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Yale subject of Title IX inquiry

A group of 16 people who filed a Title IX complaint against Yale University last month said Thursday that the federal Department of Education had launched an investigation to review Yale’s policies for dealing with sexual harassment and assault cases.

The group, which includes current and former students, noted an episode in October in which they said members of the fraternity Delta Kappa Epsilon marched around chanting misogynistic and sexually derogatory slogans.

On Thursday, the group said the school’s “inadequate response” failed to eliminate a “hostile sexual environment on campus,” which violated the federal gender-equity law Title IX. It also accused Yale of failing to properly address previous cases of harassment and assault.

The federal inquiry was first reported in The Yale Herald. Phone calls to Yale and the Education Department’s Office for Civil Rights were not immediately returned late Thursday.

—The New York Times

FBI seeks help cracking code in murder victim’s notes

It sounds like the beginning of a good whodunit, or at least a Law and Order episode: A body is found. In the victim’s pants are two notes written in some sort of code. The FBI is called in and concludes the man was murdered.

But the encrypted notes have the FBI stumped — so stumped that this week, after years of trying to decipher them, it posted what amounted to a public request for help on its website.

The body of Ricky McCormick was found in 1999, in a cornfield west of West Alton, Mo., near where the Mississippi and Missouri rivers meet.

The FBI, drawn into the case because of the two mysterious notes, came to believe that McCormick, 41, was murdered and that the encrypted notes might lead to the killer.

“We are really good at what we do,” Dan Olson, chief of the FBI’s Cryptanalysis and Racketeering Records Unit, said in a statement posted on the site. “But we could use some help with this one.”

McCormick’s figures — a jumble of letters and numbers occasionally set off with parentheses — have also flummoxed members of the American Cryptogram Association, which the FBI has consulted.

—Timothy Williams, The New York Times

Live Nation is said to be bidding for Warner Music Group

Live Nation Entertainment, the concert and ticketing giant created by the merger of Ticketmaster and promoter Live Nation, has emerged as a bidder for the Warner Music Group, according to a person apprised of the bidding who spoke only on the condition of anonymity because the process was intended to be confidential.

Live Nation’s chairman is Irving L. Azoff, whose long history in the music business includes a stint as chairman of MCA Records. He also controls Front Line Management, which manages the careers of more than 200 acts, including the Eagles and Christina Aguilera.

If Live Nation succeeds in its bid for Warner Music, the third-largest of the four major record companies, it would control a vast supply chain that could potentially make Live Nation the management, record company, merchandiser, concert promoter, and ticketing service, all for the same act. That would likely pose a regulatory challenge for the company, whose merger with Ticketmaster was investigated by the Department of Justice Department for nearly a year.

Spokesmen for Warner Music and Live Nation declined to comment.

—Ben Sisario, The New York Times