Tuesday, November 12, 2019   
Mississippi State celebrates International Education Week with food, fun and fellowship
As home to one of the Southeastern Conference's most diverse student bodies, Mississippi State is celebrating global experiences and cultures with a range of International Education Week activities. "The worldwide celebration of International Education Week offers opportunities for people on campus and in Starkville to interact with people from all around the world and get to know their cultures and experiences to develop broader understanding of our global society," said Kei Mamiya, Holmes Cultural Diversity Center program coordinator. "We encourage students especially to get out of their comfort zones, explore the world, and find new possibilities in their future." Additionally, Delicious DestiNATIONS will be featured from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. daily in Perry Cafeteria, including Middle East, Caribbean, Mexican, South Korean and Japanese cuisine.
Meridian celebrates Veterans Day with ceremony, luncheon, parade
Veterans young and old came together Monday in Meridian to celebrate and honor those who served their country. Army, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and Navy veterans attended a Veterans Day program at the Doughboy statue Monday morning in Meridian. Veterans also attended a luncheon at VFW Post 79 and a downtown parade in the afternoon. Veterans, Marines from NAS Meridian, bands from local schools, members of various VFW posts marched while other veterans and members of the community gave their thanks from the road sides. Veteran's Day, originally called Armistice Day, celebrated 100 years Monday. It began as a way to commemorate the cessation of hostilities of World War I, Toby Bates, history professor at Mississippi State University-Meridian and speaker of the event, said.
The puzzle of a proton's proportions
We are built of protons -- there are around 10 octillion (1028) of them in the centre of the atoms that make up our bodies -- but scientists are still not sure how big they are. Two recent experiments have given more cause for confusion. One was undertaken at the Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility in the US and reported in the journal Nature. The other, from York University in Canada, is published in Science. Both seem to show that the proton is 4% smaller than previously thought -- a difference of about four quintillionths (0.04 femtometres) of a metre. Not much, but enough to represent a significant puzzle in the world of physics. The Jefferson Lab's approach, called PRad, has put a hole in an exciting hypothesis that could have explained the puzzle. "There was hope in the community that maybe we have found a fifth force of nature, that this force acts differently between electrons and muons," says Dipangkar Dutta, a member of the Jefferson Lab team from Mississippi State University in the US. "But the PRad experiment seems to shut the door on that possibility."
Starkville businesses gearing up for lottery sales
The month of November will see a first for the city of Starkville and the entire state of Mississippi as a lottery will be available for residents and visitors to participate in. Starting Nov. 25, approved retailers will begin selling scratch-off tickets in four varieties. Meg Annison, director of communications for the Mississippi Lottery Corporation, said there will be one $1 game, two $2 games and one $5 game by the end of the month. "Those will all have different payouts," Annison said. "In January, we'll introduce Powerball and Mega Millions." Local business owner Curt Crissey said he already had several businesses approved to sell lottery tickets, including Brewski's on Highway 12 and Coconuts on University Drive. Crissey said he was glad to be participating in the lottery as a retailer but did foresee some potential issues arising from the new industry. "It's not necessarily a win-win situation," Crissey said. "It can cause some problems within the store."
Rep. Trent Kelly, Sen. Roger Wicker, speak at Veterans Day programs
Military veterans were recognized for their service by Rep. Trent Kelly and U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., at Veterans Day programs in northeast Mississippi on Monday. Kelly addressed seventh and eighth grade students at Guntown Middle School during a Veterans Day program on Monday morning that began with a moment of silence as band director Robin Hill played "Taps." Kelly has spent 33 years in the Mississippi Army National Guard as a combat engineer and currently serves as a brigadier general. Kelly recalled attending Neshoba Baptist Church as a small child with his grandfather and seeing veterans there who inspired him to serve. "Some of them walked with canes and some of them had limps, but when they asked them on that morning on Veterans Day or Memorial Day, 'If you served this nation, will you stand?' they would stand so tall," Kelly said. "And you'd see how proud they were to have served just that little bit of time for this great nation."
Governor-elect Tate Reeves talks future of his administration, vision for the state
Just days after being elected to serve as Mississippi's 65th governor, Tate Reeves talked about the future of his administration. The governor-elect is in the process of putting together a transition team to help create his vision for the state. During his first public appearance at the Veterans Day Ceremony at the Two Mississippi Museums, Governor-Elect Reeves talked about his administration going forward. The Florence native said on election night that he will be working for the next several weeks and months to bring Mississippi back together. "Fortunately, as I have done in the past in working with members of both parties and members from every geographic region in the state, we'll do that once we get our administration put together as well," said Reeves. As governor he will appoint heads of state agencies, including replacements in the event of a vacancy of a U.S. House or Senate seat.
