Friday News: Free market tyranny


MOUNTAIN VALLEY PIPELINE APPLIES FOR PERMITS ON NC EXTENSION: The Roanoke Times reports the application filed Tuesday asks for a 73-mile extension for the 300-mile pipeline that is being constructed in West Virginia and Virginia. Mountain Valley proposed the $468 million project called MVP Southgate in April. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission application says the project would start at the current project's endpoint in Pittsylvania County, Virginia. It would run to Alamance County, North Carolina and provide gas to local distribution company PSNC Energy. Opponents fear environmental damage, object to the pipeline's use of eminent domain to obtain private land and question if the pipeline is needed. Mountain Valley says it hopes to start construction on the new project in 2020.

WHY WAKE COUNTY'S ELECTION RESULTS TOOK SO LONG TO BE TABULATED: It took more than three hours after polls closed at 7:30 p.m. for precinct results to appear on the state’s website, while similarly large N.C. counties such as Mecklenburg and Guilford already had results posting. So what gives? Several changes and logistical challenges explain why the first results weren’t posted sooner, said Gary Sims, the Wake elections director. This year’s primary and general election were the first elections where results weren’t transferred via modem from individual Wake County polling sites. “While those uploads were secure, it was possible to get some identifying information on each end,” said Greg Flynn, the Wake County Board of Elections vice chairman. Flynn tweeted behind-the-scene photos of the election night process. “The information was never compromised, but the state said we can’t do that any more.”

SC DEPUTIES IGNORED DANGER WARNINGS BEFORE ALLOWING TWO WOMEN TO DROWN: The deputies, who drove around barricades and a manned checkpoint and ignored the safer route they had been given to avoid floodwaters from Hurricane Florence, bear plenty of responsibility for the deaths of Wendy Newton and Nicolette Green, said Tommy Brittain, a lawyer for Newton's family. They have been fired and a criminal investigation into their actions is coming to an end. Neither woman was violent, their advocates said during a Senate subcommittee hearing. Newton was only seeking medicine for her fear and anxiety the day she died, the attorney said, while Green's family said she was committed at a regular mental health appointment by a councilor she had never seen before. A system in South Carolina that treats nonviolent mental health patients more like criminals also contributed greatly to the women's deaths, Brittain told a state Senate panel Thursday.

TRUMP IS ABOUT TO MAKE SEEKING ASYLUM AT THE BORDER A LOT HARDER: The regulations will be incorporated in a proclamation expected to be issued Friday by President Donald Trump. He will invoke the same powers he used to push through a version of the travel ban that was upheld by the Supreme Court, according to senior administration officials. The officials were not authorized to speak publicly and spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity. The regulations would circumvent laws stating that anyone is eligible for asylum no matter how he or she enters the country, Administration officials said those denied asylum under the proclamation may be eligible for similar forms of protection if they fear returning to their countries, though they would be subject to a tougher threshold. Those forms of protection include "withholding of removal" — which is similar to asylum, but doesn't allow for green cards or bringing families — or asylum under the United Nations Convention Against Torture.

TRUMP'S ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL TIED TO FLORIDA FRAUD CASE: Matthew G. Whitaker, the acting attorney general, served on the advisory board of a Florida company that a federal judge shut down last year and fined nearly $26 million after the government accused it of scamming customers. The company, World Patent Marketing, “bilked thousands of consumers out of millions of dollars” by promising inventors lucrative patent agreements, according to a complaint filed in Florida by the Federal Trade Commission. Court documents show that when frustrated consumers tried to get their money back, Scott J. Cooper, the company’s president and founder, used Mr. Whitaker to threaten them as a former federal prosecutor. Mr. Cooper’s company paid Mr. Whitaker nearly $10,000 before it closed. A Justice Department spokeswoman declined to comment on Mr. Whitaker’s ties to the patent company, which were first reported by The Miami New Times.