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Did COVID-19 Begin as a Lab Leak in China?
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May 27, 2021
John Cena caves to China with groveling apology
May 26, 2021
TX House votes to pull funding from sports teams that don’t play national anthem
May 25, 2021
World #1 – “Significant circumstantial evidence” shows COVID-19 originated from Chinese lab leak
World #2 – Biden allows Russian pipeline after blocking Keystone Pipeline in U.S.
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Today’s top stories and current events, all nonpartisan and age appropriate.
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Kid & Student Friendly Current Events Video & Article Websites
July 6, 2021 by Fiona
Current events are part of my classroom’s daily end-of-the-day routine – I know many people like to do this in the morning though! This is a great way to cover a bit of social studies, history, geography, science and more! Keep students informed on what is happening in the world (especially now more than ever). Watch a short segment or read a news article together then fill out a current events comprehension worksheet !
Here are alternative current event videos and article resources that are geared towards students/kids, and you may find that you like some of these better than others for your students – it all depends on your students; learning styles! I have use several different websites myself!
I have compiled a list – are there any that I didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below! ??
Pair your current events with a comprehension activity:
Thanks for reading! If you share this list with anyone, be sure to share the link to this page (please don’t just copy and paste the list without giving credit as I have spent a lot of time collecting these resources together!) Thank you!
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From special educators, this resource has been extremely beneficial. i teach students with moderate to severe disabilities who are on a certificate of completion for high school. this resource was helpful in establishing a routine for my students. students remained engaged and enjoyed many of the activities. the consistency of the warm-ups allow for me to introduce students to working together appropriately and seeking help and support from peers not just teachers. the differentiated levels help save time and support students varying levels. students remain engaged and it quickly hits on different life skills reviews., life skills daily warm up worksheets bundle.
I love everything about this resource. there are enough activities to last a year. the lectures and digital activities are my favorite with the real photographs. my students are learning and there seems to be enless materials in this bundle. i also love the creative cbi (community based instruction) ideas that go beyond the typical scavenger hunt., vocation units 1-12 full year mega bundle + supplemental materials.
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Adulting Made Easy makes the absolute perfect resources for my Life Skills students who are about to graduate. Her resources teach practical skills that they will use in their lives and they don't view as being too immature for them (which is common in sped). Thank you so much for creating these resources!
As a teacher new to the role in vocational education, Adulting Made Easy's vocational products work great! It was an easy way for my students to understand various aspects of job searches and employment. The vocational units saved me a ton of time by not having to create items on my own.
This was awesome to use with both my at-home learners and my in-person learners. I could use specific ones with our weekly theme during my vocational skills class. It was especially great at keeping my at-home kids engaged when I wasn't there to watch them.
Independent skills - boom cards & interactive pdf bundle.
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World Oct 21
By Yasmeen Sami Alamiri, Casey Kuhn
World Oct 13
An Associated Press investigation has found that Russia’s strategy to take Ukrainian orphans and bring them up as Russian is well underway.
By Sarah El Deeb, Anastasiia Shvets, Elizaveta Tilna, Associated Press
Health Sep 13
As the U.S. continues inoculating adults and adolescents, questions remain about vaccinating the 48 million kids under the age of 12. With the delta variant raging, almost five times as many children are being hospitalized for COVID-19. The American Academy…
Nation Aug 10
As U.S. schools begin opening for another year of learning, the controversy over whether students should be required to wear masks is anything but settled in many states. While hospitalization and death from COVID-19 is uncommon in children, cases have…
Economy Apr 06
In a letter sent Tuesday to YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki, the House Oversight and Reform subcommittee on economic and consumer policy says YouTube isn't doing enough to protect kids from material that could harm them.
By Barbara Ortutay, Associated Press
By Harry Zahn
Kenan Pala's idea for Kids4Community came out of his family's experience. He said he learned to volunteer “as soon as I learned to walk.”…
By Megan Thielking, STAT
The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends that parents keep infants and toddlers away from screens until they hit 18 months, instead of two years.
By Rebecca Jacobson, Inside Energy
Children’s entertainment giants like Jim Henson TV, DreamWorks, Sesame Street and programs like Thomas the Tank Engine are partnering with YouTube to push content on the new app. Educational programs like National Geographic Kids and YouTube stars like vlogger Hank…
By Anne Flaherty, Associated Press
Whether mobile app developers seek parental consent first — as required by law — or pass the information on to advertisers isn't entirely clear. But if you prefer to stay anonymous, your options are limited: Wade through each mobile app's…
By Marissa Evans, Kaiser Health News
New data suggest the health care law is failing to fully deliver on its promise: A lot of parents didn’t buy dental coverage during the recent online enrollment period. That spells trouble, according to health experts.
