JANET COWELL HAS HER EYE ON THOM TILLIS' U.S. SENATE SEAT: Multiple sources tell WRAL News they expect former State Treasurer Janet Cowell to jump into the Democratic primary for the 2020 U.S. Senate race. Should she win, she would likely challenge Sen. Thom Tillis in the fall. Cowell won two statewide elections for treasurer, serving from 2009 until she stepped down in 2016. Before that, she served on the Raleigh City Council and in the state Senate. Cowell is expected to make a final decision in the coming days.
TWO BLACK FEMALE ADVOCATES CHAIN THEMSELVES TO DURHAM JAIL TO PROTEST CASH BAIL: Two organizers for advocacy group Southerners on New Ground chained themselves to a gate at the Durham County jail on Thursday afternoon. Serena Sebring, the organization’s regional organizing manager, and Kyla Hartfield, an organizer for the state, chained themselves with locks and cables to a gate that law enforcement officials use to bring people to the jail after they are arrested. Grace Nichols, a member of the organization, said the action is intended to bring attention to the cash bail system and to protest Durham’s recently released bail policy. About 20 others stood outside, sometimes chanting, sometimes holding an umbrella over the two people chained to the gate.
TRUMP ADDS MORE TARIFFS TO AN ALREADY STINKING MESS: The Trump administration raised duties on $200 billion of Chinese imports from 10% to 25%. China’s Commerce Ministry said it would impose “necessary countermeasures” but gave no details. The increase went ahead even after American and Chinese negotiators began more talks in Washington aimed at ending a dispute that has disrupted billions of dollars in trade and shaken global financial markets. “The risk of a complete breakdown in trade talks has certainly increased,” said Michael Taylor of Moody’s Investors Service in a report. American officials accuse Beijing of backtracking on commitments made in earlier rounds of negotiations. The talks were due to resume Friday after wrapping up Thursday evening with no word on progress. “China deeply regrets that it will have to take necessary countermeasures,” said a Commerce Ministry statement.
DELTA AIRLINES PUSHES ANTI-UNION PROPAGANDA, SOCIAL MEDIA POUNCES: The posters included messages targeting the price of the dues that company workers would be paying if the union formed. “Union dues cost around $700 a year,” one noted. “A new video game system with the latest hits sounds like fun. Put your money towards that instead of paying dues to the union.” James Carlson, a coordinator with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace workers, the union which has been working to organize the workers, said he did not know where the poster was distributed but said an employee had sent it to him earlier. He said that Delta has been papering its employee break rooms with anti-union fliers. “Some are like what you saw today — a stupid insulting message to spend your money on a video game system instead of union dues,” he said. “They try to interfere with the employees’ exercise of freedom of association. And that’s not allowed.”
IN SCHOOL SHOOTINGS, STUDENTS BEGIN FIGHTING BACK, AND SAVING LIVES: The two shootings were separated by seven days and more than 1,500 miles, but the details seemed eerily familiar: When a gunman charged into a classroom, a student went barreling toward him, preventing more bloodshed while sacrificing his life. At the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, it was Riley Howell, 21. At the STEM School in Highlands Ranch, Colo., it was Kendrick Castillo, 18. The two young men were hailed as heroes for assuming the unimaginable role of emergency responder to a school shooting. Their actions, credited by the authorities with saving the lives of classmates, suggest that some members of America’s mass-shooting generation have learned to act — by instinct or intention — as professionals would in the face of deadly tragedy. Most students have not been taught to directly confront shooting suspects, but rather to focus on what they must do to remain safe. Some young people, however, appear to have closely followed past massacres and concluded that they cannot wait for a teacher or security officer to protect them.