Jennifer Ruger Joins Council on Foreign Relations

Jennifer Prah Ruger

Jennifer Prah Ruger. IMG: via Yale Law School.

In March, Perelman School of Medicine’s Jennifer Ruger joined the Council on Foreign Relations. A professor focused on global health governance, Ruger says she’s been “doing theoretical and empirical work in global health policy and health equity.”

“We want to develop normative frameworks to guide global health policy such that it will be more equitable, fair, and efficient,” she said. Ruger has been involved with the CFR for several years and says she always learns “an enormous amount” at CFR events.

She also expressed her delight at being asked to join the organization, whose extensive membership list includes the likes of private equity mogul Henry Kravis and economist wife Marie-Josee Kravis (nee Marie-Josee Drouin), CEO of Ruder Finn Kathy Bloomgarden, Harald B. Malmgren of Malmgren-O’Donnell, and about 4,500 others. To become a member, hopefuls must complete an extensive application process, which includes finding nominations and seconding letters from existing CFR members.

“I feel very privileged… it’s an enormous honor to become a member of the CFR because it has tremendous convening powers around major issues in international relations,” she said.

According to CRF Senior Fellow for Global Health, Yanzhong Huang, the Council on Foreign Relations is an independent, nonpartisan organization that “serves three functions: It’s a membership organization, a think tank and a publisher.”

Huang also noted that Ruger is more than qualified for membership within the organization, as “[s]he is a leading scholar in global health and her research on health and social justice informs our debate. In the past, they have invited her to speak three times at the council, and they find her articulate, smart and friendly.”

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Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson to Play Graduating Seniors in ‘Pitch Perfect 2′

Anna Kendrick, Pitch Perfect

Anna Kendrick at the Pitch Perfect premiere in LA. DFree / Shutterstock.com

Pitch Perfect fans rejoice – Pitch Perfect 2 will be released in May 2015, and will again star Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson.

Anna Kendrick and Rebel Wilson to Play Graduating Seniors in ‘Pitch Perfect 2′Elizabeth Banks, who produced and co-starred in Pitch Perfect, will be directing the second installment. The second script will be written by Kay Cannon, who wrote the first one as well.

“Elizabeth originated the idea for ‘Pitch Perfect’ and was instrumental in making the first film such a huge success,” said Universal Picture chairman Donna Langley. “She brings an enormous amount of energy and experience to everything she works on and we’re thrilled that she is making her feature directorial debut on ‘Pitch Perfect 2.’”

Banks recently revealed that Kendrick and Wilson will be reprising their rolls as Becca and Fat Amy, this time as seniors at Barden University. “They’re all graduating seniors,” Banks says of the film’s stars. Both played freshmen who join the Barden Bellas and eventually take the all-female a cappella group to national championship.

Banks also confirmed that John Michael Higgins will be returning. Higgins played one of the ICCAs commentators alongside Banks’ Gail Abernathy-McKadden. “We will see a little more of Gail and John and delve into their dynamic. You’re going to learn more about why she has three last names.”

Earlier this year, Banks spoke to HuffPost Entertainment about the sequel: “The whole project speaks so much to me and to women and to making women funny in really fun and interesting ways and that’s what I’m most looking forward to,” she said. “I’m looking forward to letting the girls let loose.”

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Teen Arrested for Tweeting American Airline Threat is Released

American Airlines

American Airlines

Although it should be pretty common knowledge – don’t tweet fake terrorist threats. Police arrested a 14-year-old Dutch girl on Monday after she tweeted a terror threat to American Airlines.

A Twitter user calling herself Sarah with the handle @QueenDemetriax_ tweeted. “@AmiercanAir hello my name’s Ibrahim and I’m from Afghanistan. I’m part of Al Qaida and on June 1st I’m gonna do something really big bye.”

American Airlines responded from their official Twitter account saying “@QueenDemetriax_ Sarah, we take these threats very seriously. Your IP address and details will be forwarded to security and the FBI.”

Right after this, the girl pleaded with the airline, saying things like she is only a 14-year-old girl and she was just kidding.

