CARY POLICE SAY RACIST JOGGER WAS SUFFERING "MENTAL HEALTH" CRISIS: A jogger who threw water bottles and insulted two people on a Cary greenway was suffering from a mental health crisis and wasn’t attacking two people because of their race, Cary police said Friday. One of the people is Chinese American, and the other is Iranian. They both told ABC 11 they believed the attacks were racially motivated. “Investigators determined neither race nor ethnicity were a factor in the incident,” said John Reeves, a spokesman for the police department, in an email. “Following a complete and thorough investigation and in consult with the district attorney’s office, no criminal charges will be filed.” And when this dude escalates and uses a lethal weapon next time, what then?
NC REPUBLICANS GET PUSHBACK FOR TRYING TO EASE GUN RESTRICTIONS: After two mass shootings in the U.S. in one week, an anti-gun-violence group has called on North Carolina lawmakers to drop proposals to loosen gun restrictions. At a news conference Thursday, members of North Carolinians against Gun Violence spoke out against bills passed by the state House this week allowing weapons on school property during church services there and allowing EMTs to carry concealed weapons when they're taking part in a law enforcement operation. A third bill also allows concealed carry for federal court officials. Rep. Marcia Morey, D-Durham, promoted her extreme risk protective order bill as an example of sensible gun control that could take guns out of the hands of people most likely to use them against themselves or others. The bill did not get a hearing last year, but she has filed it again this session. The three bills are now in the Senate, which has already passed its own version of the bill allowing guns on school property during religious services.
DAN BISHOP PAID $11,000 IN FINES TO FEC FOR NOT FILING CAMPAIGN REPORTS: U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop’s campaign was fined more than $11,000 for campaign finance reporting violations during his 2019 special election victory. The campaign paid the fine last year, but the case was just recently made public by the Federal Election Commission, which keeps cases confidential until they are closed. The case closed with a Feb. 23 letter to Bishop’s campaign treasurer. Among the donations that were not reported on time were $2,800 from Louis DeJoy, a prominent GOP donor from Greensboro and now the postmaster general of the United States, $2,000 from the FedEx Corporation PAC and $1,000 from the National Ready Mixed Concrete Assn. PAC. There was nothing illegal or incorrect about the donations, some of which were earmarked through the Club For Growth, Win Red and the House Freedom Fund. Campaigns are required to file information about donors so that voters are aware of who is funding them.
HOUSE DEMOCRATS FILE BILL TO BLOCK LOUIS DEJOY'S 10-YEAR PLAN (ATTACK) ON POSTAL SERVICE: Democrats are swarming to block a key piece of Postmaster General Louis DeJoy’s 10-year restructuring plan for the U.S. Postal Service, casting doubt on the feasibility of his proposals for achieving financial stability for the agency. A group of House Democrats on Friday introduced legislation to prohibit the Postal Service from lengthening mail-delivery windows and require it to adhere to present service expectations. They named the bill the Delivering Envelopes Judiciously On-time Year-round Act, or DEJOY Act. One House aide involved in postal reform legislation introduced in February said some members of the caucus are leery of proceeding with efforts to address the Postal Service’s financial obligations given that DeJoy’s 10-year plan includes sharp reductions in service, including slower timetables for mail delivery and reduced post office hours. Mounting concern among Democrats, who can afford few defections from their narrow House majority if they hope to pass postal reform, could throw off the postmaster general’s entire “Delivering for America” proposal. Lawmakers are beginning to share that concern as they are bombarded with calls from local constituents worried about if their medications, paychecks and bills will arrive late. Already over the summer when DeJoy implemented a smaller round of service cuts, major mail-order pharmacies told Senate investigators that some patients experienced “significant” delays in receiving mailed prescriptions. In recent months, untold numbers of consumers have complained of late fees assessed on bills that were held up in the mail. “This is the best way to kill your business,” Krishnamoorthi said, “which is to basically say to your customers, ‘We’re not going to meet your expectations. You’re going to meet our service realities, regardless of what ends up happening.’”
CHINA STRIKES A DEAL WITH IRAN OVER OIL SUPPLY, BUT SANCTIONS MAY COMPLICATE THINGS: China agreed to invest $400 billion in Iran over 25 years in exchange for a steady supply of oil to fuel its growing economy under a sweeping economic and security agreement signed on Saturday. The deal could deepen China’s influence in the Middle East and undercut American efforts to keep Iran isolated. But it was not immediately clear how much of the agreement can be implemented while the international dispute over Iran’s nuclear program remains unresolved. President Biden has offered to resume negotiations with Iran over the 2015 nuclear accord that his predecessor, President Trump, abrogated three years after it was signed. But he says Iran must first commit to adhering to the terms of the agreement. Iran has refused to do so, and China has backed it up, demanding that the United States act first to revive the deal it broke by lifting unilateral sanctions that have suffocated the Iranian economy. China was one of five world powers that, along with the U.S., signed the 2015 nuclear agreement with Iran. That draft detailed $400 billion of Chinese investments to be made in dozens of fields, including banking, telecommunications, ports, railways, health care and information technology, over the next 25 years. In exchange, China would receive a regular — and, according to an Iranian official and an oil trader, heavily discounted — supply of Iranian oil. The draft also called for deepening military cooperation, including joint training and exercises, joint research and weapons development and intelligence-sharing. Mr. Wang has already visited Iran’s archrival, Saudi Arabia, as well as Turkey, and is scheduled to go to the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman in the days ahead. He has said that the region is at a crossroads and offered China’s help in resolving persistent disputes, including over Iran’s nuclear program. China is even ready to play host to direct talks between the Israelis and the Palestinians, hinting that American dominance in the region has hindered peace and development.