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Afternoon News Update, 10/20/20

By Mickey Hutchings

In campus news, fall commencement will be virtual this year. The university announced Monday that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has caused graduation plans to change. The announcement comes after App State told spring graduates, whose ceremony was also virtual this year, that they could participate in December’s in-person celebration. Fall commencement will be held on December 11th. The Registrar's Office is expected to communicate more details about the virtual ceremony on the commencement website.

Locally, Boone Town Council endorsed a plan to form a community-led oversight committee of local law enforcement. The committee’s goal is to cultivate community and facilitate transparency between the Boone Police Department and marginalized communities. In the proposed plan, the board will be made up of at least seven community members, three App State students and two town council members. According to the Watauga Democrat, the idea of a community oversight board for local police was first suggested during a June meeting of Black in Boone — a local Black-led advocacy group.

In U.S. news, the Justice Department sued tech giant Google Tuesday for maintaining an illegal monopoly over internet search and search advertising. According to The New York Times, this is the government’s most significant legal challenge to a tech company in a generation. The agency accused Google of using exclusive business contracts and agreements to block competitors, like the company’s deal with Apple to make it the default search engine on iPhones. The suit says that these contracts have allowed Google to maintain its monopoly and stifled industry innovation.

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