CONSERVATIVES USE DECEPTION IN BATTLE AGAINST REPRODUCTIVE FREEDOM: Identical House and Senate bills, one of which could receive a floor vote as soon as next week, require physicians and nurses to care for children born alive after the procedure. They could face a felony and active prison time if they don't, along with potentially $250,000 fines and other monetary damages. Abortion-rights advocates and their largely Democratic allies say the measures address a non-issue and are designed to intimidate medical providers and women who have the right to an abortion. Newborns aren't being left to die, they say, and any malicious activities already are subject to criminal laws and medical licensing boards. "The legislation is not aimed at treating a problem that exists," said Kelsea McLain with A Woman's Choice of Raleigh, which provides abortions. "Rather it's aimed at creating inflammatory rhetoric around abortion rights and access to further stigmatize our rights."
BETO O'ROURKE TO MAKE 3 STOPS IN NORTH CAROLINA MONDAY: Beto O’Rourke will be at UNC-Chapel Hill on April 15. He’ll hold a “meet and greet” at 2:45 p.m. in the Frank Porter Graham Student Union in the Great Hall, located on 209 South Road. O’Rourke, a former U.S. House member from El Paso, Texas, became well-known nationally last year during his campaign for U.S. Senate. O’Rourke, a Democrat, lost to incumbent Republican Ted Cruz. But it was one of the closest statewide races in Texas in decades, the Texas Tribune reported. O’Rourke’s trip to Chapel Hill will cap a day with three scheduled campaign stops in North Carolina. The first is scheduled for 8:15 a.m. in Charlotte at Central Piedmont Community College. The second is scheduled for noon in Greensboro at Natty Greene’s Pub and Brewing.
SUB-CONTRACTOR BORING HOLES FOR FIBER OPTICS CAUSED DURHAM GAS EXPLOSION: A fiber-optic communications company says a contractor was doing installation work in the area where a gas leak explosion leveled a Durham building. Durham police have said that a contractor boring along a sidewalk hit a gas line and caused a leak that preceded the explosion. City officials say the cause is under investigation. One person died and 25 were injured. On Thursday, Deputy City Manager Bo Ferguson said that the permit to do the work was held by a subsidiary of Crown Castle. Crown Castle issued a statement saying that its Fibertech Networks subsidiary had hired a contractor that was installing fiber in the area prior to Wednesday's explosion. It declined to answer further questions about the contractor or how close the work was to the blast.
"SPOILED BRAT" ASSANGE GETS CLOSER TO EXTRADITION TO U.S. AFTER EVICTION FROM ECUADORIAN EMBASSY: Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno said he decided to evict the 47-year-old Assange from the embassy after “repeated violations to international conventions and daily-life protocols,” and he later lashed out at him during a speech in Quito, calling the Australian native a “spoiled brat” who treated his hosts with disrespect. In Washington, the U.S. Justice Department accused Assange of conspiring with Manning to break into a classified government computer at the Pentagon. The charge was announced after Assange was taken into custody. Assange took refuge in the embassy in 2012 after he was released on bail in Britain while facing extradition to Sweden on sexual assault allegations that have since been dropped. He refused to leave the embassy, fearing arrest and extradition to the U.S. for publishing classified military and diplomatic cables through WikiLeaks. Manning, who served several years in prison for leaking troves of classified documents before her sentence was commuted by then-President Barack Obama, is again in custody in Alexandria, Virginia, for refusing to testify before a grand jury investigating WikiLeaks. Manning’s legal team said the indictment against Assange showed prosecutors didn’t need her testimony and called for her to be released, saying her continued detention would be “purely punitive.”
AL-BASHIR WILL NOT BE EXTRADITED AFTER MILITARY COUP IN THE SUDAN: One day after announcing the ouster of President Omar Hassan al-Bashir, the Sudanese military officials who have taken power said they had no intention of extraditing the deposed president, who is wanted by the International Criminal Court on charges including genocide and crimes against humanity, connected to atrocities in the Sudanese region of Darfur. But he will be tried in Sudan, an army official said on Friday at a news conference in Khartoum, the capital, according to The Associated Press. Mr. al-Bashir’s sudden exit was the culmination of nearly four months of countrywide protests led by young professionals frustrated by the economic chaos and international isolation of Mr. al-Bashir’s often brutal 30-year rule. Those protests gained strength over the weekend, as huge crowds began to gather for a sit-in outside the military headquarters on April 6. At least 35 people have been killed since the start of the sit-in, the Sudanese Doctors Association said in a series of Twitter posts.