Friday News: Tory plan flops

THERESA MAY'S DAYS AS PRIME MINISTER MIGHT BE NUMBERED: May's political position has been seriously weakened after Thursday's election, which she had called to strengthen her hand for Britain's exit talks from the European Union. Instead, the election saw her Conservatives losing their overall majority in Parliament. May, who has resisted calls for her to resign as leader, could now seek to form a government with support from Northern Ireland's Democratic Unionist Party. The Liberal Democrats' leader says Prime Minister Theresa May "should be ashamed" for calling a snap election and joined calls for her to resign. Tim Farron said May had called Thursday's election and gambled with Britain's future "out of sheer arrogance and vanity," adding: "If she has an ounce of self-respect she will resign." He said that May's version of a 'hard Brexit' was rejected by the British people, and that Brexit negotiations should now be put on hold.

REPUBLICANS DEFY GOVERNOR COOPER'S CALL FOR SPECIAL SESSION, PASS CRAZY GUN BILL INSTEAD: The special legislative session that Gov. Roy Cooper called Wednesday to redraw voting maps didn't happen after lawmakers declared Cooper's position unconstitutional. Lawmakers said there is no extraordinary circumstance that requires a special session, especially when they're already in session, and the federal courts that want new maps haven't provided the guidance needed to begin the process. One thing lawmakers did do Thursday was give final approval in the House to a measure that would drop the state's requirement that people obtain a permit to carry a concealed gun. The move came hours after the Fraternal Order of Police came out against the proposal.

ANTI-MUSLIM RALLY SCHEDULED FOR DOWNTOWN RALEIGH ON SATURDAY: A nationwide anti-Muslim rally is planned Saturday by the largest anti-Muslim organization in the country, ACT for America. The rally is scheduled in 26 cities across the country, including in Raleigh. ACT for America has been identified as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center for its demonization of Muslims. The rally is set to take place during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan. ACT for America’s founding member, Brigitte Gabriel, was quoted as saying that any practicing Muslim “cannot be a loyal citizen to the United States of America.” ACT for America and other anti-Muslim organizations have spawned an “anti-Shariah movement” across the country by creating a fiction that Muslims want to establish Islamic law in violation of local laws and the Constitution.

DEMOCRATIC LEADERS TRY TO DECIDE WHICH COMEY COMMENTS HAVE THE MOST KICK: The most important moment of fired FBI Director James Comey’s testimony, according to Democrats: When he said he thinks Special Counsel Robert Mueller will examine whether President Donald Trump obstructed justice. Not, as headlines trumpeted, how he called Trump a liar. Democrats were eager to spread a succinct, biting message Thursday as Comey testified before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and party stalwarts thought possible obstruction could have far-reaching political consequences for the president and Republican Party. The Democratic National Committee listed the obstruction comment as the day’s No. 1 revelation, writing that Comey had “offered the best evidence yet that Trump is under investigation.”

AS THE IRONY WHEEL ROLLS ON, RUSSIAN OFFICIAL COMES TO TRUMP'S DEFENSE: A senior Russian lawmaker has dismissed the testimony of former FBI Director James Comey as insignificant. Comey, who testified before a Senate committee on Thursday, asserted that President Donald Trump had fired him to interfere with an investigation of Russia’s ties to the Trump campaign and reaffirmed the intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia meddled in the election. Alexei Pushkov, chairman of the information policy committee at the upper chamber of the Russian parliament, dismissed Comey’s testimony as a “big bubble,” adding that it “will not help Trump’s adversaries to start impeachment proceedings.” Russian officials have vehemently denied any role in hacking attacks on the Democratic National Convention and voter-registration databases.