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Construction equipment on a work site

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Expert discusses Biden’s sweeping infrastructure package

The Biden administration is making a pitch this week for new legislation that could provide a combined $3 trillion for infrastructure such as roads, rail lines, electric vehicle charging stations and grid upgrades, while investing in universal pre-kindergarten, paid family leave and free community college. Noliwe Rooks, the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor in Africana studies and an expert on the role of segregation in American society, comments.
Evanston, Illinois
Image by Madcoverboy; Creative Commons license 3.0 Evanston, Illinois

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'Not a local affair': Evanston reparations could harm national movement

On Monday night the city of Evanston, Illinois approved the nation’s first government-run reparations program that would make funds available to Black families for homeownership and mortgage assistance. Olúfémi Táíwò, professor of Africana studies, and Noliwe Rooks, the W.E.B. Du Bois Professor in Africana studies and director of the American Studies Program, comment.
Tianyao Qu

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Student Spotlight: Tianyao Qu

Tianyao Qu is a doctoral student in sociology from China.
White and blue Israeli flag in front of stone buildings

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Netanyahu enters election in high spirits, despite prospect of deadlock

On Tuesday, Israelis will vote in their fourth parliamentary election in two years. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s party is engaged in a tight race that some commentators say will end up rewarding Netanyahu’s management of vaccine distribution in recent months. Uriel Abulof, visiting associate professor of government, comments.
Candle and flame, dark background

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Ignoring anti-Asian crimes furthers white supremacist violence

Eight people were shot and killed Tuesday night at Atlanta-area massage parlors, six of whom were of Asian descent. Christine Bacareza Balance, director of the Asian American Studies Program and professor of performing & media arts at Cornell University, says such violent acts are a part of the white supremacist systemic violence against Black, indigenous, and all other communities of color.
Highway with lights snakes between mountain and bay

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US-China summit: ‘It's so cold in Alaska’

Top officials from the U.S. and China will meet in Anchorage on Thursday and Friday for the first high level summit after President Biden took office. Cornell College of Arts and Sciences faculty experts Allen Carlson discusses the political and economic implications of the summit.
Two gold rings on a dictionary definition of 'marriage'

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Same-sex marriage exposes 'cavernous divide' between Vatican, Catholics

The Vatican’s orthodoxy office has issued a formal response to a question about whether Catholic clergy have the authority to bless same-sex unions, saying the Catholic Church won’t bless same-sex unions since God “cannot bless sin.” Professors Landon Schnabel (sociology) and Kim Haines-Eitzen (religious studies) comment.
People holding small American flags in a classroom

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Biden immigration bill brings promise and peril

The Biden administration plans to unveil its comprehensive immigration bill on Thursday alongside Congressional leaders. The following Cornell University experts, including Gustavo Flores-Macias, professor of government and the former Director of Public Affairs in Mexico’s Consumer Protection Agency, speak about the bill.
Mars rover approaches landing with jets blazing
NASA/JPL-Caltech NASA/JPL-Caltech NASA’s Perseverance rover fires up its descent stage engines as it nears the Martian surface in this illustration.

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Perseverance’s zoom cameras to take historic focus on Mars

NASA’s Perseverance rover has been on a journey to Mars since its launch in July 2020 and is set to land on the red planet on Feb. 18. Alex Hayes, professor of astronomy, is a co-investigator for Perseverance’s Mastcam-Z — a set of stereo cameras that will be the “eyes of the rover.”
Computer screen and hand

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In limiting political content, Facebook risks advancing censorship narrative

Facebook announced on Wednesday that it will begin implementing changes to its algorithm to reduce political content on its users’ news feeds. Doing so, Facebook risks sowing more discord, says Sarah Kreps, professor of government.
Myanmar flag: white star on yellow, green and red background

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Backed by powerful allies, Myanmar generals take cues from U.S. events

Magnus Fiskesjö, professor of anthropology at Cornell University and expert on Southeast Asia, comments on continuing protesters in Myanmar against the military coup that reversed last November’s election.
model of a molecule

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Taming fluorine: New nano materials for drug synthesis

With support from the National Institutes of Health, Phillip J. Milner, Chemistry and Chemical Biology, is developing metal-organic frameworks—a class of porous, crystalline nanomaterials—that can stabilize volatile fluorine-containing reagents.
Jeffrey Palmer

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Native Storytelling panel at Sundance features Jeffrey Palmer

Palmer and other filmmakers will discuss the impact and importance of Indigenous voices in cinema at the Beyond Film event, free online on Jan. 30.
David Dunham

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Student Spotlight: David Dunham

After earning an undergraduate degree from New York University, David Dunham, doctoral student in Germanic studies from Springfield, Virginia, chose to pursue further study at Cornell due to the strength of the Germanic studies field and the university’s location in Ithaca.
 Historic buildings lit up at night

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Biden’s inaugural ‘theater of unity’ offers rebuke to violence

On Wednesday, former Senator and Vice President Joe Biden will be inaugurated as President of the United States. His inauguration takes place amid continued challenges presented by COVID-19 and the violent insurrection at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6.

 Police vehicle in front of U.S. Capitol building

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Police ‘unprepared’ and possibly ‘complicit’ in Capitol breach

U.S. Capitol Police failed to stop a mob of Trump supporters from breaching the Capitol building on Wednesday and disrupting Congress’ final electoral count.

 Domed building against a sky with dramatic clouds

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Southern politics, slim margins to force ‘tricky choices’ in Congress

Georgia will elect two senators on Jan. 5 in a highly anticipated run-off election that will determine party control of the Senate.

 "I Voted" sticker on a coat lapel

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Electoral vote will be certified, but violence is inevitable

The results of the November 2020 elections are schedule to be certified by Congress this week, as allies of President Trump seek to delegitimize the election and the president was revealed to have pressured Georgia’s Secretary of State to “find more votes” for him.

 Three people in lab coats work in a lab

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2020 in review: COVID-19 was the story

The first mention of the word “coronavirus” in a Cornell Chronicle story in 2020 came on Jan. 29, when the university designated mainland China as an elevated-risk destination, and imposed travel restrictions on students, faculty and staff.

 students at a table

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NYC takes ‘significant, systemic steps’ toward desegregation of schools

Today, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced major changes to the way the city’s middle and high schools admit their students. Those changes include eliminating all admissions screens for middle schools for at least one year; eliminating a policy that allows some high schools to give students who live nearby first claim at spots in the school; and issuing grants to be used by schools to develop diversity and integration plans.

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