Why the ‘Mormon’ church changed its name. (It’s about revelation, not rebranding.)

(CNN)When the messages come during the dark of night, Russell M. Nelson reaches for his lighted pen and takes dictation from the Lord. “There’s no mistaking it, this is Moses in a business suit,” Flake said of the Mormon presidency, “someone who can lead people, write Scripture and talk to God.” The importance of prophecy dates back to the faith’s founder, Joseph Smith, who said God told him to restore the Christian church. According to some Mormons, Christian churches’ lack of openness to new revelations is partly to blame for their apostasies. Brigham Young, one of Smith’s successors, told Mormons that opening a channel of communication with God should be their “first and foremost duty.” They should seek divine counsel …

The college admissions scam opens a new front in the affirmative action debate

(CNN)Pull yourself up by your bootstraps. What about the college cheating scandal? The outrage over the scam laid out by federal prosecutors has opened a new battleground in the affirmative action war. Opponents of the policy say the allegations bolster their arguments that elite colleges can’t be trusted to vet students impartially. Defenders of racial preferences say, “There’s a lot more kids at elite colleges because their parents are rich than because they’re brown or black.” Looming behind this debate is a big question that may take years to answer: Could revelations from the cheating scandal actually save affirmative action, if and when the US Supreme Court takes up the issue again? So far, there’s little indication to think the …

5 things to know for February 25: Oscars, Venezuela, China, R. Kelly, plane crash

(CNN)Harry and Meghan (better known as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex) started a whirlwind tour of Morocco, just days after her big baby shower in New York. Here’s what else you need to know to Get Up to Speed and Out the Door. (You can also get “5 Things You Need to Know Today” delivered to your inbox daily. Sign up here.) Who needs a host? The Oscars seemed to roll along just fine last night without a master or mistress of ceremonies. And, for this night at least, Twitter could put aside the hashtag #OscarsSoWhite, after a ceremony marked by diversity, inclusiveness and firsts. “Green Book” took home the Best Picture prize — beating out Netflix’s “Roma” — despite its …

Jussie Smollett’s race card is about to be declined

(CNN)I received an odd text from an African-American friend this week who wanted to offer his take on the plight of “Empire” actor Jussie Smollett. Simpson was able to rally support for himself during and after his murder trial by “deciding to become a black man.” He attended black churches for support, huddled with civil right activists, said he was a victim of a racist conspiracy — he did everything but don a dashiki. Smollett, too, has claimed he is a victim of white racism and gained initial support from black leaders. But in a new era where Donald Trump is in the Oval Office, Bill Cosby is in jail and R&B singer R. Kelly is headed to court, Smollett …

Jussie Smollett case shines light on Chicago’s litany of unsolved crimes

(CNN)Rashad Pratt had been sitting in his SUV nearly seven years ago, near his mother’s Chicago home, when a man approached with a gun and shot him in the chest, fatally piercing his heart. Smollett told authorities he was attacked early January 29 by two men who were “yelling out racial and homophobic slurs.” He said one attacker put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him. Police superintendent lamented resources could have been deployed elsewhere A team of detectives investigating the possible hate crime canvassed the area and interviewed more than 100 people, police said. They located more than 20 private-sector surveillance cameras and about 35 police cameras, and viewed hours of footage. Investigators …

Mexican drug lord Joaquin ‘El Chapo’ Guzmn is found guilty on all counts

New York (CNN)Drug lord Joaquin “El Chapo” Guzmn Loera, who once headed a criminal enterprise that spanned continents and triggered waves of bloodshed throughout his native Mexico, was found guilty Tuesday of all 10 federal criminal counts against him. US District Judge Brian Cogan confirmed the verdicts with each of the eight women and four men on the jury, telling them later their conduct on the panel “made me very proud to be an American.” One of Guzmán’s lawyers described him as “extremely upbeat” after the verdict. “He’s a fighter,” defense attorney Michael Lambert said. “He’s not done yet by far.” After jurors left the room, Guzmán waved and smiled at his wife, Emma Coronel, a former beauty queen and …