In Brief | Nation & World | Oct. 22, 2013


Nev. student wounds 2, kills teacher, self

SPARKS, Nev. — A student at a Nevada middle school opened fire with a semi-automatic handgun on campus just before the starting bell Monday, wounding two 12-year-old boys and killing a math teacher who was trying to protect children from their classmate.

The unidentified shooter killed himself with the gun after a rampage that occurred in front of 20 to 30 horrified students who had just returned to school from a weeklong fall break. Authorities did not provide a motive for the shooting, and it’s unknown where the student got the gun.

Teacher Michael Landsberry was being hailed for his actions during the shooting outside Sparks Middle School.

“In my estimation, he is a hero. … We do know he was trying to intervene,” Reno Deputy Police Chief Tom Robinson said.

Both wounded students were listed in stable condition. One was shot in the shoulder, and the other was hit in the abdomen.

Allies’ anger grows over NSA spying

WASHINGTON — Joining a growing list of angry allies, France on Monday demanded an explanation from Washington of a report that the U.S. swept up 70 million French telephone records and text messages in its global surveillance net, even recording certain private conversations.

The fallout prompted a phone call from President Barack Obama to President Francois Hollande and, the White House said, an acknowledgment by Obama that the episode raises “legitimate questions for our friends and allies” about how U.S. surveillance capabilities are employed.

Hollande’s office issued a strongly worded statement afterward expressing “profound reprobation” over U.S. actions that it said intruded on the private lives of French citizens.

Spying among friendly countries is classic tradecraft but the sweep and scope of the National Security Agency program have surprised allies and raised indignation among those targeted — Germany, Mexico and Brazil among them.

The report in Le Monde, co-written by Glenn Greenwald, who originally revealed the surveillance program based on leaks from former NSA analyst Edward Snowden, found that when certain phone numbers were used, conversations were automatically recorded.

The surveillance operation also gathered text messages based on key words, Le Monde reported.

“This sort of practice between partners that invades privacy is totally unacceptable and we have to make sure, very quickly, that this no longer happens,” French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said. “We fully agree that we cooperate to fight terrorism. It is indispensable. But this does not justify that personal data of millions of our compatriots are snooped on.”

Christians mourn victims of church shooting

CAIRO — The elderly, silver-haired Christian could hardly speak Monday, sitting stunned in a church where the evening before, suspected Islamic militants on a motorcycle sprayed his family’s wedding party with automatic weapons fire, killing his son, his wife’s sister and two granddaughters aged 8 and 12.

“It’s God’s will. They are always beating us down. Every other day now, they do this,” the 75-year-old Fahmy Azer Abboud said as he waited for their funeral to start.

He spoke haltingly of his dead granddaughters, both named Mariam.

“They were pure angels. They had the world’s kindness inside them. They helped me and shared with me everything they had,” Abboud said.

The girls were waiting to enter the Church of the Virgin Mary in Cairo’s Warraq district for the wedding of another of Abboud’s granddaughters when the gunmen struck about 9 p.m. Sunday.

The wounded included seven relatives, with his other son, Nabil, among them, he said.

By wire sources