Apr 19, 2019

Protests erupt over Pence's invitation to speak at university commencement

Vice President Mike Pence. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

More than 5,900 people — many of whom are alumni and current students — have signed a petition urging Taylor University, an evangelical school in rural Indiana, to rescind its invitation for Vice President Mike Pence to deliver the commencement address next month, reports the Washington Post.

"Inviting Vice President Pence to Taylor University and giving him a coveted platform for his political views makes our alumni, faculty, staff and current students complicit in the Trump-Pence Administration's policies, which we believe are not consistent with the Christian ethic of love we hold dear."
— the petition’s author, Alex Hoekstra, who graduated from Taylor in 2007, wrote

Details: According to the Post, the university's divided faculty voted 61-49 last week, condemning Pence's invitation.

  • Pence, who has defended or been silent on a number of President Trump's controversial policies, faced similar protests when more than 100 students at Notre Dame, a Catholic university in South Bend, Indiana, walked out during his 2017 commencement speech.

In his announcement last week about the school's selection, Taylor University's president, Paul Lowell Haines, called Pence a "good friend to the University ... [and] a Christian brother whose life and values have exemplified what we strive to instill in our graduates."

Why it matters: Per the Washington Post: Pence's planned appearance at the religiously affiliated school "has become a lightning rod in the intensifying debate over faith and politics."

Go deeper: Buttigieg targets Trump, Pence in warning LGBTQ struggles not over

Go deeper

Pentagon watchdog sidelined by Trump resigns

Fine testiying before the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Glenn Fine, the Pentagon's principal deputy inspector general, submitted his resignation on Tuesday.

Why it matters: President Trump removed Fine as the Pentagon's acting inspector general in April 7 after a group of independent federal watchdogs selected him to lead the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, which was set up to oversee the rollout of the $2 trillion coronavirus relief bill.

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 5,547,523 — Total deaths: 348,040 — Total recoveries — 2,269,422Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 2:30 p.m. ET: 1,671,728 — Total deaths: 98,493 — Total recoveries: 379,157 — Total tested: 14,604,942Map.
  3. Trump administration: Mike Pence's press secretary returns to work.
  4. States: New York reports lowest number of new coronavirus deaths since March.
  5. Public health: The final data for remdesivir is in, and its benefits are rather limited.
  6. Space: How to virtually watch SpaceX's historic crewed launch.
  7. What should I do? Hydroxychloroquine questions answeredTraveling, asthma, dishes, disinfectants and being contagiousMasks, lending books and self-isolatingExercise, laundry, what counts as soap — Pets, moving and personal healthAnswers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingHow to minimize your risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it, the right mask to wear.

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Updated 8 mins ago - Politics & Policy

FBI to investigate death of black man after video shows officer kneeling on neck

A man protesting near the area where a Minneapolis Police Department officer allegedly killed George Floyd. Photo: Kerem Yucel/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI will investigate the death of a black man for possible civil rights violations after video emerged of a Minneapolis police officer kneeling on the man's neck for several minutes, ignoring protests that he couldn't breathe, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports.

The big picture: The man, identified as George Floyd, was being arrested for alleged forgery and appeared to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to a police press conference Monday night. Police say he resisted arrest before suffering from “medical distress."