Analysis: Democrats evaluating Mississippi election losses
Some Mississippi Democrats are second-guessing the party's strategies after Republicans swept all eight statewide offices in this year's general election. The two Democrats at the top of the ticket were Attorney General Jim Hood, who lost the governor's race to Republican Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves, and state Rep. Jay Hughes, who lost the lieutenant governor's race to Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann. D'Andra Orey, a political science professor at Jackson State University, said he wonders if Democratic candidates should "redirect their focus" to pay more attention to the party's most loyal voters -- African Americans, especially African American women. Hood's TV ads showed him with his pickup truck, hunting dog and rifle. "When you do that, you alienate your base," Orey said.
Democratic Legislators Weigh In On The Future Of The Party
Following Tuesday's election, the Republican Party now has a firm grip in the state capital. Not only did the GOP complete a sweep of statewide offices, but they also expanded control in the Senate, and remain steady in the House. Many are now left wondering what this means for the Democratic Party. "The chronic problem that the Democratic Party in Mississippi has is we are allowing other people to define us and we're not defining ourselves," said Hob Bryan, District 7 State Senator. Bryan said the party supports the core beliefs of the people in Mississippi, such as improving infrastructure and fully funding education, but he admits, Democrats need to do a better job of getting that message out to voters. The longtime Senator believes this one thing could help lead to more voters and better representation for the Democratic Party in Jackson.
Michael Watson names Russ Nowell as Transition Director
Secretary of State-elect Michael Watson announced that Russ Nowell will be his Transition Director as Watson prepares to begin his new role in January, 2020. Last Tuesday, Watson was elected with 59% of the vote to become Mississippi's next Secretary of State. Nowell served as a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives from the 43rd district from 2008-2012. He has previously worked as Director of Legislative Outreach with the Mississippi Manufacturers Association and Vice President of the Business and Industry Political Education Committee (BIPEC). He also served as Legislative Liaison for Governor Phil Bryant in 2012. Nowell served as President of Southern Security Life Insurance Company for 10 years and managed The Nowell Funeral Group from 1996-1998. He is a native of Winston County.
Doug Davis named as Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith's Chief of Staff
A former state senator representing DeSoto County has been named the new chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Mississippi). The state's junior senator from the Magnolia State named Doug Davis to the position with the departure of Brad White, who will lead the transition effort for Governor-elect Tate Reeves. Not only is Davis a former state senator, but he has been a long-time associate of Hyde-Smith. Davis has been the deputy chief of staff for Hyde-Smith and was based in Jackson. Davis, a DeSoto County native, was chief of staff to Mississippi Secretary of State Delbert Hosemann from 2013 to 2018 before joining Hyde-Smith's Senate staff as a senior advisor. The new Chief of Staff is the son of former DeSoto County Chancery Clerk W.E. "Sluggo" Davis. The Magnolia Heights School graduate earned a degree from Mississippi College. Davis represented District 1 in the state Senate from 2004 to 2011, where he chaired the Appropriations Committee and the Universities and Colleges Committee.
Mike Espy announces 2020 U.S. Senate run against Cindy Hyde-Smith
Get ready for a rematch. Democrat Mike Espy announced he is running for U.S. Senate Tuesday morning, likely setting up a 2020 rematch of his 2018 race against Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. Espy, a former U.S. representative and former U.S. secretary of agriculture in the Clinton administration, made the announcement in a video posted to Twitter. The 2018 special election drew national attention as Espy and Hyde-Smith battled to serve the remainder of Sen. Thad Cochran's term. Cochran resigned in April 2018 following 40 years in the Senate, and Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Hyde-Smith as interim senator. Hyde-Smith won the run-off with just under 54% of the vote. Espy's announcement Tuesday was not a surprise. Within a few weeks of his 2018 loss, he filed paperwork to run again in 2020.
Mike Espy, in outreach to millennials, announces another Senate run in video
Lining the walls of Mike Espy's Jackson law office are photos, memorabilia and documents detailing his life in public service as the state's first African American U.S. House member since the 1800s and as one of Mississippi's few U.S. cabinet secretaries. But the item he saves for last to talk about is a photo of his grandfather -- Thomas Jefferson Huddleston -- the son of slaves who went on to launch an African American newspaper with a circulation of more than 100,000, opened an insurance company, built more than 30 funeral homes and established the first African American Hospital in the state – the Afro-American Hospital of Yazoo City. "He is my political idol," said Espy with only a hint of the hoarse voice that became so familiar during his unsuccessful 2018 run for the United States Senate against Republican Cindy Hyde-Smith. "Even though I am running for Senate and some people talk about how hard that is, it is not hard compared to what he did when he did it." That is right -- Espy is running for the U.S. Senate again in 2020 against Hyde-Smith.
