National News


Clinton Criticized by State Department over Emails

The inspector general of the U.S. State Department released a report Wednesday that sharply criticized current presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. The report says that Clinton would not have received approval to handle her emails the way she did, even if she had sought prior approval. It also states that her refusal to surrender her emails to the State Department was a violation of departmental policies created to comply with the Federal Records Act. Clinton and her aides largely downplayed the significance of this report, saying they will cooperate with the investigation. Clinton and her top aides have refused interviews with the State Department’s inspector general.


Several States Sue Federal Government over Transgender Directive

Authorities from 11 states filed a lawsuit in a Federal District Court in North Texas Wednesday claiming the Obama administration was “conspiring to use workplaces and public schools as laboratories for a massive social experiment” following nationwide discussions on civil rights policies for transgender students. The plaintiffs in the case are the states of Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, West Virginia and Wisconsin, the governor of Maine, the Arizona Department of Education and school districts in Texas and Arizona. This lawsuit comes 12 days after the Justice Department and the Department of Education issued “significant guidance” to public schools across the nation to enact policies to protect the rights of transgender students.


Second Baltimore Police Officer Acquitted in Death of Freddie Grey

Edward Nero, one of the police officers involved in the case related to the 2015 death of Freddie Grey, was acquitted of all charges by Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Barry Williams on Monday. Judge Williams said Officer Nero acted as any police officer would have in the situation. Nero had faced misdemeanor charges of second-degree assault, reckless endangerment and two counts of misconduct in office related to the incident in April 2015 where Freddie Grey was arrested and later died as a result of spinal injuries during his transport to the police station. His death sparked protests as part of the nationwide Black Lives Matter movement. Monday’s decision sparked little protest.


International Spotlight


Pakistan says U.S. Drone Strike Violated the Country’s Sovereignty

Pakistani government officials said Sunday that the United States violated the country’s sovereignty by launching a drone strike within the country’s borders that killed Taliban chief Mullah Akhtar Mansoor near the Afghan border. Afghani officials quickly confirmed the killing, which was authorized by President Obama, while it took the Taliban a few days to acknowledge the loss of their leader. A U.S. official said the U.S. had informed Pakistan of the strike after it had occurred, and Secretary of State John Kerry said that the Taliban chief posed a “continuing imminent threat” to U.S. personnel in Afghanistan and to Afghans. Mansoor’s car was struck by a drone strike while he was travelling on Pakistani roads.


Swiss Court Rules Students Must Shake Teachers’ Hands

A court in Switzerland ruled Wednesday that Muslim students who initially refused to shake hands with their teacher must do so before and after class. Officials said shaking hands is a tradition in Switzerland, but the Muslim boys, originally from Syria, refused to do so over their faith, which they claim bars them from shaking hands with women to whom they are not related. They were originally allowed to not shake hands, but the case eventually turned into a national controversy that led to Wednesday’s ruling. Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga defended her ruling by saying the act of shaking hands is part of the Swiss culture. She said upholding culture, integrating foreigners and promoting gender equality were more important than protecting the boys’ religious beliefs. Several Swiss-Muslim groups have said there is no religious justification for not shaking hands with the opposite gender, although one group disputes that claim.


Ukraine and Russia Engage in Prisoner Swap

Ukraine and Russia engaged in a prisoner swap Wednesday where Ukrainian military pilot Nadiya Savchenko was pardoned by Russian President Vladimir Putin and sent back to Ukraine in exchange for two Russian prisoners held by Ukraine. Savchenko was given a hero’s welcome when she was released and returned to the country after spending two years in Russian prison. She had originally been sentenced to 22 years in prison. Putin met with the families of the two Russian journalists who were detained by Ukraine, explaining that the deal was struck because of humanitarian conditions and to help reduce the hostility between the two nations.


A version of this story appeared on p. 4 of the Thursday, May 26, 2016, edition of the Daily Nexus.