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Trump: Kim Felt ‘Very Badly About’ US College Student’s Fatal Treatment

American student Otto Warmbier, center, is escorted at the Supreme Court in Pyongyang, North Korea, March 16, 2016. North Korea's highest court sentenced Warmbier to 15 years in prison after he allegedly attempted to steal a propaganda banner.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he does not believe North Korean leader Kim Jong Un knew about the brutal mistreatment suffered by the late American Otto Warmbier during his imprisonment in the isolated regime.

The 22-year-old University of Virginia student was visiting North Korea with a tour group when he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in March 2016 on suspicion of stealing a propaganda poster. He died the next June after he was returned to the United States in a coma.

During a question and answer session with reporters in Hanoi Thursday, President Trump was asked if he had confronted Kim about Warmbier’s death in 2017. Trump said he really “believed something bad happened to” Warmbier, but said he doesn’t think “the top leadership knew about it.”

“I don’t believe that he would have allowed that to happen,” the U.S. president said, referring to Kim Jong Un. “Just wasn’t to his advantage to have allowed that to happen. Those prisons are rough — they’re rough places, and bad things happen.”

Trump said Kim told him he felt “very badly about it.”

A U.S. federal court judge last November ordered Pyongyang to pay more than $500 million to Otto Warmbier’s family. His parents filed a lawsuit against the reclusive regime, claiming their son had been intentionally beaten. It is unlikely North Korea will pay the judgment since there is no mechanism to force it to do so.

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Union Support Grows Among US Graduate Students 

United Auto Workers members attend a rally in Detroit, Sept. 15, 2023. Labor unions are finding support among graduate students, according to Times Higher Education.

Labor unions are finding support among graduate students at U.S. colleges and universities, according to a new report.

Graduate students, upset by working conditions and pay, have held a series of organizing votes in the past two years, Times Higher Education reports. (September 2023).

Why Are Americans Less Confident in Higher Education?

FILE - Graduates celebrate during the University of Delaware Class of 2022 commencement ceremony in Newark, Del., May 28, 2022.

Only about 4 in 10 Americans say they have a "great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in higher education. Sarah Wood of U.S. News & World Report examines why and offers some solutions. (August 2023)

Research Helps Applicants Be More Competitive

FILE - Students walk past the 'Great Dome' atop Building 10 on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus, April 3, 2017, in Cambridge, Mass.

Between a third to half of all students admitted to the University of Pennsylvania and the California Institute of Technology feature high school research projects in their applications, and the MIT application even has a dedicated section for them.

Such projects can be “both a differentiator and an equalizer” in the admissions process: they can show your own individual drive and creativity, while also being accessible to students of all races and incomes. Read Janos Perczel’s argument in The Hechinger Report. (August 2023)

Chinese Students Abroad Face ‘A Tale of Two Fears’

FILE - Boston College holds Commencement in Chestnut Hill in this undated photo.

An op-ed in Politico argues that Chinese international students are often reluctant to discuss their country’s politics. They suggest two reasons. First, they fear punishment for themselves or their families by the Chinese Communist Party. Second, as anti-Chinese sentiments surge in many countries, they worry about discrimination.

Read the piece by Jianyi Yang and Leslie Fu. (September 2023)

Racial Diversity at Johns Hopkins Could Be in Trouble

FILE - People walk on Johns Hopkins University's Homewood campus in Baltimore, Maryland, in this undated photo.

Johns Hopkins University, a prestigious research institution in Baltimore, Maryland, boosted its racial diversity by expanding outreach and financial aid, as well as getting rid of “legacy” admissions — those admitted because they have a relative who previously attended the school. However, the U.S. Supreme Court banned affirmative action in college and university admissions earlier this year. Now Johns Hopkins, and other schools, must find a way forward. Susan Svrluga and Nick Anderson report for The Washington Post. (August 2023)

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