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<October 2015>


Texas figuring out how to handle new campus carry law

Train hero's condition upgraded
Just weeks ago, U.S. Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone was tending to stab wounds after famously helping thwart a gun attack on a European train, feted internationally as a hero.

Kasich on seniors' cuts: 'Get over it'
Ohio Gov. John Kasich said Friday that a New Hampshire audience member would "get over" cuts to Social Security payments as a result of his reform plan -- and the left is already pouncing on the comment.

Current Weather Conditions In Guthrie, OK
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Pentagon puts for-profit University of Phoenix on probation

The Defense Department has placed the University of Phoenix on probation, saying the University committed "several violations" of DoD policy, including misusing trademarked U.S. military insignia and failing to get permission from proper authorities when seeking access to military bases. Photo by Joshua Lott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

On Wednesday, the Defense Department placed the University of Phoenix on probation, barring the for-profit school from recruitment-type activities and career fairs on military bases. Photo by Joshua Lott/Bloomberg via Getty Images

The Defense Department has announced that it has placed the University of Phoenix on probation, saying the university committed “several violations” of DoD policy, including misusing trademarked U.S. military insignia and failing to get permission from proper authorities when seeking access to military bases.

Thousands of military veterans and active duty soldiers attend the for-profit school with tuition paid for by the U.S. government, as part of the “GI Bill.”

But the school, along with other for-profit colleges, have been in the spotlight for many years, and have been criticized for deceptive marketing practices. Some critics have said the degrees they offer are not always deemed credible by employers or graduate programs. In 2012, President Obama signed an executive order prohibiting “deceptive targeting” of military veterans by for-profit schools seeking to recruit new students.

In July, the PBS NewsHour aired a report in partnership with Reveal/Center for Investigative Reporting that examined recruitment practices and allegations of misconduct by the for-profit college.

In a letter to the university dated Wednesday, Dawn Bilodeau, the Chief of Defense Department’s Voluntary Education program, pointed to the report, citing several violations by the school.

One of the violations involved the improper use of military insignia used on a coin that school representatives handed out on military bases. The coins included the insignias of every branch of the service on one side, and the University of Phoenix logo on the other.

The letter acknowledges that “corrective action” has been taken by the university, in response to these violations but that the scope of the infractions were “disconcerting.”

Bilodeau also noted that the school was under investigation by the Federal Trade Commission and the California State Attorney General. The FTC is investigating whether the University of Phoenix engaged in “deceptive or unfair practices in or affecting commerce in the advertising, marketing, or sale of secondary or postsecondary educational products or services.”

As part of the probation, university employees will not be allowed to visit military bases for the purposes of participating in recruitment-type activities, job training or career fairs, and no new soldiers can enroll in the school while receiving tuition assistance. The Pentagon also notified the school that it was considering terminating its program of providing tuition assistance all together.

Last year, more than 9,000 service members attended the University of Phoenix through the DoD Tuition Assistance program, according to the Defense Department.

Reaction among veterans to the news that the school was being put on probation was swift.

“This is huge,” said Paul Riechkoff, the executive director of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, which advocates on behalf of veterans. “This will hurt the company tremendously and send a huge shockwave across the industry.”

Tim Slottow, the President of the University of Phoenix, said in a statement that the university is cooperating with federal and state agencies. “We will continue to hold ourselves to the highest standards of accountability, transparency, ethics and compliance,” he said.

Reickhoff was more direct about the behavior of the University of Phoenix, and the effect of this DOD decision: “They stalk and recruit on bases. … This (announcement) cuts off their flow of troops to exploit.”

The post Pentagon puts for-profit University of Phoenix on probation appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

Shooting outside Texas Southern University housing leaves 1 student dead

Photo courtesy of Texas Southern University

Photo courtesy of Texas Southern University

A freshman at Texas Southern University, located in Houston, was shot and killed this morning just beyond campus in a parking lot outside of student housing. One other person was shot and is in stable condition. Police said they have at least two people in custody for questioning.

According to the Associated Press, TSU President John Rudley said students need to remember that “crime is all around us.”

This is the second shooting to occur this week at TSU, where just two days ago, one person was shot. The shooting also came hours after a gunman opened fire at Northern Arizona University, which left one person dead and three others injured.

Both shootings today occurred a week after a shooting at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon left nine people dead — not including the shooter.

President Barack Obama met with families of that shooting earlier today in Roseburg. There, he said that during this time, the nation must learn to “come together.”