Mike Espy announces 2020 Senate run
Mike Espy, the former U.S. secretary of agriculture, announced on Tuesday he is running for the U.S. Senate for a second time, which will likely set up a rematch against current U.S. Sen. Cindy Hyde-Smith. "I'm Mike Espy, and over my lifetime, I've seen a lot of changes in Mississippi, but progress in Mississippi is still too slow," Espy, a Democrat, said in a campaign video. Espy, the first African-American to represent Mississippi in Congress since Reconstruction, first ran against Hyde-Smith in 2018 in a special U.S. Senate election after the late U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran resigned from the Senate. Hyde-Smith, a Republican, was then appointed by Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant to fill the vacant seat. The 2018 race drew national attention after Hyde-Smith, the former commissioner of agriculture for Mississippi, told supporters at a campaign event in Tupelo that if a friend had invited her to a "public hanging" she would "be on the front row." The visit also prompted President Donald Trump to host a campaign rally in Tupelo to support Hyde-Smith.
Ex-Jackson socialite Karen Irby wants pardon for manslaughter conviction. Will she get it?
Ex-Jackson socialite Karen Irby, whose sentence was commuted by one governor in 2012, is now seeking a pardon from another for her 2010 culpable negligence manslaughter conviction. Irby was sentenced to 18 years in prison in 2010 for causing the crash in 2009 that killed Dr. Lisa Dedousis and her fiance, Dr. Mark Pogue. Then-Gov. Haley Barbour commuted the sentence of Irby, who now goes by Karen Collins, to three years of house arrest when he granted her and others clemency before he left office. It's unlikely that a pardon will be received from outgoing Gov. Phil Bryant. Earlier this month in the case of a former doctor seeking a pardon, Bryant's office sent her the following the response: "Governor Bryant has been in office for almost 8 years and has granted no pardons. He has made the decision that he is not going to grant any pardons during his term as Governor. I am sorry."
Trump circuit court nominee Halil Suleyman Ozerden in jeopardy amid GOP opposition
President Trump's pick for an influential circuit court is in jeopardy over Republican opposition to the nomination. The Senate Judiciary Committee is leaving Judge Halil Suleyman Ozerden's nomination off its agenda for a Thursday business meeting where five other judicial nominations are expected to get a vote, according to a committee notice sent out on Monday. The decision to leave him off the weekly agenda was made "at the request of the WH," a committee aide told The Hill, using an abbreviation for the White House. The committee aide directed questions about the status of the nomination to the administration. Spokespeople for the White House didn't immediately respond to a request for comment about the decision, or on whether Trump was planning to withdraw Ozerden's nomination. Ozerden has the backing of his two home-state senators, Sens. Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) and Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.), as well as ties to acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.
Road ahead: Public impeachment hearings begin
The public phase of the House impeachment inquiry begins this week, with three witnesses set to air concerns Wednesday and Friday that President Donald Trump attempted to tie Ukrainian military aid to an investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden, a potential Democratic rival in 2020. Much of the attention on Capitol Hill will be focused on the House Intelligence Committee as it opens up to televised questioning and testimony an investigation that so far had been conducted in a secure closed-door facility in the basement of the Capitol. On Wednesday, lawmakers are scheduled to hear from William Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, and George Kent, the deputy assistant secretary of State for European and Eurasian affairs. On Friday, they will hear from Marie Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine, who was abruptly removed this spring as a campaign to discredit her emerged.
Trump weighs conditioning foreign aid on religious freedom
Aides to President Donald Trump are drafting plans to condition U.S. aid to other countries on how well they treat their religious minorities, two White House officials said. The proposal is expected to cover U.S. humanitarian and development assistance, and could also be broadened to include American military aid to other countries. If the proposal becomes reality, it could have a major effect on U.S. assistance in a range of places, from Iraq to Vietnam. Its mere consideration shows how much the White House prioritizes religious freedom, an emphasis critics say is really about galvanizing Trump's evangelical Christian base. But experts on U.S. aid also warn that picking and choosing which countries to punish could be a very difficult task, not least because several countries that are partners or allies of the United States have terrible religious freedom records.
