National News at a Glance
Posted January 26, 2018 10:11 p.m. EST
Senate Democrats Seek to Protect Mueller From Being Fired
Senate Democrats said Friday that they would seek to ensure that continuing budget negotiations included legislation to protect Robert Mueller, the special counsel in the Russia investigation, from being fired by President Donald Trump. Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York, the top Democrat in the Senate, said an article in The New York Times detailing an effort by Trump to fire Mueller in June demonstrated the urgency for Congress to act. The Democratic efforts would require cooperation from Republicans, who control the Senate and the House, as both parties negotiate over must-pass legislation to fund the government.
Clinton Opted to Shield Adviser Accused as Harasser
A senior adviser to Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential campaign who was accused of repeatedly sexually harassing a young subordinate was kept on the campaign at Clinton’s request, according to four people familiar with what took place. Clinton’s campaign manager at the time recommended that she fire the adviser, Burns Strider. Instead, Strider was docked several weeks of pay and ordered to undergo counseling, and the young woman was moved to a new job. Strider, who was Clinton’s faith adviser, was hired five years later to lead an independent group that supported Clinton’s 2016 candidacy. He was fired for workplace issues.
Another Resignation, and Investigation, for Michigan State
There was more reckoning Friday from the failure to stop Dr. Lawrence G. Nassar, who is accused of abusing more than 150 young women while he was a doctor at Michigan State University and for the national women’s gymnastics team. Mark Hollis, Michigan State University’s athletic director, announced his resignation two days after the university president, Lou Anna Simon, resigned. A lawyer for the university has said an inquiry had found no evidence that high-ranking administrators knew about Nassar’s conduct before 2016. But The Detroit News reported that more than a dozen university staff members had heard of reports before then.
Remaining Members of USA Gymnastics Board to Resign After Nassar Scandal
Bowing to the demands of the U.S. Olympic Committee, USA Gymnastics confirmed Friday night that the remaining members of its board of directors would resign — the latest fallout from a sexual abuse scandal involving the federation’s national team doctor, Lawrence G. Nassar. The announcement came one day after the head of the Olympic committee threatened in an email to decertify USA Gymnastics — the sport’s national governing body — if its board of more than 20 people did not resign by next Wednesday. Several board members, including chairman Paul Parilla, had resigned by the time the email was sent.
This Flu Season Is the Worst in Nearly a Decade
This year’s flu season is more intense than any since the 2009 swine flu pandemic and worsening, federal health officials said Friday. Nationally, the number of people falling ill with flu is increasing. The hospitalization rate — a predictor of the death rate — has jumped. It is on track to equal or surpass that of the 2014-2015 flu season, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 34 million Americans got the flu, 710,000 were hospitalized and about 56,000 died. This week, the deaths of seven children were reported to the CDC, bringing this season’s total to 37.
FDA Shuts Down Study after Monkey Subjects Die
The deaths of four squirrel monkeys used as subjects in a nicotine addiction study have prompted the Food and Drug Administration to shut down the research permanently and to establish a council to oversee all animal studies under the agency’s purview. Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the agency’s commissioner, has called in an independent investigator to examine the agency’s animal research programs, starting with those at the National Center for Toxicological Research, in Arkansas, where the squirrel monkeys were housed. The 20 or so study animals will be transferred to a sanctuary, the commissioner said.
Yale’s Most Popular Class Ever: Happiness
On Jan. 12, a few days after registration opened at Yale for Psyc 157, Psychology and the Good Life, roughly 300 people had signed up. Within three days, the figure had more than doubled. After three more days, about 1,200 students, or nearly one-fourth of Yale undergraduates, were enrolled. The course, taught by Laurie Santos, 42, a psychology professor and head of one of Yale’s residential colleges, teaches students how to lead a happier, more satisfying life in twice-weekly lectures. Psychology and the Good Life, with 1,182 undergraduates enrolled, stands as the most popular course in Yale’s 316-year history.