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This is America: 9 out of 10 public schools now hold mass shooting drills for students

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How "active shooter" drills became normal for a generation of American schoolchildren.
"Are you kids good at running and screaming?" a police officer asks a class of elementary school kids in Akron, Ohio.
His friendly tone then turns serious.
“What I don’t want you to do is hide in the corner if a bad guy comes in the room,” he says. "You gotta get moving."
This training session — shared online by the ALICE Training Institute, a civilian safety training company — reflects the new normal at American public schools. As armed shooters continue their deadly rampages, and while Washington remains stuck on gun control, a new generation of American students have learned to lock and barricade their classroom doors the same way they learn to drop and roll in case of a fire.
The training session is a stark reminder of how American schools have changed since the 1999 Columbine school shooting. School administrators and state lawmakers have realized that a mass shoot…

Pakistan: The year of most executions

As many as 301 people were executed in the Punjab last year. Thousands of prisoners on death row continue to wait for verdicts on their appeals. 

There are at least 5,145 people on death row. Of these, there are 42 women whose appeals are pending before the high court and the Supreme Court, sources in the office of the Punjab inspector general (prisons) told The Express Tribune.

Recently, 63 appeals against death penalty were dismissed by the president. Dates of execution are to be notified soon. There are 4,213 appeals pending in the Lahore High Court and its allied benches; 743 in the Supreme Court, 124 with the president and 3 with the Pakistan Army GHQ.

After the deadly attack on Army Public School in Peshawar on December 16, 2014, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had lifted the moratorium on death penalty. The first execution was then carried out on April 8 in Machh Jail in Balochistan.

These executions were stayed during a month's reprieve in Ramazan. However, they resumed at the end of July.

As many as 301 people were executed in 7 months. Most had been languishing in jails for more than 20 years.

Kanizan, a prisoner on death row, has exhausted her appeals and is waiting for her turn to be hanged.

She is currently being held at Lahore's Kot Lakhpat Jail. Prison authorities have moved her to a psychiatric ward, saying she is not mentally stable. She was sentenced to death for killing 6 children and their mother in connivance with their father in Toba Tek Singh.

Most of those executed had been convicted of murder over personal enmity, kidnapping for ransom, rape and robbery.

Less than 30 people were executed for terrorist activities. Among those executed for terrorist activities, 13 were tried under the Anti-Terrorism Act, while 12 were hanged after being punished by Field General Court Martial. 8 people were executed for assassination attempts on former president General (r) Pervez Musharraf and 1 person for the attack outside the US Consulate in Karachi. A man was hanged for attacking the General Headquarters (GHQ) of the Pakistan Army in Rawalpindi.

Among those convicted by Field General Court Martial, three were former officials of the Pakistan Air Force, three of Pakistan Army, one was the son of a retired army official and one was a sepoy, who had killed a colleague in Peshawar Cantt while on duty.

Of the 13 people tried by Anti-Terrorism Courts, 8 belonged to the Lashkar-i-Jhangvi. They had been convicted for sectarian killings. 3 among them were those who had hijacked a PIA plane from Turbat to Karachi in 1998.

Supreme Court advocate Tipu Salman Makhdoom says the worst in terms of executions is yet to come.

"More executions are expected in 2016. This is going to bring a bad name to Pakistan," he says.

"People are being hanged over personal enmities, not because of their involvement in terrorism. The government should arrest real terrorists, establish cases against them and give them exemplary punishment."

Source: The Express Tribune, January 2, 2016

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