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Facebook will end special treatment for politicians after Trump ban

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Facebook will end special treatment for politicians after Trump ban

Facebook will scrap a controversial policy that gives politicians special freedom to break content rules after the firm upheld its decision to block former President Donald Trump, according to a report Thursday.

The change will make lawmakers and other elected officials subject to the same moderation rules as everybody else — including ones requiring fact-checking and forbidding bullying, according to The Verge.

The company will also begin revealing when it gives politicians a so-called “newsworthiness exemption” — a term the tech giant has previously been secretive about defining and disclosing, the tech news outlet reported.

Facebook is expected to announce the specifics of the new policy as soon as Friday.

Its Oversight Board — an independent group funded by the company to review its actions — found last month that “same rules should apply to all users.” The board gave Facebook until June 5 to respond to its recommendation.

The company also plans to shed light on the system of strikes it gives people for breaking content rules, the outlet reported.

The stricter approach to monitoring politicians comes after employees of Facebook reportedly intervened to keep political pages being subject to harsh penalties under the policy.

Facebook has for years kept a list of political accounts that aren’t subject to the same content moderation processes as other social media users. A group of employees asked for the list to be dissolved in 2019.

On May 5, the Oversight Board voted to affirm its decision to suspend Trump from the social media site in the wake of the US Capitol riot.

Facebook didn’t immediately return a request for comment.

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Kentucky community and technical colleges freeze tuition

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Kentucky community and technical colleges freeze tuition

VERSAILLES, Ky. — The Kentucky Community and Technical College System’s Board of Regents voted Friday to keep tuition flat for the coming year.

“The pandemic has taken a toll on our students who’ve been affected in numerous ways, including job loss,” Board Chair Gail Henson said in a news release. “The board wanted to help students, and we felt keeping our tuition at the same rate would help thousands of families.”

The schools of the community and technical college system already have the lowest tuition in the state, at $179 per credit hour, according to a news release. Out-of-state students from counties contiguous to Kentucky pay $358 per credit hour. All other out-of-state students pay $627 per credit hour.

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Teacher not guilty of sexual abuse of student

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Teacher not guilty of sexual abuse of student

Meredith Susan Barry Martin, a former Arundel County, Maryland, high school teacher, has been acquitted of charges that she sexually assaulted a teen student, the Capital Gazette reports.

Once a biology teacher at South River High School, 39-year-old Martin, who hails from Davidsonville, was found not guilty of five counts of having intercourse while in a position of authority.

She was also found not guilty on five counts of a similar but different charge — five counts of sexual offense by a person in authority.

The other charge, of which she was found not guilty, was count of unnatural or perverted practice and sex abuse of a minor. 

A jury acquitted a former South River High School biology teacher Thursday of charges that she had sex with a student.

Former South River High teacher found not guilty on all sex offense charges

It took the jury only two hours to return not guilty verdicts on all the charges against Meredith Susan Barry Martin.

Martin’s attorney, Thomas Morrow, stressed to the jury during his closing arguments that the student who accused her of sexual assault had lied under oath.

Morrow used this fact as leverage against prosecutors’ attempts to chip away at Martin’s own credibility.

“My job is to try and test a witness’ credibility, recollection and establish they aren’t telling the truth,” Morrow said, according to the Baltimore Sun.

“I was able to establish the student wasn’t telling the truth.”

Former South River High teacher found not guilty on all sex offense charges

Morrow further noted that everyone who had testified on Meredith Susan Barry Martin’s behalf had characterized her as a “caring teacher.”

Maryland authorities arrested Martin in February 2020.

The arrest was prompted by a written statement that a student submitted to the Anne Arundel County school board claiming that Martin had repeatedly molested the teen in the Davidson and Edgewater area.

WBAL TV reports that in the immediate wake of Martin’s arrest, Anne Arundel County Public Schools Superintendent George Arlotto released a statement that read: “The charges against Meredith Martin sicken me to my core and besmirch the incredible work teachers across our county do with children every single day.”

We place teachers in positions of responsibility and as a society we entrust to them the most precious thing we have: our children. No one who acts in the way in which Meredith Martin has been accused of acting should be around any children in any school.”

Anne Arundel County teacher charged with sex abuse of minor

Meredith Susan Barry Martin’s attorney said that she had once driven the teenage boy home because it was cold out.

On another occasion, she let him drive her car to help teach him how to drive.

Morrow accused the prosecution of attempting to ruin Martin’s life despite her never having engaged in inappropriate contact with the teen. 

People magazine reports that the alleged sexual incidents occurred between November and December 2018.

He said the teacher had proposed exchanging phone numbers, and they later traded text messages before agreeing to meet for their first encounter in the Kmart parking lot.

Md. Biology Teacher Accused of Sexually Abusing Boy, 16, Multiple Times in Car: ‘Sicken[ing]’

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Police searching for motorcyclist accused of shooting Texas officer

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Police searching for motorcyclist accused of shooting Texas officer

Texas authorities are searching for a motorcyclist who allegedly shot a police officer during a traffic stop on Sunday night, a report said.

The suspected shooter was identified by authorities as 43-year-old Royce Wood. He allegedly shot a Rhome police officer in the leg near the intersection of Farm-to-Market roads 407 and 2264 in Wise County, NBC DFW reported.

Wood was driving a motorcycle with a female passenger when they were stopped. One of them matched the description of the suspect wanted in a Saturday night home invasion, authorities said.

After the shooting, Wood fled the scene on foot. The female passenger was taken into custody.

The injured officer was hospitalized in stable condition.

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