AP-NORC poll: Many youths say high school diploma is enough
Although most young Americans believe in the value of higher education, many still consider a high school diploma alone to be enough for success, according to a survey of teens and young adults by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research. The findings alarm some experts who say young Americans don't seem to be getting the message that college pays off. Federal labor data shows a wide earnings gap between Americans who do and do not have a college degree, and unemployment rates are far lower for those with a bachelor's or master's degree. More than half of Americans ages 13 through 29 do see college as a path to economic success, but about 4 in 10 believe a bachelor's degree prepares people only somewhat well, or even poorly, for today's economy. A common thread among many young Americans is a concern over the cost of education.
Jackson State student becomes Rhodes Scholar finalist
Jordan Jefferson is a senior at Jackson State University studying political science. He serves as the student body president, plays football, and is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Now, Jefferson can add another honor to his long list of accomplishments: a Rhodes Scholar finalist. Jefferson said he and his mom have talked about him becoming a Rhodes Scholar since he was in the third grade. "This is the Heisman award for academics. It's a world-renowned award." Jefferson told 16 WAPT's Marcus Hunter. "For me to be the first from my school, it gives me a hope in a sense of 'Wow, I could possibly do that as well.'" If Jefferson is selected as a Rhodes Scholar, he would be the first-ever JSU student to receive the prestigious award. Jefferson will interview for the scholarship one final time on Nov. 22 and 23 in Birmingham, Alabama.
Auburn student group promotes mental health awareness
Students at Auburn University are trying to connect with friends and strangers to talk about mental health. The Opelika-Auburn news reports that the student organization Active Minds held a series of events throughout last week to promote mental health awareness. On Monday, students could meet with counselors and service dogs. On Tuesday, the annual "Send Silence Packing" event saw the Campus Green Space filled with backpacks, each representing someone who has committed suicide. More events were held Wednesday and Thursday, with the goal of making students more comfortable talking about mental health.
$2.25 million in 24 hours: UT-Knoxville aims to set new fundraising record
The University of Tennessee-Knoxville will attempt to set a new fundraising record on Wednesday: raising $2.25 million in 24 hours. This year's Big Orange Give raises the stakes, while also honoring the university's 225th anniversary. Last year, the 24-hour fundraising push raised over $2.1 million for scholarships, colleges, organizations and programming at UT-Knoxville. Donations open up at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 13, and will be accepted until 11:59 p.m. that night. The easiest way to donate is online, at www.bigorangegive.utk.edu, said Lauren Herbstritt, Director of Advancement for Annual Giving. As part of Big Orange Give, there is a $1 million challenge gift from the Regal Foundation and Richard and Mary Antonucci. If UT receives $1.25 million in donations, then the additional $1 million will be donated.
This alumnus just gave U. of Kentucky College of Law a $20 million donation
A $20 million donation has been given to the University of Kentucky College of Law by an alumnus and native Lexingtonian, university officials announced Friday. The single donation -- the third largest in university history -- is a gift from Cincinnati philanthropists J. David and Dianne Rosenberg, UK President Eli Capilouto told a crowd in the auditorium of the newly-renovated $53 million law school, which will be formally dedicated later this month. As a result of the grant, Capilouto has recommended that the University Senate and Board of Trustees agree to formally rename the college the J. David Rosenberg College of Law. It would be the university's third named college, behind Gatton College of Business and Economics and the Lewis Honors College. For Capilouto, the gift was personal. In getting to know one another over the last year, Rosenberg and Capilouto discovered they have a lot in common. "We bonded over the unique experience of growing up Jewish in the segregated South," said Capilouto, a Montgomery, Alabama native.
Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity suspended from U. of South Carolina's campus until 2023
The University of South Carolina has suspended the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity until fall 2023 because of alleged hazing, USC spokesman Jeff Stensland said Monday. The fraternity, which has a house in USC's Greek Village, will have its fraternity letters -- which look like a triangle without a bottom, the letter "X" and the letter "A" -- removed, and all members will be required to move out, said Lambda Chi Alpha spokesman Tad Lichtenauer. Both USC and the fraternity's national organization worked together on deciding the chapter's punishment, Lichtenauer said. Lambda Chi Alpha was already on probation until May 2020 for a Spring 2018 incident of alleged hazing, according to USC's website. The website doesn't detail the specific allegations, but says the 2018 incident of hazing included "violent conduct" and alcohol, according to the website.
