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Norwegian sideshow

Nine months after massacring 77 people in Norway, Anders Behring Breivik resumed his assault – this time with words in a courtroom.

In the first day of his trial, Breivik refused to recognize the authority of the courts and admitted the killings but claimed self-defense. After his handcuffs were removed, he extended a clenched fist in a salute.

He’s made it clear he wants to use his trial as a platform to spread his anti-Islam massage, something that upsets victims.

“He stated he did this to gain attention, and I don’t believe that he should gain attention to it,” said Tore Sinding Bekkedal, who survived the rampage. “I don’t want to give him that reward.”

Breivik, of course, has a right to a trial and to put on a defense, and it doesn’t help that Norway’s judicial system gives him plenty of opportunities to talk. His rants will soon be old news, though, and the friends and relatives of the 77 victims should soon see justice.

Grant helps paint a more hopeful future

Removing the hazards of old lead-based paint from homes is an expensive but necessary way to protect children. A nearly $2.5 million federal grant will help local housing officials reduce the amount of lead paint found in rental homes.

Without the grant, landlords would likely have difficulty covering the lead paint removal costs.

According to city officials, it usually costs about $10,000 to remove lead paint from a home. Increasing rent to cover the removal cost would price too many people out of a safe rental home.

City leaders estimate 61,000 homes built before 1978 have a high risk of containing lead paint.

Dust or chipped lead paint can easily expose children to lead, which can cause reduced intelligence, learning disabilities, developmental delays, reduced height and impaired hearing.

The grant will be spread out over three years to provide low-interest loans to landlords to remove lead paint for their rental properties.

The city is also carefully targeting areas that have less than 20 percent poverty and have access to public transportation, fresh food and work to increase the amount of safe and affordable rental properties in desirable locations.

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