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News Brief: Week of Nov. 11-17


Camp Fire:

At least 76 are dead and 1,000 are missing as a result of the deadliest wildfire in California history.

Rescue workers spent much of late last week searching for bodies amid the debris of burned homes and businesses in the Paradise area. The confirmed death toll rose steadily throughout the week, from 23 on Monday to the current 76.

President Donald Trump visited the area Saturday to assess damage and meet with local first responders. Speaking to reporters in front of a burned neighborhood, Trump said poor forest management was likely a contributor to the Camp Fire, which devastated Paradise.

“We do have to do management and maintenance, and we’ll be working also with environmental groups,” Trump said. “I think everybody has seen the light, and I don’t think we’ll have this again to this extent.” (NBC News)

Acosta press pass returned:

A federal judge sided with CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta Friday, ordering the Trump administration to return his press credentials immediately.

On Nov. 7, Acosta posed a series of questions to Trump regarding his stance on immigration policies and the ongoing Russia investigation. The exchange became heated when Acosta voiced personal opinions and refused to give his microphone to a White House intern.

In his final remarks, Trump called Acosta a “rude, terrible person” who should not be working for CNN.

Following the incident, Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders announced the White House would revoke Acosta’s press pass because he shoved the intern attempting to take the microphone from his hands. According to videography experts, the video tweeted by the White House was doctored to show Acosta touching the White House intern more aggressively than he really did.

Several journalism organizations, including the America Society of Editors and Associated Press Media Editors, called for Acosta’s press pass to be reinstated shortly after the incident.

New Title IX rules:

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos revealed Friday how universities should deal with allegations of sexual assault and misconduct.

Under the proposed Title IX update, the definition of sexual harassment would change from “unwanted contact of a sexual nature” to “unwelcome sexual conduct; or unwelcome conduct on the basis of sex that is so severe, pervasive, and objectively offensive that it effectively denies a person equal access to the recipient’s education program or activity.”

Those accused of sexual harassment or assault would be given the right to cross-examine their accuser through a proxy and would be presumed innocent until a final determination of guilt is made by university administrators.

The accused would also be granted access to mandatory supportive measures, which are meant to be confidential and include access to counseling, increased campus security and deadline extensions.

The proposal has drawn criticism from sexual assault victims and advocates, who say the new guidelines would allow universities to sweep cases of rape and sexual assault under the rug.


State lawmakers inducted:

Newly elected members of the Oklahoma State Senate and House of Representatives were sworn into office last week.

Addressing fellow lawmakers and Gov.-elect Kevin Stitt, many new senators and representatives spoke about committing to funding education and working cooperatively with all members of the legislative body.

The first day of session is set for Feb. 4. (NewsOK)

Gov. Fallin retiring

Upon stepping down from her position in January, Gov. Mary Fallin said she will not pursue public office again.

Prior to being elected governor in 2010, Fallin served as a state representative, lieutenant governor and U.S. Representative for the 5th congressional district.

A July 2018 poll by Morning Consult showed Fallin’s approval rating was just 19 percent, the lowest among U.S. governors. (NewsOK)


A Night of Magic

The Department of Psychology and Family Studies is hosting “A Night of Magic” tonight from 7-8:30 p.m. in the Adams Recital Hall.

Tickets, which will be available outside the door, are $3 for individuals and $5 for families and couples. All proceeds will benefit the Down Syndrome Association of Central Oklahoma.

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