University Senate Elects President and Secretary

The University Senate elected Professor of Organization and Management Giacomo Negro as president and Vanda P. Hudson as secretary for the 2019-20 academic year on Tuesday. Negro also holds a Goizueta term chair and a courtesy appointment as associate professor of sociology. Senate President Jason Schneider declined to release the vote count. Hudson, the secretary-elect, is the senior operations manager for the Office of the Dean in the Rollins School of Public Health and has served three consecutive terms on the Transportations and Parking Committee. For the first time, the Senate used Zoom, a new remote ballot system allowing absentee voters to cast their votes electronically.

Mueller Concludes Investigation into Trump Campaign

On March 24, Attorney General William Barr released a four-page summary of special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian government interference in the 2016 presidential election, stating that Mueller did not find evidence of collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Barr also said that Mueller lacked sufficient evidence to prosecute the president over obstruction of justice charges although the special counsel did not exonerate Trump, according to CNN. Trump, who has long criticized the investigation, wrote on Twitter that the report was evidence of “total exoneration.” He has repeatedly called the investigation a “witch hunt.” U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.)  stated they wanted Mueller’s full report released to the public. Pelosi and Schumer also questioned Barr’s potential bias in the investigation.

Two Parkland Survivors Commit Suicide

Police officers in Coral Springs, Fla., responded on March 23 to the apparent suicide of a sophomore at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the location of the February 2018 Parkland, Fla., shooting, according to The Miami Herald. The student’s name has not been released and the death is under investigation. This event occurred less than a week after Sydney Aiello, a recent graduate of Stoneman Douglas, killed herself on March 17. Aiello was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder after the shooting, according to CBS Miami. Aiello was 19 years old at the time of her death.

Protesters Call for Second Brexit Referendum

Protesters in London congregated on March 23 in Parliament Square, demanding that the government issue another referendum on the United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union, according to CNN. The initial referendum for Brexit passed by 51.9 percent of the vote in favor in June 2016. The protest, dubbed the “Put it to the People” march, was organized by the People’s Vote Campaign, an organization of politicians and advocates from the Labour Party and Green Party. London Mayor Sadiq Kahn and Labour Party Deputy Leader Tom Watson addressed the crowd to argue for a second referendum.

The movement has also gained traction in an online petition on the U.K. Parliament’s website, calling for the government to “revoke Article 50 and remain in the EU.” The petition had approximately 5.8 million signatures as of Tuesday.

Midwestern Floods Show No Sign of Stopping

Heavy flooding of the Mississippi River and its tributaries has forced residents of cities across the Midwest to evacuate. The high water levels are a result of rapidly melting snowpacks in the north and increased rainstorms in the past few weeks, according to the National Weather Service. Man-made levees built to prevent flooding have failed, resulting in damages of around $3 billion in property and agricultural losses, according to The New York Times. Unsold grain, livestock and crops such as corn and soybean were destroyed by floodwater, according to CNN. With high chances of more severe flooding in the future and the difficulty of rebuilding levees to protect their crops, many farmers will struggle to replant their seeds for next season, CNN reported.