Aug 24, 2017

UC Berkeley chancellor calls for "free speech year"

Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

UC Berkeley has been ground zero for the national debate over free speech on campus, with students holding high-profile and at times violent protests over speakers like Milo Yiannopoulos and Ann Coulter in the past year. But new chancellor Carol Christ sent a campus-wide email encouraging free speech for all — regardless of politics.

  • Why now? This comes two weeks after California legislature unanimously passed a resolution urging universities to adopt the University of Chicago's free expression statement. The resolution includes pro-free speech quotes from political figures like Barack Obama.
  • Christ's quote: "We would be providing students with a less valuable education, preparing them less well for the world after graduation, if we tried to shelter them from ideas that many find wrong, even dangerous."
  • What to watch for: Whether this message resonates with Berkeley's predominantly liberal student body.

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George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla., seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.