National News at a Glance
Posted May 25, 2018 10:30 p.m. EDT
USC President Resigns Over Scandal Involving Gynecologist
The president of the University of Southern California, C.L. Max Nikias, agreed to step down Friday in the wake of a scandal over a gynecologist accused of abusing students at the campus health center. The decision followed a call from students, faculty and alumni for his resignation, which gained momentum this week when 200 professors signed a letter to the university’s board of trustees. The letter said Nikias no longer had the “moral authority to lead” and had failed to protect students and staff from “repeated and pervasive sexual harassment and misconduct.”
Banks Tried to Curb Gun Sales. Now Republicans Are Out to Stop Them.
When Congress decided not to take significant action after a spate of mass shootings this year and last, some big banks took matters into their own hands by restricting financing for gun sellers. Now, Republican lawmakers are pressing regulators to stop banks from doing so. The issue has put the Republican Party in the awkward position of choosing between its embrace of free markets and its concerns over infringement of the Second Amendment, even as the school-shooting crisis has persisted with the deadly attack at Santa Fe High School in Texas on May 18 and the wounding of at least two people Friday at a middle school in Indiana.
At Trump Tower, Cohen and Oligarch Discussed Russian Relations
Eleven days before the presidential inauguration last year, a billionaire Russian businessman with ties to the Kremlin visited Trump Tower in Manhattan to meet with Donald Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, according to video footage and another person who attended the meeting. Cohen and Viktor Vekselberg discussed a mutual desire to strengthen Russia’s relations with the United States under President Donald Trump, according to Andrew Intrater, a U.S. businessman who attended the meeting and invests money for Vekselberg. Days after the inauguration, Intrater’s private equity firm, Columbus Nova, awarded Cohen a $1 million consulting contract, a deal that has drawn the attention of federal authorities investigating Cohen, according to people briefed on the inquiry.
Charged With Rape, Weinstein Posts $1 Million Bail and Surrenders Passport
Disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was led in handcuffs past photographers Friday as he appeared in court to face charges that he had raped one woman and forced another to perform oral sex. Weinstein’s appearance in Manhattan Criminal Court lasted barely 10 minutes, but stood not only as a breakthrough in the investigation into sex-crime claims against him but also as a watershed in the larger #MeToo movement. Weinstein's lawyer, ABenjamin Brafman, handed over Weinstein’s passport and paid his bail with a $1 million cashier’s check. As part of his bail package, Weinstein has agreed to wear a monitoring device and restrict his travel to New York and Connecticut.
Woman Trafficked by Cult Is Awarded $8 Million
Kendra Ross’ human trafficking story started in 2002, when she was 11 and forced to cook, clean and provide child care for the United Nation of Islam Inc., a cult in Kansas, court documents say. By 16 she was shipped off to Georgia and served in a home used by Royall Jenkins, the group’s founder, the documents say. On Wednesday, a federal court in Kansas awarded Ross, now 26, about $8 million in damages and restitution. The amount is believed to be the largest awarded to a single plaintiff in a case of coerced labor.
Teacher and Student Wounded in Indiana School Shooting; Gunman Detained
A student at an Indiana middle school barged into a class Friday morning wielding two handguns and firing shots. A teacher and another student were wounded. The boy with the guns, authorities say, was subdued, then arrested. The shooting, at Noblesville West Middle School in suburban Indianapolis, came a week after 10 people were fatally shot at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas. Neither the boy's name nor his age was released. The injured girl, who was not named, remained in critical condition Friday evening. The police identified the injured teacher as Jason Seaman, 29, a football coach and seventh-grade teacher. He was listed in good condition Friday night.
Hawaii’s Volcano Country, Where Land Is Cheap and the Living Is Risky
Jaris Dreaming built his spacious solar-powered home in a clearing of Polynesian jungle in Pahoa, Hawaii. Mainlanders express envy when they hear how he bought nearly 100 acres of Hawaii’s Big Island for just over $100,000. But there’s a catch: Dreaming lives a short stroll from a lava-spewing rift of Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes. The growing ferocity this month of Kilauea’s eruptions, which are burying home after home under rivers of molten rock, has provoked questions about how thousands of families managed to put down stakes in such a disaster-prone domain in the first place.