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November 6, 2023
Real News, Told Simply.™
The Beatles Release One Final Song
Today, the world-famous musical group the Beatles are releasing a new song. It's called "Now and Then". The "new" song was written around 45 years ago, and has taken a very long time to finish. It's special because it's the last song the Beatles will ever make.
Can Roosters Recognize Themselves in a Mirror?
A new study suggests that roosters can recognize themselves in a mirror. The news came after roosters failed scientists' usual test for this. The surprising result raises questions not just about how smart roosters are, but about how scientists test animal intelligence.
Natural Hydrogen Could Be Good Climate News
Hydrogen is a gas that burns cleanly and produces a lot of energy. It will play an important part in tackling the climate crisis. Until recently, producing hydrogen created pollution. Now, scientists say there may be large amounts of natural hydrogen hidden underground.
Teacher Sets Record by Teaching for 53 Years
Paul Durietz is a 76-year-old social studies teacher from Illinois. On September 1, he set a Guinness World Record for the world's longest teaching career. Mr. Durietz has been teaching for 53 years - since he was 23 years old.
Reading a Burned Ancient Scroll Without Opening It
Roughly 2,000 years ago, Mount Vesuvius erupted, destroying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. Now a group of scientists is working to decode one of the great mysteries of that time - the scrolls of Herculaneum.
US House Republicans Struggle to Find a Leader
The US House of Representatives hasn't had an official leader since Speaker Kevin McCarthy was forced out three weeks ago. Without a leader, the House cannot run. But Republicans are so divided that so far, it has been impossible for them to agree on a leader.
Students Create Tough Solar-Powered Car
A team of students in the Netherlands has designed and built a tough car that's completely powered by the sun. The car, called Stella Terra, is the first solar-powered car that can travel off-road for long distances without needing a recharging station.
Electronic Waste Day Highlights “Invisible” E-Waste
October 14 was International E-Waste Day - a day meant to highlight the problems of electronic waste. This year, the day was focused on "invisible" e-waste - things most people don't think of as electronics. The surprising category at the top of this group was toys.
Election Results from Ecuador and Poland
Elections last weekend in Ecuador and Poland are leading to changes in leadership in both countries. In Ecuador, Daniel Noboa was elected president. In Poland, opposition parties seem to have a better path to creating a coalition government than the ruling party.
2023 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Awards
The Natural History Museum in London holds a yearly contest for the Wildlife Photographer of the Year. This year, the contest had 49,957 entries from around the world. Here are some of this year’s best pictures, and the stories behind them.
Youth Climate Lawsuit Takes on European Countries
On September 27, the European Court of Human Rights heard a case that could force 32 European countries to take stronger action on climate change. The case was brought by six young people from Portugal.
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The Daily Texan
Stay current with global events
“What starts here changes the world” is a slogan constantly touted by the University, but to change the world, we must learn to understand global events. The world can seem small since our lives revolve around classes, clubs and our personal lives. But in all the commotion, we tend to forget about the political and social events that occur both around the globe and closer to home. Staying up to date on news is an important part of maintaining a well-rounded outlook on life.
We live in a global society, so exposure to a wide variety of cultures and lifestyles allows for a deeper appreciation of the way that other people live. Engaging in conversations about current affairs and different cultures fosters deeper connections. Students at UT are diverse in thought and expression, which makes it all the more necessary to stay updated with global news.
Throughout the semester, journalism professor Paula Poindexter keeps her students informed on current events through a collaborative Facebook page .
“(Students) find a story of interest to them, they can always do more than one but at least one, and they comment on the story,” Poindexter said. “It’s very important to be able to not only inform yourself, but also to be able to discuss it, and they do that through their comments.”
When engaging with current affairs, be cognizant that news is inherently biased, so it is important to seek information from a variety of resources. Having an open mind when reading and viewing news can create a more credible, responsible opinion.
UT allows students to stay up to date with free New York Times subscriptions offered through UT libraries . Alongside the NYT subscription, students can get discounted subscriptions to The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Economist subscriptions simply by being a student.