U. of Arkansas holds New York Post's 1.38 million photos; archive dates to 1860s
More than a million photographs and negatives spanning the 20th century arrived at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville last month. Dennis T. Clark, dean of libraries, said the trove is the New York Post's photo archive, which contains a few photos dating back to the 1860s. "It's a very large collection, very significant in American journalism," Clark said. The archive includes photos of historical figures, such as Babe Ruth, Bonnie Parker and Clyde Barrow, Winston Churchill, Marilyn Monroe, Martin Luther King and Muhammad Ali. Also included are photos that document politics, wars, natural disasters and the civil-rights movement. Clark said the unsolicited gift came from a donor who wished to remain anonymous. Clark said the Post sold the archive a few years ago. Many of the photos in the archive have been digitized by Getty Images.
Georgia colleges hoping Dreamers win U.S. Supreme Court case
Two Georgia colleges and universities have sided in support of young immigrants seeking federal financial aid to college and other benefits in a case scheduled to come before the U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday. The two private institutions in DeKalb County -- Oglethorpe University and Agnes Scott College -- last month joined 165 colleges and universities nationwide in signing a brief in support of students called "Dreamers" who are part of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. President Donald Trump has praised Dreamers for their hardworking spirit, but sought when he took office in 2017 to phase out the Obama-era program as part of his immigration policy. The Trump administration has battled with various courts over portions of his plans. It's now before the nation's highest court. The program has divided Georgia for years, drawing outrage from the state's top Republicans and fierce support from Atlanta's political leadership.
U. of Missouri System president elected to Association of Public and Land-grant Universities
UM System President Mun Choi has been elected to the board of directors of the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. The appointment places Choi alongside leaders of public universities around the country, according to an MU press release. APLU is the oldest higher education institution in North America, representing 243 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems and affiliated organizations. It works to further student success, promote research and drive economic growth, the press release said. "We're so pleased to have Mun Choi join the APLU Board of Directors," APLU President Peter McPherson said. "As a higher education leader and engineer, we'll rely on his analytical ability and strategic vision."
U. of Missouri joins project to increase diversity of STEM faculty
The University of Missouri is joining 19 other universities to develop strategies for increasing diversity among its faculty teaching and researching in science, technology, engineering and math, according to a news release. The project, known as Aspire: The National Alliance for Inclusive & Diverse STEM Faculty, is a program led by the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, financed by a grant from the National Science Foundation. The program seeks to improve inclusive teaching practices along with increasing faculty diversity. Participating universities will conduct an assessment of current practices and develop campus action plans. NaTashua Davis, interim MU vice chancellor of inclusion, diversity & equity, along with Inya Baiye, assistant vice chancellor of inclusive excellence and strategic initiatives, and will work with the Office of the Provost to advance the initiative at MU.
Students across the country faced voting barriers on Election Day
Sacred Heart University students were particularly motivated to vote on Election Day last week. For some students, it would be their first time voting. Others had been heavily involved in an on-campus voter registration drive and were eager to cast their ballots against a local politician. The students knew they would be asked for identification to prove they were eligible to vote, but none were prepared for what happened when they showed up at a local polling place in Bridgeport, Conn., near the university's campus in Fairfield. Poll workers openly mocked them, questioned them aggressively about their state residency and challenged their use of certain forms of identification. University administrators saw this as a form of intimidation and an attempt to suppress the student vote. While such open hostility directed at young voters is not the norm at most polling places, tensions between college students and politicians and elections officials are more common across the country now that college students are an influential and contested voting bloc.
2017-18 academic year had largest state aid increase in decade
State investment in college students grew more last year than in the past decade, according to an annual study of grant and aid programs released Tuesday. Undergraduate aid grew by 8.62 percent during the 2017-18 academic year compared to an annual growth rate of 1 to 6 percent, adjusted for inflation, since 2007-08, a new report by the National Association of State Student Grant and Aid Programs outlines. State financial aid programs in the U.S. reached $13.6 billion, compared to $12.8 billion dedicated to postsecondary students in 2016-17, says the report by NASSGAP. The most recent increase is "by far the largest," Frank Ballmann, director of NASSGAP, has seen since he began leading the Washington office of the organization in 2010, he said. "It's a bipartisan issue in the states because there are seven million vacant jobs across the country. Those are going to go overseas if we don't make that investment," he said.
