Saturday News: No refuge to be found

SEXUAL ASSAULT ON U.S. MILITARY BASES ON THE RISE: More than 6,150 non-domestic adult sexual assaults were reported to the U.S. military from October 1, 2015 to September 30, 2016, according to a new report by the Department of Defense. Nearly 400 of them were reported at North Carolina’s major military installations. There were six North Carolina bases included in the report — Camp Lejeune (169 reported cases), Fort Bragg (146), Marine Corps Air Station New River (32), Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point (27), Seymour Johnson Air Force Base (13) and Pope Army Airfield (10). For context, Fort Bragg, the largest military base in the United States, has a population of about 140,000 soldiers and civilians – outnumbering all but a handful of North Carolina cities.

NC REPUBLICANS PUSH BACK AGAINST MAP CHANGES BY SPECIAL MASTER: North Carolina Republican legislative leaders balked again Friday at having an outside expert redraw some House and Senate district boundaries and argued lines approved over the summer by the General Assembly should stay untouched for next year's elections. Phil Strach, an attorney for the GOP, returned to previous arguments that it was wrong to bring in Persily when there's been no official order or explanation from the judges about why certain districts approved in August still fall short. "Judges do not issue provisional sentences before a defendant is found guilty," Strach wrote. "Juries do not make provisional damages awards before adjudicating liability; and courts do not craft provisional remedies before finding a constitutional violation."

DIVISION OF NC SBI GATHERS INTELLIGENCE ABOUT PROTESTERS ON SOCIAL MEDIA: State law enforcement officials told legislators Thursday that they're expecting "outside agitators" to come to North Carolina in the coming months to protest the Atlantic Coast Pipeline. The comments came during a presentation about the N.C. Information Sharing and Analysis Center, which is part of the State Bureau of Investigation. The center coordinates communication between federal, state and local agencies to evaluate public safety threats and solve crimes. Melissa Roberts said her job at the center involves searching through social media posts to identify protesters and learn of their plans. "As all of the individuals starting showing up, I was able to identify a known individual who was a key instigator," she said, adding that when officers arrested the man, the action served to "draw the crowd away from the statue and de-escalated that entire situation."

A MEETING ABOUT A MEETING BETWEEN RUSSIANS AND TRUMP JR., KUSHNER UNDER SCRUTINY: The meeting in Moscow occurred during a tumultuous time for the administration. Mueller had been appointed as special counsel weeks earlier following the firing in May of FBI Director James Comey, and as associates of Trump were under pressure to disclose any contacts they had with Russians during the campaign. The June 2016 meeting at Trump Tower first became public on July 8 in a report in The New York Times. The White House initially said the meeting was primarily about U.S. adoption of Russian children, but days after the story was published, Trump Jr. released emails showing he took the meeting after being offered damaging information on Clinton as part of a Russian government effort to aide his father's candidacy. Mueller's investigation has included scrutiny of the White House's drafting of the initial incomplete statement.

ALABAMA GOVERNOR SAYS SHE BELIEVES MOORE'S ACCUSERS, BUT WILL VOTE FOR HIM ANYWAY: GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore’s wife is standing by her embattled man, and she has gathered other Alabama women to his cause ” but not everyone is sticking with him. Moore has been accused of sexual misconduct toward women in their teens when he was a deputy district attorney in his 30s. The accusations are dividing Republicans and women in particular. On Friday, Kayla Moore surrounded herself with two dozen other women to defend him. Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey says she has no reason to disbelieve the accusers, and she’s bothered by the allegations. However, Ivey says she will vote for Moore anyway for the sake of GOP power in Congress. But some other longtime GOP women voters say they can’t support him.