HC Wake-Up Call: Obamas' Presidential Portraits Revealed, Donald Trump Jr.'s Wife Hospitalized After Exposure to White Powder & Justice Department Wants to Defund Office That Fights Hate Crimes

Good morning Her Campus! With a break-neck news cycle, there is no possible way for you to stay on top of every story that comes across your feeds—we’re all only human, after all.

But, life comes at you fast. So grab a cup of coffee and settle in for this quick and dirty guide to stories you might’ve been sleeping on (like, literally. It’s early.)

Barack and Michelle Obama's Presidential Portraits Have Officially Been Unveiled

*Wipes away Obama White House nostalgia-induced tears* On Monday, Barack and Michelle Obama's official presidential portraits were unveiled at the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. As the Washington Post reports, both commissions of the former FLOTUS and POTUS's portraits were given to African American artists for the very first time. Contemporary artist Kehinde Wiley was responsible for Barack's, which features him against a background of green foliage, and up-and-coming artist Amy Sherald created Michelle's stunning, colorful portrait. Oh, and as if we could possibly love them any more than we already do now, the former president reportedly joked about his wife's "hotness," so yeah, I'll just be over here treasuring this moment forever.

Donald Trump Jr.'s Wife Was Hospitalized After Being Mailed White Powder

Vanessa Trump, Donald Trump Jr.'s wife, had a scary Monday afternoon when she was taken to a New York hospital after being mailed an unidentified white powder, the Huffington Post reports. While the powder was later determined to be non-hazardous, Trump reportedly felt nauseous after being exposed to it when she opened the letter it was contained in, which was addressed to her husband. U.S. authorities have been on high alert for suspicious substances in the mail of government officials after five people were killed in 2001 when they opened envelopes containing anthrax that were addressed to lawmakers and media outlets.

The Justice Department Wants to Defund a Civil Rights Organization Dedicated to Fighting Hate Crimes

As part of its latest budget proposal, the Justice Department seeks to defund the Civil Rights-era office of Community Relations Service, which acts as a "peacemaker" in communities facing hate crimes and racially-charged tensions, BuzzFeed News reports. The office currently receives $15.4 million annually, and operates with 54 employees, all of which would be fired if the office is defunded. While the Justice Department has said "reorganization challenges" are the reason for cutting funding to the Community Relations Service under the current budget plan, civil rights activists are concerned about where this would leave communities plagued by racially-charged issues.

"We are at a time when there’s increased division in communities throughout this country, so this is a time to increase [funding], not to eliminate it," Grande Lum, who leads the Divided Community Project at the Ohio State University Moritz College of Law told BuzzFeed. "They worked closely with Martin Luther King and other civil rights leaders to help create positive, constructive outcomes and it would be really frustrating if that were shuttered forever."

What to look out for...

The Bachelor Winter Games premieres for the first time ever tonight! Tune in tonight at 8 p.m. EST on ABC to catch all the drama — meanwhile, check out the cast lineup here.

Caroline is the Evening/Weekend Editor and Style Editor at Her Campus, a senior public relations major at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a leather jacket enthusiast.  You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram @c_pirozzolo. 

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