Presidential shuffle. Trinity International University announced today that David S. Dockery, current president of Union University in Jackson, Tenn., will be its next president. In January, Dockery announced his intention to transition out of his role at Union. The Christian college has already selected his replacement, Samuel W. “Dub” Oliver of East Texas Baptist University. Dockery was president of Union for nearly 18 years. During his tenure, the university more than doubled in size and expanded its annual budget from $18 million to more than $90 million. Trinity International University is in Deerfield, Ill. Both Trinity and Union are members of the Council of Christian Colleges and Universities.
Eye spy. The latest reveal from Edward Snowden’s trove of government secrets is out, and it’s a juicy one. The Guardian reported today that a British surveillance agency called the GCHQ intercepted video chats on Yahoo Messenger and stored the images—many of them explicit—in-house. GCHQ documents obtained by The Guardian say that “a surprising number” (between 3 and 11 percent) of the images collected had “undesirable nudity,” and that the agency struggled to keep staffers from accessing the racy photos of random, unknowing users. Yahoo is furious over the revelation, calling it “a whole new level of violation of our users’ privacy.” It’s hard to decide who was more naïve: the GCHQ for being surprised that people use the internet for pornography, or the Yahoo users who thought the X-rated selfies they sent over the web were private.
Blame game. Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill are pointing fingers this morning over the failure of legislation on veterans benefits. Republicans took issue with the bill’s funding mechanism, its expansion of benefits in an already burdened system, and Democrats’ rejection of an amendment that would impose sanctions on Iran. The legislation addressed everything from making more veterans eligible for in-state college tuition to providing fertility or adoption services for some wounded troops left unable to conceive.
Sentenced. Former Wheaton College professor Donald Ratcliff, 62, was sentenced this week to 42 months in prison for possession of child pornography. Authorities arrested Ratcliff in March 2012 after finding on his home computer more than 500 illegal images, which police said he was making available for download on the internet. Wheaton fired Ratcliff, the author of several books on the spiritual development of children, two weeks after his arrest. Ratliff pleaded his charges down to just one count of child pornography possession. Though it was his first offense, the judge said he deserved prison time because of the nature of the images and videos he possessed. According to the Chicago Tribune, the judge in the case said the materials Ratcliff had were “as bad as you can imagine.”
Marriage order. A federal judge on Thursday signed an order directing officials in Kentucky to immediately recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states and countries. The order makes official a Feb. 12 ruling by U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II that Kentucky’s ban on same-sex marriages treated “gay and lesbian persons differently in a way that demeans them.” Same-sex couples married in other states may change their names on official identifications and documents and obtain any other benefits enjoyed by married couples in Kentucky. The order doesn’t affect the ban on in-state same-sex marriage. The order came just hours after Kentucky’s attorney general asked for a 90-day delay. The two-page filing says the delay would give the AG’s office time to decide whether to appeal and would give the state an opportunity to prepare to implement the change. Heyburn’s final order did not mention the request for a stay and he had not ruled on it as of mid-afternoon Thursday.