previously indicated it would be deployed by 2014.

The agency performed several test-firings of a prototype of the new missile, the last conducted Oct. 24, RIA Novosti said.

Karakayev said it was too soon to discuss the details for "clearly obvious reasons." But he said the "results of the launches show that the makers of this missile technology are clearly on the right track."


Norovirus-infected ship returns to dock

SOUTHAMPTON, England, Dec. 14 (UPI) -- The British P&O liner Oriana, dubbed the "plague ship" because of a norovirus outbreak that infected about 300 people, returned to Southampton Friday.

The ship docked after a 10-night Baltic cruise, Sky News reported.

Norovirus is highly contagious and causes vomiting and diarrhea.

The company's owner, Carnival, first said there had been "an incidence of a mild gastrointestinal illness" among the 1,800 people onboard. An official later apologized to the passengers.

Carol Marlow, managing director of P&O Cruises, said the ship underwent a "full sanitization process" before it set sail from Southampton Dec. 4. She said the first cases of norovirus, which has an incubation period of one to two days, were reported within hours of the vessel's departure, indicating the virus was brought onboard by one of the passengers.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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