Whenever something interests you on social media, consider double-checking the information on verified news websites to get an even better understanding. Media literacy is an important skill to have and use daily. We are constantly receiving information, especially on social media , and we must filter what is true and what isn’t. In our technological age, we have many opportunities to stay up to date with current events.
If a hands-off approach isn’t appealing, UT offers a multitude of organizations to join.
UT clubs like Model United Nations and the International Affairs Society are great ways to get involved with current affairs on campus. Finding like-minded peers within these groups can help you stay on top of your news engagement.
“I think about things on a global scale, and I find it easier to analyze issues from different perspectives,” said Reha Kakkar, a Plan II and neuroscience senior, about her time in UT’s Model United Nations.
“I learned so much about these things like issues that are still ongoing, just because I happen to be in the committee,” Kakkar said. “Maybe I’m not talking about the crisis in Venezuela every day, but I’m now engaged in that issue, I’m engaged in that region and I have a background that I wouldn’t otherwise have gotten.”
Take advantage of the constant streams of resources and news available to UT students to become a more globally aware and communicative person. Current affairs applies to all aspects of your future from your career to personal relationships.
Shenoy is an economics sophomore from Houston, Texas.
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Harvard student mobbed by pro-palestinian demonstrators yelling ‘shame’ on campus: video, social links for melissa koenig.
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Troubling video footage shows a Harvard University student getting aggressively mobbed by pro-Palestinian demonstrators on the Ivy League campus screaming, “Shame, shame, shame.”
More than a half-dozen demonstrators are seen holding keffiyehs — traditional Palestinian scarves — in the student’s face as they surround him and stop him from getting away, video posted on X show .
The disturbing footage was posted Wednesday but is from an Oct. 18 “Stop the genocide in Gaza” die-in demonstration by the Harvard Business School, according to school officials and media reports .
Scores of students participated in the radical demonstration held 11 days after Hamas terrorists launched a surprise attack on Israel on Oct. 7, which killed 1,400 Israelis and prompted a swift retaliatory offense from the Jewish state.
According to the Harvard Crimson , the school’s student newspaper, the confrontation at the demonstration was sparked when the accosted student “began to film demonstrator’s faces.”
“Within minutes, he was escorted out by protest organizers, who blocked his camera with their keffiyehs — traditional scarves worn by Palestinians that have come to symbolize Palestinian nationalism,” the newspaper wrote. “Demonstrators yelled ‘shame’ at the disruptor as he left.”
Near the end of the die-in demonstration, another student, identified as Raphael C.S. Maarek, held up an Israeli flag, the student paper reported.
Maarek told the Harvard Crimson that Israeli students on campus have been subjected to “hate speech” — and called on his peers to “learn with each other.”
“We’re not here to do politics. We’re here to learn from different perspectives — to meet people from the Gulf, from Iran, from any other type of Muslim country,” Maarek said.
“We’re not full of hatred. We’re not full of revendications. We’re here to learn with each other, but it’s just not the right setting right now.”
A spokesperson for Harvard University declined to comment on the incident Wednesday.
But in a statement after the incident , Harvard Bussiness School Dean Srikant Datar addressed the “troubling confrontation” that he said “left many of our students shaken.”
“Reports have been filed with [the Harvard University Police Department] and the FBI, the facts are being evaluated, and it will be some time before we learn the results of an investigation,” Datar wrote.
The dean went on to say there was no place on campus for antisemitism, Islamophobia and other forms of discrimination.
“Now is the time to recommit to our mission with a sense of urgency and purpose,” he said.
The Israeli-Hamas conflict has sparked unrest at several campuses, from City University of New York schools to other Ivy League universities, including Cornell, Yale and Columbia.
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October 23, 2023 - Israel-Hamas war news
By Kathleen Magramo , Sana Noor Haq, Aditi Sangal , Mike Hayes, Elise Hammond and Maureen Chowdhury , CNN
Our live coverage of the conflict in Israel and Gaza has moved here.
Hamas releases 2 hostages as Israeli troops prepare for potential ground incursion. Here's what to know
From CNN staff
Two more hostages have been released from Hamas custody, according to various officials. They have arrived in Egypt at the border with Gaza, according to Egypt's state-affiliated Al-Qahera News.
Meanwhile, the Israel Defense Forces says soldiers are conducting training exercises ahead of a potential ground incursion into Gaza.
It all comes as the humanitarian situation in Gaza continues to deteriorate. Though some aid has made its way across the border, relief groups are warning it's not enough.
