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Saying Goodbye: After Obama's Visit, Funerals For Connecticut Massacre Begin

BOSTON GLOBE, CNN (USA)

Worldcrunch

NEWTOWN - On Monday the Connecticut town prepares for the first funerals of the mass shooting at an elementary school that killed 20 young children and six educators. President Obama vowed on Sunday to use “whatever power this office holds” in coming weeks to prevent other mass shootings like the one on Friday.

As Obama spoke at a vigil at Newtown High School, many in the audience sobbed, clutched teddy bears or hugged their children, the Boston Globe reported.

“We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end,” the president said in a televised speech that lasted nearly 20 minutes. “And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex and that is true. No single law, no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society, but that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely we can do better than this.”

CNN reports that just before Obama's remarks, a grassroots group Newtown United was established "to create meaningful dialogue, both locally and beyond, around the issues that led to this this senseless act of violence."

The group will send a delegation to Washington on Tuesday to meet with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence as well as families from July's movie theater massacre in Aurora, Colorado.

But before that, on Monday, the first funerals will be held for the victims, most of them between the ages of six and seven.

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Coronavirus

Why Making COVID Predictions Is Actually Getting Harder

We know more about COVID than ever before, but that doesn't make it easier to predict what will happen this year. It also remains to be seen if we'll put the lessons we learned into practice.

​A young boy who arrived on a Cathay Pacific flight from Hong Kong wears a face mask and face shield at Vancouver International Airport in Canada on Jan. 10, 2023.

A young boy who arrived from Hong Kong wears a face mask and face shield at Vancouver International Airport in Canada on Jan. 10, 2023.

Duncan Robertson

In 2020, we knew very little about the novel virus that was to become known as COVID-19. Now, as we enter 2023, a search of Google Scholar produces around five million results containing the term.

So how will the pandemic be felt in 2023? This question is in some ways impossible to answer, given a number of unknowns. In early 2020, the scientific community was focused on determining key parameters that could be used to make projections as to the severity and extent of the spread of the virus. Now, the complex interplay of COVID variants, vaccination and natural immunity makes that process far more difficult and less predictable.

But this doesn’t mean there’s room for complacency. The proportion of people estimated to be infected has varied over time, but this figure has not fallen below 1.25% (or one in 80 people) in England for the entirety of 2022. COVID is very much still with us, and people are being infected time and time again.

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