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Brutal killings of University of Idaho students were ‘personal,’ autopsies showed

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The autopsies performed on the four University of Idaho students who were butchered to death showed that the killings were “personal” – as the father of one of the victims suggested that his daughter tried to fight off the attacker.

Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt on Thursday confirmed that the cause of death was murder by stabbing.

“It would have had to been a large knife,” she told the Moscow-Pullman Daily News about the murder weapon, which has not been found.

The coroner described the attacks from early Sunday as “personal,” according to Idaho News, which cited a CBS report.

Mabbutt said it was possible that some of the wounds in the bloody rampage were defensive, adding that it was unknown who was attacked first.

Slain University of Idaho students Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21.

She told KXLY that each victim was stabbed more than once and that there were no signs of sexual assault at the off-campus home on King Road where the students were slaughtered.

Mabbutt said there was a “fair amount of blood” at the scene, adding that in her 16 years on the job, she had never handled such a horrific case where four college students were killed in one spot.

“I don’t think I’ve had another death by stabbing,” she added.

Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt said there was a “fair amount of blood” at the scene.
Latah County Coroner Cathy Mabbutt said there was a “fair amount of blood” at the scene.
James Keivom
Police at the scene of the murders in Moscow, Idaho.
Police at the scene of the murders in Moscow, Idaho.
James Keivom

The murders of Ethan Chapin, 20, Madison Mogen, 21, Xana Kernodle, 20, and Kaylee Goncalves, 21, have left the school community reeling — with police describing the crime scene as the “worst they’ve ever seen.”

Kernodle’s father said he believes the autopsy results show that she fought her killer to the end.

“Bruises, torn by the knife. She’s a tough kid. Whatever she wanted to do, she could do it,” Jeffrey Kernodle told Arizona’s Family.

Slain University of Idaho students Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves.
Slain University of Idaho students Madison Mogen and Kaylee Goncalves.
maddiemogen/Instagram

Jeffrey said he last heard from Xana, who was from Avondale, Arizona, at midnight Sunday and that “she was fine.”

“They were just hanging out at home. Xana was just hanging out at home with her boyfriend,” he told the news outlet, referring to Chapin.

“Her and Ethan were together about a year, give or take. And she, really, when I went up there she, I saw her just a week before that and she changed a lot. She had a life. She got to see what it was like to have a boyfriend you live with,” the devastated dad said.

Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin
Xana Kernodle and Ethan Chapin were believed to be in a relationship before their deaths.
AP

Meanwhile, hundreds of people held a vigil at Boise State University on Thursday night to remember the slain students.

“Today I wear the black and gold of the University of Idaho,” BSU President Marlene Tromp told the crowd, the Idaho Statesman reported.

“Today, our long-standing rivalry is set aside. Today, we come together to create light in a painful and dark time. We are all Vandals. Ethan. Xana. Madison. Kaylee. We will remember,” she said.

A paper bag containing a food order from Jack in the Box pis visible in a kitchen as investigators gather evidence at an off-campus home
A paper bag containing a food order from Jack in the Box pis visible in a kitchen as investigators gather evidence at the scene of the murders.

Investigators gather evidence at an off-campus home where four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death
Authorities have not named a suspect in the brutal killings.

Investigators gather evidence at an off-campus home where four University of Idaho students were stabbed to death
The autopsies did not determine who was killed first.

One person in attendance read a statement on behalf of a student who was said to be a friend of the three female victims.

“I remember jumping on the trampoline and watching ‘MTV Cribs’ at Kaylee’s house, to watching reality TV and trying on makeup at Maddie’s,” wrote the friend, named Carly. “They are people who shaped who I am today in crucial years in my life, and I will always think fondly of the friendships I had with them.”

Hundreds gathered for a vigil at Boise State University on Thursday night.
Hundreds gathered for a vigil at Boise State University on Thursday night.
AP

BSU student Trevor Drummond remembered Kernodle, whom he met in junior high.

“Xana, she treated me like I was part of the friend group for years,” he said, the Statesman reported.

