Cheat Sheet: October 9, 2012

Facebook Post leads to Middle School Student’s Arrest

In Newport News a post on Facebook led to the arrest of a 13-year-old student. On October 8, a parent reached out to authorities regarding a disturbing message on Facebook by a student attending Gildersleeve Middle School. The student wrote that he was “tired of the disrespect at school” and that he might “give a couple of good pipe bombs on people.” After the student was tracked down and charged with threats to bomb, it was discovered that there were no bomb making materials at the student’s home. Police spokesperson Holly McPherson says the 13-year-old posted the comment because he was simply tired of being bullied. The student was released into his parents’ custody. (Source)

14-year-old Pakistani Activist Shot and Wounded

The Pakistani Taliban have claimed responsibility for the attack on 14-year-old Pakistani activist, Malala Yousafzai, who was shot and seriously wounded on her way home from school on Thursday. The girl, who has won international acclaim for speaking out for girls denied education under the Taliban, was flown by helicopter to a military hospital in Peshawar. Ihsanullah Ihsan, chief spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban, said that the militant group targeted Yousafzai because she generated “negative propaganda” about Muslims. Political leaders condemned the attack. (Source)

Jerry Sandusky Sentenced to 30+ Years

On Tuesday, Jerry Sandusky was sentenced to at least 30 years in prison for the child sexual abuse scandal at Penn State. In his statement, Sandusky denied the allegations and talked about his life in prison and the pain of being away from his family. Eight of the boys he was found guilty of molesting testified at his trial, describing a wide range of abuse. Sandusky plans to appeal based on a claim that the defense did not adequately have time to prepare for trial. (Source)

One in five Americans reports no religious affiliation

The numbers of Americans reporting no religious affiliation have increased dramatically over the past two decades. About 19.6, or one-fifth, of Americans say they are “nothing in particular,” agnostic or atheist, which is up from about 8 percent in 1990. One third of adults under 30 say the same. Members can be found in all educational and income groups, but 68% lean toward the Democratic Party. This makes them the largest democratic faith constituency. By comparison, white evangelicals make up 34% of the Republican base. This study, which was released Tuesday, presents a stark map of how political and religious polarization has merged in recent decades. (Source)

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