Nation/World Briefs

Newtown, Conn., weighs fate of Sandy Hook

NEWTOWN, Conn. – Parents of Sandy Hook Elementary students are divided on whether their kids should return to the building where a gunman slaughtered 20 first-graders and six adults last month.

Many of them made passionate arguments at an emotional public meeting Sunday that drew 200 people.

“I have two children who had everything taken from them,” said Audrey Bart, whose children attend the school but weren’t injured in the shooting. “The Sandy Hook Elementary School is their school. It is not the world’s school. It is not Newtown’s school. We cannot pretend it never happened, but I am not prepared to ask my children to run and hide. You can’t take away their school.”

But fellow Sandy Hook parent Stephanie Carson said she can’t imagine ever sending her son back to the building.

“I know there are children who were there who want to go back,” Carson said. “But the reality is, I’ve been to the new school where the kids are now, and we have to be so careful just walking through the halls. They are still so scared.”

Egypt’s Mubarak to get new trial over killings

CAIRO – An Egyptian appeals court on Sunday overturned Hosni Mubarak’s life sentence and ordered a retrial of the ousted leader in the killing of hundreds of protesters, a ruling likely to further unsettle a nation still reeling from political turmoil and complicate the struggle of his Islamist successor to assert his authority.

The court’s decision put the spotlight back on the highly divisive issue of justice for the ailing Mubarak, 84 and his top security officers, who were also ordered retried, two years after the revolution that toppled him.

The ruling poses a distraction for President Mohammed Morsi as he tries to restore law and order, grapple with a wrecked economy and deal with the aftermath of the worst political crisis since Mubarak’s ouster.

A new trial is virtually certain to dominate national headlines, attracting attention away from a crucial election for a new house of deputies roughly three months from now. Morsi and his Islamist allies are determined to win a comfortable majority in the new chamber, allowing them to take the helm of the most populous Arab nation.

Russians march against adoption ban

MOSCOW – Thousands of people marched through Moscow on Sunday to protest Russia’s new law banning Americans from adopting Russian children, a far bigger number than expected in a sign that outrage over the ban has breathed some life into the dispirited anti-Kremlin opposition movement.

Shouting “shame on the scum,” protesters carried posters of President Vladimir Putin and members of Russia’s parliament who overwhelmingly voted for the law last month. Up to 20,000 took part in the demonstration on a frigid, gray afternoon.

Opponents of the adoption ban argue it victimizes children to make a political point. Eager to take advantage of this anger, the anti-Kremlin opposition has played the ban as further evidence that Putin and his parliament have lost the moral right to rule Russia.

The adoption ban has stoked the anger of the same middle-class, urban professionals who swelled the protest ranks last winter, when more than 100,000 people turned out for rallies to demand free elections and an end to Putin’s 12 years in power.

Associated Press