Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with Axios AM/PM. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Denver news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Des Moines news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Des Moines

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Minneapolis-St. Paul news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tampa Bay news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Tampa Bay

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Charlotte news in your inbox

Catch up on the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Adam Berry/Getty Images

A #MeToo case at the University of California at Irvine has brought into question if the movement against harassment and abuse has gone too far, the L.A. Times reports.

The big picture: Women feel more empowered than ever to speak up against powerful people and institutions as the #MeToo wave continues to roll. But the situation at UC Irvine raises concern over how to define harassment, per the Times, and "whether all offensive acts deserve equal punishment."

The details: Professor Francisco J. Ayala, 84, was removed from the university and stripped of honors after four colleagues raised complaints about his behavior.

  • Assistant Dean Benedicte Shipley, 50, said she felt "objectified and humiliated" because Ayala frequently greeted her with compliments and "hugs and a kiss on the cheek." He defended his behavior as manners of respect learned in his home country of Spain.
  • He was found to have sexually harassed Shipley and two other women by a university investigation. Per the Times, the investigators sided with the women on some instances that were denied by Ayala, and that they could not verify.

Women perceived Ayala's behavior in different ways, per the Times. One professor, Elizabeth Loftus, said she thought his check kisses were "adorable," while Shipley said the way he hugged her was "more than creepy."

The other side: Associated dean for academic affairs at Boston College, Candace Hetzner, told the Times that heavy-handed reactions could hurt the movement's progress: "We've lost perspective on what truly matters. Rape and forced sex is heinous. Saying 'why don't you sit on my lap?' is not. To the extent you don’t make distinctions … you risk getting a backlash that destroys much of what many of us have fought for."

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 mins ago - World

What has and hasn't changed as Biden takes over U.S. foreign policy

Photo Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Biden swiftly recommitted the U.S. to the Paris climate pact and the World Health Organization, but America's broader foreign policy is in a state of flux between the Trump and Biden eras.

Driving the news: One of the most striking moves from the Biden administration thus far was a show of continuity — concurring with the Trump administration's last-minute determination that China had committed "genocide" against Uyghur Muslims.

Updated 1 hour ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Health: New coronavirus cases down, but more bad news ahead — Fighting COVID-19's effects on gender equality.
  2. Politics: Biden unveils "wartime" COVID strategyBiden's COVID-19 bubble.
  3. Vaccine: NYC postpones vaccine appointments following shipment delays — Private companies step in to fill vaccine logistics vacuum.
  4. World: Biden will order U.S. to rejoin World Health OrganizationBiden to bring U.S. into global COVAX initiative for equitable vaccine access.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congress grants waiver for retired Gen. Lloyd Austin to lead Pentagon

Defense Secretary nominee Lloyd Austin. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Both chambers of Congress on Thursday voted to grant retired Gen. Lloyd Austin a waiver to lead the Pentagon, clearing the path to confirmation for President Biden's nominee for defense secretary.

Why it matters: Austin's nomination received pushback from some lawmakers, including Democrats, who cited a law that requires officers be out of the military for at least seven years before taking the job — a statute intended to reinforce the tradition of civilian control of the Pentagon.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

Sign up for Mike Allen’s daily Axios AM and PM newsletters to get smarter, faster on the news that matters.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!