Thursday News: Never again


ANTI-SEMITIC PROPAGANDA PLACED IN UNC CHAPEL HILL LIBRARY: The university did not report what was on the posters. Ari Gauss, executive director of N.C. Hillel, the UNC-based foundation for Jewish college students across the state, said he had seen the posters. He condemned them in a statement on the Hillel’s website. “We are outraged that vicious anti-Semitic flyers, referring to “an evil Jewish plot,” were placed at Davis Library at UNC Chapel Hill this week, the statement said. “We are disgusted by the vile and hateful rhetoric on these flyers. The language is reminiscent of centuries-old, anti-Semitic rhetoric that incited the murder of thousands of Jews in pogroms throughout Eastern Europe and the murder of millions of Jews during the Holocaust. This racist, repulsive language has no place on any campus or in any society.” Unrelated to the discovery of the flyers, Gauss said, the Hillel is hosting a speaker at UNC Thursday night, Dr. Marc Dollinger, a Jewish historian who will talk about the history and impact of anti-Semitism.

NC GOP SENATOR PUSHES BILL JACKING UP FEES FOR HYBRID AND ELECTRIC VEHICLES: A proposal to ratchet up the annual registration fee for a hybrid or an electric vehicle cleared its first legislative hurdle on Wednesday. Senate Bill 446 calls for increasing the fee on electric vehicles from $130 to $275 over the next three years. A new fee for hybrids would be imposed as well, starting at $87.50 and growing to $137.50 by 2022. After 2022, the fees would be adjusted every four years to keep up with inflation. He said he arrived at the fee structure by determining that a typical driver puts about 15,000 miles a year on a vehicle at 20 miles per gallon. That would result in $271.50 a year in gas taxes, because gas is taxed at 36.2 cents per gallon in the state. Sen. Joyce Waddell, D-Mecklenburg, said the higher fees could discourage people from buying a hybrid or an electric vehicle. Davis said that isn't his intent, and Sen. Bill Rabon, R-Brunswick, said the proposal is simply a matter of fairness.

FORMER GOP SENATOR WESLEY MEREDITH GOT $40,000 FROM LINDBERG AFTER FILING BILL: Two years ago, a state senator filed a bill tinkering with North Carolina insurance regulations. Two weeks later, campaign donations started rolling in from Greg Lindberg, the Durham-based insurance magnate who was indicted last month on federal bribery charges, and his associates. Within six weeks, they had put nearly $40,000 into now former Sen. Wesley Meredith's campaign account, 60 percent of what Meredith raised over that six-month filing period, state campaign finance records show. Lindberg and his wife put in $10,000. That same day, the Meredith campaign logged another $11,000 in donations from executives at Lindberg companies and their wives. Two days later, another $10,000 showed up from Lou Hensley, the chief executive and president at Global Bankers Insurance Group in Durham, and his wife.

JULIAN ASSANGE ARRESTED IN LONDON AFTER ECUADOR REVOKES ASYLUM: British police arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday, after the South American nation decided to revoke the political asylum that had given him sanctuary for almost seven years. London police said they were invited into the embassy by Ecuador’s ambassador. Assange took refuge in the embassy in 2012 after he was released on bail while facing extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations that have since been dropped. Assange has been under U.S. Justice Department scrutiny for years for Wikileaks’ role in publishing thousands of government secrets and was an important figure in the special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia probe as investigators examined how WikiLeaks obtained emails stolen from Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign and Democratic groups.

PENCE WARNS RUSSIA TO GET OUT OF VENEZUELA, HINTS AT POSSIBLE U.S. INVASION: U.S. Vice President Mike Pence told the Security Council on Wednesday the Trump administration is determined to remove President Nicolás Maduro from power in Venezuela, preferably through diplomatic and economic pressure, but “all options are on the table” — and Russia and others need to step aside. Venezuelan Ambassador Samuel Moncada said his country is threatened with war by the Trump administration, “and the ground is being laid for an invasion.” He told the council: “We must stop this war of Donald Trump.” The United States called the emergency meeting of the U.N.’s most powerful body, which is deeply divided over Venezuela, to focus on the worsening humanitarian situation in the South American country. But as with previous meetings, this one was dominated by U.S. efforts to oust Maduro and replace him with Juan Guaidó, head of the country’s opposition-controlled National Assembly. Pence also said that Trump has made clear Russia needs to get out of Venezuela, stressing that Russian aircraft landing in the country and bringing in security or advisory personnel “is just unacceptable.”