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Student protesters take over Columbia building after deadline passes

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Student protesters took over a building on the campus of Columbia University. And four law enforcement officers were killed while serving a warrant in Charlotte, North Carolina. These stories and more highlight The Morning Rundown for Tuesday, April 30, 2024.

Student protesters take over Hamilton Hall after Columbia’s deadline passes

Student demonstrators at Columbia University protesting the war in Gaza broke into a campus building and occupied Hamilton Hall, just hours after the university’s deadline passed for students to clear their pro-Palestinian encampment. The university sent an email to all students advising them to avoid campus.

A student protest group confirmed its members have “reclaimed” Hamilton Hall, barricading themselves inside. Students took over the same building occupied during a Vietnam protest in 1968 and hung up a banner reading “Hind’s Hall,” in reference to a 6-year-old Palestinian girl killed in Gaza.

Images from the scene show the maintenance crew confronting the protesters inside the building and students forming a human chain blocking the entrance. The New York Police Department said its officers were stationed near the campus but not on the grounds.

The student protesters said they will remain at Hamilton Hall until the university meets their demands, including withdrawing funds for Israeli institutions.

Columbia confirmed Monday, April 29, it started suspending students for violating the 2 p.m. deadline. It is not clear how many students have been suspended so far.

Columbia President Minouche Shafik issued a statement telling protesters to “voluntarily disperse,” saying the encampment has created an “unwelcoming environment for many” of the school’s Jewish students and faculty.

Protesters are seeking the university to divest from Israel, something Shafik said the school will not do. However, in her statement, she said Columbia has offered to develop an expedited timeline for the university to review new divestment proposals from students and has offered to make investments in health and education in Gaza.

Now in its second week, the pro-Palestinian protests at Columbia are just one of several occurring at college campuses across the country. On Monday, April 29, arrests were made at encampments at the University of Texas and the University of Florida.

Meanwhile, Northwestern University announced it had reached an agreement with students to continue protests that comply with university rules and policies.

Four officers killed serving warrant during shootout at Charlotte home

Four law enforcement officers were killed Monday, April 29, in a shootout at a home in Charlotte, North Carolina. Those killed included a deputy U.S. marshal, two members of the North Carolina Department of Corrections and an officer with the Charlotte Police Department.

Authorities came under fire while trying to serve a warrant to a convicted felon for possessing a firearm.

Police said the armed suspect was shot dead after leaving the home. A second person also opened fire on the officers.

The police chief said many questions still need to be answered about what unfolded.

“Today’s an absolute tragic day for the city of Charlotte and for the profession of law enforcement,” Chief Johnny Jennings of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said. “Today we lost some heroes who are out to simply keep our community safe.”

After the three-hour standoff came to an end, a woman and a 17-year-old male were found inside the home and taken in for questioning.

Three Charlotte police officers and a member of the Marshal Service Fugitive Task Force were also wounded in the incident.

FCC fines major wireless carriers nearly $200M for sharing data

The Federal Communications Commission fined AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon nearly $200 million for illegally sharing customer location data without consent.

A 2020 investigation revealed that the carriers had been distributing users’ geolocation details to third parties, including to prisons. T-Mobile and Sprint merged after the investigation began. 

Despite promising to end these practices in 2018, the FCC said the companies took more than a year to actually stop them.

In a statement, AT&T argued that the order is unjustified and lacks legal and factual basis. The company claimed it was unfairly blamed for another company’s violations and that its efforts to rectify the issue were overlooked.

T-Mobile stated that it stopped sharing data with location-based services through third-party aggregators over five years ago. The carrier emphasized its commitment to protecting customer data but called the FCC’s decision incorrect and the fine excessive.

A Verizon spokesperson expressed the company’s dedication to customer privacy, noting that they terminated the offending party, ended the program, and took steps to prevent similar incidents.

The FCC stated that carriers are required to keep customer data private unless they have explicitly obtained user consent.

The carriers have expressed intentions to appeal, disputing the FCC’s findings and the legality of the fines.

US to require automatic braking in new cars by 2029

By 2029, nearly all new passenger cars and trucks sold in the U.S. must be equipped with automatic emergency braking systems, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration announced Monday, April 29.

