Thursday News: Go Josh!


NC'S ATTORNEY GENERAL JOINS LAWSUIT AGAINST TRUMP FOR DACA REPEAL: North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein has joined a lawsuit challenging President Donald Trump’s plans to rescind the executive order that protected young immigrants from deportation even if they did not have documentation authorizing them to live in the United States. “Ending DACA isn’t just cruel to Dreamers, against our American values, and the wrong thing to do for our nation’s economy, it also violates our Constitution,” Stein said in a statement shortly after the lawsuit was filed in the federal Eastern District of New York. “I will do everything in my power to restore DACA for the tens of thousands of young people in North Carolina who rely on it – including fighting for them in court.”

DEQ ISSUES A NOTICE OF VIOLATION AFTER GENX FOUND IN TESTING WELLS: State regulators issued a Notice of Violation on Wednesday to Chemours, which owns an industrial facility near Fayetteville that has discharged chemicals into the Cape Fear River for decades. The wells tested aren't used for drinking water, but the state said it will also test drinking wells for people living nearby. An informational meeting is planned for Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. at St. Paul's Middle School. Much of the previous testing focused on the Cape Fear River and municipal water supplies drawn from it. The August samples were taken from 14 groundwater monitoring wells, and preliminary results from one testing company showed GenX above acceptable limits in 13 of them, DEQ said Wednesday. Results from two other companies that sent samples are still pending, the department said.

CHIEF JUSTICE MARTIN UNDER SCRUTINY FOR HEFTY NO-BID CONTRACT: Martin’s speech was the first step in a no-bid contract struck with FleishmanHillard, a prominent national public relations firm, that eventually cost more than $700,000 in a little more than a year, documents and interviews show. More contract amendments followed, bringing the total cost to $716,500 for 15 months of work. The court system’s procurement rules at the time called for all contracts above $25,000 to be put out for competitive bidding. Martin said the no-bid contract was justified because the court system faced a crisis of communications demands. He said the court system had a combination of events to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the state’s modern court system, including the creation of district courts.

RUSSIA USED FACEBOOK ACCOUNTS TO INTERFERE IN US PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION: Hundreds of fake Facebook accounts, probably run from Russia, spent about $100,000 on ads aimed at stirring up divisive issues such as gun control and race relations during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the social network said Wednesday. Although the number of ads is relatively small, the disclosure provides a more detailed peek into what investigators believe was a targeted effort by Russians to influence U.S. politics during the campaign, this time through social media. The 470 accounts appeared to come from a notorious "troll farm," a St. Petersburg-based organization known for promoting pro-Russian government positions via fake accounts, according to two people familiar with the investigation. The people were granted anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss details of the investigation.

ISRAEL ATTACKS RUSSIAN-DEFENDED SYRIAN MILITARY BASE: Israeli warplanes struck a military position near the Mediterranean coast in western Syria early Thursday, killing two soldiers and causing material damage, the Syrian army said. The airstrike targeted a facility near the town of Masyaf that some said was tied to Syria's chemical weapons program, in a stronghold of President Bashar Assad that is also heavily protected by the Russians. In a statement, the Syrian army said the Israeli warplanes fired several missiles while in Lebanese air space, and warned of the "dangerous repercussions of such hostile acts on the security and stability of the region." There was no immediate comment from Israel, which has rarely confirmed or commented on such strikes.