MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO SEXUALLY ABUSING MINOR IN THE 1980'S: A woman who chose years ago not to pursue prosecution of the North Carolina man who sexually abused her says she supports the plea agreement that gave the abuser a one-year prison term. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that 63-year-old Arnold Ray Lasseter pleaded guilty on May 6 to six counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor. He received the one-year active sentence and a six-year suspended sentence. He must register as a sex offender for 30 years. Assistant District Attorney Pansy Glanton says the woman told Forsyth County authorities in September 2016 that Lasseter sexually assaulted her in the 1980s. Her father reported the abuse at the time, but the victim decided not to pursue prosecution. She changed her mind after years of counseling.
RALEIGH CITY COUNCIL'S PUBLIC COMMENT POLICY IRKS SOME CITIZENS: Throughout Wake County, many residents are able to speak at local government meetings without much notice. They can sign up just minutes before city or town meetings start to share their concerns or ask questions. But that’s not the case in Raleigh. If a person wants to speak at a Raleigh City Council meeting, she has to sign up two weeks in advance and almost always before the list of meeting topics has been released to the public. The delay is meant to give city staff enough time to research and address any resident complaint or concern. But some say it is restrictive and prevents people from speaking about timely issues. The rules were changed shortly after a tense meeting with some PACT members in 2018. Stephanie Lormand, the woman who spoke from her seat and disrupted the Tuesday city council meeting, said she didn’t understand the city’s policy for making people sign up in advance. She called it a restriction on Raleigh’s public speaking.
REPUBLICANS RECRUITING WOMEN AND MINORITIES IN EFFORT TO TAKE BACK HOUSE IN 2020: Top Republicans are hunting district-by-district for just the right candidates — women and minorities in many cases — to help them recapture the House six months after a political tidal wave swept Democrats into control of the most diverse majority in history. Among the recruits are a Republican woman in the Oklahoma state Senate and a black political novice from Houston with Iraq combat experience and three Ivy League degrees on his resume. They are part of the GOP drive to gain at least 18 seats in the 2020 elections to win the majority — historically a tall order for the party out of power in presidential election years. Finding women and minority candidates is an imperative for an overwhelmingly white GOP openly embarrassed that just 13 of its 197 House members are women. By contrast, 89 of the 235 House Democrats are women and nearly 90 are black or Hispanic.
DEFENSE DEPARTMENT SHIFTING $1.5 BILLION FROM MILITARY TO TRUMP'S BORDER WALL: The $1.5 billion includes about $604 million that will be pulled from the Afghan Security Forces Fund, which sustains the Afghan military that the United States has been training and advising for years, the Associated Press reported, citing two anonymous defense officials. They said the money was found in a review of the fund’s management, the AP reported. Another $251 million will be shifted from a project to destroy chemical munitions and agents to comply with the Chemical Weapons Convention, $344 million will be removed from undisclosed Air Force programs and $224 million comes from saving associated with a military retirement account, the AP also reported. “Once again, the Department of Defense has ignored decades of precedent and cooperation with Congress in carrying out a transfer of funds without regard to any consultation with the Appropriations Committee,” said the letter, issued by Democrats on the Senate Appropriations Defense Subcommittee and Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Matters.
EVEN KUDLOW ADMITS TRUMP'S NEW TARIFFS WILL HURT AMERICANS: President Trump’s chief economic adviser said on Sunday that American consumers would bear some pain from the escalating trade war with China, contradicting Mr. Trump’s claim that his tariffs are a multibillion-dollar, mostly one-way payment by China to the American Treasury. “In fact, both sides will pay,” Mr. Kudlow said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Both sides will suffer on this.” Tariffs enacted last year reduced the inflation-adjusted income of American consumers by $4.4 billion each month by November, according to one study. That loss, which arose both from the tariff and from more expensive or foregone imports, breaks out to about $419 per household over a year. The latest round of increases will push the per-household cost above $800, said David Weinstein, a Columbia University economist and a co-author on the research. “If we move into that next tranche of tariffs, we’re in 100 percent uncharted territory,” Mr. Martin said. The products in that category are about two-thirds consumer goods and for many — which could include toys, bicycles and iPhones — it could be hard to find quick substitutes.