This regulation, part of the 2021 infrastructure law, aims to save at least 360 lives and prevent 24,000 injuries annually. The decision follows a rise in traffic fatalities post-COVID-19 lockdowns, despite a recent 3.6% drop in road deaths in 2023.

Carmakers claimed that NHTSA rules requiring cars with automatic brakes to completely avoid contact with objects or people at high speeds were impractical.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg stated that the automatic braking mandate “will save hundreds of lives.”

The new rule also sets performance standards for these systems, requiring them to detect pedestrians in both daylight and at night, and to function effectively at speeds up to 90 mph.

Some smaller manufacturers have until September 2030 to comply.

Paramount CEO steps down amid talks of merger

With talks of a merger gaining traction, media giant Paramount has announced Bob Bakish is stepping down as the company’s CEO. In his absence, three Paramount executives will form a committee called “The Office of the CEO” to lead the company.

This committee consists of the presidents of CBS, Paramount Media Networks and Paramount Pictures. Bakish has been with the company for nearly three decades in roles including CEO of Viacom. He will remain with Paramount until October, working as a senior adviser.

According to CNBC, Skydance Media has extended a final offer to Paramount about a potential merger agreement.

US withdraws bid to host 2027 Women’s World Cup

This may come as disappointing news for American soccer fans: The U.S. is withdrawing its bid to host the 2027 Women’s World Cup. Officials say they have a good reason.

U.S. Soccer announced Monday, April 29, the end of its joint bid with the Mexican Football Federation to host the 2027 soccer tournament, despite being one of three finalists as FIFA’s decision is just weeks away.

Instead, the groups will focus their efforts to secure the 2031 Women’s World Cup, saying the two countries will take lessons learned as they prepare to host the 2026 Men’s World Cup along with Canada.

In addition, the U.S. will also host the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

This now leaves two remaining bids for the 2027 Women’s World Cup — one from Brazil and a joint bid from Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.

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[KARAH RUCKER]

STUDENT PROTESTERS TAKE OVER A BUILDING ON THE CAMPUS OF COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY

AND — FOUR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS ARE KILLED WHILE SERVING A WARRANT IN CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA

THE MORNING RUNDOWN STARTS NOW.

TODAY IS TUESDAY, APRIL 30TH.

THANK YOU FOR JOINING US.

I’M KARAH RUCKER.

JUST AFTER MIDNIGHT – STUDENT DEMONSTRATORS AT COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY PROTESTING THE WAR IN GAZA BROKE INTO A CAMPUS BUILDING – OCCUPYING HAMILTON HALL JUST HOURS AFTER THE UNIVERSITY’S DEADLINE PASSED FOR STUDENTS TO CLEAR THEIR PRO-PALESTINIAN ENCAMPMENT. COLUMBIA SENDING AN EMAIL TO ALL STUDENTS THIS MORNING TO AVOID THE CAMPUS.

A STUDENT PROTEST GROUP CONFIRMING ITS MEMBERS HAVE QUOTE “RECLAIMED” HAMILTON HALL —  BARRICADING THEMSELVES INSIDE — STUDENTS TAKING OVER THE SAME BUILDING OCCUPIED DURING A VIETNAM PROTEST IN 1968 – HANGING UP A BANNER READING “HIND’S HALL” – IN REFERENCE TO A 6-YEAR-OLD PALESTINIAN GIRL KILLED IN GAZA.

IMAGES FROM THE SCENE SHOW THE MAINTENANCE CREW CONFRONTING THE PROTESTERS INSIDE THE BUILDING AND STUDENTS FORMING A HUMAN CHAIN BLOCKING THE ENTRANCE. THE NYPD SAYING ITS OFFICERS WERE STATIONED NEAR THE CAMPUS BUT NOT ON THE GROUNDS.

THE STUDENT PROTESTERS SAYING THEY WILL REMAIN AT HAMILTON HALL UNTIL THE UNIVERSITY MEETS THEIR DEMANDS.

