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Friday Scoop: Afghani Weekend Getaway

Plus, Naomi Osaka is killing it.

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Welcome to the Morning Scoop for Friday, September 7, 2018. Three generals walk into a war zone…and the punchline remains a mystery. 

Today we launch our inaugural session of the CMN Music Journalism Program. While we still might be able to squeeze you in this one, we also have a second session beginning in November. Check it out here.


Jim Mattis Visits Afghanistan to Discuss Peace Progress

Mattis, is that you? (image: Flickr)

U.S. Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis paid a surprise visit to Afghanistan early this morning. According to NBC, Mattis traveled with the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joseph Dunford, to meet with Gen. Scott Miller, the new head of NATO troops in Afghanistan.

All three generals are set to discuss the progress on peace talks with the Taliban, which has been an ongoing effort to end the grinding conflict. Mattis shared with reporters that reconciliation “is not just a mirage,” and that he is hopeful that the Taliban will sign a lasting agreement. Dunford noted that the temporary truce between the U.S. and the Taliban signed back in June is a strong indicator of reconciliation.

Despite having the proper framework in place, there is some doubt that the peace talks will be successful due to turmoil and weak security in the region. The overall goal, according to Dunford, is to show the Taliban that they “cannot win on the battlefield, and must engage in a peace process.”


Hollywood Icon Burt Reynolds Dead at 82

Actor and notorious heartthrob Burt Reynolds died yesterday, according to his agent, Todd Eisner. The Hollywood star suffered cardiac arrest while in his estate in Marin County, Florida. He was 82.

Reynolds broke into the movie scene in 1972 with “Deliverance,” an iconic role for him which he later called his “best film.” By 1974, Reynolds had made it big with his starring part in “The Longest Yard,” playing an ex-football player who winds up in prison. Reynolds then took on the “Smokey and the Bandit” series in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, earning himself a People’s Choice Award in 1979, 1982, and 1983. In 1998, Reynolds was nominated for an Oscar, after portraying a porn film producer in the movie “Boogie Nights.”

Reynolds suffered from health issues later in life, including an addiction to painkillers following back surgery, for which he attended rehab in 2009. He had been recently cast in Quentin Tarantino’s film “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” which was scheduled for release next year.


Missouri College Drops Nike Uniforms to Protest Kaepernick Ad

College of the Ozarks, a private Christian college in Point Lookout, Missouri, decided to drop all Nike uniforms after the brand unveiled Colin Kaepernick as the face of its new ad campaign.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Jerry C. Davis, College of the Ozarks president, noted that they are “choosing the country over a company.” According to Davis, “Nike executives are promoting an attitude of division and disrespect toward America” by supporting Kaepernick. “We also believe that those who know what sacrifice is all about are more likely to be wearing a military uniform than an athletic uniform,” Davis said.

Davis’ response was in reference to a photo of Kaepernick from the ad campaign captioned: “Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything.”

Read more in Tamia Heard’s report here. 


Today in a Tweet: Serena vs. Naomi

Naomi Osaka has become the first Japanese (and black) woman to reach the finals at the U.S. Open; and Twitter can all agree she’s seriously badass. 


Last But Not Least: Here’s What to Know About the Trump Administration’s New Sexual Assault Guidelines

The Trump administration’s new sexual assault guidelines for college campuses would basically protect perpetrators and remove legal liability from the administration of each school. Led by embattled Education Secretary Betsy Devos, the new rules have various means of preventing victims from coming forward. From nullifying any claim of assault if it is not reported to the “correct” administrator to removing schools’ responsibility for off-campus assaults, Devos is clearly trying to give more power to the accused and the schools they attend.

In addition, the Trump administration is changing the language of what constitutes evidence from “preponderance of evidence” of the Obama administration to “clear and convincing” evidence. With rape trials already being notoriously difficult to come by, more victims will be silenced with the implementation of this legal language.

Meaghan Lanctot tells us what this means in her report here. 


This Friday Morning Scoop was made possible by Tamia Heard, Meaghan Lanctot, and the CMN Staff. If someone wrote an anonymous op-ed about the leadership at CMN and sent it in to the New York Times…the editors would just wonder why they received a story about two music junkies hanging out at coffee shops all day. 

Are you looking for digital journalism training and experience? Are you a journalism major who wants to take your career to the next level? CMN’s Digital Journalism course gives you real-time experience, intense feedback on your writing, exposure to journalism influencers and mentors, and a great place to display your work. You can get academic credit too. Check out the Digital Journalism Course here.

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