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Shelter in place lifted after a threat over its Black Lives Matter mural

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A “shelter in place” order at the University of North Carolina Asheville was lifted Friday evening after the university received a threatening email demanding that a Black Lives Matter mural on campus be painted over.



a car parked on the side of a road: Entrances to the UNC Asheville campus are blocked Friday after the campus is locked down over an emailed threat demanding the university paint over a Black Lives Matter mural.


© Angeli Wright/Asheville Citizen-Times/USA Today Network
Entrances to the UNC Asheville campus are blocked Friday after the campus is locked down over an emailed threat demanding the university paint over a Black Lives Matter mural.

The university announced Friday morning that it was canceling all classes and campus activities for the day, advising residential students to stay in place and nonessential personnel to return home.

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Chancellor Nancy J. Cable said in a statement that the order was lifted at 7 p.m. Friday “in consultation with federal, state, and local law enforcement.”

“Today has been a challenging time for UNC Asheville and I am grateful for your support and cooperation,” Cable said. “I encourage every member of our campus community to remain vigilant. Please take care of one another. We remain fully committed to our University values of diversity, equity and inclusion. Black Lives Matter.”

A safety alert sent by the university just after 8:30 a.m. Friday said that “several offices at the University received an email communicating a direct threat to members of the UNC Asheville community. The email demanded that the Black Lives Matter mural on University Heights on campus be painted over.”

“A decision has been made to send a Bulldog Alert to all faculty, staff, and students to shelter in place until further notice. We ask that employees, other than essential personnel, stay away from campus today.”

The university did not specify the details of the threat, but said in the alert that it would continue to update the campus community. Officials said the campus would remain closed at least

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Students told shelter in place after a threat over its Black Lives Matter mural

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The University of North Carolina Asheville is under a “shelter in place” order as of Friday afternoon after the university received a threatening email demanding that a Black Lives Matter mural on campus be painted over.



a car parked on the side of a road: Entrances to the UNC Asheville campus are blocked Friday after the campus is locked down over an emailed threat demanding the university paint over a Black Lives Matter mural.


© Angeli Wright/Asheville Citizen-Times/USA Today Network
Entrances to the UNC Asheville campus are blocked Friday after the campus is locked down over an emailed threat demanding the university paint over a Black Lives Matter mural.

The university announced Friday morning that it was canceling all classes and campus activities for the day, advising residential students to stay in place and nonessential personnel to return home.

“During the night several offices at the University received an email communicating a direct threat to members of the UNC Asheville community. The email demanded that the Black Lives Matter mural on University Heights on campus be painted over,” according to a safety alert sent by the university just after 8:30 a.m.

“A decision has been made to send a Bulldog Alert to all faculty, staff, and students to shelter in place until further notice. We ask that employees, other than essential personnel, stay away from campus today.”

The university did not specify the details of the threat, but said in the alert that it would continue to update the campus community. Officials said the campus would remain closed at least until Saturday morning.

In another safety alert later on Friday afternoon, university officials said multiple law enforcement agencies were investigating the threat, along with campus police.

UNC Asheville is part of the state’s multi-campus public university system and has about 3,600 students, according to its website.

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How Does the Electoral College Work and Why Does It Matter?

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It remains one of the most surprising facts about voting in the United States: While the popular vote elects members of Congress, mayors, governors, state legislators and even more obscure local officials, it does not determine the winner of the presidency, the highest office in the land.

That important decision ultimately falls to the Electoral College. When Americans cast their ballots, they are actually voting for a slate of electors appointed by their state’s political parties who are pledged to support that party’s candidate. (They don’t always do so.)

This leads to an intense focus on key battleground states, as candidates look to boost their electoral advantage by targeting states that can help them reach the needed 270 votes of the total 538 total up for grabs. The Electoral College also inspires many what-if scenarios, some of them more likely than others.

Yes, and that is what happened in 2016: Although Hillary Clinton won the national popular vote by almost 3 million votes, Donald Trump garnered almost 57 percent of the electoral votes, enough to win the presidency.

