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Wednesday Morning Scoop: Walk Out, Don’t Run

Plus, rest in power Stephen Hawking and a Pennsylvania shock for the GOP

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Nationwide Student Walk Out Set to Put Gun Control Back in the Spotlight

Students lie-in at the White House to protest gun control laws last month. (Image: Lorie Shaull, via Wikimedia Commons)

The first of several planned protests organized in the wake of the Parkland, Florida school shooting that took the lives of 17 people will sweep across the nation today. Student activists urged their peers to leave class for 17 minutes at 10am local time, one minute for every life lost when an 19-year-old walked into his former high school and opened fire with a legally purchased assault rifle.

There are at least 3,000 planned local protests, and they will take a variety of forms. The Washington Post reports that some students “planned roadside rallies to honor shooting victims and protest violence. Others were to hold demonstrations in school gyms or on football fields. In Massachusetts and Georgia and Ohio, students said they’ll head to the statehouse to lobby for new gun regulations.”

How teachers and administrators will handle the unprecedented wave of activism will also vary. Some have vowed to punish students who participate, while in some areas, schools are turning the protests into teachable moments, helping to organize activities.

The walkout precedes the March for Our Lives, which is expected to draw more than a half million people to Washington, DC on the 24th.

CMN will be following the protests all day right here.

Renowned Physicist Stephen Hawking Dies at 76

Stephen Hawking, the famed British physicist who battled against a debilitating disease throughout adulthood, has passed away at the age of 76.

Professor Stephen William Hawking was born exactly 300 hundred years after the death of Galileo on January 8, 1942, in Oxford, England. He was a theoretical physicist, cosmologist, author, and Director of Research at the Centre for Theoretical Cosmology within the University of Cambridge.

Read more about Hawking’s exceptional life in Arianna Lynne’s report for CMN. 

Today in a Tweet 

Protests and politics are in the headlines, but it’s also #PiDay.

A Shock to the GOP System in Pennsylvania 

Democrat Conor Lamb declared victory early this morning in a special election in Pennsylvania, though his race against Republican Rick Saccone was still extraordinarily close, and could go either way once absentees ballots are counted.

No matter who wins, the race — held because Rep. Tim Murphy (R) resigned last year amid allegations that he’d had an affair — will be a shock to the system of Republicans, who could face a harsh backlash against President Trump in upcoming midterm elections.

Most troubling for the GOP is the fact that Lamb’s performance comes in a district that Trump carried by nearly 20 percentage points in 2016, and the president himself, plus high profile administration officials — including Vice President Mike Pence, advisor Kellyanne Conway and Donald Trump Jr. — campaigned for Saccone. 

Secretary of State Tillerson Gets the Boot

Another Trump cabinet shuffle took place yesterday, in the same abrupt manner that has characterized the numerous changes during the president’s first year in office.

Trump took to Twitter to announce that he was replacing Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State with CIA director Mike Pompeo: “Mike Pompeo, Director of the CIA, will become our new Secretary of State. He will do a fantastic job! Thank you to Rex Tillerson for his service! Gina Haspel will become the new Director of the CIA, and the first woman so chosen. Congratulations to all!”

Caitlyn Morral rounds up the changes in her report for CMN. 

Last But Not Least: Student Who Abused Roommate With Bodily Fluids Gets Probation

A University of Hartford student will have the opportunity to wipe her criminal record clean after she was handed probation by a judge in a case that has been called a hate crime.

In October of 2017, then University of Hartford student Brianna Brochu, who is white, was arrested after being accused of licking her black roommate’s dining utensils and smearing bodily fluids on the woman’s backpack.

State NAACP officials wanted Brochu charged with a hate crime, but with her former roommate in the courtroom, a judge sentenced her to probation and community service. Get all the details in CMN’s report. 


This midweek Morning Scoop was compiled by Arianna LynneNatalia KolenkoCaitlyn Morral, and the CMN Staff. Will you be walking out today? 

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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