Virginia Tech Fined for Communications Delay
Virginia Tech, the college at which 32 people died in a 2007 shooting, has been issued the maximum possible fine for its failure to communicate the danger of the shooting to the campus community in a timely matter. The $55,000 fine was imposed by the Federal Education Department. Mary E. Gust, an official in the Department’s Office of Federal Student Aid who wrote a letter detailing the fine, said, “Virginia Tech’s violations warrant a fine far in excess of what is currently permissible under the statute.”
On April 16, 2007, Virginia Tech student Seung Hui Cho shot and killed two students in a dormitory. Campus police responded to the scene at 7:24 a.m. Virginia Tech President Charles W. Steger was notified of the situation at 8:11 a.m. An hour and 15 minutes later, the campus was e-mailed about the incident, but administration did not advise students to take any safety measures or mention that anyone had died. Not long after that message was sent, Cho continued his spree, killing 30 more students and faculty.
Virginia Tech maintains that it has done nothing wrong and is planning to appeal the fine.
Facebook Brewing Movie Rental Service
After an experimental agreement with Facebook, Warner Bros. Entertainment has added five new titles to their Facebook movie rental service. The movies are available for purchase using Facebook credits. The cost is between 30 or 40 credits, or about $3 - $4. Following purchase, the rental is available for 48 hours. Users can pause and resume at any point while continuing to comment and interact with other users.
Warner Bros. began testing earlier this month with “The Dark Knight.” The five new additions are: “Inception,” “Life As We Know It,” “Yogi Bear,” “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” and “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.”
Syria now in the Fight Against its Government
Syrian president Bashar al-Assad said in January that his country would not fall into political turmoil like Tunisia and Egypt. He did, however, recognize the need to reform Syria “to open up the society.” “If you do it just because of what happened in Tunisia and Egypt, then it is going to be a reaction, not an action; and as long as what you are doing is a reaction, you are going to fail,” he explained.
Now, southern cities like Daraa are being confronted by security forces. Emergency laws that restrict public gatherings and allow arrests “on the grounds of national security” are currently in place. Forces are firing live ammunition and teargas into the air in an effort to control protesters. Confrontations in Latakia led to the death of at least 12 people.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Assad to reform this country in turmoil.
Rochester Priest Suspended After Sex Allegation
Reverend Vincent Panepinto, a Catholic priest who has served in Rochester and Elmira churches since 1967, had his priestly faculties withdrawn due to allegations of sexual abuse.
The allegations concerning a minor arose during the late 1960’s. The Catholic Diocese of Rochester has investigated and found the accusations to be credible.
Panepinto has been placed on leave and is no longer allowed to practice public ministry in any capacity. He previously served as chaplain at several New York prisons and Our Lady of Mercy High School.