First Drip (1/16/15): UNC president asked to leave, Duke ditches call to prayer, more

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Tom Ross, president of the University of North Carolina system, has been asked to leave his position, inside sources say. The past four presidents of the UNC system have left upon reaching age 65. Ross is 64, but was not ready to retire. He is expected to stay on until next January, a board member told The Associated Press.

Thursday, Duke University officials backpedaled from plans to broadcast the traditional Muslim call to prayer from the Chapel Bell Tower, a gesture that was meant to demonstrate the university’s commitment to religious pluralism. The reversal came after the announcement prompted a flood of hateful messages, including from Franklin Graham, the son of evangelist Billy Graham.

"F--k 'em." Spike Lee pulled no punches discussing the Oscars snub of Selma, a critically acclaimed film about the civil rights movement directed by Ava DuVernay. Though nominated for best song and best picture, Lee said he was unsurprised that the Oscars ignored DuVernay for best director and the cast leads for best actor, categories best picture contenders are usually nominated in. Lee also added “a lot of times, people are going to vote for what they’re comfortable with, and anything that’s threatening to them they won’t."

Oklahoma performed its first execution since a botched lethal injection last April. Charles Frederick Warner, convicted for the 1997 rape and murder of his girlfriend's 11-month-old daughter, was executed Thursday, according to the Oklahoma Department of Corrections. "Justice was served tonight," said Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin. A reporter from the Associated Press, Sean Murphy, recounted some of Warner's last words: "I'm not a monster. I didn't do everything they said I did."

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