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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…

Gay rights in Africa: In Mauritania and Sudan, same-sex relationships can lead to the death penalty

LONDON, May 17 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - African countries have some of the most prohibitive laws against homosexuality in the world - same-sex relationships are a crime in many of them and can lead to imprisonment or the death penalty.

On the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, here are a few facts about LGBT rights on the African continent:

* Same sex acts are illegal in 32 countries across the continent.

* Laws criminalising same-sex relationships only apply to women in only 24 of these. In countries such as Ghana, Kenya or Sierra Leone, it is illegal for men to engage in consensual sex with someone of the same sex but not for women.

* In Mauritania and Sudan, same-sex relationships can lead to the death penalty.

* In Nigeria, 54 people went on trial last week on charges connected to allegations that they were celebrating a gay wedding, which are outlawed in the country. A bill was signed in 2014 that criminalised same-sex relationships, with penalties of up to 14 years in prison.

* South Africa is the only African country that has legalised gay marriage. Same-sex marriage legislation came into force there in 2006.

* Only 19 percent of African respondents approved of same-sex marriage in a survey conducted in October 2016.

* Ivory Coast and its capital Abidjan are considered a refuge for the LGBT community in the region with gay bars, gay rights groups, and even an annual cross-dressing beauty pageant. 

Sources: ILGA, Thomson Reuters Foundation, Reuters, May 17, 2017

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