Here's what to know:
- Hostages released: Israeli citizens Nurit Cooper, 79, and Yocheved Lifshitz, 85, were released from Hamas custody Monday following Qatari and Egyptian mediation, according to two Israeli officials and two other sources briefed on the matter. Hamas also said it released two hostages, according to a statement from a spokesperson. On Friday, Hamas released two American hostages , Judith Tai Raanan and her 17-year-old daughter, Natalie Raanan.
- Aid into Gaza: Twenty trucks carrying humanitarian aid passed the Rafah crossing into Gaza on Monday, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). On Saturday and Sunday, a total of 34 trucks were able to enter Gaza, it said. But, relief groups have warned much more is required to curb a deepening humanitarian crisis inside the strip. Aid deliveries entering Gaza have not included fuel, which is critical for things like water desalination and hospitals, OCHA said.
- Dire situation at hospitals: Hospitals are nearing collapse, operating at more than 150% of their capacity , according to the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health. Situations have become so dire that surgeries are being conducted without anesthesia, and in some cases, under the illumination of phone lights, it said. A British-Palestinian surgeon who traveled to Gaza to help in hospitals has warned that without electricity, the hospital he is in “will just be a mass grave .”
- Israeli strikes: More than 400 people were killed in overnight Israeli strikes on Gaza , the Hamas-controlled Palestinian Health Ministry said. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said the assault hit 320 "terror targets" belonging to Hamas and Islamic Jihad. Israel also said it has killed or captured more than 1,000 members of Hamas, according to Rear Adm. Daniel Hagari, a spokesperson for IDF.
- Looming ground operation: Israeli soldiers are taking part in training exercises to improve their "readiness and capabilities for ground operations" in Gaza, the IDF said. Israel has already mobilized troops and military material on the border. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant said the country is preparing for a "multilateral operation" on Hamas from the "air, ground, and sea." The White House declined to say if the Biden administration was urging Israel to delay a possible ground incursion to allow for the release of more hostages held by Hamas and for aid to reach Gaza .
- The scope of the conflict so far: As of Monday, more than 5,000 people have been killed in Gaza, and more than 15,000 have been injured since October 7 , the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health in the occupied West Bank reported. Israeli authorities said Saturday that it believes 210 people are being held hostage in Gaza. A Hamas spokesperson previously said the militant group captured between 200 and 250 people during the attacks.
Grandson of released hostage says his grandmother "can hug her grandchildren"
From CNN’s Mihir Melwani and Sophie Jeong in Hong Kong
A grandson of Yocheved Lifshitz, who has been released from Hamas custody following Qatari and Egyptian mediation, told CNN on Tuesday that his grandmother “can hug her grandchildren.”
“Meeting my grandmother here was — I was thinking that I would never see her again,” Lifshitz said. “She’s a hero. She has so much courage. She’s so strong. She’s sick, and she suffered walks in tunnels.”
Lifshitz’s grandfather is still being held by Hamas, he said.
Lifshitz said “now my grandmother is back but still now I’m more afraid about my grandfather that he’s still there, and still no men being released.”
US Marine 3-star general in Israel to counsel IDF ahead of expected ground operation, source confirms
From CNN's Oren Liebermann
Marine Corps Lt. Gen. James Glynn, the former commander of Marine Forces Special Operations Command, is in Israel to counsel the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) on their current operations and ahead of an expected ground incursion into Gaza, according to a US official familiar with the matter.
The official would not provide specifics on what type of advice or counsel Glynn would offer, but the official noted that Glynn is able to tap into his decades of experience to offer help with the “big picture” surrounding the conflict in Gaza.
Glynn is currently the deputy commandant for Manpower and Reserve Affairs, helping to lead the service’s efforts to recruit and retain new Marines. He was previously the commander of Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) and has significant combat experience in Iraq.
Axios was first to report on Glynn’s role in Israel.
Asked whether Glynn would be advising the Israelis, National Security Council spokesperson John Kirby would not confirm Glynn’s position.
Instead, Kirby told reporters Monday that the Biden administration had sent to Israel “a few relevant military officers” who had “the kind of experience that we believe is appropriate to the sorts of operations that Israel is conducting and may conduct int the future.”
Kirby said these officers would also “ask the hard questions, the same hard questions that we’ve been asking of our Israeli counterparts since the beginning.”
The US official said this included questions about how Israel planned to avoid civilian casualties, a number that has soared as the IDF bombards the coastal enclave.
