The Lookout
  • Giffords and Kelly appear at a hearing on Capitol Hill, Jan. 30, 2013. (AP/File)

    Mark Kelly, retired astronaut and husband of former Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, told "Fox News Sunday" that gun control legislation currently being discussed in Congress needs to include a background check that carries better mental health screening.

    Kelly argued that a recent poll showing 90 percent of Americans support a universal background check should be a signal to Congress to take action, and that mental health records need to be considered when selling someone a gun.

    “I would love to work with leadership of [the National Rifle Association] to make sure we get those records in the system," Kelly said Sunday.

    Had such a system been in place in January 2011, Kelly said, his wife would not have been shot in the head and six people would not have been killed in a mass shooting in Tucson.

    Jared Loughner, who pleaded guilty to the killings, passed a background check "despite evidence of his agitated mental state," the Associated Press reported.

    The NRA has argued that additional legislation for background checks punish law-abiding gun owners. On Sunday, Kelly said a recent video showing a 5-minute background check proves it is “not the burden that the NRA leadership says it is."

    Read More »from Mark Kelly: Mental health background check could’ve prevented Tucson

  • Connecticut’s top law enforcement official is asking charitable groups raising money around the Newtown school shooting to disclose more information, an unprecedented step suggesting the state has questions about how contributors' money is being spent.

    At least 69 groups are raising money around the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School last year, where 20 small children and six teachers were killed. Together, they've raised at least $15 million dollars from all over the world to help the victims' families and to assist the Newtown community.

    But state Attorney General George Jepsen and Consumer Protection Commissioner William M. Rubenstein say the charities have not disclosed enough information about what they are doing with the money. The two officials want the charities to disclose how they’ve spent the funds they've raised so far and what they plan to do with the remaining money.

    “This is a voluntary request for information, but we strongly urge you to participate so this

    Read More »from Connecticut officials ask Sandy Hook charities to disclose how contributions are spent

  • The best weapon in the battle against obesity may already be in the hands of children and teenagers.

    That’s the thinking behind the work of several researchers and technologists around the country who hope to turn cell phones into devices that can help young people make healthier food and lifestyle choices.

    A recent Pew Internet study found that 78 percent of teens now have a cell phone, and almost half of them – 47 percent -- own smartphones with computing capability.

    “It’s interesting because most often we think using technology is part of the problem,” said Dr. Susan Woolford of the Pediatric Comprehensive Weight Management Center at the University of Michigan, pointing to video games and other uses of technology that have made teens more sedentary. “We actually hope that using this new technology will help us.”

    Woolford leads a team that sends highly tailored and targeted text messages to obese adolescents to help them change their behaviors. The messages urge teens to reduce

    Read More »from Researchers combat obesity with tech tools popular with teens

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