BILL THAT WOULD FORCE SHERIFFS TO HONOR ICE DETAINERS GOES TO GOVERNOR: Gov. Roy Cooper now controls the fate of a bill that would require North Carolina sheriffs to comply with certain requests from federal immigration agents. In a 62-53 vote on Tuesday, N.C. House members largely voted along party lines to approve a bill that will require sheriffs and other law enforcement officials to honor detention requests from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, also known as ICE. The Senate approved the bill in June. The vote ends the legislature’s summer-long debate over a bill that pitted Republicans against Democrats, civil rights advocates against tough-on-crime lawmakers, and urban sheriffs against the N.C. Sheriffs Association.
SMOKABLE HEMP BATTLE MAY BE JEOPARDIZING 2019 FARM BILL: The back and forth produced a quasi-compromise Tuesday: Smokable hemp, legal right now and, according to some farmers, key to hemp industry profits, would be banned in North Carolina come May 1, 2020. In the mean time, law enforcement would look for field tests to distinguish between hemp buds, which don't have enough THC to get people high, and marijuana, which does. Even with a test, law enforcement officials say they'll have probable cause problems field testing marijuana, since it looks and smells like hemp bud. They've said legal smokable hemp essentially legalizes marijuana, not only making those laws unenforceable but endangering bigger busts that start with the smell of marijuana smoke. A similar issue has cropped up in Texas, where hemp laws have prosecutors tossing some marijuana cases this year and holding off on charging others.
DUKE ENERGY RATEMAKING BILL TURNED INTO A "STUDY" IN NC HOUSE: Senate bill 559 was moving quickly until it came up for a vote in the state House. It was stalled for about a month before coming to a vote on Tuesday. The House changed the bill to authorize a study of rate-making with a 63-51 vote, and after arguments that such a major change earned more discussion and consideration. The call for a study passed with a majority of House Democrats in support and with most House Republicans, including House Speaker Tim Moore, opposed. The bill now goes back to the Senate, which will decide whether or not to agree to the study. The Senate passed a previous version of the bill in May with a 27-21 vote. The bill faced vigorous opposition from electricity customers and environmental groups who claim the changes will result in a windfall for Duke Energy and drastic increases in electricity bills. Opponents visited legislators’ offices, ran newspaper ads, and bombarded lawmakers with email and petitions, The News & Observer has reported.
TRUMP CANCELS DENMARK TRIP BECAUSE THEY WON'T LET HIM BUY GREENLAND?: Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen had called Trump's musing about buying the Danish territory "an absurd discussion" after the former real estate mogul-turned-president began to talk up the idea. Trump said Sunday that he was interested in such a deal for strategic purposes, but said a purchase was not a priority at this time. "It's not No. 1 on the burner," he told reporters. But on Tuesday, Trump abruptly canceled the visit, also by tweet. Just a few hours earlier, the U.S. ambassador to Denmark tweeted that it was "ready for the POTUS @realDonaldTrump visit!" using an acronym for "President of the United States" along with Trump's Twitter handle. Trump wrote: "Denmark is a very special country with incredible people, but based on Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen's comments, that she would have no interest in discussing the purchase of Greenland, I will be postponing our meeting scheduled in two weeks for another time."
TRUMP SAYS ANY JEW WHO VOTES FOR DEMOCRATS IS EITHER IGNORANT OR DISLOYAL: President Trump said on Tuesday that any Jewish person who votes for a Democrat is guilty of ignorance or “great disloyalty,” intensifying his efforts to drive in a partisan wedge over religion and support for Israel even as he appeared to draw on an anti-Semitic trope. Mr. Trump did not go into specifics about what he considered to be Jews’ disloyalty, but his language was reminiscent of the anti-Semitic smear that Jews have a “dual loyalty” and are more devoted to Israel than they are to their own countries. The president’s comments were condemned by diplomats and analysts across the political spectrum. They accused him of endangering bipartisan support for Israel in the United States, the country’s most reliable ally, in his zeal to curry favor with some Jewish voters and tighten his alliance with Mr. Netanyahu. The remark was the latest from a president who has a history of using language that stokes racial and religious divisions. That language has been echoed in recent statements and writings of deranged people bent on violence.