News Briefs: Legislation Criminalizes Term ‘Polish Death Camps,’ Penn Cuts Ties with Wynn, and More

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Penn Cuts Ties With Steve Wynn Over Sexual Harassment Reports

The University of Pennsylvania announced it was taking several actions to distance itself from alumnus and former trustee Steve Wynn in the wake of multiple allegations of sexual harassment and intimidation.

President Amy Gutmann and Board of Trustees Chair David L. Cohen said in a letter that outdoor plaza Wynn Commons, which was named after the real estate magnate, will have his name removed. In addition, his honorary degree will be revoked and a scholarship fund he established will have his name removed, too.


“Our nation is currently undergoing a profound reckoning regarding the role and extent of sexual misconduct in all areas of our society,” the letter read. “It is incumbent on all of us to address these issues wherever and whenever we find that they affect our extended community.”

Penn also announced it was revoking an honorary degree given to Bill Cosby, also the subject of numerous sexual assault allegations.

Penn Student’s Alleged Killer Belonged to Neo-Nazi Group

Samuel Woodward, who is accused of killing University of Pennsylvania student Blaze Bernstein in Orange County, California, is a neo-Nazi and a member of the Atomwaffen Division fascist group, ProPublica.org reported.

Bernstein, 19, was reported missing while visiting his family over winter break. He was found in a shallow grave in a park, stabbed more than 20 times. He and Woodward, 20, attended the same high school.

Orange County prosecutors said they are considering pursuing the murder as a hate crime since Bernstein was Jewish and openly gay.

The Atomwaffen Division is an armed fascist group that celebrates Charles Manson and Adolf Hitler and seeks to overthrow the U.S. government via terrorism and guerrilla warfare, ProPublica.org said.

Polish Senate Approves Legislation Criminalizing Use of ‘Polish Death Camps’ Term

Polish lawmakers voted in favor of legislation that criminalizes the use of terms including “Polish death camp” to describe camps Nazis set up in the country during World War II, JTA reported.

The law is crafted to show that Nazi Germany was responsible for the crimes against humanity. Those who violate the law could face up to three years in prison.

By a 57-23 vote, the Polish Senate approved the legislation, which already was passed by the lower house of the Polish Parliament. Polish President Andrzej Duda has said he will sign the legislation.

The would-be law has been met with criticism from Israeli lawmakers, scholars, Yad Vashem, the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and the U.S. State Department, which said it “could undermine free speech and academic discourse.”

Russia Kicks Out ‘Extremist’ US-Born Rabbi Josef Marozof

New York-born Chabad Rabbi Josef Marozof was ordered to leave Russia because the nation’s FS0B security service accused him of involvement in “extremist behavior,” JTA reported. The nature of that behavior was not disclosed.

Marozof lost a Supreme Court appeal and has since departed to the United States with his wife and six Russian-born children. He had denied the charges.

Marozof had worked for Chabad in Ulyanovsk, a city 400 miles east of Moscow, for the past 12 years.

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