WILMINGTON SCHOOLS PAY FOR FILTRATION SYSTEMS TO COMBAT FOREVER CHEMICALS: The move to reduce per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, or PFAS, comes after a nationwide report again highlighted high levels of the compounds in water supplies, with Brunswick County registering the highest levels in the country and the Wilmington region listed as the fifth highest. The new filtration systems use reverse osmosis, or RO, the method that’s been determined to be most effective in reducing levels of the compounds. Initial plans call for one RO station at each school. Last week, the Brunswick County Board of Education reviewed a plan for a pilot project to test reverse osmosis stations at Lincoln Elementary and Belville Elementary, both in Leland, and a third-party testing lab to monitor before-and-after results. Earlier this month, the New Hanover County School Board agreed to move $142,582 in its capital projects fund to begin a similar project.
WAKE SCHOOLS REGISTER OVER 1,200 HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO VOTE: School officials said Monday that nearly 1,200 additional Wake County students have registered or pre-registered to vote so far this school year. Additional efforts are planned for the 2020-21 school year, with more voter registration drives coming ahead of the fall elections. Wake high schools have registered 18-year-olds to vote. They’ve also registered students who will turn 18 by Election Day on Nov. 3 because they’re eligible even as 17-year-olds to vote in the March 3 primary. Wake is carrying out the part of its strategic plan that calls for graduating students ready for “productive citizenship.” Young people have been historically underrepresented among voters. Every Wake high school has a voter registration coordinator and conducts at least one voter registration drive each year. “The hope is that if the kids are pushing it, then their peers are more likely to agree to register than if the adults are pushing it,” Steele told the school board’s student achievement committee.
HARVEY WEINSTEIN GUILTY OF RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT: Former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein was convicted of rape and sexual assault against two women and led off to prison in handcuffs Monday in what his foes hailed as a landmark moment for the legal system and a long-overdue reckoning for the man vilified as the biggest monster of the #MeToo era. The 67-year-old Weinstein had a look of resignation on his face as he heard the verdict: guilty on two charges, not guilty on a set of more serious ones. While it was not the across-the-board victory prosecutors and his accusers had hoped for, it could put the stooped and feeble-looking Weinstein behind bars for the rest of his life. The charges carry up to 29 years in prison. District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. saluted the women who came forward against the once-feared studio boss, saying they "changed the course of history in the fight against sexual violence" and “pulled our justice system into the 21st century.”
TRUMP LASHES OUT AT JUSTICE SOTOMAYOR OVER HER DISSENT ON IMMIGRATION RULE: Trump was provoked by a dissent she wrote last week after the Supreme Court, in a 5-to-4 decision, allowed the Trump administration’s “public charge” rule to go into effect. The immigration policy turns away immigrants likely to rely on public benefits to support themselves or their families. Sotomayor’s chief complaint was that the Supreme Court has been too quick to grant “emergency” relief to the federal government in numerous cases — even though the government presents almost no convincing evidence of an emergency. “It is hard to say what is more troubling: that the Government would seek this extraordinary relief seemingly as a matter of course, or that the Court would grant it,” Sotomayor wrote. Historically, the government has “leapfrogged” over lower courts to appeal to the Supreme Court on relatively rare occasions to block adverse rulings before they are fully litigated. The Trump administration, however, has done so with considerable success and increased regularity, particularly in immigration-related cases. Sotomayor said that the government keeps “claiming one emergency after another,” while seeking stays in an “unprecedented number of cases.” “And with each successive application, of course,” she wrote, “its cries of urgency ring increasingly hollow."
7 DEAD, COUNTLESS WOUNDED IN HINDU/MUSLIM VIOLENCE DURING TRUMP'S INDIA VISIT: Black smoke coiled up to the sky on Tuesday as Hindus and Muslims battled in a poor neighborhood of India’s capital, leaving seven people dead so far as communal violence unfolded as President Trump was visiting the city. In other parts of New Delhi, Mr. Trump and Prime Minister Narendra Modi carried on with sightseeing and meetings, seemingly unaffected as the tension and protests that have roiled the capital over Mr. Modi’s Hindu-first policies exploded into rioting and gang fighting. Mobs of Hindu men, many of their foreheads marked by a saffron stripe, angrily patrolled the streets carrying sticks, iron bars and baseball bats, threatening to beat up journalists or any outsiders. Mr. Modi’s government had choreographed Mr. Trump’s visit as a demonstration of India’s rising stature on the world stage, seeking to turn the page on months of street protests against Mr. Modi that organizers said were aimed at preserving India’s foundation as a secular democracy in the face of what they see as an attempt by Mr. Modi and his allies to turn India into a Hindu state. The main spark for the protests was the enshrining of a citizenship law that granted expedited naturalization to India for migrants of every significant South Asian religion except Islam. Indian Muslims who had looked on in despair at win after win for Mr. Modi’s Hindu nationalist base were galvanized to demonstrate, joined by human rights activists, academics and those worried about the country’s direction.