The girl turned herself in at a police station in Rotterdam on Monday afternoon after authorities launched an investigation to find her.

“The assumption made by her tweets was taken seriously, and I may add that it is a rather alarming threat,” Wessel Stolle, a Rotterdam police department spokesman, told CNN.

The girl has been charged with “posting a false or alarming announcement” under Dutch law, but the consequences of the accusation remain unclear.

American Airlines stands by their actions, regardless of that fact that she was “joking.”

“At American, the safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority. We take security matters very seriously and work with authorities on a case-by-case basis,” American spokesman Matt Miller told CNN. “American’s response was taken down per our standard procedures. In this type of situation, we flag the conversation with the proper authorities and then take down the message(s).”

Stolle told Business Insider that, “We’re not in a state that we can communicate any state of charges at this point, we just thought it was necessary to bring this out mostly because of the fact that it caused a great deal of interest on the Internet.”

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Explosion at a Nigerian Bus Station Kills 71

Nigeria Bus Station Blast

Nigeria Bus Station Blast. Credit: Reuters/Afolabi Sotunde

An explosion caused by a suspected car bomb ran through a crowded bus station in Abuja, the Nigerian capital, on Monday during morning rush hour at 6:30 am. According to police, at least 71 people were killed and 124 injured.

The explosion ripped through 24 minibuses and 16 luxury coaches. The bomb was planted in a Volkswagen Golf that was driven into the station and left alone.

President Goodluck Johnathon thinks that Boko Haram, the homegrown Islamist extremist group that has been attacking schools, government sites and people, was behind this.

Jonathan appeared close to tears over the victims as he toured the site after the blast. “Let us first express our collective condolence to the family of those who lost their lives…So far, we have a total of 71 persons dead and 124 others injured, and they are all receiving treatments at various hospitals,” he said.

Susan Eual, an assistant librarian at the MacArthur Foundation in Abuja, said that, “There are dead bodies scattered everywhere, and vehicles are on fire,” she said. “Everybody is afraid and staying at home.”

A police spokesman, Frank Mba, said that they are not certain yet who caused the explosion and they are still investigating. Emergency workers were still collecting casualty figures.

The explosion happened in a location less than 15 minutes away from President Goodluck Johnathon’s office, leading people to think this attack may have something to do with him.

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Grand Jury Testimony in Latest “Bridge-gate” Updates

Rachel Maddow and Kendall Coffey

Kendall Coffey on the Rachel Maddow show.

In early January of this year, the so-called “Bridge-gate” scandal blew up, involving the George Washington Bridge and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. Evidence and documents allegedly show how the 2016 Republican Presidential contender might have been involved in the closing of multiple lanes of what is considered one of the busiest bridges in the world.

Some say the reasons for such a major closure included spite and political motivations. It is alleged that a mayor of a town in New Jersey declined to endorse Christie for governor, and that as retaliation, a state agency closed lanes in that mayor’s town without giving any advance notice. The resulting traffic mess made headlines—and if the details prove true, could show a gross misuse of power.

So serious is the scandal that a federal grand jury has begun hearing testimony on the matter; the governor’s own chief spokesman, Michael Drewniak, was among those who testified. Drewniak’s attorney, Anthony Lacullo, stated the longtime aid is not a target of the investigation, and that he was there only to “answer questions.” What is clear is that what began simply as a preliminary inquiry into whether federal laws were broken has evolved into a criminal probe, and that the federal government is taking it very seriously.

Kendall Coffey, a former United Stated attorney, who spoke on The Rachel Maddow Show last Friday about the evolving case, made it clear just how severe the situation is

“I think we all know that this is serious business, and seriously frightening business if you’re somebody who thinks they may be in the target zone of this investigation,” Kendall Coffey said.

Christie has denied any prior knowledge of the lane closings. The panel will meet next week to vote on subpoenas for the interviews Christie’s lawyers used as the basis for clearing the governor. The federal grand jury will continue to meet and call witnesses for the next 18 months, ABC News reported.

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