The post Shooting outside Texas Southern University housing leaves 1 student dead appeared first on PBS NewsHour.

News Wrap: Gun rights protests greet Obama during Roseburg visit


Watch Video

JUDY WOODRUFF: A rising chorus of Republican voices in the U.S. House of Representatives urged Paul Ryan today to run for speaker and heal a badly divided party.

The Wisconsin congressman held the number two spot on the GOP presidential ticket in 2012, but it remained unclear if he’d go after the top job in the House or if rebellious conservatives would support him. We will have the story in full later in the program.

President Obama faced gun rights protesters this afternoon in Oregon, after last week’s community college shooting. Hundreds of people gathered near the airport in Roseburg as the president arrived to meet with survivors and victims’ relatives.

Later, he emerged with the mayor and governor.

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: We’re going to have to come together as a country to see how we can prevent these issues from taking place. But today is about the families, their grief and the love we feel for them. And they certainly do appreciate all the support that they have received.

JUDY WOODRUFF: The Roseburg gunman killed nine people and wounded nine others before taking his own life.

Shooting episodes broke out at two other colleges across the nation today. In Flagstaff, Arizona, a gunman opened fire on four fraternity brothers at Northern Arizona University, killing one. Police charged a freshman with murder. Later, in Houston, a student was killed outside a housing complex at Texas Southern University. Police detained two people.

The U.S. military has admitted failure in its effort to train rebels in Syria. The goal was 5,400 fighters, but it only fielded 60. Today’s announcement means that weapons will go instead to Kurdish fighters battling the Islamic State group. We will debate what the U.S. should do next in Syria after the news summary.

This year’s Nobel Peace Prize goes to a group that pushed Tunisia away from civil war after the Arab spring revolution of 2011. The Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet includes labor, industry, human rights and legal groups.

They helped to fashion a caretaker government led by Mehdi Jomaa.

MEHDI JOMAA, Former Prime Minister, Tunisian: I am happy for Tunisia because through the Quartet is a recognition of the Tunisian experience and successful experience in the democratic transition, and as well a recognition of the method and the way we handled and we managed the difficulties in Tunisia.

JUDY WOODRUFF: Tunisia’s revolution sparked the Arab spring, but it’s the only country in the region to build a democracy since then.

Instead of peace, a new wave of violence is gripping Israelis and Palestinians, and it reached a new peak today as Israeli troops shot and killed six protesters. The trouble erupted in chaotic scenes along the Gaza border, where young Palestinians rolled burning tires and threw rocks. Meanwhile, the leader of Hamas in Gaza praised a recent rash of stabbing attacks on Israelis. And there were more stabbings today, including an apparent revenge attack by a Jewish man who knifed four Arabs in Southern Israel.

In Iraq, at least 35 people died in a mortar attack in the country’s east; 45 others were wounded. Police say the bombardment hit villages around Baqubah in Diyala province. The Islamic State group has staged several recent attacks there.

Migrant arrivals on the Greek islands have surged to at least 7,000 a day, trying to beat the onset of winter. More arrived on Lesbos today, as the International Organization for Migration reported a sharp increase from September. Meanwhile, in Italy, the first wave of Eritrean refugees departed for Sweden as part of the European Union’s new relocation plan.

MELISSA FLEMING, Spokesman, U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees: This relocation scheme is a really important step towards stabilizing the refugee crisis in Europe. It can only work if it takes place at the entry points of Europe, and it can only work if robust facilities are created above and beyond what we have in Italy.

JUDY WOODRUFF: More than half-a-million migrants have fled to Europe so far this year.

Back in this country, the city of North Charleston, South Carolina, will pay $6.5 million in the killing of an unarmed black suspect. The settlement with Walter Scott’s family was adopted last night. He was shot repeatedly as he ran from a white policeman last April. The officer was fired and he is now charged with murder.

The U.S. House today voted to lift a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports. Supporters said that lifting the ban would create jobs and lower prices at the pump. Opponents said that it would benefit big oil at the expense of consumers. The White House has warned of a veto if the bill clears the Senate.

And on Wall Street, stocks finished out a winning week. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 33 points to close above 17080. The Nasdaq rose 19 points and the S&P 500 added just a point. For the week, the Dow gained well over 3.5 percent, the S&P rose 3.3 percent and the Nasdaq was up 2.5 percent.

The post News Wrap: Gun rights protests greet Obama during Roseburg visit appeared first on PBS NewsHour.