REPUBLICAN LAWMAKERS PUSH FOR VOTER ID IN NOVEMBER: Legislative Republicans called on the courts Thursday to lift an injunction and require voter to present photo identification at the polls this November, saying a bill they passed earlier this year should satisfy the last arguments against the rule. "It is past time for activist courts to stop blocking another commonsense elections policy that is required by North Carolina's constitution and a strong majority of other states," House Speaker Tim Moore said in a statement. There are two lawsuits seeking – so far, successfully – to block the state's voter ID requirement: one state and one federal. Republican lawmakers filed a motion in the state case Thursday, asking judges to drop their injunction against the state's voter ID law. They argued that a provision included in House Bill 1169 earlier this year should satisfy the court.
NC'S NEW SOCIAL STUDIES CURRICULUM IS GETTING A RE-WRITE: The State Board of Education voted Thursday to postpone approval of new K-12 social studies standards so that more work can be done on them to address how to-teach difficult topics such as slavery and racism. The state board heard earlier this week from Matt Scialdone, a teacher at Middle Creek High School in Apex, and several of his students about teaching “hard history.” Students in his elective classes have explored topics such as the lynching of Black people and the state’s forced eugenics sterilization program that disproportionately targeted Black people. KaLa Keaton, a rising senior at Middle Creek, said she only recently learned about things such as the 1898 Wilmington Massacre, when white supremacists violently overthrew the city’s multi-racial elected government and killed dozens of Black people. “Students of color deserve to see the accomplishments, contributions and struggles of our communities accurately reflected in the classes we sit in every year,” Keaton said. “Right now we’re left to go behind the curriculum and do extra work.”
GOVERNOR COOPER CREATES TASK FORCE TO SOLVE RACIAL INEQUITIES IN JUSTICE SYSTEM: Judges, law enforcement, elected officials, civil rights advocates and others brought together to examine ways to eliminate racial disparities in North Carolina's criminal justice and court systems are holding their first meeting. The North Carolina Task Force for Racial Equity in Criminal Justice was created by Gov. Roy Cooper in the days after massive demonstrations against racism and police brutality following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Attorney General Josh Stein and state Supreme Court Justice Anita Earls are the leaders of the commission meeting Friday through a video conference. Cooper gave the panel until Dec. 1 to make specific recommendations to local governments and legislators to address systemic racial bias. Topics likely to be considered include use of force standards, community policing, alternatives to arrests, pretrial release and the use of fines and fees on defendants. Cooper announced the remaining task force members on Thursday.
GENERAL MARK MILLEY HAS NO SYMPATHY FOR CONFEDERATE GENERALS: The military’s top officer on Thursday described Confederate leaders as traitors and said he is taking a “hard look” at renaming 10 Army installations that honor them, despite President Trump’s opposition to any changes. “The Confederacy, the American Civil War was fought, and it was an act of rebellion,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark A. Milley, told members of the House Armed Services Committee. “It was an act of treason at the time against the Union, against the Stars and Stripes, against the U.S. Constitution, and those officers turned their back on their oath.” The Army is now about 20 percent black, he said. “For those young soldiers that go onto a base — a Fort Hood, a Fort Bragg or a fort wherever named after a Confederate general — they can be reminded that that general fought for the institution of slavery that may have enslaved one of their ancestors,” he said. Last month, Trump rejected calls to rename installations after Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper signaled a willingness to do so, saying his administration “will not even consider” that plan.
ISRAEL MAY BE BLOWING UP IRANIAN NUCLEAR RESEARCH FACILITIES: The precise location of Friday’s explosion was unclear, but analysts said there were several military and training facilities in the area that could be the target of sabotage. A cause was not immediately determined. “There are two underground facilities, a site associated with chemical weapons research and an unidentified military production site,” said Fabian Hinz, an Iran military expert and research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies. It was the third major explosion to have occurred in Iran between midnight and 3 a.m. over three consecutive weeks. The first two explosions occurred at key military and nuclear bases — in Khojir, home of the country’s largest missile production facility; and at the Natanz nuclear base, at a building that housed centrifuge assembly. Iran described the Khojir episode as a gas tank explosion. Independent analysts said it was unclear whether the cause was an accident, sabotage or something else, although they noted that Iran had initially given a misleading location. But a Middle Eastern intelligence official with knowledge of the episode said Israel was responsible for the attack on the Natanz nuclear complex, using a powerful bomb. A member of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps who was briefed on the matter also said that an explosive was used.