“I don’t think there’s anyone as outgoing, fun or loving as her. Whenever we were hanging out, she would always make sure others around her were having more fun than she was,” he added.

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The F.D.A. Now Says It Plainly: Morning-After Pills Are Not Abortion Pills

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The F.D.A. said it made the change now because it had completed a review of a 2018 application to alter the label that was submitted by Foundation Consumer Healthcare, a company that in 2017 bought the Plan B brand from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Agency officials said the pandemic delayed the review process and that the timing was not motivated by political considerations.

A spokeswoman for the company, Dani Hirsch, said in an interview that for its 2018 application, the company had not conducted any new studies but had submitted “what was already out there.”

In a statement, the company’s marketing director, Tara Evans, said “the misconception that Plan B works by interfering with implantation can present barriers to broader emergency contraception access. The Plan B labeling correction will help protect continued over-the-counter emergency contraception access and reduce confusion about how Plan B works and further clarify that Plan B does not affect implantation.”

Plan B One-Step and its generic versions — including brands like Take Action, My Way and Option 2 — contain levonorgestrel, one of a class of hormones called progestins that are also found at lower doses in birth control pills and intrauterine devices. The pills are most effective in preventing pregnancy if taken within 72 hours of sexual intercourse, although they can sometimes work if taken within five days.

Another type of morning-after pill, marketed as Ella and containing a compound called ulipristal acetate, is only available by prescription and is not affected by the F.D.A.’s label change. There has been less research on this type of pill, but studies suggest that it is highly unlikely to prevent implantation of a fertilized egg. In 2009, after months of scrutiny, Ella was approved for sale in overwhelmingly Catholic Italy, where laws would have barred it if it had been considered to induce abortions.

According to data published in 2021 by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly one-quarter of women of reproductive age who have sex with men answered yes to the question: “Have you ever used emergency contraception, also known as ‘Plan B,’ ‘Preven,’ ‘Ella,’ ‘Next Choice,’ or ‘Morning after’ pills?” The agency did not break down the data by the type of pills taken.

As far back as the 1999 approval process, the maker of Plan B — Barr Pharmaceuticals, later acquired by Teva — asked the F.D.A. not to list an implantation effect on the label, The Times reported in 2012.

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Who are Caroline Ellison’s parents? Fraudster’s mom and dad are MIT economists

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This apple fell far from the tree.

Caroline Ellison — who pleaded guilty to fraud charges related to her role in the FTX cryptocurrency scandal, which led to the extradition of Sam Bankman-Fried this week — is the daughter of high-profile economists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

According to his curriculum vitae, Ellison’s father, Glenn Ellison, was educated at Harvard, Cambridge and MIT before becoming the Gregory K. Palm (1970) Professor of Economics at the latter. 

In addition to coaching youth softball and his daughters’ middle school math teams, he writes “Hard Math,” a series of textbooks and workbooks about teaching arithmetic to younger students.

Glenn Ellison is also an Elected Fellow of the Society for the Advancement of Economic Theory and American Academy of Arts & Sciences.

Caroline Ellison’s parents, Glenn and Sara Ellison, outside their Newton, Mass., home in early December.
Robert Miller

Ellison’s mother, Sara Ellison, is also an accomplished academic. Armed with an undergraduate degree from Purdue University and a mathematical statistics diploma from Cambridge University, her profile shows she completed a doctorate at MIT in 1993. 

Sara Ellison is currently a senior lecturer in the department alongside her husband.

“We were definitely exposed to a lot of economics [growing up],” Ellison, 28, once told Forbes.

Ellison, 28, plead guilty to fraud this week.
Ellison, 28, pleaded guilty to fraud this week.
Twitter / @AlamedaResearch
Caroline Ellison's sister, Anna, now lives in the West Village.
Caroline Ellison’s sister, Anna, now lives in the West Village.
BRIGITTE STELZER

Glenn and Sara Ellison were photographed by The Post outside their home in Newton, an affluent Boston suburb, earlier this month. Armed with several bags, they told reporters they were too “busy” to comment on the FTX scandal.

