Emory Professor and Novelist Wins NAACP Image Award

Professor of English and Creative Writing and New York Times Bestseller Tayari Jones won the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Award in Fiction for her novel “An American Marriage” on Saturday. Jones said she feels a personal connection to the NAACP because her parents both met at an NAACP meeting 56 years ago. As a working writer, Jones also hopes to be a role model for her students and that her novel can influence more people than just those in the literary field. Jones intends to write another story about Atlanta, with an emphasis on the changes between Atlanta’s past and its current state.

Georgia Abortion Bill Passes State House

Georgia’s House of Representatives passed a measure that would ban abortions once a heartbeat is detected in an embryo, which can occur as early as six weeks into a pregnancy. The law would be one of the most restrictive abortion bills in the country, according to the Washington Post. Under current law, abortions are allowed until the 20th week of pregnancy. As of Tuesday night, the bill is awaiting approval from Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp, who promised to support anti-abortion legislation during his campaign. The bill makes exceptions for abortions in the cases of rape, incest and medical emergency.

Pro-abortion organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union have stated that they will challenge the constitutionality of the law if signed into law. These cases could be brought to the Supreme Court, according to NPR.

Marlow’s Tavern at Emory Point Closes

Marlow’s Tavern at Emory Point closed its doors on March 29 to focus on future growth, Executive Chef and CEO John Metz wrote in a March 31 statement to the Wheel. Employees who worked at the Emory Point location will be given the opportunity to work at other Marlow’s Tavern locations, Metz wrote.

Charges Dropped Against Empire Actor Jussie Smollett

Prosecutor Joe Magats dropped felony charges of filing a false police report against actor Jussie Smollett on March 26, according to CBS. Police accused Smollett, a lead actor in the TV show “Empire,” of claiming to be a victim of a violent hate crime in which two men attacked Smollett upon his request and cast racist and homophobic slurs at him in January. Smollett also allegedly sent a threatening letter to himself, according to CNN. Smollett pleaded not guilty on March 14. He was indicted on 16 felony counts punishable up to three years in prison.

Magats stated he believed Smollett was guilty, but the non-violent nature of the crime can be accounted for, provided Smollett completes two days of community service and forfeits his $10,000 bond payment, according to CBS.

May’s Third Brexit Deal Fails

British Prime Minister Theresa May’s third plan to withdraw the United Kingdom from the European Union was defeated in Parliament on March 30 in a vote of 286 in favor and 344 against. Despite the defeat, May will continue trying to convince Members of Parliament (MPs) in the House of Commons to pass the deal, according to the BBC. On March 27, MPs attempted to break the deadlock over Brexit with a series of “indicative votes,” wherein groups of politicians submitted plans for Brexit before debating and voting on them, the BBC reported. None of the eight proposed plans reached a majority.

U.S. House to Subpoena Full Mueller Report

House Judiciary Chairman Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.) intends to issue a subpoena to obtain U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s full report on Russian government interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to CNN. House Democrats have requested to see the full, unredacted report after U.S. Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary of the investigation findings on March 24. Democrats gave Barr a deadline to deliver the full report to Congress by April 2 and intend to issue the subpoena on April 3. Barr told Nadler and Senate Judiciary Chairman Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that he would release a redacted version of the report to the public by “mid-April, if not sooner,” CNN reported.

CDC Reports Measles Outbreak in 15 States

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced 387 reported measles cases spanning 15 states from Jan. 1 to March 28, 2019. The number of cases during this period is higher than the total number of reported cases in 2018 which was 372. The CDC reported outbreaks in New York, New Jersey, Washington and California. The outbreaks have been linked to travelers who brought measles from countries such as Israel, Ukraine and the Philippines, locations which have experienced large measles outbreaks, according to CNN. The diseases have spread in communities with low vaccination coverage, such as some Orthodox Jewish and Amish communities. Most people who have contracted measles were unvaccinated, according to the CDC.