United States should make a massive investment in AI, top Senate Democrat says
The top Democrat in the U.S. Senate wants the government to create a new agency that would invest an additional $100 billion over 5 years on basic research in artificial intelligence (AI). Senator Charles Schumer (D–NY) says the initiative would enable the United States to keep pace with China and Russia in a critical research arena and plug gaps in what U.S. companies are unwilling to finance. The proposal, which Schumer outlined publicly for the first time last week in a speech to senior national security and research policymakers gathered in Washington, D.C., reflects the growing interest in AI and related fields, including a recent presidential executive order. And being the minority leader gives Schumer the chance to turn his ideas into concrete action. Schumer wants to create a new national science tech fund that would pour $100 billion into "fundamental research related to AI and some other cutting-edge areas." The money would fuel research at U.S. universities, companies, and other federal agencies, he explained.
Northwestern student journalists face backlash over editorial apologizing for photographing protesters
On Sunday, Northwestern University's student newspaper published an editorial apologizing for "mistakes" the staff said it had made while covering two protests during former attorney general Jeff Sessions's visit to campus on Nov. 5. Those errors? Tweeting out photos of students protesting Sessions and later using a campus directory to call some of those demonstrators for interviews. "We recognize that we contributed to the harm students experienced, and we wanted to apologize for and address the mistakes that we made that night," the Daily Northwestern's editorial board wrote. "Some protesters found photos posted to reporters' Twitter accounts retraumatizing and invasive. Those photos have since been taken down." But dozens of professional journalists argued on Monday that the apology itself was the true mistake -- an error compounded by the fact that the college is home to the celebrated Medill School of Journalism.
Mike Pompeo reminds Citadel cadets there are 'no safe spaces' at their school
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Citadel cadets on Veterans Day he admired they didn't protest America and that their education was different from typical universities. The West Point graduate Class of 1986 praised the student body, which boasts one of the largest college Republican clubs in the nation, for "fighting for American ideals, not protesting them." He reminded cadets who are considering joining the military there are "no safe spaces" on their campus, meaning to be prepared for confronting the uncomfortable facts of life. "For many of you, this is a matter of life and death for those around you," he said. "That's why there's no safe spaces at your military school. Trust me, you will thank your drill sergeant later." During Pompeo's 10-minute speech, delivered to more than 2,000 cadets, public officials and press, he praised President Donald Trump's policies amid an ongoing impeachment probe, went on to laud the school for turning out civil and military leaders and thanked them for their future military service.
Scholars of religion and biblical literature object to having conference badges coded and scanned
Being scanned in to scholarly meetings? Religious studies and biblical literature scholars said a loud, quick no to the idea last week upon learning via email that name badges for their upcoming annual meeting would include QR codes. The American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature, which will gather at the end of the month in San Diego, responded to the criticism quickly, saying Friday that they would distribute badges with no codes instead. In so doing, meeting planners said they had been trying to encourage "fair use" of conference badges. But scholars have lingering questions as to why and how the QR code plan took shape in the first place. Common concerns include those about surveillance and tracking, and the disparate impact that enforcing a badge policy might have on racial, ethnic and sexual minorities. Elsewhere, policing of scholarly meeting attendance -- sometimes by hotel or conference hall staff members -- has led to instances of apparent racial profiling.
San Diego State University suspends 14 campus fraternities after 'devastating' death of freshman
A San Diego State University freshman died after allegedly attending a fraternity event last week, prompting the school to suspend all Interfraternity Council-affiliated organizations. Emergency responders took Dylan Hernandez to the hospital Thursday morning, and his family "gave their goodbyes late Sunday night," university President Adela de la Torre said in a statement on Monday. Out of the 14 organizations on campus, six were already suspended and four were under investigation before last week's incident, the university said. The indefinite suspension notice -- which did not note the cause of Hernandez's death -- prevents all organizations from hosting activities. University police are investigating why Hernandez required medical attention after allegedly attending a fraternity event Wednesday night. Police involvement began after a 911 call requesting help for Hernandez, who was in a residence hall at the time.
Disagreement over federal regulations on distance education providers
Regulating universities that operate across state lines is contentious and complicated. So it was considered a remarkable achievement when a panel of negotiators selected by the U.S. Department of Education reached consensus on new distance education rules earlier this year. Not everyone is happy with the final regulations, however. Robyn Smith, a consumer advocate who served on the negotiated rule-making panel, said the final rules published by the department in late October are not consistent with what the panel agreed to in April. "I am outraged by the final regulations," Smith wrote in a statement earlier this month. Smith, a lawyer who is counsel to the National Consumer Law Center and a senior attorney for the Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, said the department substantially changed the distance education regulation "without sufficient factual justification."

