Emory to Increase Ph.D. Student Stipends

Emory announced on Tuesday that it plans to increase the stipend from $24,000 to $31,000 for Laney Graduate School Ph.D. students, a commitment of more than $40 million over five years. The higher stipends will go into effect beginning Fall 2019, according to an Oct. 2 press release. “By investing in graduate education and increasing support for our PhD students, Emory will continue to draw top graduate students and raise the national and international profiles of our distinctive, world-class doctoral programs,” University President Claire E. Sterk wrote in an Oct. 2 University-wide email.

Yale Under Investigation for Discrimination

The U.S. Departments of Justice and Education announced on Sept. 26 that they are opening an investigation into whether Yale University (Conn.) illegally discriminated against Asian-American applicants in its admissions process, according to The New York Times. Yale University President Peter Salovey denied all claims of discrimination in the admission process. “Yale does not discriminate in admissions against Asian-Americans or any other racial or ethnic group,” Salovey wrote in a message to students and faculty, the Times reported. The Yale investigation is based on claims that are similar to ones in a lawsuit against Harvard University (Mass.). Harvard’s trial is set to begin on Oct. 15. In July, the Trump administration rescinded several Obama-era guidelines that supported affirmative action. However, Yale said it would continue to use race as a factor in admitting students, as did Emory.

Trump Administration Expands FBI Kavanaugh Inquiry

President Donald J. Trump on Monday agreed to an expansion of the F.B.I.’s investigation into Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s alleged sexual misconduct, according to The Washington Post. The White House had initially limited the F.B.I.’s scope, but later reversed course and said the F.B.I. should interview anyone it deems necessary after backlash from the Democrats. Kavanaugh’s final confirmation vote to the Supreme Court will be delayed by as much as a week while the F.B.I. reopens a background investigation to examine the sexual assault allegations made against Kavanaugh by Christine Blasey Ford. The decision was announced after Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) said he would not vote to confirm Kavanaugh without an F.B.I. investigation.

Facebook Announces Largest Privacy Breach in Company History

Facebook announced on Friday that the personal information of almost 50 million users was exposed due to an attack on its computer network. It was the largest privacy breach in the company’s history. While no official report on the attack has been released, Facebook said the hacking appears to have occurred after a program was introduced that made uploading videos for birthday celebrations easier. The company forced over 90 million users to log out on Friday, following common safety procedure during cases of compromised accounts. The breach has heralded a wave of calls from lawmakers and regulators to tighten regulation of the social network. Facebook has already been dealing with criticism over the past year regarding its response to the Russian disinformation campaign run on its platform during the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Over 1,200 Dead in Indonesia Natural Disasters

At least 1,347 people are dead after Indonesia was hit with a 7.5-magnitude earthquake and tsunami on Friday, according to BBC. Palu, Indonesia, is facing water, fuel and food shortages. U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday extended his “warmest condolences” to Indonesia. Volunteers and government officials are still searching for the dead and missing as of Tuesday night.