COLUMBIA CONFIRMED MONDAY AFTERNOON IT STARTED SUSPENDING STUDENTS FOR VIOLATING THE 2 P.M. MONDAY DEADLINE. IT WAS NOT CLEAR HOW MANY STUDENTS HAVE BEEN SUSPENDED SO FAR.

COLUMBIA PRESIDENT MINOUCHE SHAFIK ISSUING A STATEMENT – TELLING PROTESTERS TO “VOLUNTARILY DISPERSE” SAYING THE ENCAMPMENT HAS CREATED AN “UNWELCOMING ENVIRONMENT” FOR MANY OF THE SCHOOL’S JEWISH STUDENTS AND FACULTY.

PROTESTERS want THE UNIVERSITY – to divest FUNDS FOR ISRAELI INSTITUTIONS. – SOMETHING SHAFIK SAYS THE SCHOOL WILL NOT DO – BUT IN HER STATEMENT – SHE SAYS COLUMBIA HAS OFFERED TO DEVELOP AN EXPEDITED TIMELINE FOR THE UNIVERSITY TO REVIEW NEW DIVESTMENT PROPOSALS FROM STUDENTS – AND HAS OFFERED TO MAKE INVESTMENTS IN HEALTH AND EDUCATION IN GAZA.

NOW IN ITS SECOND WEEK – THE PRO-PALESTINIAN PROTESTS AT COLUMBIA ARE JUST ONE OF SEVERAL OCCURRING AT COLLEGE CAMPUSES ACROSS THE COUNTRY. ON MONDAY – ARRESTS WERE MADE AT ENCAMPMENTS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AND THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA. MEANWHILE NORTHWESTERN UNIVERSITY ANNOUNCED IT HAD REACHED AN AGREEMENT WITH STUDENTS TO CONTINUE PROTESTS THAT COMPLY WITH UNIVERSITY RULES AND POLICIES.

FOUR LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS WERE KILLED MONDAY AFTERNOON IN A SHOOTOUT AT A HOME IN CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA.

THOSE KILLED INCLUDED A DEPUTY U.S. MARSHAL – TWO MEMBERS FOR THE NORTH CAROLINA DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, AND AN OFFICER WITH THE CHARLOTTE POLICE DEPARTMENT.

AUTHORITIES COMING UNDER FIRE WHILE TRYING TO SERVE A WARRANT TO A CONVICTED FELON FOR POSSESSING A FIREARM.

POLICE SAYING THE ARMED SUSPECT WAS SHOT DEAD AFTER LEAVING THE HOME.

A SECOND PERSON ALSO OPENED FIRE ON THE OFFICERS.

THE POLICE CHIEF SAYING A LOT OF QUESTIONS STILL NEED TO BE ANSWERED AS TO WHAT UNFOLDED.

CHIEF JOHNNY JENNINGS | CHARLOTTE-MECKLENBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT

“Today’s an absolute tragic day for the city of Charlotte and for the profession of law enforcement. Today we lost some heroes that are out to just simply trying to keep our community safe.”

[KARAH RUCKER]

AFTER THE THREE-HOUR STANDOFF CAME TO AN END — A WOMAN AND A 17-YEAR-OLD MALE WERE FOUND INSIDE THE HOME AND TAKEN IN FOR QUESTIONING.

THREE CHARLOTTE POLICE OFFICERS AND A MEMBER OF THE MARSHAL SERVICE FUGITIVE TASK FORCE WERE ALSO WOUNDED IN THE INCIDENT.

THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION HAS FINED MAJOR WIRELESS CARRIERS — AT&T, VERIZON, T-MOBILE AND SPRINT — NEARLY 200-MILLION DOLLARS FOR ILLEGALLY SHARING CUSTOMER LOCATION DATA WITHOUT CONSENT.

A 2020 INVESTIGATION, REVEALED THAT THE CARRIERS HAD BEEN DISTRIBUTING USERS’ GEOLOCATION DETAILS TO THIRD PARTIES, INCLUDING TO PRISONS.

DESPITE PROMISING TO END THESE PRACTICES IN 2018, THE FCC SAYS THE COMPANIES TOOK MORE THAN A YEAR TO ACTUALLY STOP THEM.