Mississippi State dedicates POW/MIA Chairs of Honor at athletic venues
Mississippi State continues its longstanding tradition of honoring our nation's military service men and women with the unveiling of permanent POW/MIA Chairs of Honor inside Davis Wade Stadium, Humphrey Coliseum and Dudy Noble Field, the Athletic Department announced on Veteran's Day. The unoccupied chairs will serve as a tribute to prisoners of war and service members who are missing in action, honoring those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country. "Mississippi State has always taken great pride in honoring our veterans and service members," Director of Athletics John Cohen said. "The courage and sacrifice of the brave men and women who serve and protect our country allow us the freedoms we have, including attending our Bulldog athletic events. These unoccupied Chairs of Honor at our venues will forever serve in remembrance of those who never returned home. There will always be a place in our venues awaiting their return." The Chair of Honor in Davis Wade Stadium will be formally unveiled as part of MSU's Military Appreciation football game versus Alabama at 11 a.m. Saturday.
Bulldogs' bench breezes by UT Martin
It was all about the newcomers for Mississippi State on Monday night. The 10th-ranked Bulldogs pulled away from UT Martin quickly which allowed coach Vic Schaefer to sub in his bench players and get them meaningful minutes early in the season. MSU's bench provided 39 points in an 82-46 victory in front of 7,667 at Humphrey Coliseum. "Tonight gave us an opportunity to play some of these young kids some extended minutes," Schaefer said. Freshman point guard Aliyah Matharu made the most of her 17 minutes off the bench. Matharu poured in 15 points on 6 of 8 shooting including three 3-pointers while also adding two assists, one steal and no turnovers. [Schaefer] "is comfortable with me shooting the ball and I'm comfortable with my jump shot," Matharu said. "When I see an open shot, sometimes I shoot. I was just feeling it tonight." MSU returns to action on Friday hosting Murray State at 7 p.m.
3 takeaways from Mississippi State women's basketball win over UT Martin
It's that time of year when Mississippi State head coach Vic Schaefer screams at his team and his face turns a color that resembles the seats at Humphrey Coliseum. You'd think the Bulldogs were losing by 20-plus. No, they were beating UT Martin by 19 at the time. Schaefer called timeout because he didn't like the way his team was operating the offense. Freshman guard Aliyah Matharu promptly nailed a 3-pointer out of the break. There were moments that surely aggravated Shaefer, but there were others that certainly pleased him too. Mississippi State beat the visiting Skyhawks, 82-46, to improve to 2-0 this season. "I thought we showed some growth tonight in some areas," Schaefer said. "We still have a work in progress in most areas, but I did see some improvement in certain areas." Here are three takeaways from the game.
Mississippi State will wait and see before naming QB
Who will be the starting quarterback for Mississippi State has been a trendy topic for most of the season -- and this week is no different. Coach Joe Moorhead will wait until later in the week before naming his starting signal caller -- either senior Tommy Stevens or freshman Garrett Shrader -- for Saturday's game against fourth-ranked Alabama. "The good news is that Garrett is back to being completely healthy," Moorhead told reporters on Monday. "We went through practice (on Sunday) and both of the guys got reps. Tommy got most of the ones with the 1s and Garrett with the 2s. But we're going to continue to progress it through and see how Garrett is coming along." Stevens resumed his role as the Bulldogs' starting signal caller in a win over Arkansas two weeks ago with Shrader dealing with general health issues that week. Stevens completed 12 of 18 passes for 172 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions while adding 74 rushing yards on 15 attempts.
'1A and 1B': What Mississippi State quarterback situation looks like against Alabama
Depth charts are just pieces of paper. Mississippi State's depth chart has true freshman quarterback Garrett Shrader listed above graduate senior Tommy Stevens ahead of this weekend's game against Alabama. There's one word that complicates everything, though: "OR." MSU head coach Joe Moorhead said both QBs are in line to play Saturday. He called the duo "QB 1A and QB 1B" in no particular order during his Monday press conference. Stevens took most of Sunday's practice reps with the starters while Shrader, who missed the Arkansas game on Nov. 2 with "general health issues," ran with the reserves. Shrader has almost fully recovered and Stevens is as healthy as he's been all season, which might lead some to believe Stevens gets the start this week. Stevens, after all, was the team's clear No. 1 QB entering the season. He was 12-of-18 for 172 yards and two touchdowns with 15 carries and 74 yards in the 30-point win over Arkansas. "Seeing him throw it accurately and create explosive plays and seeing him run the ball was good," Moorhead said.
