News briefs: What you need to know locally, nationally and globally



UB ‘Critical Conversations’ to discuss implications of presidential election

Political scientist and Harvard University professor Theda Skocpol will deliver the keynote address for UB’s fourth annual “Critical Conversations” on Nov. 17 at 3:30 p.m. in the Lippes Concert Hall in Slee Hall. “Critical Conversations” is a presidential series “showcasing distinguished individuals at the forefront of their fields who are helping to shape understanding of vital issues facing the world today,” according to a UB news release.

Skocpol will discuss what the 2016 presidential election means for the U.S. and how the country can move forward.

Spine Line Shuttle Service and overnight winter parking

As of Monday, Nov. 14, Parking and Transportation Services will be offering a shuttle service from the Stadium, Alumni and Special Student event parking lots on North Campus to points along the Academic Spine from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays.

“This is a true customer-centric service focused on helping students get to class on time,” according to Parking and Transportation.

As of Nov. 15, overnight campus parking will be restricted to designated spaces from midnight to 6:30 a.m. With snow approaching, the overnight rules will be “ramped up.”

“Anyone parking their car overnight should watch for signage that directs them where to walk,” Parking and Transportation said.


Major fire at the Bethlehem Steel site in Lackawanna

A fire at the Bethlehem Steel site was reported on Wednesday around 7:30 a.m. off of Route 5 in Lackawanna. The fire was too large for Lackawanna’s fire department of 50 members, according to The Buffalo News.

The cause of the fire is unknown and the initial suspected cause of a bursting light bulb has been ruled out.

The Hamburg Central School District issued a “shelter in place” due to the fire and a dozen evacuees stayed overnight on Wednesday at a Red Cross shelter set up at Lackawanna High School.

An emergency evacuation was lifted on Friday following an air quality test. However, those living in the area are urged to stay indoors with windows shut.

Route 5 reopened on Saturday at 5 p.m. As of Sunday, the fire is contained but is still burning under the rubble, according to Time Warner Cable News.

Black baby doll incidents at Canisius College

A black baby doll hanging on a noose appeared in two separate occasions on Tuesday at Canisius College. One doll was found in a dorm elevator with a string around its neck and the other was found in a laundry room hanging from a curtain rod.

College President John Hurley issued a campus community statement including reassurance that the students involved have been suspended and further disciplinary decisions are pending.

Over 300 Canisius students, faculty and staff attended an open session on Wednesday to express their opinions.


Hulk Hogan and Gawker reach settlement in lawsuit

Gawker settled its lawsuit with former professional wrestler and television personality Hulk Hogan for $31 million on Nov. 3.

Hogan, whose real name is Terry G. Bollea, sued Gawker Media after the website posted portions of a sex tape in which he starred. In March 2016, Gawker Media was found liable and Bollea was awarded a total of $140 million, which included $115 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages.

Gawker filed for bankruptcy in June after being faced with the $140 million lawsuit brought on by Gollea, according to The New York Times. Gawker ultimately ended up selling itself in August to Univision for $135 million.

“After four years of litigation funded by a billionaire with a grudge going back even further, a settlement has been reached,” said Nick Denton, Gawker founder and chief executive.

Rolling Stone found guilty of defamation for gang rape article

A federal court jury ruled on Nov. 4 that a Rolling Stone journalist Sabrina Rubin Erdely was guilty of defaming the former University of Virginia (UVA) associate dean in a 2014 sexual assault article, “A Rape on Campus.” The article featured an account of a sexual assault on the UVA campus that was found to be untrue, according to The Washington Post.

After the publication of the article, pieces of it began to be scrutinized and eventually debunked. The magazine ended up retracting the story in April 2015. Nicole Eramo, a UVA administrator who oversaw sexual violence cases filed a lawsuit a month after, stating that the magazine portrayed her as being dismissive of rape allegations.

Erdely was found responsible for defamation with malicious intent. The jury also found the magazine and its parent company, Wenner Media, responsible for defaming Eramo, who has said her life’s work helping sexual assault victims was devastated as a result of Rolling Stone’s article and its aftermath.

Phi Kappa Psi fraternity has also filed a $25 million lawsuit against Rolling Stone, which is expected to reach a court by 2017.


New Zealand earthquake triggers a tsunami leaving at least two dead

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck New Zealand on Nov.13, which killed at least two people. A tsunami was triggered two hours later. New Zealand is regularly hit with earthquakes, according to CNN.

The tsunami brought waves of 2.49 meters above usual tide levels, according to the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

Philip Duncan of Weather Watch New Zealand said this is the largest tsunami wave it has seen in at least 38 years.

The tsunami warning has been lifted.

Fifty-two people killed by suicide bomber in Pakistan

A suicide bomb killed at least 52 people during a religious ceremony in Pakistan on Saturday evening, according to CNN. Over 100 others were injured during the attack.

ISIS has claimed responsibility attack through its media wing known as Amaq. The bombing took place during a religious ceremony on a Sufi shrine in the Lasbela district of Balochistan.

Roughly 500 people were present in the shrine during the time of the attack. Emergency personnel are still trying to tend to the victims of the attack.

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