News Roundup | 11.28.18

Harvard Diversity Suit Closes Arguments

Students for Fair Admissions and Harvard University (Mass.) delivered closing arguments in the Harvard diversity lawsuit on Nov. 2. Both parties have said they would appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court. Federal District Court Judge Allison Burroughs is reviewing evidence and testimony provided during the trial and could rule as early as next spring, according to the Boston Globe. The Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the constitutionality of affirmative action in college admissions policies. In 2016, the Supreme Court ruled in Fisher vs. University of Texas that colleges could use race as a factor when admitting students.

CIA: Saudi Crown Prince Ordered Khashoggi’s Death

The Central Intelligence Agency on Nov. 16 deemed that the Crown Prince of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist and Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi, according to the New York Times. Khashoggi died in the Saudi embassy in Turkey on Oct. 2. The CIA reportedly based its assessment on intercepted phone calls of bin Salman. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called Khashoggi’s death “premeditated murder,” according to the Times. Erdogan revealed on Nov. 10 that an audio recording of the killing had been made available to the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Germany and Saudi Arabia, per the Washington Post. National security adviser John Bolton said on Nov. 27 that he does not plan to listen to the recordings because he does not speak Arabic.

President Donald J. Trump released a Nov. 20 statement about the killing, in which he said that the United States “does not condone” the killing of Khashoggi. “It could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event – maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!” the statement reads. “In any case, our relationship is with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. They have been a great ally in our very important fight against Iran.”

Calif. Fires Kill at Least 88

At least 85 people died due to the Camp Fire in Northern California, which was fully contained as of Sunday, The Los Angeles Times reported. The fire, which raged for more than two weeks, is the deadliest in California history. Crews are now working to restore power and other utility lines as well as clearing the debris created by the fire. More than 153,000 acres were burned and 249 residents are missing as of Sunday night, according to the LA Times. A rainstorm on Thursday had helped bring containment of the fire to 95 percent, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Air quality in the Bay Area improved from “very unhealthy” and “unhealthy” to “good,” according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Air Quality Index.

The Woolsey Fire in Southern California, which started Nov. 8 and caused three civilian deaths, was fully contained as of Wednesday evening. The Los Angeles County Fire Department said on Nov. 25 that the fire destroyed 1,643 structures, damaged 364 structures, burned 92,949 acres and caused three firefighter injuries.

Four Emory Students Selected as Rhodes Scholar Finalists

Lamar Greene (19C), Camila Reed-Guevara (19C), Leigh Schlecht (19C) and Namrata Verghese (19C) were selected as Rhodes Scholar finalists, according to a Nov. 19 University press release, although none won the prestigious award. Finalist interviews were given to 221 students in the U.S., and 32 ultimately received the scholarship, according to the press release. The scholarship provides funding for college graduates to study at the University of Oxford (England). In the University’s history, it has garnered 20 recipients for the award, with the most recent being Chelsea Jackson (18C). “These students model the ideals of a liberal arts and sciences education fueled by creativity and discovery,” College Dean Michael Elliott said in the press release. “We are extremely proud of them and I look forward to seeing the impact they will have on the world.”

Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients were eligible for the scholarship for the first time this year, according to the Rhodes Scholarship press release. The cohort of winners this year included 21 women, the highest number to date. — Richard Chess

Editor’s Note: Schlecht is a copy editor for the Wheel. She was not involved in the composition or editing of this article.

University Senate Endorses Proposal for Additional Vacation Days

The University Senate unanimously endorsed a proposal by Vice President of Human Resources Del King to close the University for the three business days between Christmas and New Years Day. “We have done some benchmarking to look at what some of our peer institutions are doing as far as the time between the Christmas holiday and the new year,” King said. “A lot of our peer institutions are closed during that time.” The proposed closure, which King dubbed “winter recess,” would treat the days as holidays and only require that essential employees work on-campus, including some Campus Services (CS) and Yerkes National Primate Research Center employees. Employees who requested and received vacation time for would be credited, if the proposal is approved. King said he hopes President Claire E. Sterk’s leadership team will decide to approve the proposal by Dec. 1.

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