The same thing happened in 2000. Although Al Gore won the popular vote, George W. Bush earned more electoral votes after a contested Florida recount and a Supreme Court decision. It happened three times before that, with the elections of John Quincy Adams (1824), Rutherford B. Hayes (1876) and Benjamin Harrison (1888).

The electoral system has also awarded the presidency to candidates with a plurality of the popular vote (under 50 percent) in a number of cases, notably Abraham Lincoln in 1860, John F. Kennedy in 1960 and Bill Clinton in 1992 and 1996.

Because there’s an even number of electoral votes, a tie

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Astrophysicists figure out the total amount of matter in the universe

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The stuff that makes up our universe is tricky to measure, to put it mildly. We know that most of the universe’s matter-energy density consists of dark energy, the mysterious unknown force that’s driving the universe’s expansion. And we know that the rest is matter, both normal and dark.

Accurately figuring out the proportions of these three is a challenge, but researchers now say they’ve performed one of the most precise measurements yet to determine the proportion of matter.

According to their calculations, normal matter and dark matter combined make up 31.5 percent of the matter-energy density of the universe. The remaining 68.5 percent is dark energy.

“To put that amount of matter in context, if all the matter in the universe were spread out evenly across space, it would correspond to an average mass density equal to only about six hydrogen atoms per cubic meter,” said astronomer Mohamed Abdullah of the University of California, Riverside and the National Research Institute of Astronomy and Geophysics in Egypt.

“However, since we know 80 percent of matter is actually dark matter, in reality, most of this matter consists not of hydrogen atoms but rather of a type of matter which cosmologists don’t yet understand.”

Understanding dark energy is actually crucial to our understanding of the Universe. We don’t know what it is, exactly – the ‘dark’ in the name refers to that mystery – but it appears to be the force that drives the expansion of the Universe, the velocity of which has proven incredibly difficult to narrow down past a certain point.

Once we have a better understanding of the expansion rate, that will improve our grasp of the evolution of the Universe as a whole. Hence, constraining the properties of dark energy is a pretty important undertaking for cosmology in

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Gravity As Matter Warping Space-Time Now 500 Times Harder To Disprove

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KEY POINTS

  • Many experts cast doubts on Einstein’s theory for more than a century
  • A new study proved Einstein’s theory of relativity aligns with present-day quantum physics
  • The conclusion was based on the first photo of a supermassive black hole

Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity becomes 500 times harder to negate as the first image ever taken of supermassive blackholes made a stronger case that gravity, indeed, is a matter warping spacetime. The photo of the black hole’s shadow was consistent with astrophysical findings of the much later time, therefore giving significant weight to Einstein’s idea of general relativity. 

Einstein’s theory that gravity is caused by a warping spacetime has been under the scientific lens for more than 100 years. Many experts of modern times have cast their doubts on his finding, saying that it remains mathematically irreconcilable with the foundation of quantum mechanics. 

In general, quantum physicists assert that Einstein’s theory of relativity contradicts the scientific understanding of the subatomic world. So far, nothing has proved Einstein wrong. 

Simulation of Binary black hole merger GW190521. Up to now, black holes with mass 100 to 1,000 times that of our Sun had never been found Simulation of Binary black hole merger GW190521. Up to now, black holes with mass 100 to 1,000 times that of our Sun had never been found Photo: MAX PLANCK INSTISTUTE FOR GRAVITATIONAL PHYSICS / N. Fischer

A new study published in the journal Physical Review Letters, which assessed the first photo taken of the supermassive black hole that is 6.5 billion times more massive than the Earth’s sun, favored Einstein once again.    

A team of astrophysicists from the University of Arizona who conducted the study measured the distortion in the black hole’s shadow. They concluded that the shadow is consistent with Einstein’s theory of relativity.   

“[F]or the first time we have a different gauge by which we can do a test that’s 500 times better, and that gauge is the shadow

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