News Roundup | 3.20.2019

New Zealand Terrorist Attack Leaves 50 Dead

In a March 15 terrorist attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, 50 people were killed, making the event the deadliest mass shooting in the country’s history, according to The Washington Post. The apprehended suspect, 28-year-old Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, shot and killed 41 worshippers in Al Noor Mosque. Tarrant then drove to Linwood Mosque where he killed nine more people. Out of the 29 people still in Christchurch Hospital, nine remain in intensive care, according to the Post. Tarrant will remain in police custody until his next court appearance on April 3.

Tarrant, who legally owned five firearms, live streamed the shooting while playing a Serbian nationalist song. He posted a 74-page manifesto advocating for white supremacy on social media and emailed it to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and dozens of lawmakers and news outlets before the attack, according to The New York Times.

More Than 50 People Charged in College Admissions Scandal

More than 50 people were indicted with financial fraud and bribery on March 12 in the largest college admissions case ever prosecuted by the U.S. Justice Department, according to CNN.

Actresses Lori Loughlin and Felicity Huffman, athletic coaches, prominent business executives were among those charged with participating in the scandal. Some of the parents face civil lawsuits in addition to the federal charges, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Students who were admitted through the fraud went on to universities including Georgetown University (D.C.), Northeastern University (Mass.), Stanford University (Calif.), the University of Southern California, University of Texas at Austin, Wake Forest University (N.C.), Yale University (Conn.) and several University of California schools, according to the Justice Department.

College admission consultant William Singer allegedly arranged bribes for head coaches to accept falsified athletic profiles of applicants and paid SAT and ACT proctors and administrators to gain access for clients to elite colleges. Singer pleaded guilty on Tuesday to four federal criminal charges, including money laundering and racketeering conspiracy.

Trump Vetoes Congressional Block on Border Emergency

Last Friday, President Donald J. Trump vetoed Congress’ blockade on his national emergency declaration to secure $8.6 billion in funding for the southern border wall. On March 14, the Senate voted 59-41 against Trump’s national emergency, with 12 Republican senators voting over partisan lines.

The presidential veto, the first of Trump’s term, is the latest installment in the political dispute between the legislative and executive branches. Trump’s campaign to appropriate funds from Congress for the wall resulted in a month-long government shutdown earlier this year, the longest in U.S. history.

Nursing and Rollins Schools Ranked Top Five in U.S. News and World Report

U.S. News and World Report ranked the Woodruff Nell Hodgson School of Nursing No. 4 for master’s degrees in nursing and the Rollins Public School of Health No. 5 for the doctorate of nursing practice program, tied with University of Michigan’s School of Public Health. The Goizueta Business School ranked No. 21 for its full-time MBA program; Emory’s School of Medicine ranked No. 24 in best medical schools for research; and Emory’s Law School ranked No. 26 in best law schools.

University, Emory Employees to Settle Class Action Suit

Following a class action lawsuit filed in 2016 against Emory, 45,000 University workers have paused their case for mediation and are now looking to settle, according to Bloomberg Law. The suit alleges the University failed to consider low-cost, high-performing alternative investment options for retirement, the Wheel previously reported. The dispute over retirement funds and fees follows similar class action lawsuits between workers and higher-education institutions since 2016. Duke University (N.C.), Vanderbilt University (Tenn.) and the University of Chicago all brokered million-dollar settlements in the past year, according to Bloomberg Law.

Emory Hospitals Face Medicare Payment Reductions

Roughly one in four Georgia hospitals, including Emory University Hospital (EUH) and EUH Midtown, will face a 1 percent reduction of Medicare payments, according to WABE. The penalties aim to address the higher rates of infections in these hospitals.

Hospitals facing pay reductions argue that the method of using hospital-acquired conditions to determine penalties is flawed, as it relies on misleading statistics. American Hospital Association claims the statistics favor hospitals who put less effort into testing for infections and therefore are perceived as having better results. The penalty program includes 800 American hospitals.

Prominent Journalist and Author Joins Center for the Study of Human Health

Maryn McKenna joined Emory’s Center for the Study of Human Health as a senior fellow for 2019, according to a March 6 University press release. McKenna was a reporter for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Boston Herald and the Cincinnati Enquirer and published “Big Chicken,” a best-selling book on the role of consumer activism in global food production.

McKenna is scheduled to teach human health courses for undergraduates in Fall 2019 and will lead two workshops on “The Secret Strategies of TED Talks” and “Writing the Popular Science Book” this Spring.

McKenna won the Byron H. Waksman Award for Excellence in the Public Communication of Life Sciences in 2013 and the Leadership Award from the Alliance for the Prudent Use of Antibiotics in 2014.