Monday News: Slow is good...


NC NOW HAS 33 CASES OF COVID 19, 14 IN WAKE COUNTY: On Sunday, Wake health officials said one of the new cases flew to Raleigh-Durham International Airport on March 8. Wake officials say one of the other new cases attended the BrickUniverse LEGO Fan Convention at the Raleigh Convention Center from 2-4 p.m. on March 8. Anyone who was at the event during that time period is asked to call the county’s COVID-19 information line at 919-856-7044. Mecklenburg County has the next most with four cases. Others are in Forsyth, Durham, Chatham, Johnston, Cabarrus, Harnett, Onslow, Wayne, Brunswick, Craven, Wilson and Watuaga counties. The weekend has been quiet with many events being canceled as a result of Gov. Roy Cooper’s executive order on Saturday banning large gatherings of 100 or more people. His order also closes the state’s K-12 public schools through March 27.

NC COURT SYSTEM DOES NOT TRACK SEALED SEARCH WARRANTS: Rare though the practice of sealing warrants may be, court officials in almost all of the 30 counties surveyed said they had no way to track them. Most weren’t able to provide a specific number of sealed warrants, produce the arguments district attorneys made when they sought the seals or say how much longer they would be sealed. Statewide, the N.C. Administrative Office of the Courts says it “has no application that tracks the issue of sealed search warrants,” according to spokesperson Sharon Gladwell. But on the local level, Wake County is one exception. An administrative order from a Superior Court judge years ago established a procedure to log every sealed warrant, noting the case, the date the order was signed and when the seal expires. That order was revised and refined following a 2008 dispute between the district attorney and local news media over sealed search warrants in the high-profile murder of Nancy Cooper in Cary.

OTHER STATES HAVE CLOSED BARS AND RESTAURANTS, NC MAY FOLLOW SUIT: A growing number of small and large employers are asking workers to work from home. Companies who can't afford to let employees work remotely are limiting their interactions in the workplace. Far fewer people are traveling through RDU Monday morning as more international travel restrictions take effect. United Airlines said it will cut flights by 50% in April and May, and other airlines are already slashing flights. After the CDC's announcement that everyone should avoid spaces with more than 50 people, there is a possibility that U.S. flights could be grounded domestically the first time since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Vice President Mike Pence said the country should be ready for an announcement of more guidelines Monday afternoon, including the possible closing of restaurants and early curfews. Four states -- llinois, Ohio, Massachusetts, Washington state and New York City -- have ordered bars to close and restaurants to stop dine-in service.

FED SLASHES RATES TO NEAR-ZERO, DROPS REQUIREMENT BANKS KEEP CASH RESERVES: The Federal Reserve took emergency action Sunday and slashed its benchmark interest rate by a full percentage point to nearly zero and announced it would purchase more Treasury securities to encourage lending to try to offset the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. The central bank said the effects of the outbreak will weigh on economic activity in the near term and pose risks to the economic outlook. The central bank said it will keep rates at nearly zero until it feels confident the economy has weathered recent events. The Fed also said it will purchase $500 billion of Treasury securities and $200 billion of mortgage-backed securities to smooth over market disruptions that have made it hard for banks and large investors to sell Treasuries. The disruptions bumped up the yield on the 10-year Treasury last week, an unusual move that threatens to push borrowing costs for mortgages and credit cards higher. The Fed also said it has dropped its requirements that banks hold cash reserves in another move to encourage lending.

IDIOT REPUBLICANS ARE TELLING PEOPLE TO GO OUT TO RESTAURANTS: “There’s a lot of concerns with the economy here because people are scared to go out,” Nunes said on Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures.” “But I will just say one of the things you can do if you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to just go out, go to a local restaurant. … Let’s not hurt the working people in this country that are relying on wages and tips to keep their small business going.” That advice goes against the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest guidelines, which have encouraged people to stay home as much as possible. On Sunday evening, the CDC recommended people nationwide avoid gatherings of more than 50 people for the next eight weeks. In another instance of people criticizing politicians for setting a bad example, Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R) posted a photo to social media on Saturday that showed his family eating dinner in a crowded restaurant. “Eating with my kids and all my fellow Oklahomans,” he wrote in a now-deleted tweet. “It’s packed tonight!” The next day, Stitt declared a state of emergency as Oklahoma announced its eighth confirmed case of covid-19.



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McConnell urging conservative judges to retire

While you weren't paying attention due to the COVID-19 crisis, Mitch McConnell and other GOP leaders have been quietly urging older GOP-appointed judges to retire so their replacements can be rammed through before the election, per the NY Times.