Campus threat team was aware of Holmes’ problems

Posted Aug. 02, 2012, at 10:25 p.m.

LOS ANGELES — The university psychiatrist who was seeing James E. Holmes, charged in the deadly mass shooting at a suburban Colorado movie theater, reportedly took her concerns about him to a school threat-assessment team.

Dr. Lynne Fenton told the campus Behavioral Evaluation and Threat Assessment, or BETA, team of her worries about Holmes, but no action was taken, sources told the Denver Post.

University of Colorado-Denver officials could not confirm or deny the report, citing privacy restrictions and a gag order imposed by the judge sitting on the Holmes case.

But the reports highlight the existence of such teams — part of an early-warning system increasingly common at colleges across the nation — and raise questions about precisely what the teams can, and can’t, do.

Holmes, 24, was enrolled in a doctoral program at the school’s Anschutz Medical Campus in Aurora. He faces 24 charges of first-degree murder in connection with the July 20 shooting that left 12 dead and 58 wounded. The attack occurred during a showing of the latest Batman movie, “The Dark Knight Rises.”

Fenton, who has been identified in a court document as Holmes’ psychiatrist, is the director of student mental health services at the campus. She also helped start the assessment team there in 2010, said university spokeswoman Jacque Montgomery.

Annan quits as Syrian envoy, blames lack of unity

BEIRUT — Kofi Annan announced his resignation Thursday as peace envoy to Syria and issued a blistering critique of world powers, bringing to a dramatic end a frustrating six-month effort that failed to achieve even a temporary cease-fire as the country plunged into civil war.

Annan also had harsh words for the Syrian regime, saying it was clear President Bashar Assad “must leave office.”

As the violence escalated on the ground, rebels used a captured tank to shell a military air base near Aleppo — one of the first known uses of heavy weapons by the insurgents.

Speaking to reporters in Geneva, Annan blamed the Syrian government’s intransigence, the growing militancy of Syrian rebels and a divided Security Council that failed to forcefully back his effort. Since he took on the job, Russia and China have twice used their veto power to block strong Western- and Arab-backed action against President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The White House said Annan’s resignation highlighted the failure of Russia and China to support action against Assad and called the regime’s continued violence against its own people “disgusting.”

Iraq: police say 12 killed in shootings, bombings

BAGHDAD — Bombings and drive-by shootings killed 12 people across Iraq on Thursday, officials said, in the latest series of small but recurrent strikes by militants bent on bringing the country back to the brink of civil war.

Authorities said five security forces were among the dead.

In Baghdad’s northeastern and mostly Shiite neighborhood of Husseiniyah, two roadside bombs exploded simultaneously at an open-air market just minutes before shoppers broke the daylong fast they observe during the ongoing Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Seven people were killed in the blasts, including two women, and another 24 were wounded. Hospital officials confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to release the information.

Teenager kills 8 , wounds 5 in China knife attack

BEIJING — A teenager killed eight people with a knife and wounded five more in northeast China after falling out with his girlfriend, state media said Thursday.

The teen killed two of her family members and six more people before fleeing, the state-run Legal Daily newspaper said. It reported he was caught but did not describe the circumstances.

The official Xinhua News Agency said the attack took place Wednesday night in Liaoning province. Media said the 17-year-old suspect is from Fushun city and his surname is Li. The attack happened in Yongling town.

A string of knife attacks against schoolchildren across the country in early 2010 killed nearly 20 and wounded more than 50.

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