Wednesday News: Reverse-reverse discrimination?


TRUMP DIRECTS DOJ TO SUE COLLEGES WHO DON'T SELECT ENOUGH WHITE APPLICANTS: The Trump administration is preparing to redirect resources of the Justice Department’s civil rights division toward investigating and suing universities over affirmative action admissions policies deemed to discriminate against white applicants, according to a document obtained by The New York Times. The document, an internal announcement to the civil rights division, seeks current lawyers interested in working for a new project on “investigations and possible litigation related to intentional race-based discrimination in college and university admissions.” The announcement suggests that the project will be run out of the division’s front office, where the Trump administration’s political appointees work, rather than its Educational Opportunities Section, which is run by career civil servants and normally handles work involving schools and universities.

TWO SOUTH CAROLINA NUKE PLANT PROJECTS ABANDONED, COSTING RATEPAYERS FOR DECADES TO COME: The abandonment of two multibillion-dollar reactors that South Carolinians have been funding since 2009 have legislators on Wednesday calling for an overhaul in how utility projects are reviewed. A 2007 state law allows electric utilities to collect money from customers to finance a project before it generates power and recoup costs even if it's never operational, if state regulators approve. Executives with SCE&G's parent company, SCANA, told regulators Tuesday they will seek permission to recover its outstanding $5 billion in costs over 60 years. Those regulators must formally approve SCE&G's abandonment plans. They have no authority over the state-owned utility. Sen. Mike Fanning, D-Great Falls, said customers have essentially thrown billions of dollars in the trash. "They've abandoned the citizens of South Carolina who weren't asked if they wanted to pay. They were required," he said.

TRUMP'S THREAT TO CUT OFF ACA SUBSIDY PAYMENTS TO HEALTH INSURERS HITS LEGAL SNAG: A federal appeals court issued a ruling Tuesday that could help preserve a key subsidy that helps health insurers and millions of Americans under the Affordable Care Act. The ruling could make it more difficult for the White House to carry out recent threats by President Donald Trump to cut off the payments, giving legal standing to a new set of the payments' defenders. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled that a coalition of 16 state attorneys general, all of whom want to preserve the subsidies, may intervene in the appeal of a lawsuit over the fate of cost-sharing subsidies - payments the government makes to insurers on behalf of about 7 million low-income Americans who receive breaks on their health plans' deductibles and other out-of-pocket costs.

POWER SHOULD BE RESTORED TO OCRACOKE BY MONDAY, CONTRACTOR FACING LAWSUITS: Officials say they now hope to restore power fully to North Carolina's Outer Banks by Monday. Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative said Tuesday that crews have finished putting up poles and are starting the process of connecting the current underground line to the new overhead poles. The utility said in a news release that the process must be done carefully and tested fully. At least three lawsuits filed this week seek compensation from PCL Construction. Gov. Roy Cooper said Tuesday he believes the company responsible should pay for damages once all the facts are known. Lawsuits filed in state and federal courts say the company building the long-needed replacement bridge over Oregon Inlet was negligent and should pay for the financial losses suffered by businesses at the peak of vacation season.

A LITTLE PLASTIC WITH YOUR BURGER? NC COMPANY RECALLS GROUND BEEF DUE TO CONTAMINATION: A North Carolina company is recalling nearly 5,000 pounds of ground beef that may be contaminated with plastic foam. The U.S. Department of Agriculture's Food Safety and Inspection Service said in a news release Tuesday that JBS USA Inc. of Lenoir reports the ground beef was produced on July 15.
JBS USA said the 2-pound, black trays wrapped in plastic were labeled "Certified Angus beef ground chuck 80% lean 20% fat" with a production date 7/15/17 and case code 541640. The problem was discovered July 29, when the company was alerted to shredded pieces of plastic foam in the meat. So far, no adverse reactions or injuries have been reported.