Glynn is not the most senior US officer to visit Israel since the Hamas terror attack on October 7 . The commander of US Central Command, Gen. Michael “Erik” Kurilla , visited Israel last week and met with senior Israeli military leaders, including Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi.
Glynn’s role is separate from the team of special operations forces that Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin sent to Israel in the days after the Hamas attack. That team was tasked with helping Israel with intelligence and planning related to the hostage rescue efforts.
It is unclear when Glynn arrived in Israel or how long he is expected to stay.
Some context: As CNN previously reported , the US and its allies have urged Israel to be clear about its goals in Gaza if and when it launches a broader operation targeting the coastal enclave.
The US has warned against a prolonged occupation of Gaza and has placed a particular emphasis on avoiding civilian casualties, US and Western officials told CNN.
US officials don’t yet have a clear sense for Israel’s intentions in Gaza and believe it will be difficult for Hamas to be eradicated entirely.
At least publicly, Israeli officials have articulated their plans only in broad strokes, saying that the goal is to eliminate Hamas and its infrastructure.
In private discussions with their Israeli counterparts, officials have not tried to dissuade Israel from moving into Gaza with ground forces, officials said. But they have emphasized that Israel should have clear objectives when it comes to degrading Hamas and seeking to avoid a long-term occupation of the Gaza Strip.
Biden spoke with Netanyahu Monday, White House says
From CNN's Donald Judd
President Joe Biden spoke with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday, the White House said.
Biden “updated the Prime Minister on U.S. support for Israel and ongoing efforts at regional deterrence, to include new U.S. military deployments," the readout released by the White House read.
Biden “welcomed the release of two additional hostages from Gaza earlier today, and reaffirmed his commitment to ongoing efforts to secure the release of all the remaining hostages taken by Hamas — including Americans — and to provide for safe passage for U.S. citizens and other civilians in Gaza," the readout noted.
In addition, Biden, “underscored the need to sustain a continuous flow of urgently needed humanitarian assistance into Gaza,” the White House said.
The two leaders plan to speak again in the coming days, the White House said.
Gaza's Indonesian Hospital has no electricity due to fuel shortages, Hamas says
From CNN’s Kareem El Damanhoury
The Indonesian Hospital in northern Gaza has no electricity due to fuel shortages, Hamas said in a statement early Tuesday, accusing Israel of a "crime against humanity."
Israel has not permitted fuel to enter Gaza since it ordered a "complete siege" on the territory on October 9, following the deadly attacks by Hamas against Israeli civilians.
Hamas called on the United Nations as well as Arab and Muslim countries to take action to immediately provide fuel to hospitals.
CNN has reached out to the head of the Indonesian Hospital for comment.
Some context: Aid agencies have repeatedly warned that fuel supplies are desperately needed in Gaza to power water desalination for clean drinking water and lifesaving machines in hospitals.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Authority Ministry of Health said Monday that hospitals in the enclave are nearing collapse, operating at more than 150% of their capacity.
Ten of the 35 hospitals in Gaza are currently non-functional, it added. Of these, nine hospitals have been “destroyed or rendered out of service.”
IDF says it struck several Hezbollah military posts in Lebanon
From CNN's Jomana Karadsheh and Mitchell McCluskey
The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said it struck Hezbollah posts in Lebanon in several strikes on Monday night.
The IDF said they struck a military compound, a military post and an observation post in southern Lebanon used by Hezbollah.
“The strikes were conducted in responses to the rocket and anti-tank missile launches from Lebanese territory today,” the IDF said.
Hezbollah military media, Al Manar, reported that strikes had been carried out in open areas in Kafr Kila, Aitaroun, and East Wazzani.
Al Manar also reported that Hezbollah fighters had been targeting “Israeli occupation sites” on the border with Lebanon.
A CNN crew in Lebanon heard the IDF strikes being carried out.
Before the most recent IDF strikes, Al Manar reported that four Hezbollah fighters had died on Monday.
Google Maps and Waze temporarily disable live traffic data in Israel
From CNN's Ramishah Maruf
Google is temporarily disabling live traffic conditions on its mapping service apps, Google Maps and Waze, in Israel, the tech company confirmed Monday, as the country prepares for a potential ground invasion into Gaza.
"As we have done previously in conflict situations and in response to the evolving situation in the region, we have temporarily disabled the ability to see live traffic conditions and busyness (sic) information out of consideration for the safety of local communities," a Google Maps spokesperson said.
