Saturday News: Bold and visionary


COOPER AND DEQ PRESENT PLAN TO CUT NC'S GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS: Many more North Carolinians would get their electricity from renewable energy sources if a plan proposed by Gov. Roy Cooper’s administration moves ahead. The plan the state Department of Environmental Quality released Friday proposes reducing greenhouse gases from electricity production by 60% to 70% of 2005 levels by 2030, with a goal of getting to zero emissions by 2050. The plan offers suggestions for pushing emissions lower: requiring retirement of coal power plants and requiring utilities to increase use of renewable energy; setting carbon dioxide budgets or carbon caps; or a combination of those approaches. The proposal is a sweeping discussion of a possible energy future for the state that includes increasing energy efficiency and using clean energy development to create jobs.

BERGER CLAIMS SEXUAL CONSENT BILL IS STILL IN PLAY: Berger, R-Rockingham, told WRAL News last month that legislators had not dropped the effort to close the incapacitation loophole. In fact, Berger told WRAL, House Speaker Tim Moore, R-Cleveland, had identified it as a House priority. “We’re going to take another look at that bill,” Berger said. Earlier this week, Berger renewed that pledge in a conversation with a News & Observer reporter, saying he hoped there was a path for the bill. He’s talking about House Bill 393, which unanimously passed the state House in April. Its passage would overturn a more than decade-old legal precedent under which an assailant cannot be charged with rape if the victim was incapacitated through drinking or drug use.

MYSTERY LUNG ILLNESSES APPEAR TO BE CAUSED BY VAPING: In the past month, the teenagers presented with symptoms that appeared manageable and consistent with a viral infection - shortness of breath, coughing, fever and abdominal discomfort, Chapman said. But the teens continued to deteriorate despite treatment, including antibiotics and oxygen support. Some of the teens suffered respiratory failure, requiring the use of ventilators, she said. Chapman said physicians eventually made the connection to vaping-associated acute lung injury. When the patients were treated with steroids, among other therapies, they showed improvement. Clinicians don’t know whether the patients will suffer long-term consequences, she said. “These cases are extremely complex to diagnose, as symptoms can mimic a common infection yet can lead to severe complications and extended hospitalization,” Chapman said. “Medical attention is essential. Respiratory conditions can continue to decline without proper treatment.”

U.S. WITHDRAWAL FROM AFGHANISTAN INCHES FORWARD AFTER TALKS WITH TALIBAN: An initial withdrawal under the proposed deal would include roughly 5,000 of the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan. In exchange, the Taliban would agree to renounce al-Qaeda and to bar it from activities such as fundraising, recruiting, training and operational planning in areas under Taliban control. In addition to the withdrawal, the agreement is expected to include a statement of Taliban willingness to sit down with representatives of Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s government to develop a political framework for peace, something that has long been a sticking point in the U.S.-Taliban talks. Throughout the U.S.-Taliban talks, critics in Kabul and Washington have questioned U.S. willingness to bypass the Afghan government in its eagerness to meet Trump’s insistence on withdrawal.

CONGRESSWOMAN TLAIB CANCELS WEST BANK TRIP DUE TO ISRAELI RESTRICTIONS: “Silencing me & treating me like a criminal is not what she wants for me,” she said of her grandmother in a Twitter post. “It would kill a piece of me.” The day’s switchbacks and recriminations appeared to lock in the political effects, in Israel and abroad, of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision Thursday to bar the planned official visit by Ms. Tlaib, of Michigan, and another Democratic lawmaker, Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, citing their support for the anti-Israel Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Israelis concerned about the health of the relationship with the United States worried aloud on Friday that by barring members of Congress at all, let alone because of their political views, the Netanyahu government had gravely jeopardized Israel’s bipartisan support in Washington. “The damage has been done to Israel’s standing in the Democratic Party, and in enhancing the stature of B.D.S. — and I don’t know if it’s over,” said Michael Oren, a former deputy minister under Mr. Netanyahu and former ambassador to the United States.



How can you claim to put "America first"

when you attack members of (your own) Congress who speak out about oppression in a foreign country?

You know what, never mind. Trying to detect logic in Trump's behavior is like trying to shove his fat ass through the eye of a needle. Ain't happening.