Monday News: Uncle Joe comes to town


BIDEN SPEAKS AT DURHAM HIGH SCHOOL ABOUT BOOSTING HBCUS AND BEATING TRUMP: Hundreds packed the entrance of Hillside High School in Durham on Sunday to hear presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden speak. Biden said coming to Durham was important, calling the city a symbol of justice and opportunity. He spent 25 minutes speaking to the crowd and said winning North Carolina is a priority for him. Some goals he touched on include boosting the funding for historically black colleges and universities and closing the poverty and wage gap in America. Biden also discussed the importance of security in the country. He says ISIS remains a threat even though President Donald Trump announced the group's leader was dead after the U.S. raid in Syria.

DAN GERLACH RESIGNS AS CHANCELLOR OF ECU AFTER BEER BINGE BLOWBACK: In his resignation letter, Gerlach said had not lived up to the standards of ECU’s creed, that “members of our academic society exemplify high standards of professional and personal conduct at all times” or the UNC System standards that “demand excellent judgement and discretion from the campus leaders.” “I believe that this shortcoming was significant enough that my resignation is in the best interest of the University,” Gerlach said. Gerlach was placed on leave on Sept. 30, the day after an anonymous tipster emailed photographs, video and social media posts showing the interim chancellor drinking, dancing and in physical contact with female patrons on Sept. 25. One video showed him quickly downing one drink the taking sips from another. One series of photos showed Gerlach engaged with a woman at a bar later identified as Club 519. In one photo his hand is on the back of a bar stool, partially encircling her. In another photo, the woman is standing partially behind Gerlach, her arms encircling him. In another photo, Gerlach’s hand is on the back of her neck.

MISSOURI'S LAST ABORTION CLINIC IS AT RISK OF HAVING LICENSE REVOKED: The fate of Missouri's only abortion clinic is at stake starting Monday, when a member of the state's Administrative Hearing Commission will begin hearing arguments over whether the clinic can keep its abortion license. The hearing at a downtown St. Louis state office building is expected to last five days. Missouri officials have asked St. Louis police for heightened security since the licensing issue has generated protests from those on both sides of the debate. Commissioner Sreenivasa Rao Dandamudi will preside over the hearing. A commission official said that in his role, Dandamudi "acts as an independent trial judge." A ruling isn't expected until February at the earliest. Missouri would become the first state since 1974, the year after the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision, without a functioning abortion clinic if the license revocation is allowed. The battle also comes as abortion rights supporters raise concerns that conservative-led states, including Missouri, are attempting to end abortion through tough new laws and tighter regulation.

TRUMP FACES A WALL OF PRIVATE LANDOWNERS TO FULFILL BORDER WALL PROMISE: A senior U.S. official with knowledge of the construction plans said there are at least 100 landowners in Texas who will need to give up property for the project, and a small fraction so far have been sent offer letters. Many have yet to receive “right of entry” requests for the government to begin surveying. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity because of the risk of losing their job. Trump, who has demanded frequent updates on the pace of construction, has been warned by staff that building the barrier on private property in Texas will be difficult. The president has waved off those worries, telling aides to “take the land.” In recent weeks, the president’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, and other White House officials have met with Homeland Security leaders and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers staff to map out a strategy for acquiring private land as quickly as possible. Federal officials have also begun meeting with small groups of property owners and their legal representatives to gauge their willingness to grant access to surveyors and work crews. A few property owners have said publicly they do not want to sell, worried that the fence will limit access to the waterway that is the lifeblood of their crops and cattle. Others own parcels controlled jointly among multiple heirs and family members with conflicting views on whether to cede to the government.

TRUMP'S EFFORTS TO BLOCK TESTIMONY IN IMPEACHMENT INQUIRY MAY PUSH DEMS TO A VOTE SOON: House impeachment investigators are speeding toward new White House barriers meant to block crucial testimony and evidence from the people who are closest to President Trump — obstacles that could soon test the limits of Democrats’ fact finding a month into their inquiry. What has been a rapidly moving investigation securing damning testimony from witnesses who have defied White House orders may soon become a more arduous effort. Investigators are now trying to secure cooperation from higher-ranking advisers who can offer more direct accounts of Mr. Trump’s actions but are also more easily shielded from Congress. Democrats are likely to face the first such roadblock on Monday, when one of Mr. Trump’s closest advisers is expected to defy a subpoena as he awaits a federal court to determine whether he can speak with impeachment investigators. But others could soon follow, legal experts and lawmakers say, forcing Democratic leaders toward a consequential choice: Try to force cooperation through the courts or move on to begin making an argument for impeachment in public. “As in many investigations, you get to a point where you have to decide how much is enough and whether the incremental value of the additional juice is worth the squeeze,” said Ross H. Garber, a lawyer who is one of the nation’s leading experts on impeachment. “If anything, they may be surprised by how much cooperation they have gotten from witnesses already, notwithstanding the position of the executive branch.”