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macon.com MIDDAY UPDATE: At least 1 killed in shooting at Virginia Tech; Indians burn Gere in effigy; Tour de Georgia rolls into town

BLACKSBURG, Va. - Shootings in a dorm and classroom at Virginia Tech left at least one person dead and seven or eight more wounded Monday before police arrested the suspected gunman, officials told The Associated Press.

Police confirmed they had a suspect in custody, the university said on its Web site.

On the Web site, Tech reported the shootings at opposite ends of the 2,600-acre campus at West Ambler Johnston, a co-ed residence hall that houses 895 people, and said there were "multiple victims" at Norris Hall, an engineering building.

The university said there were multiple victims. Government officials with knowledge of the case said there were seven to eight other "casualties."

Students were asked to stay in their homes away from windows. The campus was closed and classes canceled through Tuesday.

Officials ordered the campus closed, the second time in less than a year the 26,000-student campus was shut because of a shooting.

In August 2006, the opening day of classes was canceled and the campus closed when an escaped jail inmate allegedly killed a hospital guard off campus and fled to the Tech area. A sheriff's deputy involved in the manhunt was killed on a trail just off campus.

The accused gunman, William Morva, faces capital murder charges.

- Associated Press

PROTESTERS IN INDIA BURN EFFIGIES OF GERE

NEW DELHI - Angry crowds in several Indian cities burned effigies of Richard Gere on Monday after he swept a popular Bollywood actress into his arms and kissed her several times during an AIDS-awareness event.

Photographs of the 57-year-old actor embracing Shilpa Shetty and kissing her on the cheek at an HIV/AIDS awareness event in New Delhi were splashed across Monday's front pages in India _ a country where sex and public displays of affection are largely taboo.

In Mumbai, members of the right-wing Hindu nationalist group Shiv Sena beat burning effigies of Gere with sticks and set fire to glamorous shots of Shetty.

Similar protests broke out in other cities, including Varanasi, Hinduism's holiest city, and in the northern town of Meerut, where crowds chanted "Down with Shilpa Shetty!"

The two appeared at a press conference in New Delhi on Sunday to highlight the HIV/AIDS epidemic among India's truck drivers. In front of a cheering crowd, Gere kissed the giggling Shetty on the hand, then kissed her on both cheeks before bending her in a full embrace to kiss her cheek again.

"This is a bit too much," Shetty said after the embrace.

On Monday, Shetty tried to stamp out the controversy.

"I understand this is his culture, not ours. But this was not such a big thing or so obscene for people to overreact in such manner," she told the Press Trust of India news agency.

"I understand people's sentiments, but I don't want a foreigner to take bad memories from here," PTI quoted her as saying.

- Associated Press

LATER TODAY ON MACON.COM

- The Tour de Georgia rolls into town for the conclusion of Stage 1 around 4 p.m. We'll have photos and video from downtown.

VISIT US AGAIN SOON

We invite you to check out our Web site again next week for the Midday Update. Monday through Friday, Day News/Online Editor Beth MacFadyen will bring you timely information about what Telegraph staffers are working on, plus news we think you need to know immediately. Send feedback to bmacfadyen@macontel.com

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