Tuesday News: Really, UNC?


KENAN-FLAGLER INVITES ANTI-VACCINE NUT-JOB TO SPEAK ON HER SUCCESS: The UNC Kenan-Flagler Business School has faced campus-wide controversy and debate after it invited an influencer who has made claims that align with the anti-vaccine movement to come speak on campus. Activist Vani Hari was invited to speak to students because of her entrepreneurial success from the perspective of mobilizing customers for change, Dean Douglas Shackelford of Kenan-Flagler said. The date of the speaker event is still to be determined. In Hari's blog, “Food Babe,” she claims some vaccines, including the flu vaccine, can have harmful effects such as Alzheimer's disease. She has been called a fearmonger by scientists, according to NPR and Business Insider. “Not only has Hari built her business on misinformation, but that misinformation has the great potential to harm people and impact students,” Majdic said. “And that’s where the University needs to draw the line.”

UNC PROFESSORS WANT BAN ON RENAMING RACIST BUILDINGS REMOVED: A group of UNC-Chapel Hill professors are petitioning the UNC Board of Trustees to allow the university to rename buildings and historical places on campus, particularly those tied to a racist or white supremacist history. The board voted in 2015 to freeze the renaming of any historical buildings, monuments, memorials and landscapes until 2031. The professors are now asking new UNC-CH Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz to ask the board to rescind that “unwise” moratorium on the renaming of historic properties because “it now promises to vex the work and the chances of success of an important campus commission examining the university’s racial history and future.” The professors argue that rescinding the moratorium will “remove the cloud of complexity and confusion it has placed over the campus’s consideration of important matters about race and history.” The petition is being sent to Guskiewicz so that he can put it on the agenda for the next board meeting.

HACKERS HIT ANOTHER NC COUNTY WITH RANSOMWARE: A North Carolina county says it has taken its computers offline because of malware. Officials in Duplin County said while some services to residents may be limited, emergency and essential operations will continue as usual, news sources report. County spokeswoman Elizabeth Stalls says the county hasn't yet received a ransom demand connected to the malware since officials discovered it so quickly. Stalls also said it's too early to determine what systems have been damaged. While most of the finance, timekeeping, register of deeds and utility payment services are down, Stalls said the public should not be worried about personal information being compromised. Last year, both the city of Greenville and the Onslow Water and Sewer Authority were victims of ransomware, causing their systems to go down for weeks.

APP FAILURE LEAVES IOWA DEMOCRATIC CAUCUS IN CONFUSION AND CHAOS: Hours after voters at more than 1,600 caucus sites declared their presidential preferences, Democratic officials were scrambling to explain why no results had been released and when they might materialize. As midnight neared, state party leaders met hastily with the campaigns — a phone call that ended abruptly, according to someone familiar with it — and sought to reassure the public about the reliability of a caucus system that has long been criticized as quirky and byzantine. “The integrity of the results is paramount,” Iowa Democratic Party spokeswoman Mandy McClure said as candidates, voters and activists waited in frustration and reports circulated about problems with the app that caucus officials used to transmit the results. McClure added: “This is simply a reporting issue, the app did not go down and this is not a hack or an intrusion. The underlying data and paper trail is sound and will simply take time to further report the results.” But it was a difficult culmination of a year of relentless campaigning by dozens of candidates and hundreds of volunteers in Iowa. The delay raised the prospect that some campaigns would continue to question the results for weeks, complicating an already tumultuous nomination fight.

TRUMP'S SOTU WILL BE DELIVERED ON THE EVE OF IMPEACHMENT VOTE: In their final appeals in President Trump’s impeachment trial, House Democrats argued on Monday that he had corrupted the presidency and would continue to put American interests at risk if the Senate failed to remove him from office. Mr. Trump’s defenders, denouncing the case against him, said he had done nothing wrong and should be judged by voters. Making their closing arguments from the well of the Senate, the House managers and the president’s lawyers invoked history and the 2020 presidential campaign as Democrats and Republicans prepared to take the fight over Mr. Trump’s fate to the broader public arena. Neither side expected to change the outcome of the final vote on Wednesday, when the Senate is all but certain to acquit the president, largely along party lines. In an awkward confluence of events, Mr. Trump will have an unimpeded platform to make his own final case on Tuesday, when he is to deliver his annual State of the Union address from the floor of the very House that impeached him in December. Despite the president’s lawyers’ frequent references to the Iowa caucuses, few senators needed a reminder of the political calendar. Just after the arguments concluded, three senators sitting in judgment of Mr. Trump who are running for the Democratic presidential nomination — Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota — raced to catch planes back to the Midwest for rallies. A fourth, Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado, traveled to New Hampshire, which will hold the 2020 race’s first primary next week.