VIDEO: Today's Headline News from Associated Press

FEDERAL GUN LAWS DIDN'T BLOCK NAVY YARD SHOOTER

 

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The gunman in the mass shootings at the Washington Navy Yard, Aaron Alexis, had a history of violent outbursts, was at least twice accused of firing guns in anger and was in the early stages of treatment for serious mental problems, according to court records and U.S. law enforcement officials.

 

But Alexis apparently managed to exploit seams in the nation's patchwork of complicated gun laws designed to keep weapons out of the hands of dangerous people. He was able to buy a shotgun in Virginia with out-of-state identification, even though that would have prevented him from buying a handgun.

 

It is illegal for gun dealers to sell handguns to such out-of-state buyers, but the Firearms Owners' Protection Act, passed by Congress in 1986, opened up interstate sales for shotguns and rifles. Virginia gun laws require only that an out-of-state buyer show valid identification, pass a background check and otherwise abide by state laws in order to buy a shotgun in the state. Alexis was never prosecuted for the two misdemeanors involving guns.

 

Alexis bought the shotgun at Sharpshooters Small Arms Range in Lorton, Va. on Sunday, according to a statement from the attorney for the gun range.

 

Michael Slocum said in an email that Alexis rented a rifle, bought bullets and used the range before buying the shotgun and 24 shells. Slocum said Alexis p

 

EXTREME BINGE DRINKING NOT UNCOMMON IN HIGH SCHOOL

 

CHICAGO (AP) -- Almost 1 in 10 U.S. high school seniors have engaged in recent extreme binge drinking - downing at least 10 drinks at a rate that barely budged over six years, according to a government-funded report.

 

Less severe binge drinking, consuming five or more drinks in a row, has mostly declined in recent years among teens. But for high school seniors, the 2011 rate for 10 drinks in a row - 9.6 percent - was down only slightly from 2005.

 

The most extreme level - 15 or more drinks in a row within the past two weeks - didn't change from 2005 to 2011. Almost 6 percent of high school seniors reported recently drinking that amount.

 

The number of seniors engaging in the most extreme drinking "is really concerning because they're most at risk for the really severe consequences," including reckless driving, car accidents and alcohol poisoning, said lead researcher Megan Patrick of the University of Michigan's Institute for Social Research.

 

Extreme binge drinking may be a behavior that's "more entrenched" among some teens, and thus harder to change, Patrick said.

 

The new report is an analysis of survey results that the university does for the National Institute on Drug Abuse. It's based on classroom questionnaires given to more than 16,000 high school seniors; a question on extreme binge drinking was added in 2005.

 

'MAD MEN' TO WRAP ITS RUN WITH 2-PART FINAL SEASON

 

NEW YORK (AP) -- AMC is keeping "Mad Men" around an extra year, expanding the final season of this acclaimed drama series to 14 episodes and portioning them equally in 2014 and 2015.

 

The network said Tuesday that seven episodes will air next spring and another seven in 2015. Previous "Mad Men" seasons have spanned 13 episodes.

 

Series creator Matthew Weiner said the two-part season will enable "a more elaborate story" to be told.

 

The arrangement mirrors that of another AMC series, "Breaking Bad," whose final season, now nearing its end, was similarly split in two.

 

"Mad Men," which premiered in 2007, has won four Emmy awards for outstanding drama series. It heads into Sunday's awards night with four major Emmy nominations, including best actor for Jon Hamm, who has never won.

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