LESS THAN 1 IN 4 SEXUAL ASSAULT CASES END IN CONVICTION: Fewer than one in four defendants charged with sexual assault in North Carolina can expect to be convicted of that charge or a related reduced charge, and some parts of the state generate few if any sexual assault convictions, according to Carolina Public Press’ analysis of state court data. The picture is not universal. A few counties have conviction levels well above the state average. But in 38 counties, there were no recorded convictions at all during the 4½ years included in the analysis, not even on plea deals reducing original sexual assault charges to lesser offenses. The analysis specifically examined rape charges involving threats, force, intimidation or an incapacitated person. Defendants at times pleaded guilty to some separate charge, such as possession of a firearm by a felon or sexual battery, a misdemeanor.
STILL NO REMEDY FOR COLLEGES THAT FAILED TO CERTIFY ID'S FOR VOTING: Rep. David Lewis of Harnett County, who was instrumental in writing the voter ID law, and Sen. Ralph Hise of Spruce Pine, a co-chairman of the Senate Redistricting and Elections Committee, could not be reached Saturday. Democrats said in a press release that Republicans are jeopardizing the voting rights of students across the state. “This problem lies squarely at the feet of a General Assembly who passed and lauded a restrictive voter suppression amendment, made it nearly impossible for universities to comply with its requirements, and refused to accept any legislative solutions to remedy the problem,” Rep. Ray Russell, a Boone Democrat, said in the press release. “We should not be treating something as important as voting rights for students across the state with chaos and confusion. The legislature must fix this now.”
KANSAS TRIES TO REVIVE ITS "PROOF OF CITIZENSHIP" VOTING LAW: A federal appeals court will hear arguments Monday over the constitutionality of a struck-down Kansas statute that had required people to provide documents proving their U.S. citizenship before they could register to vote. In a case with national implications for voting rights, Kansas faces an uphill battle to resurrect the law once championed by former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, who led President Donald Trump's now-defunct voter fraud commission. Judge Robinson found that between 1999 and 2013 a total of 39 noncitizens living in Kansas successfully registered, mostly due to applicant confusion or administrative error. That is .002 percent of the more than 1.76 million registered voters in Kansas as of Jan. 1, 2013. Eleven of those 39 noncitizens voted. The registration law took effect in January 2013. In the three years before the appellate court put it on hold, more than 30,732 Kansans were not allowed to register to vote because they did not submit proof of citizenship. That figure represented about 12 percent of voter registration applications.
DEMOCRATS FACING OFF OVER APPROACHES TO HEALTH CARE: Centrists from swing districts, with the tacit support of Speaker Nancy Pelosi, favor incremental moves to shore up the Affordable Care Act and to lower the out-of-pocket costs of prescription drugs and medical care. They are pushing a variety of measures, such as shutting down cheap, short-term insurance plans that do not cover pre-existing medical conditions and allowing people to buy into Medicare at age 50 or 55. “We have very practical solutions that we can implement immediately,” said Representative Kim Schrier, Democrat of Washington, who is also a pediatrician. “We don’t have the luxury of time right now to wait for a full overhaul of our health care system.” But they are butting up against an aggressive and expanding group of more than 100 outspoken Democrats — as well as at least four of the party’s presidential candidates — who want to do just that, upend the whole system with a single government insurance plan for all Americans — the old concept of single-payer, now called “Medicare for all.”
AUSTRALIAN TERRORIST PURCHASED GUNS ONLINE FROM CHRISTCHURCH GUN DEALER: A Christchurch gun shop on Monday acknowledged selling guns online to the 28-year-old white supremacist accused of killing 50 people in mosque shootings that have upturned New Zealand's reputation as among the world's most tolerant and safe nations. At a news conference, Gun City owner David Tipple said the store sold four guns and ammunition to Brenton Harrison Tarrant through a "police-verified online mail order process." The store "detected nothing extraordinary," about the buyer, he said. Separately, New Zealand's prime minister Jacinda Ardern said gun law reforms would be announced within 10 days and an inquiry conducted into intelligence and security services who failed to detect the risk from the attacker or his plans. There have been concerns intelligence agencies have been overly focused on the Muslim community in detecting and preventing security risks.