The Weekly Grind: Feb. 18-24

Drink in the week’s most important stories — all in one place. In the time it takes to drink your first cup of coffee, we’ll help you get caught up.



‘Get out of my country’

Kansas man shot 2 men from India, killing one

Alok Madasani, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Ian Grillot. Victims of Wednesday shooting. (Photo by KCTV 5)

Shots were fired at an Olathe, Kansas, bar on Wednesday night.  Witnesses said they heard suspect Adam W. Purinton, 51, shout “get out of my country” and other racial slurs before opening fire, shooting Alok Madasani, Srinivas Kuchibhotla and Ian Grillot. The three victims were taken to a local hospital, where Kuchibhotla died. Kuchibhotla and Madasani, both 32, are India natives who work for Garmin, the technology firm.  Grillot, 24, tried to stop the shooter. Although authorities have yet to identified Purinton’s motive for the attack, people across the country fear it could have something to do with the country’s current xenophobic climate. Police arrested Purinton early Thursday morning and the FBI continues to investigate if this was a hate crime. (ABC News, CNN, The Washington Post)



Famine is officially declared in war-torn South Sudan

South Sudan’s hunger crisis was officially declared a famine on Monday. (Photo by The Washington Post)

Years of civil war and political turmoil left about 100,000 people at the edge of starvation and almost 5 million people in need of urgent help. On Monday, representatives of UNICEF and the Food and Agricultural Organization issued a formal declaration of famine, meaning that people are dying of hunger. According to these agencies, half of the country will face fatal food shortages within the next six months unless they receive help. This problem has been years in the making, many calling it a “man-made tragedy” because of the country’s political climate. (CNN, The Washington Post)

Bomb threats target 10 Jewish centers across the country

Following the vandalism of over 100 headstones in a Jewish cemetery last weekend, yet another wave of bomb threats targeting Jewish community centers swept the nation. Centers in 10 states reported phoned-in threats. This is the fourth series of threats in the past two months.  No one was injured and the Jewish Community Center Association of North America said the threats seem to be hoaxes, but federal authorities continue to investigate such threats as possible civil rights violations. (NBC News, NPR)


Trump names McMaster national security adviser

President Donald Trump appointed Lt. Gen. H. R. McMaster as his new national security adviser on Monday after Ret. Vice Adm. Bob Harward turned the job down. McMaster replaces Michael Flynn, who was fired last week for misleading Vice President Mike Pence about involvement with Russia’s ambassador. Harward had an impeccable resume, having worked on the NSC’s counterterrorism office from 2003-2005, but said he wanted time to focus on financial and family issues. Plus, Harward called the offer a “s*** sandwich” according to one of his friends.  The White House’s chaos would be enough to steer anyone away. (The New York Times, CNN) Video


UNL suspends Fraternity Phi Kappa Psi until 2018

UNL fraternity Phi Kappa Psi is suspended until December 2018. (Photo by Araya Santo for The Daily Nebraskan)  

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln suspended the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity because of “problematic alcohol use.”  The fraternity was indefinitely suspended last December and has been under investigation by UNL and Phi Kappa Psi’s national headquarters.  Both investigators found clear evidence of alcohol use in the chapter house and at off-campus parties. As a result of the official suspension, no current members of Phi Kappa Psi will be allowed to associate with the fraternity in the future and no one is able to occupy the chapter house until August 2019. (Lincoln Journal Star)

UNL’s Committee for Fees Allocation cuts $20,000 from The Daily Nebraskan’s budget

The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s Committee for Fees Allocations voted on Thursday to overturn a decision to reset the allocation process from The Daily Nebraskan.  This means the student newspaper will lose $20,000 from its budget.  In addition, CFA chair Daniel Woodworth decided to remove CFA member Greg Dittman from The Daily Nebraskan’s subcommittee after a case of potential conflict of interest. Dittman actively advocated for the defunding of The Daily Nebraskan, which the CFA identified as “conflict of interest.”(Daily Nebraskan)



Seven newly discovered planets may be one step closer to finding life in space

NASA astronomers recently found seven planets, about the size of earth, orbiting a dwarf star named Trappist-1. This is the first time they have found this many planets orbiting the same star.  These planets also happen to be the perfect distance from the star to be habitable.  Astronomers say this is the first strong evidence they have supporting alien life in space.  In the meantime, we are carefully watching and waiting for the planets to give off any sign of life.  (NY Times)


Woman purchases Girl Scout cookies with fake money

Some people will do anything for cookies. On Wednesday in west Omaha, one woman stopped at a Girl Scout booth and bought five boxes of cookies. She paid with supposedly the only money she had on her; a $100 bill. One Girl Scout mother was suspicious of possible counterfeit and police confirmed the bill was indeed a phony. (Lincoln Journal Star)

Are you smarter than a police officer?

Ohio fifth grader Lena Draper Facebook-messaged one Ohio police department about an emergency:  She needed help with her math homework. The police department came to the rescue and proceeded to help her through some of the math problems. The responder, however, made a common error and gave Lena the wrong answer. (ABC News)

Here’s why LPS won’t be affected by Trump’s action on transgender rights

On Wednesday, President Donald Trump revoked a guideline set by former President Barack Obama.  This was the guideline that allowed transgender students the right to use any bathroom with which they identify.  The policies at Lincoln Public Schools and Nebraska’s School Activities Association will most likely not be affected by Trump’s action.  This is because the revocation still allows schools to make their own decisions at the state level about their policies.  LPS has used and will continue to use a “team approach,” meaning faculty takes the necessary actions to meet the individual needs of their transgender students.  (Lincoln Journal Star)


Ban lifted on law preventing teachers from wearing religious attire

A bill was passed Wednesday to undo the ban that states public school teachers can’t wear religious clothing in Nebraska. The constitutionality of the ban was in question because it did not give teachers freedom to express their religion. Sen. Ernie Chambers was the only senator not in favor of this bill. He thinks that students should be in an environment with no religious expression.  Others in favor of the bill argued that children should learn to accept other people with different cultures and religious backgrounds.  (Lincoln Journal Star)


Apparently there’s something happening in Sweden we don’t know about…

In trying to make a point about large numbers of refugees connected to terror attacks, President Trump mentioned something that “happened last night in Sweden” during his rally in Florida on Saturday.  The thing is, nothing happened in Sweden.  Despite a spokeswoman for the Swedish Foreign Ministry saying that authorities weren’t aware of any terror-related incidents on Friday, Trump supporters believe the media is trying to hide something from us. Trump later clarified that he was referring to a story that was broadcast on Fox News involving immigrants and Sweden. Still, he became the butt of many jokes on Twitter when the hashtag “#LastNightInSweden” started, mocking Trump’s fuzzy claims about a seemingly fictional event. (The Washington Post)




Keep your eyes open for Trump’s new travel ban. It is expected to be issued sometime next week. (ABC News)

Next week is First Friday! Here are three exhibits you’ll want to check out:

  1. Luke Haynes’ log cabins exhibition
  2. Lincoln Photofest at the Sheldon
  3. Art and Food at the Great Plains Art Museum. 

Curated by Lindsey Yoneda and Alex Klemp

Advanced Editing students at

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