NOTEBOOK: Joe Moorhead expects to get Bama's best
LSU took control of the SEC Western Division standings this past Saturday with its 46-41 victory at Alabama in what many considered the "game of the year." The Crimson Tide fell to No. 4 in the polls following their first loss of the season and now travel to Starkville this week to take on Mississippi State. The Bulldogs believe that they'll face an angry Alabama team that's hellbent on getting back into the win column. "I'm guessing based on their coaching staff and their culture that they're going to come in with a singleness of purpose and look to bounce back strong," said MSU coach Joe Moorhead. "We're not anticipating any lingering affect or any kind of hangover where they've got their chins on their chest. We're expecting their best and they're going to get our best as well." MSU held LSU to its lowest offensive output to date in a 36-13 loss in Starkville on Oct. 18. The Tigers had just 86 rushing yards and finished with 413 total yards on the day, which is 125 yards below their season average.
Hogs' AD Hunter Yurachek: 'Simple goal' for football team to be competitive not reached
University of Arkansas Athletic Director Hunter Yurachek stood on the sidelines, in the tunnels and in the locker rooms during the last few Razorback football games, and he did not like what he was seeing. Not just lopsided losses, but long faces and unhappy players. Yurachek said Monday that he told Coach Chad Morris the day after a 54-24 home loss to Mississippi State that, in essence, the next game against Western Kentucky was win or else. The Razorbacks lost 45-19 to the Hilltoppers and former Arkansas quarterback Ty Storey on Saturday, and the next morning Yurachek dismissed Morris after less than two years on the job. "I thought our football program had taken some steps backwards in the past few weeks," Yurachek said at a joint news conference to introduce interim Coach Barry Lunney at the Broyles Athletic Center. "I had one goal -- one main goal -- for our football program as we headed into this season, and it was a simple goal. I wanted us to be competitive game-in and game-out. Not to win the Southeastern Conference, but to be competitive game-in and game-out. I think it was clear over the past couple of weeks that we were no longer competitive."
Could South Carolina afford to buy out Muschamp's contract? University board is split
Even if the University of South Carolina wants to replace Will Muschamp as head football coach this year, the school may not be able to afford the $19 million buyout in his contract, several trustees told The State. "I personally don't think the university can buy out a contract such as his," said Trustee Egerton Burroughs. "My job right now is to keep tuition down and hopefully reduce tuition." To be clear, none of the six trustees who spoke to The State on the record would say whether Muschamp should be fired. Instead, they said that decision should be made by either Athletic Director Ray Tanner or President Robert Caslen. USC board Chair John Von Lehe thinks USC could afford to pay Muschamp's buyout should Tanner recommend his firing. "We could afford to get a new coach if Ray (Tanner) thinks that's the right move," Von Lehe said. However, "a sum of $18.5 million is not taken lightly," Von Lehe said.
An oral history of the 1999 'Bonfire Game' between Texas and Texas A&M
It is often described as the most important victory in Texas A&M football history, though there was no championship trophy involved or even significant bragging rights. This game meant something different. On Nov. 26, 1999, the Aggies played the Texas Longhorns for the 106th time, but the pageantry and vitriol of one of college football's greatest rivalries took a back seat. The A&M campus was in deep mourning. Eight days prior, the 90th edition of the Aggie Bonfire collapsed. The towering log stack, which students built each year and then burned the night before the Texas game to represent the "burning desire to beat the hell outta t.u.," stood at 40 feet on its way to a completion height of 55 feet. The structure held an estimated 5,000 logs at the time of its collapse. Eleven students and one former student were killed. The unthinkable tragedy devastated the campus and the Bryan-College Station community. Football was the last thing on anyone's mind. But after a week of sorrow and loss among the Aggie family, the game went on at Kyle Field.
Memphis basketball keeping James Wiseman front-and-center on Twitter
The Memphis basketball team clearly has its star freshman's back. Since preseason All-American center James Wiseman was ruled "likely ineligible" by the NCAA last week, the Tigers have been anything but subtle in its stance regarding the organization's decision. Wiseman filed a lawsuit in Shelby County Chancery Court late Friday afternoon seeking a temporary emergency restraining order allowing him to play that night against Illinois-Chicago, despite the NCAA's declaration. If the NCAA does not take steps toward removing the case from state court and having it heard in federal court, a hearing will be held on Nov. 18 (although, according to Wiseman's legal representatives, that is subject to change) in an effort to obtain a formal injunction against the ruling and allow Wiseman to keep playing indefinitely. The way Wiseman and the University of Memphis have approached the whole situation is atypical and has much of the nation buzzing.

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