THE CARRIERS HAVE EXPRESSED INTENTIONS TO APPEAL, DISPUTING THE FCC’S FINDINGS AND THE LEGALITY OF THE FINES.

BY 2029, ALMOST ALL NEW PASSENGER CARS AND TRUCKS SOLD IN THE U.S. MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH AUTOMATIC EMERGENCY BRAKING SYSTEMS, THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION ANNOUNCED ON MONDAY.

THIS REGULATION, ANNOUNCED AS PART OF THE 2021 INFRASTRUCTURE LAW, AIMS TO SAVE AT LEAST 360 LIVES AND PREVENT 24-THOUSAND INJURIES ANNUALLY. THE DECISION COMES IN RESPONSE TO A RISE IN TRAFFIC FATALITIES POST-COVID-19 LOCKDOWNS.

THE NEW RULE ALSO SETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS FOR THESE SYSTEMS, REQUIRING THEM TO DETECT PEDESTRIANS IN BOTH DAYLIGHT AND AT NIGHT, AND FUNCTION EFFECTIVELY AT SPEEDS UP TO 90 MPH.

SOME SMALLER MANUFACTURERS HAVE UNTIL SEPTEMBER 2030 TO COMPLY.

WITH TALKS OF A MERGER GAINING TRACTION – MEDIA GIANT PARAMOUNT HAS ANNOUNCED BOB BAKISH IS STEPPING DOWN AS THE COMPANY’S CEO.

IN HIS ABSENCE — THREE PARAMOUNT EXECUTIVES WILL FORM A COMMITTEE – CALLED “THE OFFICE OF THE CEO” – TO NOW LEAD THE COMPANY – CONSISTING OF THE PRESIDENTS OF CBS, PARAMOUNT MEDIA NETWORKS AND PARAMOUNT PICTURES.

BAKISH HAS BEEN WITH THE COMPANY FOR NEARLY THREE DECADES – IN ROLES INCLUDING CEO OF VIACOM. HE WILL REMAIN WITH PARAMOUNT UNTIL OCTOBER WORKING AS A SENIOR ADVISER.

ACCORDING TO CNBC – SKYDANCE MEDIA HAS EXTENDED A FINAL OFFER TO PARAMOUNT ABOUT A POTENTIAL MERGER AGREEMENT.

FINALLY THIS MORNING – THIS MAY COME AS DISAPPOINTING NEWS FOR AMERICAN SOCCER FANS – THE U.S. IS WITHDRAWING ITS BID TO HOST THE 20-27 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP. BUT OFFICIAL SAY THEY HAVE A GOOD REASON.

U.S. SOCCER ANNOUNCED MONDAY – THE END OF THEIR JOINT BID WITH THE MEXICAN FOOTBALL FEDERATION TO HOST THE 20-27 SOCCER TOURNAMENT – DESPITE BEING ONE OF THREE FINALISTS AS FIFA’S DECISION IS JUST WEEKS AWAY.

INSTEAD THE GROUPS WILL FOCUS THEIR EFFORTS TO SECURE THE 20-31 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP – SAYING THE TWO COUNTRIES WILL TAKE LESSONS LEARNED AS THEY PREPARE TO HOST THE 20-26 MEN’S WORLD CUP ALONG WITH CANADA.

IN ADDITION – THE U.S. WILL ALSO HOST THE 20-28 SUMMER OLYMPICS IN LOS ANGELES.

THIS NOW LEAVES TWO REMAINING BIDS FOR THE 20-27 WOMEN’S WORLD CUP – ONE FROM BRAZIL AND A JOINT BID FROM BELGIUM, GERMANY, AND THE NETHERLANDS.

THESE ARE YOUR TOP STORIES FOR THIS TUESDAY.

YOU CAN GET THE LATEST UNBIASED, STRAIGHT FACTS ANYTIME BY DOWNLOADING THE STRAIGHT ARROW NEWS MOBILE APP.

WE’LL SEE YOU BACK HERE TOMORROW.

UNTIL THEN I’M KARAH RUCKER. HAVE A GREAT DAY!