Friday News: Just say "no" to coal


GOVERNOR COOPER OPPOSES TRUMP EFFORT TO GUT CLEAN POWER PLAN: North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper says he's against the decision by President Donald Trump's administration to replace rules that sought to limit coal-fired plants in the nation's electrical grid and their emissions. Cooper's office says the Democratic governor has "deep concern" over the Environmental Protection Agency's action to eliminate the Clean Power Plan championed by then-President Barack Obama. The rule signed Wednesday gives states more leeway deciding whether to require plants to make limited efficiency upgrades. Cooper said in a news release the rollback could allow coal-fired plants to pollute more. The governor has been pressing for lower greenhouse gas emissions and renewable energy industry expansion in the state. He signed an executive order last year that aims to reduce emissions statewide and make state government more energy-smart.

PITT COUNTY ATTORNEY ARRESTED FOR CARRYING CONCEALED WEAPON INTO CHURCH: A Pitt County attorney wearing a bulletproof vest who entered a Greenville church with a .38 caliber revolver has been arrested and charged, Greenville police said on Wednesday. Greenville police said Frank Cassiano Jr., 62, of 1205 E. Fifth St., Ayden, was arrested and booked into the Pitt County Detention Center on June 18. Cassiano told Porter-Acee he had a gun and the vest, and that a woman outside had a gun, and that they were waiting to meet someone, Holtzman said. That woman has been identified as 58-year-old Diane Casper Smith of 307 Faremont Crossing Circle, Apt. G, Ayden. Smith waited in the church parking lot in a Nissan Versa while Cassiano walked around inside the church. In a news release issued the afternoon of the incident, the department said Cassiano and Smith were the targets of scammers and “felt compelled to meet an unknown person at the church.” Cassiano feared for his safety due to the circumstances, and he and his friend armed themselves as a precaution, the release said.

MIGRANT CHILDREN ARE SUFFERING FROM LACK OF CARE AT EL PASO DETENTION CENTER: A 2-year-old boy locked in detention wants to be held all the time. A few girls, ages 10 to 15, say they've been doing their best to feed and soothe the clingy toddler who was handed to them by a guard days ago. Lawyers warn that kids are taking care of kids, and there's inadequate food, water and sanitation for the 250 infants, children and teens at the Border Patrol station. The bleak portrait emerged Thursday after a legal team interviewed 60 children at the facility near El Paso that has become the latest place where attorneys say young migrants are describing neglect and mistreatment at the hands of the U.S. government. Data obtained by The Associated Press showed that on Wednesday there were three infants in the station, all with their teen mothers, along with a 1-year-old, two 2-year-olds and a 3-year-old. There are dozens more under 12. Fifteen have the flu, and 10 more are quarantined.

TRUMP ADMIN PLANNED MILITARY ATTACK ON IRAN THEN CALLED IT OFF: The military operation was called off around 7:30 p.m. Washington time, after Trump had spent most of Thursday discussing Iran strategy with top national security advisers and congressional leaders. Asked earlier in the day about a U.S. response to the attack, he said, “You’ll soon find out.” Trump declared that “Iran made a very big mistake” by shooting down the U.S. drone over the Strait of Hormuz. But he also suggested that shooting down the drone was a foolish error rather than an intentional escalation of the tensions that have led to rising fears of open military conflict. “I find it hard to believe it was intentional, if you want to know the truth,” Trump said at the White House. “I think that it could have been somebody who was loose and stupid that did it.” On Capitol Hill, leaders urged caution to avoid escalation, and some lawmakers insisted the White House must consult with Congress before taking any actions.

FEARS OF A STRONGER ALLIANCE BETWEEN CHINA AND NORTH KOREA APPEAR UNFOUNDED: Outward signs seemed to suggest a patching-up of the tattered relationship between two allies and neighbors, as North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong-un, played host to President Xi Jinping of China this week. It was the first time a Chinese leader had stepped onto North Korean soil since 2005. But behind the public bonhomie there was little to suggest that the visit — which lasted barely 24 hours — heralded any real change in the relationship between the North and its one major ally. Both leaders were seeking leverage in their separate disputes with the United States, analysts said, and the meeting seemed hastily arranged to precede Mr. Xi’s expected talks with President Trump in Japan next week. Though the carefully choreographed state media images from Mr. Xi’s visit gave the impression of friendship, its brevity suggested that all was not so smooth, or at least that the two had not had much to talk about, Mr. Delury said.