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Palestinians are members of our big, messy human family. They are as decent, and at times as indecent, as any other group of people on earth. They are men and women, adults and children. They have hopes, dreams and fears. They want to live their lives in a place where they have opportunity, autonomy and community.

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A spate of threats and false reports of shooters have been pouring into schools and colleges across the country for months, raising concerns among law enforcement and elected leaders. Schools in Pennsylvania were the latest targeted by so-called swatting. Computer-generated calls on Wednesday made claims about active shooters, but it was all a hoax. One day earlier, nearly 30 Massachusetts schools received fake threats. School officials are already on edge amid a backdrop of deadly school shootings, the latest Monday at a Christian school in Nashville.

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Dominion Voting Systems has been ensnared in a web of conspiracy theories that have undermined public confidence in U.S. elections among conservative voters. The conspiracies have led to calls to ban voting machines in some places and triggered death threats against election officials. Those conspiracies are at the heart of a $1.6 billion defamation lawsuit Dominion has filed against Fox News. Dominion claims Fox defamed it by repeatedly airing false claims and says it lost contracts and business opportunities. Fox argues it was reporting on newsworthy allegations and says Colorado-based Dominion overstates its value. In Arizona, Republican Maricopa County Recorder Stephen Richer says Dominion is “maybe one of the most demonized brands” in the world.

Massachusetts lawmakers renewed their commitment to passing an omnibus gun bill this session, with a focus on ghost guns, reducing violence through a public health lens by investing in community programs, and making Massachusetts a leader in the collection and analysis of gun data and research. 

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A Massachusetts woman convicted of beating her 11-month-old niece to death more than five years ago while she was caring for the girl has been sentenced to up to 7 years in prison. Thursday's sentencing of 32-year-old Shu Feng Hsu, of Quincy, came several days after she was convicted of manslaughter in the death of the baby, who was taken to the hospital in February 2018 with blunt force head and brain injuries consistent with a 40 mph vehicle crash. Prosecutors had sought a sentence of up to 18 years behind bars for Hsu given the age of defenselessness of the victim and the defendant’s position of authority.

You planted a meadow of native grasses and wildflowers to nourish bees, butterflies and other pollinators. You are savoring the resulting explosion of flowers, when out of the blue you receive a notice of violation from your town government or homeowners association. It seems that you have violated the community’s “weed ordinance.” What now? 

Mikel Jollett, author of "Hollywood Park" and frontman of The Airborne Toxic Event, will speak on the topics of trauma and creativity as part of a new speaker series focused on mental health and trauma at Williams College. The talk, 7:30 p.m. April 4 is free and open to the public.


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