Google did not say whether the tools would be disabled in Israel, Gaza or both. It also did not say whether the action was at the request of the Israel Defense Forces.
CNN has reached out to IDF for comment.
The website Geektime first reported the news.
Google made a similar move last year after Russia invaded Ukraine, Reuters reported. In Ukraine, Google temporarily disabled real-time vehicle data.
Google Maps added that "anyone navigating to a specific place will still get routes and ETAs that take current traffic conditions into account."
Google acquired Israeli mapping service Waze in 2013 and merged both product teams in 2022.
Israel wouldn't authorize fuel to Gaza due to potential of Hamas stealing it, Netanyahu senior advisor says
From CNN's Mitchell McCluskey,
Israel would not allow fuel into Gaza even if all hostages are released, Mark Regev, senior advisor to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, told CNN on Monday.
“At the moment we have no interest in more fuel going to the Hamas military machine and we have not authorized fuel, we have authorized medicine, we have authorized water. We've authorized foodstuffs, we've not authorized anything else,” Regev said.
Asked if Israel would allow fuel to enter Gaza if all hostages were released, Regev maintained that they would not waver.
Regev said some fuel was allowed to enter through Rafah crossing but claimed a “large proportion” was stolen at gunpoint.
“We presume it was diverted to their military mission,” Regev said.
No fuel has entered Gaza in the aid convoys through the Rafah crossing in recent days, according to multiple UN officials. Aid agencies have repeatedly warned that fuel supplies are desperately needed to power water desalination for clean drinking water and lifesaving machines in hospitals.
More : Twenty more trucks carrying vital humanitarian aid passed the Rafah crossing from Egypt into Gaza Monday, the UN said, while warning that the situation in the enclave's hospitals remains dire and much more help is needed.
Cornell student accused of threatening to kill Jewish students will remain behind bars
Posted: November 2, 2023 | Last updated: November 2, 2023
The Cornell University student accused of posting online threats to kill members of the university’s Jewish community appeared in federal court Wednesday and was ordered to remain behind bars for the time being.
Patrick Dai, a 21-year-old junior at the Ivy League school, was arrested Tuesday and charged federally with “posting threats to kill or injure another using interstate communications,” the US Attorney’s Office for New York’s Northern District announced. The charge is punishable by up to five years in prison.
Dai appeared in a Syracuse courtroom wearing an orange jail outfit and with his wrists shackled. He did not enter a plea.
He responded, “Yes, your honor,” several times after being asked questions by the judge. Dai remained straight-faced throughout the hearing, which lasted about 10 minutes. His mother sat in the second row.
The prosecution moved to detain Dai on the basis of risk of danger and risk of flight, and Dai’s defense attorney, Gabrielle DiBella, waived her client’s right to a timely detention hearing. He was remanded back into the custody of US marshals.
DiBella declined comment after the hearing. Dai is scheduled to return to court November 15.
Prosecutors say Dai published posts in an online discussion forum in which he threatened to kill and injure Cornell’s Jewish students and “shoot up” the university’s predominantly kosher dining hall, 104 West.
In one post, Dai wrote he would “bring an assault rifle to campus” and shoot Jewish people, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
The posts were written under usernames referencing Hamas, and they used anti-Israel and pro-Palestinian slogans, according to an affidavit attached to the criminal complaint.
The violent threats surfaced amid a reported spike in antisemitic incidents as the war between Israel and the Palestinian militant group rages in the Middle East. Such incidents in the US increased nearly 400% in the days after Hamas attacked Israel October 7, the Anti-Defamation League has said, and antisemitism is reaching “historic levels” in the United States, FBI Director Christopher Wray told a Senate panel Tuesday. Pro-Palestinian vandalism reportedly has rattled Jewish communities in recent days in Pittsburgh, Minnesota and Rhode Island.
The Biden administration this week announced new measures aimed at combating antisemitic incidents on US college campuses, with the president telling reporters he’s “very” concerned about the rise of antisemitism. Beyond Cornell, the editor of Yale’s student-run newspaper apologized this week for the removal from two editorials about the attack on Israel of references to allegations of rape and beheadings committed by Hamas.
Cornell canceled all classes on Friday “in recognition of the extraordinary stress of the past few weeks,” school spokesperson Rebecca Valli told CNN.
The university president, Martha Pollack, also shared a message with the school community on Friday about standing against antisemitism and hate.
