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Q&A: Power bills, shootings, bin Laden's gun

Don't try this at home

What happens if I respectfully decline to pay Duke Energy's bill increases for services not rendered, but only for energy I actually use?

Sterling Ivey, a communications specialist for Duke Energy, answered on behalf of the utility:

"All costs on the customer bill represent Duke Energy's full cost of doing business and have been approved by the Florida Public Service Commission. Any unpaid portion of the bill may result in a late payment fee.

"If left unpaid, that customer's electric service would be subject to disconnection, consistent with the Florida Public Service Commission rules and Duke Energy's tariff."

Deadliest shootings

I recently saw a list of the 20 deadliest shootings in the United States since 1965. Do any other countries have a similar track record for this sort of thing?

The website Information Please has created a database of the worst mass and school shootings around the world since 1996. The two worst occurred overseas, but the vast majority of the shootings took place on American soil. Of the list of 80 that covers the time period from 1996 through Sept. 21, 61 occurred in the United States — 76.3 percent of the total.

The worst was in 2007, when a gunman shot students and faculty on the campus of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Va. Thirty-two people died before the gunman killed himself.

In 2012, a gunman killed 27 children and faculty at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

The worst occurred in Norway in 2011, when a man disguised as a police officer set off bombs that killed eight people in Oslo, then traveled to a remote island and gunned down 69 others, most of them young people attending a camp.

On Sept. 21, Somalian militants attacked a mall in Kenya and killed at least 67 people.

Bin Laden's AK-47

At the end of the movie Zero Dark Thirty, one of the Navy SEALs removed Osama bin Laden's AK-47 from a wall in his bedroom. Did the United States really take bin Laden's AK-47? If the U.S. confiscated bin Laden's AK-47, where is it?

Bin Laden's AK-47 is on display at a museum at CIA headquarters in Langley, Va., according to NBC News. The rifle was taken from the third floor of the compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where a U.S. Navy SEAL team killed the terrorist in a raid in May 2011.

"Because of its proximity to (bin Laden) there on the third floor in the compound, our analyst determined it to be his," curator Toni Hiley told NBC News. "It's a Russian AK with counterfeit Chinese markings." Hiley said, however, the AK-47 is not the same one seen with bin Laden in propaganda videos.

The museum is not open to the public.

Compiled from Times and wire reports. To submit a question, email

Q&A: Power bills, shootings, bin Laden's gun 10/24/13 [Last modified: Thursday, October 24, 2013 9:14pm]
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