The eldest of three sisters — including Anna, 25, who now lives in Manhattan’s West Village — Ellison distinguished herself as a precocious math whiz at a young age. 

When she was just 8 years old, she reportedly presented her father with a paper analyzing stuffed animal prices at Toys ‘R’ Us.

Sam Bankman-Fried leaving Manhattan Federal Court on Thursday.
Sam Bankman-Fried leaving Manhattan federal court on Thursday.
Matthew McDermott
Both Glenn and Sara Ellison are economists at MIT.
Both Glenn and Sara Ellison are economists at MIT.
Robert Miller

She went on to compete in the Math Prize for Girls while at Newton North High School before studying mathematics at Stanford University, where former professor Ruth Stackman described her to Forbes as “bright, focused, [and] very mathy.”

Ellison and Bankman-Fried, 30, crossed paths at the Wall Street trading firm Jane Street. Bankman-Fried’s parents are also both university lecturers, at Stanford in California. They became good friends and she joined Alameda Research, the hedge fund arm of the FTX crypto exchange, in 2018. She then became CEO in 2021. However, the company remained owned 90% by Bankman-Fried and 10% by another member of his circle.

In addition to documenting her supposed foray into polyamory on Tumblr, Ellison once boasted about drug use on social media.

Sara Ellison completed a doctorate at MIT in 1993.
Sara Ellison completed a doctorate at MIT in 1993.
Robert Miller

“Nothing like regular amphetamine use to make you appreciate how dumb a lot of normal, non-medicated human experience is,” she tweeted in 2021.

Ellison reportedly admitted to Alameda employees that FTX had used client funds to bail out the fledgeling hedge fund during a video call in November. She was eventually terminated as CEO by insolvency professional and current FTX CEO John J. Ray III after FTX and Alameda filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

She pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges on Monday, and has subsequently been released on $250,000 bail.

Ellison was spotted getting coffee in New York City on Dec. 4.
Ellison was spotted getting coffee in New York City on Dec. 4.
Twitter / @AutismCapital

Although she could be sent to jail for up to 110 years for her part in the FTX-Alameda scandal — which has been said by federal prosecutors to have lost between $1 billion and $2 billion of customers’ cash — she is thought to have struck a deal with the feds for a much lighter sentence in return for her cooperation.

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Iran condemns Zelensky’s remarks to Congress as ‘baseless.’

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Iran has condemned President Volodymyr Zelensky’s remarks to the U.S. Congress, warning the Ukrainian leader against further accusing Tehran of supplying weapons to Russia for use in the war.

Mr. Zelensky told Congress on Wednesday that Iranian-made drones “sent to Russia in hundreds” had been threatening Ukraine’s critical infrastructure, a view shared by American and European officials. In Iran, he said, Russia had found an “ally in its genocidal policy.”

A spokesman for Iran’s foreign ministry, Nasser Kanaani, called Mr. Zelensky’s comments “rude” and “baseless.”

“Mr. Zelensky had better know that Iran’s strategic patience over such unfounded accusations is not endless,” Mr. Kanaani said in a statement on Thursday.

Although Iran has officially denied supplying Russia with the weapons since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, U.S. officials have said that the first shipment was delivered in August.

Mr. Zelensky has said that drones used in Monday’s wave of predawn attacks on Kyiv and other Ukrainian cities were from a batch recently delivered to Russia by Iran. The strikes came after Biden administration officials said that Russia and Iran were strengthening their military ties into a “full-fledged defense partnership.”

The European Union last week condemned Iran’s military partnership with Russia as a gross violation of international law and announced new sanctions against Iranian individuals and entities over their roles in supplying the drones that Moscow has used to attack Ukrainian civilians and infrastructure. That followed a round of sanctions on Iranians over the drone deliveries in October.

Mr. Kanaani “once again emphasizes” that Iran has not supplied military equipment for use in Ukraine, the statement issued on Thursday added, and urged Mr. Zelensky to learn “the fate of some other political leaders” who were happy with U.S. support. It was not clear which other leaders the statement was referring to.

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