Pollack said the school would respond “rapidly and forcefully” to any threats of incitement to violence and outlined some steps the school plans to take going forward.
“We will not tolerate antisemitism at Cornell; indeed we will not tolerate hatred of any form, including racism or Islamophobia,” Pollack said in the message .
What we know about the suspect
Dai allegedly posted at least one threat from the Ithaca, New York, area – home to Cornell’s campus -– and admitted to posting the threatening messages in an interview with the FBI, according to the affidavit.
The FBI submitted an emergency disclosure request to the website where Dai allegedly posted the threats “to obtain and identify subscriber information” associated with the poster, according to the affidavit.
The website where the posts appeared told the FBI that at least two posts were associated with two different IP addresses in New York. CNN confirmed that the first IP address was located in the Pittsford, New York, area. The FBI in its affidavit said it was “resolved to a person and residence affiliated with Dai.”
Dai is from Pittsford and attended Pittsford Mendon High School, a school spokesperson said.
The FBI did not disclose the second IP address, but in the affidavit said it was traced to Ithaca.
Dai admitted to posting the threatening messages in an interview with the FBI at the Cornell Police Department on Tuesday after receiving Miranda warnings, the complaint says.
In an interview with the New York Post , Dai’s parents said that he has severe depression dating to 2021 and had no history of violence.
The father, who asked his name not be used, told the Post in a text exchange Dai stopped communicating with his parents days before his arrest and around the time the antisemitic threats were made on an online message board.
He said his wife drove to Ithaca to see their son, but he had already been arrested.
How Cornell responded to the threats
After the threats were posted Sunday, Cornell University police ramped up patrols and increased security for Jewish students and organizations, the agency said. New York State Police has increased its security presence on campus, Gov. Kathy Hochul said.
At Cornell, Jewish students make up about 22% of the student body, with about 3,000 undergraduate and 500 graduate Jewish students, according to the school’s Hillel organization . As awareness of the threatening online posts spread Sunday evening, Cornell Hillel warned students and staff to avoid 104 West “out of an abundance of caution.”
The threats stoked fear and anxiety throughout Cornell’s Jewish community, which had already been feeling uneasy after several of the campus sidewalks were vandalized with anti-Israel graffiti last week, according to the university’s student-run newspaper, The Cornell Review.
“Jewish students on campus right now are unbelievably terrified for their lives,” Molly Goldstein, co-president of the Cornell Center for Jewish Living, told CNN . “I never would have expected this to happen on my university campus.”
Cornell said some classes may have remote learning options amid concern for people’s safety.
The university will continue to maintain heightened security on campus, according to a statement from Joel M. Malina, vice president for university relations.
“Cornell University is grateful to the FBI for working so swiftly to identify and apprehend the suspect in this case, a Cornell student, who remains in custody,” Malina said in a statement. “We remain shocked by and condemn these horrific, antisemitic threats and believe they should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.”
Cornell University President Martha E. Pollack in an earlier statement said the school “will not tolerate antisemitism.”
“During my time as president, I have repeatedly denounced bigotry and hatred, both on and off our campus,” Pollack said. “The virulence and destructiveness of antisemitism is real and deeply impacting our Jewish students, faculty and staff, as well as the entire Cornell community. This incident highlights the need to combat the forces that are dividing us and driving us toward hate. This cannot be what defines us at Cornell.”
New York officials are taking reported acts of hate against Jewish, Palestinian and Muslim residents very seriously, Hochul told CNN on Tuesday.
“Whether it’s a Jewish student or a Palestinian, Muslim – people are under enormous distress right now and the emotional toll that these hate crimes are taking is cruel and it has to stop,” the governor told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer.
“People feel so vulnerable going to their synagogues or their mosques of their classes,” she said. “This is not who New Yorkers are.”
In a news conference Wednesday, Hochul said she wants to “make an example” out of Dai and is looking at whether he will face both state and federal charges.
“We’re going to run these cases all the way to the ground to make sure that people know you cannot get away with this here in the state of New York,” she said.
CNN’s Jessica Xing, Elizabeth Wolfe, Paul P. Murphy, Maria Campinoti, Dakin Andone, Chris Boyette, Andy Rose, Caroll Alvarado, Artemis Moshtaghian, Zenebou Sylla and Michelle Watson contributed to this report.
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Source: As credited
Mon 26 Sep 2022 13.40 BST Last modified on Mon 26 Sep 2022 14.31 BST
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