BUTTIGIEG DROPS OUT OF DEMOCRATIC PRESIDENTIAL PRIMARY: The decision by the first openly gay candidate to seriously contend for the presidency — and among the youngest ever — came just a day after a leading rival, Joe Biden, scored a resounding victory in South Carolina. That sparked new pressure on the party's moderate wing to coalesce behind the former vice president. “The truth is the path has narrowed to a close for our candidacy if not for our cause,” Buttigieg, 38, told supporters in South Bend, Indiana. “We must recognize that at this point in the race, the best way to keep faith with those goals and ideals is to step aside and help bring our party and country together.” He didn't endorse any of his former rivals, though he and Biden traded voicemails on Sunday. Buttigieg has spent the past several weeks warning that nominating progressive leader Bernie Sanders to take on President Donald Trump would be risky.
RALEIGH POLICE BLOCK PROTESTERS FROM SONS OF CONFEDERATE VETERANS GATHERING: McCollum, an N.C. State junior studying political science and French, said the group organized the protest after seeing the writings of some of the listed speakers, The N&O previously reported. Three police motorcycles and more than ten police cars were positioned around the Embassy Suites. They blocked off several lots close to the hotel, forcing protesters to park further away. This was done to hinder protesters, McCollum said. Police say the lots are private property. The Raleigh Police Department watch commander said the police presence was there to “make sure nothing happened.” Nobody was arrested. Police asked protesters to keep their distance from the property and keep off the road. Protesters listened, but began chanting “black lives matter, blue lives don’t.” One protester got face-to-face with an officer and chanted loudly, “Cops and klan go hand in hand.” Protesters were unable to get close to the Embassy Suites.
TRUMP RALLY IN CHARLOTTE TONIGHT ON EVE OF NC PRIMARY ELECTION: Thousands were expected on Monday night at Bojangles’ Coliseum in Charlotte to hear Trump, who is on the GOP primary ballot in North Carolina and other Super Tuesday states. Trump held gatherings the day before the New Hampshire primaries, the Nevada Democratic caucus and the South Carolina Democratic primary in each state. There’s little doubt about Trump’s nomination in August at the Republican National Convention, which will also be in Charlotte. Tuesday’s North Carolina primaries also feature dozens of contested statewide, congressional and legislative races in addition to the Democratic and Republican presidential competitions. Near the top of the ballots are elections to choose Democratic and Republican nominees for governor and U.S. Senate. Preliminary figures from the State Board of Elections show over 777,000 North Carolina residents cast ballots through early in-person voting that ended Saturday afternoon.
AMY KLOBUCHAR CANCELS MINNESOTA RALLY AFTER BLM PROTESTERS STORM STAGE: The rally, scheduled to take place at 8 p.m. local time in St. Louis Park, Minn., was derailed when protesters affiliated with Black Lives Matter, the Minneapolis NAACP and other civil rights organizations stormed into the event, as seen in videos uploaded to social media. Toting signs and banners, the activists chanted, “Klobuchar has got to go,” and “Free Myon,” in reference to Myon Burrell, who was sentenced to life in prison following the 2002 shooting death of an 11-year-old girl. Questions over Klobuchar’s prosecutorial record, namely her handling of the Burrell case when she was the top attorney in Hennepin County, Minn., have dogged the senator since she announced her presidential bid last year. Klobuchar has also faced criticism for declining to prosecute cases involving police accused of using excessive force against black suspects, The Washington Post’s Elise Viebeck and Michelle Ye Hee Lee reported. “Amy Klobuchar has the power and the influence — if she wanted to actually help us to free him she could, and she doesn’t want to,” Leslie Redmond, president of the Minneapolis NAACP, told USA Today. “This is a tale of two cities. There’s a real distinction between how we see Amy Klobuchar, and it’s because she keeps hiding behind her progressive background or values, but she’s actually not as progressive as she comes across.”
TRUMP OFFICIAL AT INTERIOR IS ADDING CLIMATE DENIALISM TO SCIENTIFIC REPORTS: The effort was led by Indur M. Goklany, a longtime Interior Department employee who, in 2017 near the start of the Trump administration, was promoted to the office of the deputy secretary with responsibility for reviewing the agency’s climate policies. The Interior Department’s scientific work is the basis for critical decisions about water and mineral rights affecting millions of Americans and hundreds of millions of acres of land. The wording, known internally as the “Goks uncertainty language” based on Mr. Goklany’s nickname, inaccurately claims that there is a lack of consensus among scientists that the earth is warming. In Interior Department emails to scientists, Mr. Goklany pushed misleading interpretations of climate science, saying it “may be overestimating the rate of global warming, for whatever reason;” climate modeling has largely predicted global warming accurately. The final language states inaccurately that some studies have found the earth to be warming, while others have not. He also instructed department scientists to add that rising carbon dioxide — the main force driving global warming — is beneficial because it “may increase plant water use efficiency” and “lengthen the agricultural growing season.” Both assertions misrepresent the scientific consensus that, overall, climate change will result in severe disruptions to global agriculture and significant reductions in crop yields. Samuel Myers, a principal research scientist at Harvard University’s Center for the Environment who has studied the effects of climate change on nutrition, said the language “takes very specific and isolated pieces of science, and tries to expand it in an extraordinarily misleading fashion.”